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Ringo Starr on the “Paul is dead” conspiracy theory: “We had a great laugh about that”

ABC/ Heidi Gutman

Ringo Starr says The Beatles were very amused at the big “Paul is dead” conspiracy theory of the late ’60s, which suggested Paul McCartney had died and was replaced by a lookalike.


“We only ever had one that stuck. That was ‘Paul is dead.’ And there were some songs people pointed out as being ‘secret,'” Ringo, who turns 83 on July 7, tells Vulture when asked to pick his favorite Beatles conspiracy theory. He explains that the whole “secret song” thing was just them being “silly.”  

John (Lennon), by accident, learned how to play a tape backwards, and we put that to full use. So we’d just do something silly at the end of a track and it’d be all over the newspapers and on the radio,” he explains. “They’re actually singing, ‘Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ It just made us all laugh.”

He notes, “All of those interesting things we said were not that interesting. We had a great laugh about that. Look at what they’re saying now.”

In the same piece, Ringo reveals that the band’s first song, “Love Me Do,” is the track he’d consider his “career-defining song,” even though session musician Andy White is featured on the album, while Ringo’s on the single.

“We were on vinyl. We made a record,” he says. “We were just blessed that George Martin took a chance on us because many record labels sent us down.” He adds that when they heard it on the radio “it was a really big moment. It was magic because we were on this piece of vinyl all to ourselves.”

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