Paul Is Dead
The grandaddy of all rock conspiracy theories, the persistent rumor that Paul McCartney actually died in a 1966 auto accident (and that his death was subsequently covered up by his fellow Beatles) has had fans of the Fab Four combing their records for macabre clues for nearly half a century. However, the newspaper article that really fanned the rumor's flames — a front-page feature in the October 14th, 1969 issue of the Michigan Daily that was quickly picked up by newspapers around the country, as well as Time and Life magazines — was actually a prank by a University of Michigan student named Fred LaBour. LaBour, who had originally been assigned to review the band’s new Abbey Road album for the paper, wrote the piece as a playful send-up of the credulous call-in conversations regarding McCartney’s "death" that he'd recently heard on a Detroit radio station. Of the more than two-dozen "clues" and "facts" presented in LaBour’s article, most were fabricated on the spot by the writer, but they continue to live on to this day — much like McCartney himself.