Detroit rock legend Russ Gibb has died at the age of 87. Gibb helped make the Grande Ballroom into a psychadelic-rock mecca in the late 1960’s, and he also popularized the false conspiracy theory that The Beatles legend Paul McCartney died in the 1960’s.
“My dear old friend Russ Gibb has departed this earth. He will be sorely missed. He was one of a kind,” tweeted Wayne Kramer of the MC5.
Detroit Free Press reports, “Gibb was on the air at WKNR-FM in October 1969 when a listener called to discuss rumors, then circulating on the underground, that Beatle Paul McCartney had died. Gibb gleefully took up the discussion on his show, pushing the story into the limelight and ultimately helping kick off a cottage industry of ‘Paul is dead’ conspiracy theories based on clues from Beatles lyrics and imagery.”
“Detroit has a beat: the pounding out of fenders, the pounding of bumpers, the day-by-day grind that made us,” Gibb told the Free Press, a part of the USA TODAY Network, in 2003. “You had to have the beat, because even on the line, things came through with a rhythm. Every three or four minutes, that line would move and you’d have to pound on the hubcaps. There was always a rhythm to Detroit.”