We’ll Sing it Man – We’ll Be Reversed –Learning to ‘think backwards’–

It’s no secret that the Beatles put reversed messages into their music. It has been said that the Beatles track “Rain” was their first recording to feature a sound loop of the song itself in reverse. Below is the last 31 seconds of the song played in reverse. It doesn’t get much more blatant than this.

‘Rain’ was recorded in April 1966, and was intended for the Revolver Album but never made it there officially. This was the era the the Beatles really started to experiment with their recordings, trying to come up with new sounds and innovation.  But ‘Rain’ was only the beginning, some might say that reverse singing or backmasking became somewhat of an obsession for the Beatles from that point forward. Or you could say that a lot of people are absolutely bonkers to believe the Beatles would ever intentionally insert reversed messages into their music. I tend to lean with the former myself, there is just too much evidence to deny this.

The year was 1966 for starters. 1966 was seemingly a big year in occult type circles as well with the Beatles, as we have seen here in the numbernineblog time and time again. The album that ‘Rain’ was intended- Revolver- had a series of working titles as listed by ‘the Beatles Bible‘ all things ‘Beatles official’.  Of interest here is working titles; AbracadabraMagic Circle and Four Sides Of The Circle before ultimately deciding on Revolver instead.  Abracadabra interestingly enough was written about by Aleister Crowley:

Abrahadabra is a word that first publicly appeared in The Book of the Law, the central sacred text of Thelema. Its author, Aleister Crowley, described it as “the Word of the Aeon, which signifieth The Great Work accomplished.”

Abrahadabra is also referred to as the Word of Double Power. More specifically, it represents the uniting of the Microcosm with the Macrocosm—represented by the pentagram and the hexagram, the rose and the cross, the circle and the square, the 5 and the 6, etc.—also called the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of one’s Holy Guardian Angel.  Source

abracadabra
Abracadabra pendant. Notice the ‘winged be(a)tle’ Khepri, the double headed phoenix etc…

Crowley also wrote in his work “Magick in Theory and Practice” about the importance of the initiate learning to ‘think backwards’.

First Method. Let the Exempt Adept first train himself to think backwards by external means, as set forth here following.

(“a”) Let him learn to write backwards, with either hand.
(“b”) Let him learn to walk backwards.
(“c”) Let him constantly watch, if convenient, cinematograph films, and listen to phonograph records, reversed, and let him so accustom himself to these that they appear natural, and appreciable as a whole.
(“d”) Let him practise speaking backwards; thus for “I am He” let him say, “Eh ma I”.
(“e”) Let him learn to read backwards. In this it is difficult to avoid cheating one’s self, as an expert reader sees a sentence at a glance. Let his disciple read aloud to him backwards, slowly at first, then more quickly.
(“f”) Of his own ingenium, let him devise other methods.

Source

Devising Other Methods:

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Beatles Yesterday and Today cover Image flipped

The Beatles Butcher Album, which in my opinion showed a plethora of occult imagery- see The Beatles Apotheosis article- was released in the United States in June 1966 (6/66). When the grotesque (‘Grotty’) cover became ‘all too much’ for the delicate psyches of American consumers, the above ‘Trunk’ cover was used to replace the Butcher album cover. The ‘trunk’ image used was reversed or ‘flipped’ on the official version.  You can tell by looking at the buttons on George’s shirt to be certain. Mens’ shirts are fashioned with the buttons being sewn on the right side of the shirt. Here, George’s buttons are clearly on the left, signifying that this image has been flipped.  Was it more aesthetically pleasing to situate the photo in this way? Or were they simply trying to ‘devise other methods’ of learning to think backwards? (Or was the goal to get the general -huge- Beatles audience to think backwards unwittingly?)

Other examples of official Beatles releases that were intentionally flipped:

Let him constantly watch, if convenient, cinematograph films, and listen to phonograph records, reversed, and let him so accustom himself to these that they appear natural, and appreciable as a whole

In the summer of 1966, the Beatles seemingly took a break from recording in the studio and pursued other interests independently. John took a job offer to film “How I Won the War” in Almeria, Spain and while there composed one of his finest masterpieces- Strawberry Fields Forever. As if the forward direction of the track wasn’t surreal enough, reversed- the track takes on a whole new life of its’ own. The specific lyric;

“Strawberry Fields, nothing is real” | in reverse= | “We’ll sing it man, we’ll be reversed.”

This is demonstrated in the reversed clip below at exactly 33 seconds to 40 seconds in. Precisely the time also that we get a somewhat sinister look from “Paul McCartney” (or whoever that is…) in the official promo clip for the song.

