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Growth On 12 October 1969, a caller to Detroit radio station WKNR-FM told disc jockey Russ Gibb about the rumour and its clues. Gibb and other callers then discussed the rumour on the air for the next hour. Two days after the WKNR broadcast, The Michigan Daily published a satirical review of Abbey Road by University of Michigan student Fred LaBour under the headline "McCartney Dead; New Evidence Brought to Light".<ref name="labour">LaBour, Fred. "McCartney Dead; New Evidence Brought to Light" The Michigan Daily 14 October 1969: 2</ref> It identified various clues to McCartney's death on Beatles album covers, including new clues from the just-released Abbey Road LP. As LaBour had invented many of the clues, he was astonished when the story was picked up by newspapers across the United States.<ref name=Allen>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[dead link] }}</ref> WKNR-FM further fuelled the rumour with a special two-hour program on the subject, "The Beatle Plot", which aired 19 October 1969 (and in the years since on Detroit radio).

In the early morning hours of 21 October 1969, Roby Yonge, a disc jockey at New York radio station WABC, discussed the rumour on the air for over an hour before being pulled off the air for breaking format. At that time of night, WABC's signal covered a wide listening area and could be heard in 38 states and at times, other countries.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Later that day, the Beatles' press office issued statements denying the rumour which were widely reported by national and international media.

File:Beatles - Abbey Road.jpg
The "funeral procession" on the cover of Abbey Road

Various clues were used to suggest the following story: three years previously (on 9 November 1966), McCartney, after an argument during a Beatles' recording session, had angrily driven off in his car. He had crashed it and died as a result. To spare the public from grief, the Beatles replaced him with "William Campbell", the winner of a McCartney look-alike contest.<ref name="Harbidge"/>

Clues

Hundreds of supposed clues to McCartney's death have been reported by fans and followers of the legend. These include messages perceived when listening to a song being played backwards, and symbolic interpretations of both lyrics and album cover imagery.<ref name=Harbidge>Officially Pronounced Dead?, Michael Harbidge Website. Retrieved 25 August 2010.</ref> One oft-cited example is the suggestion that the words spoken by McCartney's band-mate John Lennon in the final section of the song "Strawberry Fields Forever" are "I buried Paul". Lennon later explained the words were actually "cranberry sauce".<ref>Yorke, Ritchie. "A Private Talk With John" Rolling Stone 7 February 1970: 22</ref> Another is the interpretation of the Abbey Road album cover as symbolising a funeral procession, where Lennon, dressed in white, symbolises the clergyman or heavenly figure. Ringo Starr, dressed in black, symbolises the undertaker or mourner. George Harrison, in denim jeans and shirt, symbolises the gravedigger and McCartney, barefoot and out of step with other members of the band, symbolises the corpse.<ref name="labour" />


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