Paul McCartney is having fun confronting one of the most celebrated episodes in Beatles history with his upcoming live album, which was recorded during his recent world tour.
Not only did he title it “Paul Is Live,” a play on the “Paul is dead” hysteria that had fans in the late ‘60s looking for hidden clues in songs and on album covers, but he also returned to the scene of the famous crosswalk photo that was featured on the cover of the “Abbey Road” album.
In the original shot, McCartney and mates strode single-file from left to right, but McCartney was out of step, was dressed in a black suit (like an Italian corpse, said the speculators) and was barefoot (said to be a sign of death among the Mafioso). And in the background was a Volkswagen with a license place reading “28 IF"--as in the age McCartney would have been at the time if he were alive.
Now, 24 years later, the ex-Beatle took that old position again with the same photographer (Iain MacMillan) and wearing a similar suit. But . . . instead of being flanked by Beatles, he’s walking his sheep dog and he’s wearing shoes. That image was computer-grafted with the background of the original shot so that the street scene would be virtually identical.
The VW license, though, now reads “51 IS,” McCartney’s current age.