This year marks 50 years since the release of the Beatles' 'Revolver', but it was another album - 'The Beatles' - that fired up a shit-storm around rumours that Paul McCartney was dead. The cult of myths surrounding the Fab Four goes far beyond 'Paul Is Dead' conspiracy theories, however. Here's that and 14 other strange, suspicious tales about the Beatles blown open...
Paul Is Dead: Rumours Macca was killed in a '67 car crash and replaced with a lookalike had already been doing the rounds before audio of Lennon seeming to say "Paul is dead man, miss him miss him" on 'I'm So Tired' sent the myth into overdrive.
The truth: If true, his imposter at least has Macca's sense of humour - in 1993, he released a live LP cheekily titled 'Paul is Live'.
All the Beatles died and were replaced: See that white VW on the 'Abbey Road' sleeve? Its license plate, '28IF', was interpreted by a legion of paranoid Beatles fans as an allusion to John's age - he'd have been 28 if he'd have lived to the album's release date.
The truth: The group laughed off the suggestion. But then, if they were doubles, they would, wouldn't they?
The man in the background of the 'Abbey Road' sleeve is a 92-year-old man who's never listened to the album: Who's this? A Florida pensioner claimed to remember seeing "four kooks without shoes" crossing the street in the area while on holiday in London, but he's since been ruled out as the mystery man.
The truth: The search goes on.
'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' is an ode to LSD: The song's trippy sonics and acronymic similarities to the mind-warping drug has had generations convinced the track's about the hallucinogenic.
The truth:: Lennon claimed otherwise: "Until someone pointed it out, I never even thought of it. I mean, who would ever bother to look at initials of a title?"
John Lennon had a spooky connection with the number 9: A strange amount of events throughout John's life were connected with the number 9, or numbers which add up to 9. Born on Oct 9, John lived at 9 Newcastle Road, was in the Beatles for 9 years and died on NYC's 9th Avenue. The list goes on.
The truth: Even Lennon admitted this was weird.
Ringo wasn't "even the best drummer in the Beatles": Asked if Ringo was the best drummer in the world, Lennon carped back: "Ringo's not even the best drummer in the Beatles!" Or so the story goes.
The truth: False! There's no evidence John ever said this - in fact, it's thought the quote comes from UK comedian Jasper Carrott in 1983, so after Lennon's death.
Pete Best was sacked for being better looking than Paul: Original drummer Best was sacked in 1962, a month before the Beatles exploded. Murmurs have persisted ever since that Paul, jealous of his looks, insisted on his departure.
The truth: It's thought to have been manager Brian Epstein's decision, unhappy with Best's mother's meddling in the group's promotion around Liverpool.
The Beatles invented guitar feedback: 1964's 'I Feel Fine' contains one of the first recorded instance of a band using guitar feedback as an effect, or so legend has it.
The truth: Yes and no. Bands like the Kinks and the Who had been using it live, but the Beatles were one of the very first to put it on vinyl - a fact Lennon was quite proud of.
'Yesterday' came to Paul in a dream: 1965's Macca-penned 'Yesterday' supposedly came to him as he slept at the home of his then-girlfriend Jane Asher. He woke up and rushed to a piano to avoid forgetting it.
The truth: Maybe so, but not the finished article - it had a working title of 'Scrambled Eggs' while Macca if the song was too "embarrassing [for a] a rock band."
Richard Nixon had government spies placed on Lennon: Suspecting the Beatle to be a communist sympathiser, Nixon had Lennon tailed, rumour had it in the early '70s.
The truth: He did! FBI files released in 2007 revealed Lennon was followed by spooks for over a year, even critiquing his shows: “lacking Lennon’s usual standards,” said one report, “Yoko can’t even remain on key.”
John Lennon's killer was brainwashed into it by the CIA: If Lennon's killer, Mark Chapman, was a maniacal fame-seeker as he's been depicted, why did he plead guilty to Lennon's murder, turning down the trial of the century? Because the CIA, concerned by Lennon's power, programmed him, suggested biographer Phil Strongman in 2010.
The truth: Jury's out.
Paul McCartney is the antichrist: After 'Helter Skelter' somehow allegedly sparked Charles Manson into thinking a race war was imminent, causing him to embark on a murder rampage, Paul McCartney was suggested to be the devil by some zealous religious groups.
The truth: What, the guy who wrote the 'Frog Chorus'? Puhhleeease!
John Lennon sold his soul to the devil: A book by Joseph Niezgoda, 'The Lennon Prophecy, A New Examination of the Death Clues of the Beatles', suggests Lennon, "desperate to be more famous than Elvis" made a pact with unholy forces in exchange for success. Clues include the fact that John was killed on the same floor that 'Rosemary's Baby' was filmed.
The truth: Really?
John Lennon had an extraterrestrial encounter: Lennon awoke one night in the early '70s to find "four people out there... They didn’t want my fucking autograph. They were bug-like. Big bug eyes and little bug mouths and they were scuttling at me like roaches.” Or so he once told Uri Gellar.
The truth: Sounds like the best episode of the X Files ever, but we're not convinced.