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Music and conspiracy theories… November 9, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Looking at the issue of music and conspiracy theories from a different angle thought it fascinating to read a recent edition of Fortean Times – a magazine I really like. It engaged with some genuinely weird conspiracies around the Beatles.

Take for example this:

The daddy of all music conspiracy theories. Legend has it that Paul was killed in a car accident in the mid-1960s and replaced by a lookalike, possibly called Billy Shears. All the clues are there, people! John saying ‘I buried Paul’ at the end of Strawberry Fields Forever (or possibly ‘cranberry sauce’). Paul’s bare feet on the Abbey Road cover JUST LIKE CORPSES HAVE and the VW licence plate that reads ‘28IF’ as Paul would have been 28 IF he had lived (though he would have been 27). There’s an even more insane theory that The Beatles never existed at all and were comprised of an ever-revolving collection of stand-ins.

And a very good point is made in Fortean Times by the author Dean Ballinger, that:

…so why did these particular conspiracy narratives develop; around the Beatle’s music and career? A simple answer might be that they were a side-effect of their unprecedented fame: as the most internationally successful popular music group for he post war-period, its a perhaps inevitable that they would attract the attention of fringe ideologues and obsessive fans.

He does make the point that Elvis was as high-profile, at least for a period, but there the theories succeeded his death. And perhaps that ties in with a different thought of Ballinger’s that pop music moved from the ephemeral in the 1960s to being increasingly perceived as ‘an art form’. This is an intriguing one – though the question as to whether other art forms have these sort of attendant conspiracy theories is one that might be worth exploring. Certainly the number of those around music is remarkable and they just keep on coming…

Avril Lavigne was also supposedly replaced after her first album Let Go (featuring the hit “Sk8er Boi”) by someone called Melissa Vandella, who is slightly taller than the original Avril. Dead giveaway. Foolishly, fake Avril started blabbing about the switch in songs such as Under the Skin, which suggests the singer is ‘under the skin’ of her replacement Melissa. Pretty obvious when you think about it. (??)

Or:

It’s not just your vintage pop stars that attract scurrilous online gossip. Even newer celebrities like Kiwi teenage pop sensation Lorde get the treatment. But wait a minute? Is she really THAT new? One conspiracy theory claims that Lorde is actually much, much older than she claims to be and rather than being born in 1996 she is actually a 35 year-old woman. Lyrics such as ‘I’m kinda older than I was when I revelled without a care’ are considered a stone cold, signed confession. However, one journalist tracked down Lorde’s birth certificate that proves her youngness. Unless that was all faked too, of course.

Which are perhaps as much due to the pervasive power of conspiracy theories and the ability of people to construct (or project) them onto musical figures as easily as any other area.

A further question is how much those who promulgate them actually believe they are true. Do any of these sound in the slightest bit rational?

David Bowie Predicted the Rise of Kanye West
This conspiracy begins with David Bowie’s 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. The album cover finds Bowie standing under a sign that says “K. West.” Inside, the album-opening track, “Five Years,” finds Bowie predicting a grisly end to the world unless a mythical “Starman” descends to save Earth from itself. Five years after the album dropped, Kanye West was born.

Or:

Supertramp Predicted 9/11
Were the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, hinted at as far back as 1979 – on the cover of Supertramp’s hit Breakfast in America album? If you study the image, as one conspiracy theorist did, there are certain clues to be found.
The album features a depiction of the New York City skyline as seen from an airplane; a waitress substitutes for the Statue of Liberty, holding a glass of orange juice instead of a torch. The juice is positioned in front of the Twin Towers and just happens to be the same color as fire. Hold the record in front of a mirror, and the “u” and “p” in “Supertramp” look like a “9” and an “11.” Furthermore, the title Breakfast in America tells everybody when the attacks would be coming: The first plane struck One World Trade Center at 8:45AM ET. If that’s not enough evidence, a plane is seen flying toward the skyline on the back cover.

Yeah. Thought not.

But perhaps there’s a better explanation. To the charge that if one plays Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven backwards one will hear Satanic messages Robert Plant noted:

“Who on Earth would have ever thought of doing that? You’ve got to have a lot of time on your hands to even consider that people would do that.”

Too much time on their hands. Exactly.

Comments»

1. Starkadder - November 9, 2019

My fav of these conspiracy theories is that former parental bugbear Marilyn Manson was actually actor Josh Saviano (the kid who played Paul on “The Wonder Years”).

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roddy - November 9, 2019

When I was at school,everybody swore one of our bus drivers was a son of George Formby, due to him looking extraordinarily like him.In later years I told my father who said it was not as far fetched as it seemed as he recalled Formby putting on concerts at the American WW2 army base in Moneymore!

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tafkaGW - November 11, 2019

He also seems to have had a good time, nudge nudge wink wink.

From his Wikipedia article:

In early 1942 Formby undertook a three-week, 72-show tour of Northern Ireland, largely playing to troops but also undertaking fund-raising shows for charity—one at the Belfast Hippodrome raised £500. He described his time in Ulster as “the pleasantest tour I’ve ever undertaken”.

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2. Starkadder - November 9, 2019

When the Residents released their first album, “Meet the Residents”, in 1974, the band’s anonymity, coupled with the Beatles-parody cover led to rumours that the Residents were really the Fab Four in disguise, secretly recording noncommercial material.

Not true, although George Harrison was apparently a fan of the album.

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WorldbyStorm - November 9, 2019

Yeah, they were characters. Never knew that about Harrison.

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3. Starkadder - November 9, 2019

Other music related-conspiracy theories:

* Glenn Miller was assassinated after the US High Command sent him to negotiate a secret peace treaty with Nazi Germany.

*Bob Marley was killed by the CIA, who regarded him as a threat to the Reagan Administration’s Caribbean policy. The Cousins stuck a carcinogenic wire in Marley’s shoe to kill him.

* Whitney Houston was killed by the Illuminati as a “blood sacrifice”.

* Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison, and Tupac Shakur all faked their deaths and lived out their lives in secrecy.

Liked by 1 person

Dr. Nightdub - November 10, 2019

Re Bob Marley’s alleged “foot cancer”: mate of mine was working as a roadie the time Marley played Dalymount in 1980. Pre-gig, there was a football match between the band and the crew, Martin put in a crunching tackle on Marley. To this day, Martin thinks he killed Bob Marley.

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oliverbohs - November 10, 2019

Danny Baker also thinks he could have killed Bob Marley due to similar circumstances

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4. baalthor - November 9, 2019

Not really a conspiracy theory, more something that nearly everyone believed:
BlockBuster’s host Bob Holness was the sax player on “Baker Street”

In terms of “ringer” conspiracy theories, my two favourites are that Andy Kauffmann faked his death and reappeared as … Jim Carrey

And that the big ship at the bottom of the Atlantic is actually the RMS Olympic, her nameplate swapped with near identical sister ship Titanic as part of an audacious insurance fraud …

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WorldbyStorm - November 10, 2019

Brilliant, never heard that Olympic one. Love it.

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