So would the general public get the idea to play these new psychedelic songs in reverse to hear the ‘secret’ messages contained within? Consider the promo film for Strawberry Fields Forever was obviously in reverse… they were practically telling you “this needs to be watched and heard backwards” in my own observation at least. But on the whole, you could also consider Crowley’s suggestions for the adept- in essence, the promo music video Strawberry Fields Forever, accustomed the viewer to accepting the inversion of reality, or to thinking backwards. To ‘accustom himself to these that they appear natural, and appreciable as a whole’ and that’s with simply watching it in the intended forward direction (which was intentionally reversed).  However, at the time of release, I don’t think people ‘got it’. It was not obvious enough to the general inept viewer to think “A-Ha I should listen to this backwards” even given the hints to do so.  It would not be until three years later in 1969 when masses of Beatle fans would be playing their records backwards in wake of the Paul is Dead phenomenon (which just happened to go viral on Crowley’s birth date- October 12th, 1969). By then, the Beatles had inserted so many reversed lyrics and subliminal treasures- people around the world are still being entertained by this technique five decades later.

Just as Rain was intended for Revolver, Strawberry Fields Forever was intended for Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band but never made it there officially. Sgt. Pepper had its own trove of reversed ‘occult’ (hidden) messages, many of which have been interpreted as being “Paul is Dead” clues or play into the whole of the ‘Beatles Mysteries’ unsolvable(?) riddle. There is a case to be made with certain lyrics in reverse can really be translated in a variety of ways, interpretations varying ultimately from person to person. People generally hear what they want to hear in cases such as these, so take from that what you will. However, keeping in mind that INTENT truly is everything- there are some very intentional backmasks in the Beatles catalogue, many of which in my perspective are irrefutable.

1977_sgtpeppers_lonely_hearts_club_band_a2_500
Artist Fumio Tamabuchi’s rendition of Sgt. Pepper in reverse 1977

Most notable on the Sgt. Pepper album is their title track (and reprise) Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Reprise (The re-rise/resurrection), when played in reverse the exact lyrics:

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band  | in reverse = | Apple Star It was a fake mustache

Apple Star takes on a variety of interpretations. First of all, we have the Beatles label itself, as the Apple and the album B side the sliced Apple. When an apple is cut in half and the seeds exposed, they form a five-pointed star. The ‘Apple Star’. Many traditions of the occult and ancient mythos hold the Apple sacred. The Druids do as well. According to Druidry.org :

Like their cousins to the North, the Celts attributed the power of healing and youth, or rebirth, to apples. Apples are one of the magical trees part of the Celtic Ogham tree alphabet, its Ogham name being Quert.

In Herefordshire, April 1768, twelve women bearing Apple tree branches walked in the funeral cortege of Velters Cornewall of Moccas. The apples probably symbolized the British after-life (Pennick, page 52). Apples are sometimes buried in churchyards in an effort to feed the dead. Apples also symbolize rebirth.

apple-star
Apple Star

Always the same type of symbolism time and time again. There is however, another interpretation of the Apple Star that I find appealing (pun intended… ha!). ‘Ringo’ in Japanese means ‘Apple’ and ‘Star’.. well, means Star (or in this case, Starr). ‘Starr’ phonetically sounds similar to the Japanese word for ‘juice’ making the play on words here quite comical. Obviously, I am not the only one to have noticed this humorous pun opportunity.

Beyond the ‘Apple Star’ reprise- we have the inner groove of the Sgt. Pepper album, which is certainly an intentional backmask.

“Never to see any other way” | in reverse = | “We’ll all be magick supermen” *

*(This has been contested- some hear “Will Paul be back as superman?” and others here “We’ll all f*** you like Superman”

Of course, no Beatles Backmasking Blog article would be complete without mentioning the “Number Nine” repeat loop backmask from the White Album.  Especially when that blog article is on the Number Nine Blog site! Most likely the most well-known ‘Beatle Clue’ in the form of the reverse subliminal backmasking effort is the first several seconds (that seem like hours) of the Revolution #9 avant-garde piece gracing the White Album. Again- I just don’t think there is any refuting this intentional placement.

“Number Nine” | in reverse = | “Turn Me On Dead man”

Revolution #9 in reverse really sounds like the correct orientation. I do think this track is meant to be played backwards in entirety. Also from the White Album we have more backmasks, mostly “Paul is Dead” type clues, at least that’s how they have been interpreted. I will list some of the more popular or interesting reversed lyrics below, you will have to try reversing them yourself at home if interested, and make up your own mind.

From Glass Onion:

The Walrus was Paul | in reverse= | Paul was the Walrus

Symbolism of the Walrus: psychic touch, uncovering the hidden, tough outer skin for protection, keeper of knowledge and wisdom

From I’m So Tired:

I wonder should I call you but I know what you would do | in reverse = | I wish I was not a Beatle

Also included in I’m So Tired is an ending that sounds like gibberish, but when played in reverse sounds like “Paul is dead man, miss him miss him miss him.” Both of these backmasks are quite amazing, and exceptionally clear and audible.

