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Saul is dead?

Collage courtesy of Liz Burleson / Red Dirt Report
"Glennan" pulls a gun on Batman and the Boy Wonder.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Two years later after “she left home” – inspiring the 1967 Beatles song “She’s Leaving Home,” featured on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – London scenester and “wild child” Melanie Coe began dating Batman actor Burt Ward, who played the Caped Crusader’s sidekick Robin.

We’re not sure why things didn’t quite work out between Coe and the Boy Wonder, but regardless, Coe’s story and link to Beatle lore is well-known among Fab Four enthusiasts and pop-culture fanatics. And there are some strange synchronicities to the Coe story as well.

In 1963, Paul McCartney judged a miming contest on Ready, Steady, Go! where four young women mimed and danced to the Brenda Lee song “Let’s Jump the Broomstick.” It was Melanie Coe who would win and be awarded the opportunity to be a dancer on the show for a year. And it was guest judge Paul McCartney who handed Coe the award.

Synchromystically, Coe would later be featured in a Daily Mirror (or Mail?) article in 1967 that would inspire Paul and John Lennon to write the beautiful ballad “She’s Leaving Home.”

Coe, according to the article, had gotten pregnant and run off with a croupier, not a “man from the motor trade,” as the song notes. Her parents found her after 10 days and the pregnant girl had an abortion.

Oddly, in 2008, Coe would be interviewed by Britain’s Daily Mail about being forced out of her home in Spain due to that country’s “complex rural planning laws.”

In the Daily Mail article she recalls meeting, on the Ready, Steady, Go! set a distant McCartney an “aloof” Lennon and she said Ringo and George were “sweethearts.” Sounds about right.

Turning back the clock to 1970, the year after Coe had her relationship with Burt “Robin” Ward, issue #222 of Batman on DC Comics featured a fantastic Beatlesque/Paul is Dead storyline called “Dead Till Proven Alive” which focuses on a Sgt. Pepper-yBritish band called “The Oliver Twists.” Odd clues about the band have piqued the interest of fans and conspiracy theorists – and Dick Grayson (Robin) as well.  Fans think one of the members, “Saul Cartwright,” is actually dead-and-replaced (PID'ers refer to him as "FAUL" for Fake Paul). Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are on the case. (Oh, did you know that this week - July 23rd - DC Comics had "Batman Day"? I have been seeing Batman refernces all over the place lately.)

This, of course, was a plot straight out of the then-hot Paul is Dead conspiracy theorywhich claimed that Paul McCartney of The Beatles had died in 1966 (the same year the Batman TV series premiered on ABC) and had been replaced by an imposter, the “PID” theory which we have addressed here at Red Dirt Report.

This particular issue of Batman is, as we noted, number 222. Paul McCartney, on his syncky Memory Almost Full album has a jazzy bonus track called “222.” That number has been coming up a lot lately, as noted in this week’s crash of TransAsia Airways GE 222 on one of Taiwan’s Penghu Islands (h/t Loren Coleman at Twilight Language).

It is here that I should note that as a youngster, my stage performances were few and far between. However, in about 1983 I appeared in an elementary school production of Oliver! and my role was as “The Night Watchman.” My line? “Murder! Murder!”

My other gig? For the Little Rock Cotillion Variety Show I found myself dressed up as Ringo Starr and pretended to play drums during an awkward performance of  “Hey Jude” while a friend of mine, with a well-known last name, played the role of “Paul.” Weird.

Anyway, the Beatles, PID enthusiasts note, offered fans clues via their record album sleeves and through song lyrics.

And living up to their twisted band name, the “Dead Till Proven Alive” comic book featuring Batman, Robin and the “Saul is Dead” rumor, has a remarkable twist. It’s not Saul who is dead but Glennan (John Lennon) Benji (Ringo) and Hal (George Harrison). When the Caped Crusaders expose Saul and Glennan pulls a gun on the Dynamic Duo (eerie in light of what would happen to John 10 years later - "Do you know what you've done?") but he is clobbered and revealed as a greedy fraud.

Here is what Saul admits to in front of Batman and Robin (thanks to Tina Foster at Plastic Macca):

“These lads are the PUT-ONS! Because GLENNAN >sob<, BENJI…HAL…my good old buddies…they’re DEAD! Killed last year in a crash of a private jet that was taking them to groove with the mysteries of the East! They’re >sob< lying buried somewhere in the trackless snows of the HIMALAYAS! I thought I could keep them “ALIVE” to their devoted fans the world over…by recruiting THREE UNKNOWN LOOK-ALIKES to stand-in for them! Some minor plastic-surgery and almost a year of coaching – and they were good! REAL GOOD! But the big trick was to prevent any wild rumors of their death springing up – and upsetting the applecart! So I dreamed up my “death” – as a decoy to focus all curiosity on me! That way, who would even begin to suspect that ANYTHING had happened to my three team-mates? And then – THEY flew back, out of their incommunicado junket, in a DUPLICATE plane – right back into the HEARTS of their DEVOTEES! I – I only tried to preserve their “IMAGE” – but I hadn’t figured on this ONE weak link! Chumley’s GREED! Which made him go to any length to protect our fraudulent group…and the FASTEST INCOME he’s ever seen in his whole miserable life!”

So, 3/4 of The Oliver Twists died in a plane crash while seeking to "groove with the mysteries of the East"? Kind of syncs with all of the plane crashes we have been hearing about lately. Eerily, in June 1982, Pan Am's "Clipper Defiance" aircraft was involved in a horrific crash (due ot windshear) near New Orleans. The previous Pan Am "Clipper Defiance" (which had been retired two years earlier, in 1980, when John Lennon was assassinated) was the aircraft - Pan Am Flight 101 - that took the Beatles from London to New York, where their "invasion" of America would begin in February 1964.

Oddly enough, Robin suggests that even though they aren’t the real Oliver Twists anymore, they should consider reforming their group as a trio. They get their “wings” flapping again and – sans greedy Glennan – form PHOENIX!  

From the ashes, indeed.

(h/t Dangerous Minds)

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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