Re: More clues for us all....<BR>

Re: More clues for us all....

Sender: news@uchinews.uchicago.edu (News System)
Reply-To: dlm3@midway.uchicago.edu
References: <1994Jan27.074254.18976@midway.uchicago.edu>

In article <19940129.02034359.jerome211@delphi.com> JEROME211@delphi.com writes:

>I promise I won't quote any of your post! Good job, tho. I have two dates
>for Rolling Stone Nov 69: 11/15 and 11/29. I coulda swore the reference I
>made was found in the 15th issue....

I appreciate the reference. I'll look it up this week and see if I can locate it.

This brings up two questions:

Did RS print this anecdote (re: the anonymous fellow who came to them with "clues" the previous year) because:

  1. It was a sort of "sour grapes" admission? (Viz., "We knew about it 'way before anyone else but thought it was bunk"); or
  2. Did they actually have someone approach them with the *British* version of the myth, which apparently included no "clues"...and they were either confused or mistaken about what he was trying to tell them?

Or by any chance does the quote indicate that "as early as last fall" was really "early in Fall 1969", the writer having mentally moved onward into the throes of winter? A long shot, but worth a consideration. :-)

I wonder if anyone at RS could clarify this.

>Question for you: what was your source for the February 66 dating
>of the moped accident? I don't find that in any of my source
>material.

I'll take a chance and back it up yet another month: January 1966.

This is extremely hard to date; there seem to be no extant press accounts of it in mainstream newspapers. I have a report from Tony Barrow, journalist and Beatles press officer for a time, who mentioned it in a larger article on George Harrison's marriage to Pattie Boyd, which Paul attended.

Barrow mentions a car accident suffered by Paul Jones of Manfred Mann, then goes on:

"Less severely hurt in a recent road crash was Paul McCartney. The Beatle was visiting his father and step-mother at their Cheshire home, just South of Liverpool.

"He was out riding around the Cheshire countryside on one of his two Moped motorized bicycles when the machine skidded on an icy road and threw him to the ground. Paul collected a deep cut to the side of his mouth and five stiches had to be put into the wound.

"Now it's healing nicely and Paul feels fine again. The injury is not leaving a scar and Paul says it hasn't turned him against his fave pastime of Moped cycle riding." (Tony Barrow, KRLA Beat, 12 February 1966, p.1.)

The only time I can crossreference a visit by Paul to his dad's home is 8 January 1966, when Paul missed a party for Mick Jagger in London, attended by the other three Fabs; Mark Lewisohn reports that Paul was visiting his family in Liverpool that day ("The Beatles: 25 Years In the Life", p. 71). I hesitate to date the accident precisely without more information, but it was probably the weekend of 8-9 January.

Why Paul went through an extremely busy winter and spring---attending George's wedding, various nightclub openings, a preview of Jane Asher's new film "Alfie"; going on a skiing holiday with Jane to Klosters; "Revolver" recording sessions and promotional filmings----all without having the tooth fixed is very odd indeed. Maybe he was advised to wait several months for initial healing to take place (and as we know, the accident *did* leave a scar. :-)

> Also, check out the Drake U (Iowa) newspaper dated Sept 17, 1969.
>It's supposedly the first mention of the death rumor with clues, written
>by sophomore Tim Harper who says he has no idea where the clues came from.

Thanks very much. I will indeed check it out. It sounds absurd that anyone would claim he had "no idea" where the clues originated; he was writing the article, after all!

The 23 September article from the Northern Illinois University "Northern Star" reached me on Friday. It's an interesting, if appallingly written, piece (apologies to the author, if she's still among us). A person named Barb Ulvilden has the byline; interestingly, she's listed as "staff writer" but current Northern Star reporter Lesley Rogers told me that Ms. Ulvilden apparently never wrote another article for the paper; was not paid for the article; and is not listed in any Northern Star biographical records of past reporters.

Ms. Ulvilden was evidently a great fan of Paul's and somewhat ticked off, as her prose style reveals, by the fact that Paul had just married Linda Eastman instead of Jane Asher. Ulviden mixes up their names, and claims that Eastman had once been Mike McCartney's girlfriend (she was not). She also complains, fan-like, that Paul neglected to attend Bob Dylan's 1 September 1969 Isle of Wight concert with the other Fabs, which she decides proves he's not himself (Paul was undoubtedly with Linda, who had just given birth to their first daughter Mary four days beforehand).

Other than these remarks, the "clues" adhere to their well-known form (walrus is a Viking symbol for death; hand raised over Macca's head on "Sgt Pepper"s cover is"a death symbol of either the Greeks or American Indians"; backwards, "No. 9" says "Turn on, dead man" [note slight variant here!] and "Cherish the dead"). It's interesting to note that none of the "clues" from Abbey Road are included. Not surprising; "Abbey Road" was three days away from its UK release, a week away from its U.S. release. Ms. Ulvilden gives no source for these clues other than to say that "there has been much conjecturing" about them "on the campus of a midwestern university" (I believe she's referring to NIU).

She mentions that the clues "point to a distinct possibility that McCartney may indeed be freaked out, even dead"---note the synchrony with presidential conspiracy myths at this early stage (i.e. president of your choice---FDR, JFK---is really brian-dead or diminished and being kept alive in some secret hospital, etc.), to wit, Paul could still be alive, just incapacitated. :-)

My interest in Ms. Ulvilden is piqued sufficiently that I hope to track her down via alumni records at NIU---presuming she *was* a student and can be traced---and ask her what she remembers of her sources here. If the Tim Harper article at Drake proves to have predated the Northern Star account (and if *Drake* is the "midwestern university" to which Ms. Ulvilden refers), we're one step closer to ground zero.

I have yet to find whether John Sumner, who allegedly wrote a "thesis" on this topic for Ohio Wesleyan University, existed and or predated either of these accounts, but will report any interesting findings.

--
"Screaming girls, struggling policemen, a constable's helmet rolling on the floor. It's those Beatles again."

saki (dmac@math.ucla.edu) Click here to return to the rmb home page.

Click here to return to saki's index.