Friday, February 15, 2008
Shout at the Beatle
by Chuck Klosterman
More complex (and consequently less popular) is the "Shout at the Beatle" T-shirt (fig. 2), which depicts a young Paul McCartney sporting the facial "war paint" that Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue popularized in the glam 1980s.
This coded message takes a particularly convoluted path. In 1988, a man named Matthew Trippe sued Mr. Sixx, contending that he (Trippe) had been hired to impersonate Sixx after the Crue bassist was involved in a 1983 motor-vehicle accident.
Trippe claimed that he then wrote many of the band's most successful songs but was never compensated; he reportedly dropped his suit in 1993.
But proponents of this shirt suggest that this is only half the story.
"Shout at the Beatle" wordlessly postulates that Sixx was actually replaced by a forty-one-year-old Paul McCartney.
And this was not the McCartney from Let It Be and Wings and "Say Say Say"; this was the real McCartney.
This was the McCartney who went into hiding after an orchestrated 1966 car accident that prompted the (now familiar) "Paul is dead" urban myth.
After spending seventeen years as a recluse, the "real Paul" (by then strapped for cash) wrote and played bass on all Crue recordings for half a decade.
Supporting evidence of this can be found through a) the group's sweeping musical advancement that occurred between 1983's Shout at the Devil and 1985's Theatre of Pain, b) the unprecedented, Beatlesque employment of a piano on the power ballad "Home Sweet Home," and c) the band's decision to cover "Helter Skelter," which can be read as a sly criticism of the "fake Paul," who originally wrote the song as a response to the Kinks' "You Really Got Me."
Ringo Starr and Tommy Lee both declined to be interviewed for this story.
posted 6:07 PM