Klaatu Identities and Beatles Rumors

by David Bradley

Yes, this is the page mentioned in the National Post (Canada) on March 6th, 2000. However, a minor correction to their description of www.klaatu.org.... we are not an "unofficial official" web page, we are THE official web page for Klaatu as named by the three band members themselves.


Who are they?

In 1976 a rumor started circulating in the United States that the Beatles had recorded and released a new album under the pseudonym of "Klaatu" and sales of that record shot way up. The rumor went something like this:

The Beatles supposedly recorded an album in mid 1966 that was to be a follow up to Revolver but the master tapes were mysteriously "lost" from the studio. The Beatles didn't want to re-record the album as Paul had (supposedly) just died in a car accident. When Billy Shears (a Paul McCartney look alike contest winner) stepped in to fill the space left by Paul's death, the Beatles stopped touring and recorded a new album that eventually turned out to be "Sgt. Pepper." This explains the long gap between Revolver and Sgt. Pepper and also the change in musical direction. Meanwhile, in 1975, the missing masters were uncovered during research for the Beatles' story project titled, The Long And Winding Road (which eventually became 1995's Beatles Anthology) and the band decided to release the album as a tribute to the late Paul McCartney. They decided on a release with no credit shown to songwriters and no photos so that the album would sell on the merits of the music contained therein and not on any "Beatles hype" (similar to Paul giving away a song to Peter and Gordon in the early 60s called "Woman" under the songwriting name of Bernard Webb).

What were the clues that made people think that THIS album was the Beatles?

  • 1. The record was on Capitol records, the American record company that had released most of the Beatles' records in the US.
    MANY groups record for Capitol Records. That doesn't make them the Beatles.

  • 2. The record had no names of band members listed on it anywhere.
    While this is unusual, it's NOT unheard of, and really doesn't mean anything is specifically Beatles related.

  • 3. The record had no producer name on it anywhere. It simply said, "Produced by Klaatu."
    I've got hundreds of records in my collection that don't tell you who produced them. That doesn't mean it was produced by, recorded by, or in any way connected to the Beatles.

  • 4. The record had no songwriter credits other than simply, "All selections composed by Klaatu."
    To believe that "all selections composed by Klaatu" somehow means "THIS IS THE BEATLES" is completely absurd!

  • 5. The record has a mysterious publisher listed. It says, "All selections published by Klaatu ASCAP/CAPAC."
    Again, to believe that "published by Klaatu" must somehow mean "THIS IS THE BEATLES" is completely absurd!

  • 6. CAPAC (see clue number 5) was the Canadian equivalent of America's ASCAP (they now go by SOCAN) and John Lennon had recently been rumored to be moving to Toronto Canada since the US was trying to deport him.
    While it is true that John Lennon had been rumored to be relocating to Toronto, that doesn't mean that this album had anything to do with him!

  • 7. The record had no pictures of band members on it anywhere.
    I have hundreds of albums in my collection that do not include photos of the band members. This in no way means this is the Beatles!

  • 8. On a couple of songs (Calling Occupants, Sub-Rosa Subway) the vocals sound like Paul McCartney & John Lennon.
    Whether or not you think it sounds like them doesn't mean it IS them.

  • 9. The name Klaatu is taken from the movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still" in which the alien named Klaatu tells his robot Gort to stop hurting people with the command, "Klaatu barada niktu!" On Ringo Starr's Goodnight Vienna album Ringo is seen coming out of the spaceship from that movie and is standing next to Gort.
    Klaatu's first single was in 1973. Ringo's Goodnight Vienna album was 1974. Hardly a proof that Klaatu are the Beatles.

  • 10. When Sgt. Pepper had been released, the inner sleeve showed Paul McCartney with a patch on his uniform which read O.P.D. Although many interpretations of this have come and gone, one of them was used in the Paul is dead myth, "Officially Presumed Dead". During the song Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III on their first album, the lyrics state, "Officially Presumed Is Dead." Therefore it can only possibly be the Beatles.
    That's a stretch! The term Officially Presumed Dead is used when referring to someone missing in action in the military for a long time. It is also used when someone wants to remarry and their spouse has been missing for a long period of time. It is used in that case to legally free the surviving spouse from being considered legally married so that they are free to marry again. (Thanks to the outtakes of the Sgt. Pepper picture that are included with the CD we can now see that the patch says O.P.P. which stands for Ontario Provincial Police. Since John Lennon had been rumoured to be moving to Ontario, this fits the rumour that Klaatu was the Beatles quite nicely still. Again, though, that's a real stretch!)

