With the fiftieth anniversary of The Beatles' Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band approaching, it’s worth noting that an Ephgrave painted the drumskin on the cover, either making me fictional or my family a whistle-blower for Paul McCartney’s apparent death.
You may not be aware of the Paul is Dead craze, which swept America primarily (no surprise there) in the late Sixties. If you’re not, the best way to summarise would be to say a group of stoned cretins began to spot supposed clues on The Beatles’ records and their artwork to suggest that McCartney had been killed in a motorcycle accident in 1966 and replaced by a look-alike, to literally save face. This was nonsense of course, yet the theory still managed to gain considerable momentum, which still hasn’t slowed to this day in the more overly-imaginative corners of the internet.
The first LP to supposedly be littered with clues was Sgt Pepper, with the majority to be found on the sleeve. It’s just so happens to be the first Beatles album I came into contact with myself, when I found it in my mum’s record collection, spotted the song 'With a Little Help from My Friends' was on it, and thought it might appeal to my eighty-something babysitter, as she was ‘old too’. I now know it was from the wrong era - it had been released about twenty years earlier at that point at best - but it still got me hooked on the group; an obsession that hasn’t diminished in the twenty-five or so years that have passed since; God, I’m now getting old myself.
It wasn’t long after discovering the album that I read about the whole Paul is Dead shebang, and while I'm a sucker for a good conspiracy theory, I soon realised it was tripe when I stumbled across a few sources that suggested my own surname was a clue to Macca’s demise; if my name really was made up to shine a light on this musical cover-up to end all cover-ups then the people trying to expose McCartney's passing definitely committed to the cause; if so, Ephgrave may not even be my real name; it better not be William Campbell or Billy Shears though, or I'll have to subject myself to a citizen's arrest.