The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142485 Message #3285581
Posted By: GUEST,josepp
05-Jan-12 - 10:57 PM
Thread Name: BS: Paul is dead...sort of
Subject: RE: BS: Paul is dead...sort of
I just watched an interview with Russ Gibb. He's an old man now. This was shot in Nov of 2011. He talked a little about the Paul-is-dead thing. He said some kid called his radio station--apparently it was Keener 13 or WKNR as it is officially known--and said Paul had died in 1966 and that if you played "Revolution 9" backwards you will hear "Turn me on, dead man" over and over again. The White Album came out in '68 so it couldn't have been earlier than that.
They never mentioned any backwards messages in the broadcast but maybe I only got an excerpt and not the whole thing. Gibb said that so far, three guys are claiming to be the kid that called them and kicked the whole thing off. Unfortunately, Gibb doesn't go into any real detail about the broadcast or how they put it together. For instance, at the beginning, you hear someone they claim is Eric Clapton saying he didn't believe John would do anything like this for a lark because he and Paul were so tight. I don't know if that was really Clapton or whether it was Clapton talking about something else. Then you hear two different promoters being interviewed about meeting up with the Beatles. Both are asked point blank if they saw McCartney during these meetings and each says no. Again, I don't know if these were actors or if real interviews were used out of context for the gag. But it lends an air of legitimacy to the claim.
Gibb says he was not particularly proud of the gag and said he is far prouder of his many students who have since gone on to produce a lot of famous TV series, movies and such. Gibb said he never met Paul but met his manager who offered to transport him to Pine Knob where Wings were performing to meet Paul in person and prove that he's not dead. Gibb said since he never doubted it in the first place and that he was tired, he declined the invitation but added that he's always loved the Beatles and all of Paul's solo stuff and holds him in the highest regard.
Gibb has been to England many times to book acts. He's kind of Detroit's Bill Graham. He said the first band ever to play the Grande Ballroom under his ownership was the Fugs. He said the MC5 was the house band. The manager of the ballroom was formerly manager of the Who who did eventually play there. He said the real mover and shaker behind it was John Sinclair who knew most of the bands that played there when the place was just getting started including the Fugs, the Dead, Pentangle (who Gibb said he loved and was pissed at the audience for booing them), It's A Beautiful Day, etc. and it was Sinclair who actually booked them.
Gibb is also one of the earliest FM broadcasters and was a great admirer of Detroit's underground station--WABX which broadcast from the top of the David Stott Building. I began listening to ABX in '69 while still thoroughly hooked on AM radio--I was just a kid, after all. ABX turned me onto a whole new universe of music and I never looked back. The DJs were allowed to play whatever they wanted and these guys knew their music--esoteric jazz, avant-gard, psychedelia, acid rock, blues, folk oten all on single program. Gibb said he knew everybody at ABX and is still friends with some of the original DJs and engineers there.
He loved Etta James and was good friends with her but felt bad because he never booked her despite the fact that the Grande Ballroom was one of the first white-owned venues with predominantly white audiences to routinely book black acts. B.B. King said it was one of the finest places he ever played.
Gibb said it had superior sound because there was horsehair in the plaster and discovered the same was true of the Detroit Opera House when he was on the committee to have it restored (I've been there and it's incredibly impressive--super fine venue).
Gibb also opened the first punk venue in Detroit--the Graystone. Been there a few times. It's closed now.
He's had quite a life.