The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142485 Message #3284761
Posted By: GUEST,josepp
04-Jan-12 - 12:34 PM
Thread Name: BS: Paul is dead...sort of
Subject: BS: Paul is dead...sort of
I bought a 10-cd anthology of the history of Detroit radio and one of the tracks is the original, infamous "Paul-is-dead" broadcast. It was started by a guy named Russ Gibb who was a Detroit entrepreneur. He started the Goose Lake concerts which were popular in the early 70s when you could see the Rationals and Son House sharing the same bill. He also owned the Grande Ballroom--one of the best rock venues in Detroit history.
He threw the Paul-is-dead thing together as a put-on never dreaming much would come of it. It was just a tiny spark that flew out of Detroit and set the world on fire in a matter of weeks. This is notable because this was 1969 when nobody had PCs, macs, email, youtube or cellphones yet it went immediately and incredibly "viral" by today's parlance. Moreover, it was still making the rounds years after the broadcast.
The original broadcast had no mention of playing the record backwards and hearing "Paul is dead!" Someone else made that up and that went crazy too. Soon everybody was playing their records backwards listening for messages and some bands even put stuff there to humor people.
It has to go down as one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated. It intrigues me because even as I listened to it last night, I was intrigued by their info--knowing it was total baloney. Somehow, the way they put it together just pushes the right buttons. It was example of everything coming together just right. Today it is a legend in its own right.