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We all know Sir Paul McCartney. We would recognise him if he passed us in the street or we saw him on the telly. We know his voice and his left-handed way of playing the guitar. We can sing many of his songs and know something of his private life, his marriages and his children. We all know Sir Paul …but there are some out there who say that Sir Paul McCartney is not Sir Paul McCartney at all but a clone, a talented lookalike who was brought in after Sir Paul, our Sir Paul, was killed in a road accident on November 9th 1966. They are so convinced that Sir Paul is not Sir Paul they happily call the doppelganger ‘Faul’. We told the story of how ‘dead’ Paul was replaced by one Billy Shears in the Community Newsletter in May of 2017

Now we’re 50 years on and Sir Paul is still with us and the conspirators are still out there with a pile of assorted ‘evidence’ to prove that Paul is Faul and we’ve been sold a ringer. Who can question different earlobes, a change in position of the parting in his hair or a shift in the symmetry of his eyes? It’s indisputable!

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The latest deception off the surrogate slipway concerns one William Sheppard a.k.a Billy Pepper, the lead singer of the Pepper Pots. Although the ‘facts’ are a little wobbly the story goes that Billy Pepper and the Pepper Pots were a popular and talented Merseyside band who were often supported by the Beatles when they played at the Cavern. However having waded through countless biographies, histories and memories about the Beatles I have found no mention of Mr P and his Pepper Pots - although they did make a record, a 1964 CD called Merseymania on Pickwick with mock Beatle artwork photographs of screaming fans. It was done at a time when the American market, in particular, bought just about anything that had even a remote or tenuous link to Britain in general and Liverpool in particular. Merseymania was a rather leaden Beatlemania exploitation effort with two genuine Beatle covers surrounded by a boring contingent of dull faux-Beatle type songs. As one reviewer put it;

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“For the most part the group was a studio entity only. Billy Pepper & the Pepperpots’ leaden melodies and tuneless harmonies are anything but fab. For the most part, the songs merely ape the sound and sensibility of the Lennon/McCartney catalog, but even the four genuine covers (“Please Please Me”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, She Loves You” and “I Saw Here Standing There”) are laughably bad, rendered with all the limited enthusiasm and verve you’d expect from anonymous studio hacks.”

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Although the musical merits of this CD are dubious but as a 1960s curio, and if you are a Beatles fanatic, it’s worth getting. You can find it on Amazon for £2.99!.

It seems that William Sheppard was genuinely gifted. He played both guitar and bass and was a songwriter as well. Surprisingly, according to the conspirators, he also looked remarkably like Paul McCartney - although 4 inches taller! The conspirators say that when Paul was killed in a motor accident on November 9th 1966 William Sheppard a.k.a Billy Pepper was the obvious replacement although why they should attempt to present Billy P as Paul M is beyond me. Other bands at the time lost leading members but managed to carry on quite successfully with replacements. The Rolling Stones, The Searchers and the Hollies are but three bands who did this.

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I am mystified why the conspirators bother with their elaborate and extended hoax theories. Do they truly believe the Americans didn’t land on the Moon in 1969 or that Elvis Presley is alive and well and works in a hamburger bar in Border, Colorado or another “Paul McCartney” is walking around in Paul McCartney’s shoes? Maybe they do it as a creative exercise to amuse themselves.

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The evidence to prove them wrong is substantial. There are friends and family who knew Paul when he was a boy and know him now and still haven’t spotted that he is 4 inches taller with new earlobes. There is MI5 who checked that he wasn’t an imposter before signing off on his knighthood in 1997 and there is Bill Shepherd’s son, Gary, who has appeared on some of the ‘Paul is Dead’ forums to deny the story and put the record straight … not that this counts for anything. As the newspaperman said in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” -

“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

Billy Pepper and the Pepperpots

Singing “She Loves You” from Merseymania

– from Martyn Day