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Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney Really is Dead DVD

Review by Gary Hill

OK, first off, this is under Paul McCartney for lack of a better place – since everything needs to go under an artist’s name. This documentary explores the whole Paul is dead rumors, but with a new slant. Supposedly two cassettes came into the office of the filmmaker purporting to be recorded by George Harrison before his death and documenting the “truth” behind the cover-up that has been existence since the 1960’s. It also suggests a link to the cover up and John Lennon’s murder. Basically this documentary is the audio that was supposedly contained in the tapes along with video and other documentation.

So, I guess a big part of how you feel about this film is based on whether or not you believe the story. Frankly, I’ve always felt there were still unanswered questions about the situation. Now, before you start saying, “come on, do you know how many people would have to be in on that lie?,” let me point out that I don’t see that as a valid argument against a conspiracy theory. For one thing, there really only needs to be a small core of people who know the truth. Others just work off of falsified information. For another, if you think that secrets can’t be kept by large groups of people, I would point to Masonic rites which remained secret for centuries despite large numbers of brothers knowing those secrets. It’s just not a valid argument.

I’ll tell you straight off that after watching the video I still can’t tell you on which side of the argument I fall. So, I’ll tell you the pros and cons from my way of thinking. First off, the director of this video is Joel Gilbert. He is an investigative documentary producer. I heard an interview with him on the Jerry Doyle show and Jerry Doyle touted his credentials and credibility as an investigative journalist. Personally, I have a lot of respect for Doyle (although I don’t agree with all his view points), so that lends credibility to this.

Continuing with the pluses, the story makes sense. I know, I know, such a big lie to be told. Someone in Hitler’s regime was credited with saying once, “If you are going to lie, lie big. Normal people are used to small lies, but they don’t question the big lies because they don’t think anyone would lie about something that big” – or something to that effect. It’s true, though. When people hear about some massive lie and cover up the thought is, “come on, no one could do that.” So, again, it’s just not a valid argument to say that the conspiracy would be too big. The voice on the tape is convincing as George Harrison. Some of the circumstantial evidence pointing to Faul’s – that’s what the person on the tape calls the “fake Paul” complicity in Lennon’s death is intriguing. It’s footage that’s been out there for decades, but you never really looked at in that context.

Now we move onto the negatives.  First off, if Gilbert is such a good investigative journalist, why didn’t he get the tape analyzed in a lab? Voice print analysis, while not conclusive in proving that a person is who their voice says they are, can be quite good in proving they aren’t who they say they are. If there was an analysis, it’s not mentioned.  Secondly, the recording sounds scripted. I can’t imagine if it really is Harrison that the person wouldn’t stammer or backtrack once in a while. That’s what people do.  So, perhaps this George is actually “Forge,” or “fake George.”

All in all, after viewing this, I’m still in the same place I was before – I’m not sure whether I believe the story or not. I’d have to say that I probably lean closer towards believing it than I was before, but I also have more lingering questions.

Still, there’s another possibility. Perhaps this is all just a very creative way for Gilbert to construct a documentary about the phenomenon of the whole Paul is Dead controversy. Of course, if that's the case, he should have brought us in on the joke at some point.

My advice to you is get this DVD and watch it yourself. It’s an interesting exercise in rational thought either way.

 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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