On October 12, 1969, WKNR-FM's Russ Gibb opened the phone lines for his usual Sunday afternoon "rap" with listeners. When Eastern Michigan University Student Tom Zarski called with questions about the supposed death Paul McCartney, so began a tale that would immortalize both Uncle Russ and WKNR-FM in the annals of Beatle history.
Several authors have attempted to cover the mountain of material connected with the story, but Andu Reeve's newly updated and expanded book "Turn Me On Dead Man The Beatles and the Paul-Is-Dead hoax" rises above the others. It's 331 pages are packed with the kind of research you would expect from Ann Sperber, Stephen Ambrose or Aljean Harmetz.
The genesis of this most famous Beatle urban legend began well before the October night when WKNR-FM launched it into the nation's consciousness and Andru weaves the web so effectively that you won't be able to put the book down. In addition to dissecting every lead, the author spent thousands of dollars to secure rare photographs and memorabilia connected with the event, all of which are on display in the pages of his book. He lists 140 clues discovered over 35 years, including every Beatle lyric that conspiracy fans say prove that the Paul McCartney we know today is an imposter.
The Michigan connection is fully covered, including Larry Monroe's on-air revelations in Ann Arbor that preceded the WKNR-FM broadcast, MSU professor Oscar Tosi, who analyzed before-and-after audio tapes of the singer's voice, and the late Terry Knight's cryptic Capitol Records single, Saint Paul. There are extensive interviews with Gibb, Fred Labour, who's album parody in the Michigan Daily was taken for fact, and with Tom Zarski, the EMU student who called Uncle Russ that October Sunday, only to vanish into obscurity until Andru discovered him alive and well and living in the Southeast.
Turn Me On Dead Man The Beatles and the Paul-Is-Dead hoax is an important addition to the Beatle cannon. It's a must-have addition to every Keenerfan's library. We hope it gets the international exposure it deserves.