  • 11. Capitol Records USA messed up a song title on the original release, listing it as Sir Bodsworth Rubblesby III. This mistake carried onto their subsequent reissues until the first CD issue on Capitol which finally corrected this error. Says Crazy Ray, of from a Waterbury, CT radio station, "If you were to define Bods, Worth, Rubbles, and By, it would mean 'persons of importance born of quarry.' The Beatles were first known as the Quarrymen."
    Again, that's a BIG stretch of the imagination!

  • 12. Beetles are heard to be chirping and buzzing at the start of Calling Occupants.
    Sounds more like Crickets, frogs, and some birds to me.

  • 13. The song title, Sub-Rosa Subway was thought to be a take off on Paul's Red Rose Speedway.
    Only by someone desperate to find a connection to the Beatles. It truly is about what the song title says it's about. It's about a Sub-Rosa (Latin for secretive) Subway (you know, a train under the ground).

  • 14. In Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III there is the line, "he's the only man who's ever been to hell and come back alive." Some people thought that this was a reference to the Paul is Dead rumor which states that Paul died in 1966 in a car crash and was replaced with a look-alike making it seem like he had come back alive.
    This is a BIG stretch!

  • 15. There are 7 sprouts pictured right at the very bottom of the front cover of the band's first album coming up from the border. There are 7 letters in the name Beatles. Obviously this means that the roots of Klaatu are the Beatles.
    Obvious to whom? There are also 7 letters in "Turtles"... why isn't this proof that Klaatu are the Turtles?

  • 16. On the back cover of the first album is a two colored planet. Some took this to be an allusion to Paul's album, "Venus and Mars".
    Because there are 2 colors and Venus and Mars are two different planets? The "2" being the only thing in common? How is that proof this is the Beatles? How is that even a HINT that this is the "Beatles"?

  • 17. On Abbey Road the Beatles sing about the "Sun King". The Klaatu album covers all have a picture of the sun on them. This MUST mean that they're the Beatles!
    Uh, no. That's absurd.

  • 18. The initials for the Beatles last album, Abbey Road, are AR. If spelled backwards that becomes RA which is the name of the Egyptian god of the sun. See number 17 for the "sun" connection.
    This is a BIG stretch. Take initials, reverse them, translate them from the name of an ancient Egyptian God..... YUP! That makes this the Beatles!

  • 19. On the Sir Army Suit album is a song called Mr. Manson - it is about Charles Manson. Charles Manson is the mass murderer who claimed the Beatles were messengers from God sending messages to him directly.
    OK, this one kind of makes sense. But again, it's just coincidence! Manson was a polarizing shocking figure. It was a good subject for a song.

  • 20. Also on Sir Army Suit is an interesting piece of recording technology for 1978. The song Silly Boys has very strange sounding vocals. The lyrics are hard to understand as a result. This prompted me to look at the lyric sheet from the original album. The lyrics are printed backwards. And by backwards I don't mean like this, "utaalK", I mean physically backwards. If you hold the lyric sheet to a mirror you can read the lyrics perfectly fine! (This applies to this song only.) SO, this gave me the idea to play the song backwards. It contains the lyrics to Anus of Uranus from their first album when played backwards! Some of the lines have been re-recorded using a vocoder and some have had heavy effects added, but the lyrics are all there. So, when the song is played forwards you hear the lyrics to Silly Boys. When the song is played backwards you hear the lyrics to Anus of Uranus. Very Cool! The Beatles pioneered backwards tape use starting with their song Rain.
    And the similarity of recording engineering technique does not automatically make this the Beatles!

  • 21. On the Magentalane album there is a song called December Dream - it is about the death of John Lennon. "Don't cry darling, don't cry, we all will die." "The darkest nightmare..." "December Dream, don't leave me now." "December Dream, don't let me down." (John Lennon was murdered in December of 1980 and had written a song with the Beatles called Don't Let Me Down.)
    The song about the death of a member of the Beatles doesn't make Klaatu the Beatles. If that were the case, then Elton John was also the Beatles when he wrote and sang "Empty Garden" about the death of John Lennon.

