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Elvis is alive – probably the most famous and best known conspiracy theory in the music industry. Photo of Elvis with Scotty Moore and Bill Black on the Radio Mirror TV show (September 1956). | Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Elvis is alive – probably the most famous and best known conspiracy theory in the music industry. Photo of Elvis with Scotty Moore and Bill Black on the Radio Mirror TV show (September 1956). | Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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TOP 5 Music Conspiracy Theories

Stevie Wonder is just faking blindness, Elvis is alive, Paul McCartney has a double and Stephen King killed John Lennon! We live in a world of crazy conspiracy theories that spread unchecked through the digital environment. Today, let's take a look at the top 5 crazy conspiracy theories from the music world.

1. Stevie Wonder is not blind

In 2010, the White House hosted a concert featuring, among others, Paul McCartney. The video shows a scene where McCartney, leaving the stage, crashes into a microphone stand, which is then nonchalantly and very quickly picked up by Stevie Wonder. How come?! That’s impossible! Of all the people on stage, he’s the least likely to be the one to do it.

Further evidence of feigned blindness is Stevie Wonder’s use of cameras. In 1998, an archival photograph showed Wonder taking a picture of Michael Jackson with a professional expression and self-confidence. How can a blind do this?!

In January 2018, a photo appeared on social media of Wonder looking intrigued at a smartphone screen on which an unknown lady was showing him something obviously fascinating... And the icing on our conspiracy cake? Stevie Wonder attends many basketball matches. We don’t know what he’s doing there, but he goes there. Ahem…

2. Paul is dead

“Paul is dead” is a famous and long-lasting legend and premium conspiracy theory claiming that the English musician Paul McCartney of the Beatles died on 9th November 1966. To cover everything up and allow the Beatles to continue their career, he was secretly replaced by an identical-looking double. The rumour began spreading in 1967 and gained immense popularity during September 1969 when it made the news all over American college campuses.

According to this theory, McCartney died in a car crash, and the other Beatles members decided to keep everything a secret. They replaced McCartney with a double and then communicated this cover-up through subtle details or codes on their album covers. Proponents of the theory have been able to look for clues and hints in Beatles lyrics and album artwork. This hunt for clues proved contagious and even became an international phenomenon in October 1969.

The rumours died down after Life magazine published an interview with McCartney in November 1969. (But was it the real Paul?) Paul McCartney then hinted at the conspiracy with a foxy title and sleeve of his 1993 live album Paul Is Live. What do you think? Which Paul, actually, released that album?

3. "Hotel California" – Satanist anthem?

One of the “obvious proofs” is the cover of the album featuring this iconic true American track that defines the 70s era. But does a photo of a band and a group of people in a hotel corridor really have any satanic symbolism? According to conspiracy theorists, it, of course, does, and the clear evidence for them is a mysterious figure looking down on the action in the corridor from the balcony. They say it is Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan. And the fact that it was a girl hired for a photo shoot cannot change their opinion.

Another “indisputable” argument is that if you play the song backwards, you will discover lyrics invoking Satan. However, the song, as Don Henley (co-writer of the lyrics) said in a 1995 interview, “sort of captured the zeitgeist of the time, which was a time of great excess in this country and in the music business in particular... Lyrically, the song deals with traditional or classical themes of conflict: darkness and light, good and evil, youth and age, the spiritual versus the secular. I guess you could say it’s a song about the loss of innocence.”

And one more funny fact. The song "Hotel California" was so closely tied to American culture that when an American spy plane made an emergency landing in China in 2001, the crew members were asked to recite the lyrics to prove their American identity.

4. Stephen King killed John Lennon

In our hit parade of conspiracy theories, we have to mention this titbit. Yes, some people actually believe that John Lennon’s killer in 1980 was not the deranged Mark David Chapman but the famous horror writer Stephen King. We even know the author of this particular theory, a guy named Steve Lightfoot. He thinks that both Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon wanted John Lennon dead because of his negative attitude towards war and conflict. So who else could have done it but the writer who wrote It?

Steve Lightfoot is so sure of his crazy theory that he even put it on the van he drives around his native Florida. As irrefutable proof, he uses a photo of Lennon signing his autograph for Chapman, who resembles Stephen King (with a lot of exaggeration and turning a blind eye). Whoosh, a proof like a hell.

5. Elvis is alive!

Of course, we couldn’t leave out arguably the music industry’s most famous and best-known conspiracy theory. Let’s take a look at three key elements that have given rise to speculation that Elvis is still alive.

First of all, Elvis is supposedly a spy for the U.S. government. Yes, at the end of his career the king of rock’n’roll loved police badges, which he collected avidly. He was very impressed with the authority that police officers and soldiers had. So he even wrote to the then President Richard Nixon asking for help in the fight against drugs and the spread of communist ideology in artistic circles. A meeting was arranged, and Elvis was given a badge as an anti-drug officer.

It was more of a symbolic gesture, and Elvis was definitely not a government spy who would send musicians into the clutches of the FBI or CIA for drug excesses (the whole thing is rather absurd given the fact that Elvis was a very active drug user himself).

Secondly, there is supposedly confusion about the cause of Elvis’ death at the age of forty-two. Everyone around him could see that Elvis was not in the best of shape due to his excessive use of drugs, alcohol and medication. However, doctors have officially stated that the singer died of natural causes. With such a diagnosis, Tennessee state law says that medical reports cannot be made public. This has, of course, introduced cause for speculation and added more fuel to the conspiracy theorist flame.

Third, supporting the Elvis legend suited many people, such as singer Jimmy Ellis aka Orion, whose face mask, voice and hairstyle evoked Elvis Presley so strongly that many people simply wanted to believe in the magical rebirth of the legend. It was great for record sales, so no one at the label even tried to debunk those legends and superstitions.

You can find Elvis everywhere. There will always be someone resembling the King of Rock and Roll, appearing as a mysterious figure in a film, a photo or other “authentic” footage that would irrefutably confirm that Elvis lives happily in Buenos Aires, the Maldives or in a basement in New York. One never knows with him.

Can you think of any other music conspiracy theory? Let us know in the comments below.

Tagy TOP 5 elvis presley stephen king Eagles John Lennon stevie wonder conspiration

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Marek Bero
Bass Gym 101 books, touring & session bass player, football tactics aficionado.