This DVD would have been a masterpiece of investigative reporting if the “faux” George Harrison discussing “Faul” or the fake Paul that he claims was a fellow named “William Campbell” – was removed and replaced by a serious and credible personality from the era.
What the viewer/listener has to do is ignore the premise of the cassette tape recorder sent to the producers with this “Last Testament” of George and just go into the clues and the news footage of F. Lee Bailey from October 20, 1969 and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the treasure trove of information and reassess this impressive hoax.
What hadn’t been considered in the past was the marriage of Linda Eastman and Paul McCartney which is brought front and center here. The “split” of the Beatles, very suspiciously, happened when McCartney went with the Eastmans and when John, George and Ringo went with manager Allen Klein. As with the deaths of Alan Wilson of Canned Heat (September 3, 1970), Jimi Hendrix (September 18, 1970) and Janis Joplin (October 4, 1970) as the years pass more information comes forth which actually sheds light on how truly suspicious those three deaths were…and which allows this “Paul is Dead” alleged hoax to take on even more significance forty-one years after it allegedly happened. If Paul did pass on in 1969, it would have been the year before Wilson, Hendrix and Joplin and two years before the alleged passing of Jim Morrison (which could have been Morrison faking his own death so that he wouldn’t end up like his colleagues.)
Marty Balin of the Jefferson Airplane said to me via phone in August of 2010 “You want to make me famous, I don’t want to end up like Janis and Jimi.” Content to be an artist of significance without crowds chasing him a la the heyday of the Airplane and the Jefferson Starship, Balin has a point. One can only imagine the thoughts going through the minds of major recording artists when seeing their comrades falling right and left.
Perhaps the silly nature of this DVD is also a cover-up. Maybe it’s a way of getting the information out there without acting too serious about it. Drop the absurd notion that this is George Harrison (it sounds like an American with a phony accent), the clues are still there and the Beatles lyrics take on a different significance when you consider reading into them what is presented here. And when you look at the awful split of The Beatles…that it wasn’t a decision of choice but one of fate…that a fake Paul couldn’t keep the illusion up. The biggest clue for me is that “Silly Love Songs” is the antithesis of amazing songs like “Yesterday” and “Hey Judge”…and that the magnificence of “Maybe I’m Amazed”, “Let It Be” and “Long and Winding Road” were never duplicated again…though “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” came close…perhaps fragments of songs left in a draw a la “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love”.
Was Heather Mills really “Rita” and did she hold a secret over Paul The Second’s head?
Of great value here is Chapter 4 where the clues are stacked up. Backwards tapes played foreward for your pleasure work well in this context, though the pages of this magazine PAUL McCARTNEY DEAD/THE GREAT HOAX (pictured below) would have been a luxury added here instead of some of the frivolous stuff that stands like a shadow – or decoy – over this production. The footage of the real George Harrison’s voice calling Paul “Faul” is interesting…but you can clearly hear the a/b difference between the “faux George” and the real thing.
When I was 15 years of age this rumor about Paul McCartney was the rage at my school….and across the United States…probably the world. The Beatles were that big that the “clues” of Paul’s alleged death were one of the most compelling and amazing “mysteries” in the history of pop music. More mysterious than Elvis and Jim Morrison are alive because the clues were so very numerous and Paul McCartney was still making records.
But the possibility of an international star being replaced by a dupe or duplicate (a la Saddam Hussein’s alleged dummy replacements) was something that was an element of the James Bond film series … another iconic (and British) cultural figure as famous as The Beatles themselves. In the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever late actor Charles Gray appears as Ernst Stavro Blofeld as well as Blofeld’s two “duplicates”. This was in the era prior to clones getting popular.
Picture yourself back in 1969 (not in a boat on a river) where these clues were being dropped on the public one by one in quicker and greater succession. Our obsession with the Beatles, coupled with the powerful and attractive sweet sounds that great music has on our memories, and the Beatles stay on the public’s mind in a fashion that’s really never been considered on such a large scale ever before in history. Yes, there are those who believe that during the Passion of the Christ one Simon of Cyrene actually replaced Jesus on the road to Golgotha / Cavalry so that Jesus could miraculously appear again after the crucifixtion. This, of course, turns the Catholic faith on its head and we can get into a further discussion on how that “faith” is a decoy to the real faith of Hebrews 11:1 in the great big Catholic church conspiracy…which brings it all full circle, yes?
The late Alan Aronowitz, proud to say a past editor of mine, is here talking about introducing Bob Dylan to The Beatles. That archival footage alone makes this DVD worth the price of admission.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.