  • 22. At a Paul McCartney concert in the mid 70s his final statement was, "I will see you when the earth stands still."
    Actually, no, he didn't say that. That was made up by someone calling into a Connecticut (USA) radio station so that they could get on the air talking about the Klaatu / Beatles rumor."Yep, I'm the guy who made up the McCartney 'See you on the day the Earth stands still' rumor. I was one of the Connecticut callers on WDRC constantly chatting up the DJs on the air about the band when the rumors were just gathering a head of steam with hourly radio reports. I literally made it up as I was talking to the DJ and looking at the Wings Over America poster on my teenage bedroom wall - I was and remain astounded that I picked up Circus a month later and saw it in print, and then it was repeated again years later in a Beatles trivia book. Biggest whopper I ever told, and it went 'viral' 40 years before viral was a thing" - Jay Allen Sanford

  • 23. The Beatles connection was confirmed in 1988 when the band reunited to record ONE new song called "Woman" which was an allusion to Paul's song that he had given to Peter and Gordon in the early 60s under a pseudonym and also to John's song Woman from his Double Fantasy album which was released just before his death. This song allegedly contained an old John Lennon studio-recorded demo which had been added to by Billy Shears (as Paul McCartney), George Harrison & Ringo Starr.
    Do you know how many songs throughout the past century were named "Woman"? That is in no way any hint that Klaatu are the Beatles. And to be fair, Klaatu didn't write Woman. It was written by Paul Vincent Gunia, the producer of the Tatort TV show episode for which it was going to be used as the theme.

  • 24. I saved the best for last. Someone at a Florida University presumably said they had done a voice print analysis of the vocals in Sub-Rosa Subway and compared it to one done of Paul McCartney singing and determined that the voices were 100% identical and could only be made by the same person.
    A: In the 70s, the ability to do something called a "voiceprint" would have required the person's voice with no other sounds. To do that, the person would have to have the original multitrack tapes of the Klaatu album to isolate the vocal. Even Capitol doesn't have those multitracks and they never did. They'd also have had to have an isolated vocal from Paul McCartney.
    B: Voiceprint technology at that time would have required the person to be speaking, not singing, and to be saying the same exact word or words (the more words, the more accurate). You wouldn't be able to do that with lyrics to two different songs.
    C: While today you can hit a button on your phone and it will listen to a song and identify who it is, what it's called, and often what album it's from, back then, the ability to do a voiceprint would have required millions of dollars of mainframe computing power.

    How did these rumors get started?

    A Providence, RI newspaper (The Providence Journal) ran an article by a rock music writer named Steve Smith (who was actually a sports writer) which stated "Could Klaatu be the Beatles? Mystery is a Magical Mystery Tour." Smith concluded that Klaatu was more than likely in part or in whole the Beatles.

    Charlie Parker at a Hartford, CT radio station (WDRC) said on air that it was, "a marvelous experience" to listen to this album and asked, "Who are Klaatu? Are the Beatles really back?" and suddenly Capitol records had to ship another 20,000 copies to that region of the country. (And actually, he didn't. He didn't have an on air show and wouldn't have had a venue to make that statement on the air.)

    All this led people to think this was the Beatles. If it wasn't them, then why not put their names and their pictures on it?

    Capitol Records (who still did NOT know who Klaatu even were) had their marketing department feed the rumor with all sorts of made up clues and stretches. Internal memos detail that marketing strategy. This has nothing to do with the band, and since Capitol didn't know who the band were, it also had nothing to do with reality. But why let that stop a good piece of sensationalism which can be leveraged to sell albums!?!?

    The New Musical Express (a prominent music newspaper in England during the Beatles' time) ran an article with the headline, "Deaf idiot journalist starts Beatle rumour." But despite that and denials from the band (through spokesman/manager Frank Davies who stated "Klaatu is Klaatu") the rumor persisted and the band's album continued to sell in large quantities.

    At the time of the rumor, the band were in England recording the "Hope" album and knew nothing about it until they returned home to Canada.

    In 1980 the band came out with it's 4th album (which also ended up being the last album released in the US by them) called Endangered Species. This time the album gave us some information. It said the songs were published by Klaatoons, but it told us that the album was produced by Christopher Bond. The songs also gave writing credit to Long, Woloschuk, and Tome. Were these the names of Klaatu members? Well, songwriters doesn't necessarily mean singers/performers.

    The following note was also included in the liner notes for the album:

    "Nota Bene:

    There are three accepted definitions applied when describing the status of declining wildlife: rare, threatened and ENDANGERED SPECIES. The most recent figures published in the Red Data Book, as issued by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, indicate that there are at least 340 animals and 20,000 plants listed as endangered species.

    Experts throughout the world agree that unless immediate and effective measures are implemented to protect the existence of these life forms, their final outcome will inevitably be . . . extinction.
    Spring, 1980
    Terry Draper, Dee Long, John Woloschuk

    For more information, please contact: I.U.C.N., 1110 Morges, Switzerland"

    The album also contained an address to write to the band:
    write: Klaatu
    P.O. Box 1030
    Oak Ridges, Ontario
    Canada L0G 1P0

    So now we had songwriting credits to three people and a note from three people (2 of whom had been part of the songwriting credits). Are these the members of Klaatu?