From Let it Be:

Let it be, Let it be  | in reverse = | Paul is dead, Paul is Dead

From Blue Jay Way:

Please don’t be long | in reverse = | Paul is bloody

Project Bluebird/Artichoke:

shewithme
Tweet Tweet 😉

Project Artichoke was a CIA project that researched interrogation methods and

arose from Project BLUEBIRD on August 20, 1951, run by the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence. A memorandum by Richard Helms to CIA director Allen Welsh Dulles indicated Artichoke became Project MKULTRA on April 13, 1953.

The project studied hypnosis, forced morphine addiction (and subsequent forced withdrawal), and the use of other chemicals including LSD, to produce amnesia and other vulnerable states in subjects.

ARTICHOKE was a mind control program that gathered information together with the intelligence divisions of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and FBI. In addition, the scope of the project was outlined in a memo dated January 1952 that stated, “Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature, such as self-preservation?” Source

Read de-classified documents (obtained by the FOIA) pertaining to Project bluebird yourself here.

The trend of Backmasking continued on even post-Beatles break-up with John, Paul and even George inserting more backwards clues on their solo compositions, as well as on new compositions on Anthology. There are many examples that you can find online if so desired, some better than others- there are a few that  personally convince me of deliberate doing. (George Harrison’s It’s Johnny’s Birthday, Paul McCartney’s Gratitude, John Lennon’s How Do You Sleep? to name a few).

Beatles in reverse has been referred to in many media outlets including movies and TV shows, and even other musicians work. It is not really a mystery. The infamous Iamaphoney made an entire album out of the Beatles tracks in reverse called the Right Album (listen here). But some people still choose to dismiss this phenomenon, insisting that some are hearing things that just is not there. Now, I do question my sanity all the time… BUT I am not going to believe for a moment that some of those above examples are just ‘imagined voices’. After all, I suppose if you are in the position to be able to question your sanity- things are going to work out ok right? (Let’s hope at least- haha)

INTENT is everything. So what was the Beatles intent with these backmasks? In my opinion, the ‘Paul is Dead’ reversed messages did not start to appear until after Sgt. Pepper. The Sgt. Pepper backmasks in my opinion, have a lot to do with Crowley and magick, whereas the later ones took on a new focus. Whether that be because Paul has died and replaced with a look-alike you will have to determine for yourself. Why all the ‘Paul is Dead’ reversed messages prior to the rumor going viral in 1969 is also up for debate. Perhaps the Beatles wanted people to catch on to their reversal ‘game’- but when no one did, they leaked it?  Just a thought.

As a final thought, and I hate to leave this article on this note- but I feel compelled to add this backmasked track in- there is a frightening backmask inserted into one of Yoko Ono’s songs from Double Fantasy, Kiss Kiss Kiss. Double Fantasy was the last album released by John Lennon prior to his death in 1980- and that is just another reason this ‘insertion’ is so alarming. First of all- “Kiss Kiss Kiss” in reverse sounds a lot like “six six six” but that’s not the alarming part. The song opens with a bit of gibberish spoken by Yoko- this would be the last thing heard when playing the song in reverse. When reversed, the gibberish transforms into:

“I Shot John Lennon”

The exclamations “Attack” and “Achtung”(German for “danger”) can be heard plain as day as well. Billy Shears over at the Sgt. Pepper Channel put together this montage below. It’s really not for the faint of heart- so please, don’t watch it if you have any inclination not to. It’s not pretty, and it will probably shatter your illusions (if they haven’t been shattered already) and leave a very bad taste in your mouth.

I know, what a horrible way to end this article… but it is what it is.  Are we hearing voices that aren’t really there? Unfortunately, I don’t think that is the case. Take from it what you will, apply it to the whole bigger picture- and ‘Tell Me What You See’. I realize I only scratched the surface here with reversal examples- there really are a ton. If you haven’t toyed with the phenomenon already- there are many of examples on YouTube or other places online, or you can easily do them yourself. Did I miss any really ‘big ones’? Or have you discovered any yourself not widely discussed? I would love to hear your thoughts, interpretations even criticisms below.

