Culture

Paul McCartney Threw a Bucket at Reporters Who Were Trying to Prove He Was Alive 


A black and white picture of Paul McCartney standing in a room full of people.

At the end of the 1960s, rumors abounded that Paul McCartney was dead, and two reporters set out to get to the bottom of it. The trouble was, they stopped by McCartney’s house when he neither expected nor wanted them there. He’d been struggling to find direction in his post-Beatles life and was furious to find the reporters at his doorstep. McCartney greeted them by flinging a bucket at them.

Paul McCartney | Tony Evans/Timelapse Library Ltd./Getty Images

There was a rumor that the Beatle was dead

In 1969, an anonymous caller contacted a Detroit radio station and told DJ Russ Gibb to play the intro from “Revolution 9” backward. When he did, Gibb heard the words, “Turn me on, dead man.” Similarly, at the end of “Strawberry Fields Forever,” John Lennon says, “I buried Paul.” 

? @PaulMcCartney’s third solo live album, ???? ?? ????, was released in the UK #OnThisDay in 1993. ??

The title is a response to the ‘Paul is dead’ rumours which circulated after the release of Abbey Road. ? pic.twitter.com/hK6DUX7Zmp

— The Beatles Story (@beatlesstory) November 8, 2021

A rumor began to crystallize: McCartney had died in a car accident in 1966, and the band replaced him with someone new. Fans began looking for clues in the band’s outfits, album covers, and lyrics. 

“They said, ‘Look, what are you going to do about it? It’s a big thing breaking in America. You’re dead,’” McCartney told Rolling Stone. “And so I said, leave it, just let them say it. It’ll probably be the best publicity we’ve ever had, and I won’t have to do a thing except stay alive. So I managed to stay alive through it.”

Paul McCartney angrily greeted investigating reporters at his door

McCartney, of course, was not dead but was living away from the public eye in Scotland. Though reporters from Life Magazine had his address, they wanted proof that he was alive. So, they set out to get a picture of the Beatle. 

Correspondent Dorothy Bacon and photographer Terence Spencer arrived at McCartney’s home on a Sunday morning and knocked on the door, camera at the ready. A visibly furious McCartney opened the door.

“He was absolutely red in the face with fury,” Spencer said, per the book Paul McCartney: A Life by Philip Norman. “He had one look at me and hurled the slop bucket. The irony was that I definitely got a shot of that. And he missed me, but then he stepped forward and hit me across the shoulder. Now, I’d covered six wars and never been hit by anything or anyone until Paul McCartney punched me. So I told Dorothy, ‘I think we’ve run out of our hospitality,’ and we turned around and left.”

Paul McCartney chased the reporters down

As Spencer and Bacon made their way off the property, they heard McCartney make his way behind them in his car. 

“I told Dorothy, ‘For God’s sake, be careful, because that man is mad,’” Spencer said.

It was Paul’s first solo …read more

Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

      

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