Saturday, July 3, 2010

"PAUL IS UNDEAD" deleted scene # 1 - Macca & Big Ben

On September 17, 1969, the following article was published in the Drake University Times-Delphic:

By Anonymous

Drake University has three zombies in its student body.  If Paul McCartney enrolled here, there would still be three zombies in the student body, as the “Cute Beatle” is quite alive, and has been since November 9, 1964, when Rolling Stones frontman and internationally renowned zombie hunter Mick Jagger reanimated McCartney.  Jagger apparently attempted to murder him immediately afterwards, but was thwarted by John Lennon.  For reasons unknown, Lennon never rezombified McCartney, leaving Paul with healthy red blood, a strongly beating heart, and a fully developed conscience.
How, you may ask, did a reporter from a tiny college in Iowa discover that a man who millions have seen commit acts associated with Liverpool zombies (for example, mass murder, callous dismemberment, group hypnosis, and self-flagellation, to name a few) is in fact not a zombie?  Why, The Beatles themselves told us.  But not on purpose.
The fact is that anybody with a canny eye and a modicum of detective skills could have figured it out, because The Beatles left us clue, after clue, after clue.  For instance, if you look closely at the covers of both Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Rubber Soul, McCartney’s skin-tone is noticeably healthier-looking than Lennon, Starr, and Harrison’s; one could even argue that it appears as if McCartney is wearing pancake makeup to make himself look deader.  And if you compare the covers of A Hard Day’s Night and Rubber Soul, you will notice that the scar on McCartney’s cheek seen on the older album is gone on the latter.  Anybody who knows anything about zombies knows that their scars are eternal.
There are dozens of sly references to Paul’s state of being in their recent song lyrics, all of which will be discussed in the forthcoming editions of the Times-Delphic.  If you, the reader, find any other clues, please drop a letter at the Times-Delphic office.

The “Paul is alive” story was picked up by rock radio stations, as well as other college newspapers across the United States, and within two weeks, it was a national phenomenon.  Each mention in the press was accompanied by another “clue” or two, some of which were almost convincing, (e.g., a writer for the Eastern Echo, Eastern Michigan University’s student rag, said if you watch the movie Help! and point a flashlight at McCartney, it appears as if his face is covered with vibrant red blood), and some of which were patently ridiculous (e.g., a semi-intrepid deejay in Detroit claimed that during the Shea Stadium riots, McCartney was seen ripping off a teenage girl’s head with his right hand, an oddity as Paul did everything with his left.  It should be noted that the New York City Police Department, and Shea riot expert Jessica Brandice, and anybody associated with The Beatles who was willing to discuss the riots on the record vehemently deny that McCartney committed a single act of violence during the fracas.)
            Entire magazines devoted to the topic were published, and the American electronic media was all over it.  The story soon made it across the pond, and the uproar was such that McCartney felt the need to address the issue head on.

PAUL McCARTNEY: I couldn’t discuss this with the other lads—by then I couldn’t discuss anything with the other lads—so I was on my own.  I wished Eppy was still around, because he would’ve known how to handle it.  But Brian was quite dead, and if I wanted to convince the world that I was quite undead, I’d have to figure out how to spin it myself.
            My initial thought was to call a press conference and turn a volunteer into a zombie in front of the cameras, but I guessed that would cause more trouble than it was worth.  It was one thing to claim a victim in the middle of the night, in a dark alley, away from the glare of the spotlight.  But to do it in the middle of the day, with dozens of journos watching would be horrible P.R., professional suicide.  As frustrated as I was with being a Beatle, I didn’t want to destroy my career.
Fortunately, my second idea was much better: instead of killing somebody else, I’d kill myself.  Or at least I’d give it my best shot.

NEIL ASPINALL: Paul rang me up and said, “Here’s how we’re gonna nip this ‘Paul is alive’ rubbish in the bud.  You’re gonna call whichever bloke is the Head of Programming at the BBC, and you’re gonna tell him that I’m gonna singlehandedly make amends for Magical Mystery Tour by presenting the greatest feat ever attempted by a Beatle.  Oh, better yet, tell them not only will it be the greatest feat ever attempted by a Beatle, but it’ll be the greatest feat attempted by a zombie!  Ever!”
            I thought, Paulie’s gone completely off the rails, but I’d better humor him, because even though he loves me, the bloke’s been on hair-trigger for the last six months, and who knows what he’s capable of.  So I asked him, “What’s that, Paulie?  What’s the greatest feat ever attempted by a Beatle or a zombie?”
            He said, “I’m gonna jump off the top of Big Ben.  You have forty-eight hours.  Make it happen.”

PAUL McCARTNEY: I’d made it through three or four consecutive falls off of the Abbey Road roof with nary a mark, so taking a swan dive off of Big Ben would be cake.

NEIL ASPINALL: The Beeb didn’t take much convincing, but that wasn’t a surprise.  I mean, if I was a television programmer, and a Beatles intimate called and said, “Two days from now, Paul McCartney is going to throw himself off of London’s most defining structure, and he wants your cameras there to capture the event for the world to see,” you’d probably scramble to make it happen.
            So the big day rolls around, and as we’re climbing up Big Ben’s three-hundred-plus stairs, and listening to the crowd chanting, “Jump, Macca, jumpJump, Macca, jump!,”  Paul started having second thoughts

PAUL McCARTNEY: I’d walked by the old clock hundreds of times, but I’d never really looked at it, and let me tell you something: that bloody thing is tall.

NEIL ASPINALL: He asked me, “What d’you think, Neil?  D’you think I’ll survive the fall?  D’you think that’ll make people believe I’m a zombie?  D’you think if I do die, our record sales will jump?  Do you?  Do you?  Do you?”
            When we got to the top of the stairs, I told him, “Listen, if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it.  You know you’re undead, and that’s all that matters.  You don’t need to prove anything to anybody.  You wait here, and I’ll run down and tell the Beeb to shove off, then after everybody splits, we’ll go down to the prison and grab you a convict’s brain for lunch.  How does that sound?”
            Paul gave me a strange grin, put his hand on my shoulder, then said, “Neil, sometimes a beginning can be an end, and an end can be a beginning.  I have to do this.”
            It wasn’t worth fighting him about it, so I said, “Okay, Paulie, you do what you have to do.  It’s your funereal.”
            He said, “No, Neil.  It’s not.  It’s not my funereal.”
            And then, without preamble, he sprinted through the door and hurled himself out of the window.

PAUL McCARTNEY: No big deal.  I jumped, I landed, I survived.  And the whole way down, I roared, “PAUL IS UNDEAAAAAAAAAAAAD!”  Apparently the low frequency of my moan broke a few windows, and set a few dogs off a’barking, and killed every bit of aquatic life in the Thames.
            After I retrieved and reattached my nose, and straightened up my hair, I grabbed a taxi and went home.

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