Thanks for reading.

fakemoustache

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8 Comments

  1. There’s so much I can say about this Beatles posting, but I’ve only started to work my way through it.
    My granddaughter (20 months) simply adores their music; in fact, there are times, when that music is the only only thing that will sooth her. She enjoys watching her “beat bugs” on Netflix too. *** I’m curious on where this affection will lead her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. before i readed this post, i watched woody allen’s manhattan and in the first new york city shots , the dakota building in some of them and i’m surprised with the rita hayworth (redhead, of course) reference and then a “comment about the events of paul mccartney” by the 17 years old girlfriend of woody allen’s character, why this ominous syncs come to me just a few minutes that i’ve start reading this post?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very good as usual. Some examples are sorta well…not sure about some are very clear…wow. Crowley is never far from anything in the 20th century…wow.
    Ok so here is something I notices with this backward subliminal. Beatles. I see Bee, EAT LESS in the name. Backwards is Sel taeb. Sell Taeb/taib/taieb. A persian name meaning a good person or one who repents..or pious. Sell a good person….backwards. Accident? Dunno.

    Another odd thing. I went to a meaning of the name website. It came up with a random birthdate and numerology for that name for some reason..based on the birthdate it chose. Here it is……..

    “I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a female in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of USA South-Central approximately on 1250. Your profession was chemist, alchemist, and poison manufacturer.

    You always liked to travel, to investigate, could have been detective or spy. You should develop self-love and ability to implant hope into hearts of people. Ambition – is not everything. True wealth is buried in your soul.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hmm that is really interesting! Chemist Alchemist and poison manufacturer? wow. detective or spy… wow again! This was from the name “Beatles”?

      btw: Seltaeb (backwards beatles) was the name given to a very real Beatles scandal involving Brian Epstein (Beatles manager) and a supposed very bad marketing decision he made that cost the band hundreds of thousands of dollars… (but really it was a very ingenious decision in all respect) Not sure why the SeltaeB title was given to it- but it was!

      Also the Existential movement in France in the 50s and 60s was called “Les Beat”

      John Lennon proclaimed he got the name “Beatles” in a dream when a man on a flaming pie came to him and said “You are the Beatles with an A” … and so they were.

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  4. “we get a somewhat sinister look from “Paul McCartney” (or whoever that is…)” <– haha very well done, love it! By the way, does this quote imply that you believe there were multiple replacements, or do you believe it was only William Sheppard?

    Like

    1. Hi Double Eh- (I like the handle btw)
      I try to keep an open mind on these strange Paul McCartney circumstances- but if I had to put money on it, right now- I would say that there are at least 2 men that are playing/have played the role of Paul McCartney. Whether he died and was replaced is certainly up for debate, there is no way of really knowing for sure at this time. Not sure really about the sole, complete “replacement” of one by another, but I think it may be a bit more complicated- possibly not as sinister as some make it out to be. Of course, I am not 100% certain of anything in this regard to be honest, so I keep an open mind- see what fits and what doesn’t and go from there.

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  5. Fair enough! I agree that we have nothing to go by except for “what fits” but I personally think there is enough to suggest the death/replacement theory; from their reversed music (“I buried Paul”…”Paul is dead man, miss him miss him miss him”…”Paul is bloody”…”he never worse his shoes we all know he was dead” etc.) to their imagery (album covers and sleeves etc, the most creepiest is a drawing by John Lennon), abruptly stopping touring and so on. I remember when I saw the Kenya trip video, I was like “who the hell is that guy” and same when I saw his first public appearance in 1969 lol.

    The question is did he “die in a car crash” or some other accident/way, or was he murdered?

    Just curious, what’s the theory as far as this story perhaps not being so sinister?

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    1. well, I guess that would depend on your view of sinister. Again, I am not certain of anything- so it’s just speculation on my behalf- but I tend to find the idea of there being A Paul McCartney as well as a double or two that have been there since at least 1963 quite interesting. Perhaps as a decoy, but probably something more like an understudy. (Think about the grueling tour schedules and interviews and movies and etc etc during Beatlemania- it makes sense to me that Epstein would insure that the show goes on, even if Paul or John got extremely sick… cancel shows?? no way, that wasn’t Epstein’s style. Traveling Broadway shows have understudies- why not the Beatles?)
      I am not a forensics expert, but judging by photographs of Paul from multiple eras seem to show this quite plainly IMO. Take a look at the Astrid Kirtcherr photos from 1960 in Hamburg, and compare those with photos of Paul in A Hard Days Night- or the photos of Paul on the cover of “Introducing the Beatles” with the Paul in the Help movie… I know it’s weird and certainly debatable, but it just seems like a good precautionary business tactic to me. As to whether or not he died and was permanently replaced- it could very well be. I do have an article here “The Continuing Curious Case of Paul McCartney” that gives a brief rundown on possible death scenarios. I think the JFK connections are quite interesting myself. Also- the Kray twins and their whole beef with the Beatles circle… definitely some very strange circumstances surrounding the Beatles at that particular time.

      Like

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