From!swrinde!!usc!ucla-cs!ucla-ma!julia!dmac Thu Feb 3 01:43:02 GMT-0600 1994
Re: More clues for us all....<BR>

Re: More clues for us all....

References: <> <> <>

In article <> writes: >Saki,
> I'm afraid you're no closer to ground zero. The Northern U
>article is almost word-for-word the earlier Harper article.

Actually, I think we're pretty damn close; within a month or two of the origin of the American version of the hoax. That's not bad! Unless someone comes forth with printed documentation which suggests the existence of a plethora of such articles well before the Harper article (17 September 1969), I'm beginning to think that the hoax originated in the first days of the autumn school session in 1969---perhaps spread among students returning to campus, possibly a corruption of the British version of the hoax (sans clues), but clearly without American antecedents prior to, say, late summer/early fall 1969. As usual, any evidence to the contrary would be welcomed.

After consulting the 29 November 1969 Rolling Stone article, which you mentioned previously, I realized that you'd unintentionally mis-read it; easy enough to do, since it's really their faulty copy-editing. But it could make one think that they were approached by someone with PID clues *a full year* before they actually were.

John Burks, author of the 29 November piece, says (as you properly quoted): "The rumor has been around a long time. As early as last fall, a young man with a number of clues (that are now a part of the rumor) had come by Rolling Stone to pronounce Paul dead". By using "last fall", RS allows the reader to erroneously infer than Fall 1968 was meant. But the next paragraph puts it in context: "It had been printed earlier, in the student newspaper at Illinois University...." Well! That was, of course the Northern Illinois University Norther Star, and the date on that article was just 23 September 19*69*. If that preceded the young man's revelation to RS, then we know his clues were right in line with the general awakening of the PID hoax; after 23 Sept. 1969, certainly no earlier.

The Drake Univ. Times-Delthic, published a week earlier than the Norther Star's version, was likely one of the first (if not the first) documented print versions of the American hoax. There *may* have been discussion about the hoax on campuses that summer, though that's sheer speculation; most academic environments of that sort are pretty quiet during summer. The hoax spread rapidly, from east to west (Iowa/Illinois/Michican/New York), in the first month or two of its "life", then reverberated into international and bicoastal realms soon thereafter (17-22 October 1969).

BTW, the 29 Nov. 1969 RS article by Burks is most revelatory for some of the heretofore-buried-in-time details it unveils: Capitol Records' barely-suppressed delight at their rocketing Beatles sales as a result of the hoax (Burks cynically puts the kibosh on any supposition that Capitol was behind it all, declaring that the hoax "was much more baroque than anything the Los Angelesbased firm could likely dream up); various radio-industry responses to the hoax (to wit, the preponderance of program managers who encouraged serious news coverage, on-air "raps" with listeners, and retrospectives of Paul's work); the name of the professor who allegedly decided that "voice prints" of Paul before and after 1966 didn't match (interviewed by Rolling Stone, Dr. Henry Truby of U. of Miami admitted that there were serious defects in his methodology); and the various phone numbers said to give clues, succor, or encouragement to hoax-niks who called them.

And on the college newspaper front:

Interesting that Barb Ulvilden should have copied the Drake Univ. Times-Delthic article so closely. But Fred LaBour copied Ulvilden, even while making up (or borrowing from Russ Gibb) much of the Abbey Road clues. I've ordered a copy of the Tim Harper article from Drake University via interlibrary loan; they claim to have that issue (17 September 1969) on microfilm. I'm interested in how you found out about it; no contemporary source I've checked mentions any Paul Death Hoax artricles earlier than Ulvilden's 23 September article in the Northern Star.

>[Tim] Harper says "It's still unclear just how the
>whole deal was originated, or who discovered it, but
>if it did originate recently or locally we may find
>out soon." I guess soon turned into 25 years! :-)

If wishes were horses.... I wish Harper had mentioned just how *he* heard about it; whether it was part of campus rumor-mongering that fall or whether some individual brought it to his attenion. Clearly Harper had a source himself.

>Oh, by the way, I caught your John Donne reference in another post.

I always said an English degree would be useful for something. :-)

"Screaming girls, struggling policemen, a constable's helmet rolling on the floor. It's those Beatles again." -- saki ( Click here to return to the rmb home page.

Click here to return to saki's index.