Magazines have begun to note the 40th anniversary of the Paul is Dead
rumor (although they're two months early... the rumor began to circulate widely in September 1969).
managed to get a quotation from McCartney about the rumor. He claims to still be laughing it off. But interestingly, he also get the details wrong about how the rumor started:
MCCartney's barefoot appearance in the photo [on the cover of Abbey Road] sparked wild rumours the rocker had died in a car crash - and the 67 year old admits he still has to reassure some fans he's not an impostor.
He explains, "The idea was to walk across the crossing, and I showed up that day with sandals, flip-flops. It was so hot that I kicked them off and walked across barefooted, and this started some rumour that because he's barefooted, he's dead. I couldn't see the connection.
McCartney barefoot on the cover of Abbey Road was one of the major clues that fueled the rumor, but it didn't spark the rumor. The event that really launched the rumor was when Detroit DJ Russ Gibb played the song "Revolution Number Nine" backwards on his show and claimed to hear the words "Turn me on, dead man."
There's been several books and a number of scholarly articles written about the Paul is Dead rumor. I wonder if McCartney has ever read them.