    Klaatu actually are:

    John Woloschuk - vocals - bass - guitar - keyboards
    Dee Long - vocals - guitar - keyboards
    Terry Draper - vocals - drums - guitar - keyboards - slide trombone

    and there is no Beatles connection on their albums at all.
    ("Tome" is "Dino Tome" who was a friend of John Woloschuk who sometimes helped him write some songs. He was not a member of the band.)

    (*) - Editorial note - February 1, 2001 - by Dave Bradley

    The above listing for question 11 originally indicated Crazy Ray was from WDRC. He wasn't.

    Dean Thut, Klaatu Mailing List member and founder of Dean's Room on the Klaatu web page says:
    Hi Folks,
    There is an article on the web page that quotes a dj named Crazy Ray from wdrc in Waterbury Connecticut. I have always said that there never was a dj by that name on that station because I grew up listening to Big D 103( wdrc ). There was, however, a dj in this area named Crazy Jerry Christopher. I believe he was on wdrc but I`ll have to double check on that detail. Anyway............I wrote to the station manager and this is what I got. btw.................I find his company name interesting.

    Thanks for your note about WDRCOBG.COM. I have seen the reference to "Crazy Ray of WDRC in Waterbury, CT," which tells me whoever wrote it was misinformed. Of course, WDRC is in Hartford, not Waterbury. The same article quotes Charlie Parker as saying "on air" what a marvelous experience the initial Klaatu LP was. That's doubtful because Charlie never did any kind of regular shift on the air. He was frequently a promo voice, but wouldn't have had a forum for making such comments.

    I'm quite sure there was never a Crazy Ray at Big D so I'm afraid I can't help you.
    Ed Brouder
    Man From Mars Productions

    My (Dave Bradley) response to this is that the information about Charlie Parker and Crazy Ray came from photocopies of newspaper and magazine articles that I have. The article dealing with Crazy Ray is shown below. I am still working on locating the original source of the Charlie Parker quote. The text of the "Crazy Ray" article appears below it's picture.

    the text of this article appears below this image

    Who is Klaatu?

    Is Crazy Ray really crazy?

    If you had your radio tuned to WDRC on the evening of Tuesday, March 1, then you probably know the story behind Klaatu. For those of you who don't, Klaatu is believed to be the Beatles under a new name. According to "Crazy Ray," a spokesman for a Waterbury radio station, "Everybody knows that Klaatu, formerly Neutrino, is a five-man Canadian progressive rock group. The album was released early last summer. Klaatu is not the Beatles but was co-produced by John Lennon. The five guys are Goose Grahm - lead vocals and guitar (I heard he's Lennon's cousin, but I'm not sure), Andy Mills - lead guitar, John Spear - bass, vocals, John Tatum - keyboard, vocals, and Edward Satriano - drums. John Lennon plays guitar and sings background vocals on three songs, but none of the other Beatles are involved in any way whatsoever." When WDRC talked with Frank Davies, the official spokesman for Klaatu, he claimed that, "Crazy Ray is crazy."

    The album was published by Capitol Records Inc., the same company the Beatles used previously. Capitol Records is believed to have offered the Beatles a $150,000,000 contract to do another album. No one knows if this is the case.

    WDRC investigated the origin of the group. The name Klaatu derives from a 1951 science-fiction movie entitled, The Day The Earth Stood Still, and could mean "been here before." The film was also a theme of a previous Ringo Starr album, Good Night Vienna (sic). At a Paul McCartney concert last summer (now being viewed by Hall students on dial select) his final statement was, "I will see you when the earth stands still."

    There are many peculiarities about the album. For instance, there is a song entitled, Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Crafts (sic). This song mentions every planet in the solar system but Venus and Mars, which is the title of a previous best-selling Paul McCartney album. Another song on the album, Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby the Third is misspelled on the jacket as Rubblesby. If you were to define Bods, Worth, Rubbles and By, it would mean "persons of importance born of quarry". The Beatles were first known as "The Quarrymen." Subroads of Subways (sic) is a song that has a Morse code message intertwined with the lyrics. Capitol Records claims that when the code is deciphered it will reveal who the group is. When an official for DRC did that, it read, "The bugs are back." Two questions remain, is Crazy Ray really crazy - and if Klaatu is not the Beatles, then who is Klaatu?

    For an analysis of this article, click here.

    This page last updated on July 5, 2020.

    Special thanks to Dave Robson for further details of some of the Beatles rumor clues.