Song Of The Day 6/19/2013: Terry Knight - "Saint Paul"

It was Paul McCartney's birthday yesterday, and I meant to put this song up there then, but things got in the way. Don't blame Yoko. Keeping in spirit with the Sissy Spacek song about John Lennon we featured a couple of weeks ago, I thought we'd do another, somewhat awkward lament about a Beatle.

Terry Knight (1943-2004) was a musician who flew to London in 1968 for a meeting with Apple Records, hoping that they'd sign him as a solo artist or staff producer. He had lunch with Paul and Ringo. At some point during his visit the Beatles got into a terrible argument -- I think Ringo actually said he was quitting that moment -- and Knight flew back to New York empty-handed. Out of either disappointment or spite, Knight wrote the song "Saint Paul" on the plane home. The lyrics apparently reflected Knight's opinion that the Beatles weren't going to be around much longer. As so many artists of the time did (though only one did artfully), Knight incorporated lines of various Beatles songs in his recording, which resulted in some legal wrangling between Capitol Records and McCartney's publishing company when the song finally saw the light of day in 1969.

"Saint Paul" couldn't have come out at a better time for the "Paul-Is-Dead" theorists. They believed Knight's song contained several clues to back up their assertions that McCartney had been killed in a motorcycle accident in 1966, and that the Beatles had been using a McCartney impersonator ever since.  There's no clear reason why Knight would have had access to that kind of information, or why the Paul-Is-Dead crowd would have considered him a worthy source. However, they were the birthers of their time, so any scrap of disconnected data or unsubstantiated hearsay was like Cool Whip to them.

Knight went on to manage and mentor Grand Funk Railroad. Paul McCartney was resurrected in 1970 and has been alive ever since, except for the Pipes Of Peace album.

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