Ever seen this photograph before? I hadn’t until I stumbled across it on the ‘net not that long ago and, upon seeing it, just felt that I had to share it here for your interest and perusal. Significant to most due to it being the last said photo to have been taken of Ringo Starr and John Lennon together before his assassination, it is, of course, notable also for the T-shirt he’s wearing…
According to the websites I’ve seen it posted on, the photo originates from sometime circa late 1970s. 1979 according to some, 1978 to at least one other. Presumably, it would have been snapped in New York where Lennon had been residing for the majority of that decade. Anyway, there it is, emblazoned across his T-shirt, that notorious old pyramid and eye pic. Okay, I’m assuming that most folk who come reading here, perhaps you yourself, will need no mention from me about the darkly-occult/conspiratorial elements this symbol is said to represent, so, do forgive me. Please don’t think me as patronising if you’re familiar with that, but for the sake of any newbies reading this, I’ll just summarise very quickly through the words of David Icke – from one of his numerous books on the alternative history of the world, ‘The David Icke Guide to the Global Conspiracy (and how to end it)’ – what, essentially, it’s about.
So, as seen on the American one dollar bill, the pyramid with the detached capstone with eye dubbed the ‘Eye of Providence’ and/or the ‘All-Seeing Eye,’ a prominent symbol within Freemasonry…
“The pyramid and the All-Seeing Eye, or pyramid with the capstone missing,” Icke states, is a “major Illuminati symbol… The pyramid is the pyramid of control and the eye represents ‘the watchers,’ or at least that’s the symbolism on one level.” He doesn’t elaborate too much into any other levels of this symbolism but I’ll hazard a guess and presume what he means in part by that is that not any one symbol is necessarily an emblem exclusive to a negative/dark-side such as ‘the watchers,’ but can be seen and/or used for/by the positive too. A very good case in point, the eye, within certain cultures, far from it being deemed wholly a motif of and for the ‘Illuminati’ and suchlike, is thought to ward off the ‘evil eye’ of envy. I know this from my own background, British-born to Greek-Cypriot parents, both Greece and the nearby island of Cyprus are hugely influenced by Christianity and the church in one way shape or form, deeply ingrained as they are in the fabric of everyday regular life, but, juxtaposed with, what at least one priest I know personally who hails from that part of the world would, I’m sure if I were to put it to him, declare is ‘Satanic,’ and that is, the popular, daily presence of and high regard for eye symbolism. Walk into a shop or someone’s house, or step into a taxi-cab and there, amongst one or two icons of Jesus and/or the disciples and a ‘Holy Saint of someone or other,’ you might see a round, mostly blue-coloured gemstone-like ‘evil eye’ hanging from a wall, or a rear-view mirror. They’re not there to signify or celebrate darkness, but to deflect it. Within Greek-Cypriot homes and communities they’re used to keep at bay the negative, damaging, ill-wishing vibes of jealousy be that from a work-colleague, or indeed a friend or relative. Available in many sizes and forms, you can wear the eye too, as a necklace or a bracelet or wristband for example. I have one, small it is, like a shined-up pebble and that sits on my desk next to my computer where I type these articles up. This is it…
Not wanting to put words into Icke’s mouth, but, a symbol, such as the pyramid and the eye, is, on one level, dark, negative, malevolent, and on another, light. Positive. The direction it can ultimately take between the two is for the person armed with the emblems to determine. A knife in one man’s hand might be used to murder another, whilst in the possession of someone else it’s slicing loaves to feed and provide sustenance. It’s not the knife at blame but the person holding it. It’s about the intent. With regards to Lennon and that T-shirt, the question is (as far as I’m concerned anyway) what was his intention? Again, for any newbies, from David Icke, “the All-Seeing Eye is… in the symbol of the MI5 wing of British Intelligence. The All-Seeing Eye is the symbol of the American television network, ‘Columbia Broadcasting System,’ better known as ‘CBS’… In 2002, the deeply sinister ‘US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’ (‘DAARPA’), the research and development arm of the Department of Defense, launched the ‘Information Awareness Office,’ a propaganda operation with the potential for mass-surveillance. It chose a familiar symbol – the pyramid and All-Seeing Eye. There are so many I could point out, but if you are new to this you’ll be able to see them all over the place now…” It’s a symbol of course that, in one shape or form, has been massively prevalent, a mainstay even, within the music-world whether it be in album-cover artwork, or the logos of record companies and labels or in the videos that their bands and solo artists appear in. If we’re to believe what some of Lennon’s detractors have claimed, such as author, researcher and self-proclaimed ‘former intelligence-agent-turned-whistleblower,’ John Coleman, that The Beatles were controlled and steered by the All-Seeing ‘watchers’ in order to corrupt the Sixties youth generation of the western world, then maybe, yeah, John chose to wear the symbol as a subliminal badge of honour, allegiance and obedience to his masters, as so many famous musicians have done both past and present. On the other hand, this is a guy who during the late 1960s and early ’70s used his powerful, influential profile to speak out and protest in criticism of what ‘the Establishment’ – or as it was known back then amongst the young, ‘the man’ – had inflicted upon the world and he was seemingly such an outspoken and proactive campaigner against the Vietnam War that US President Nixon actively conspired to have him deported from the United States whilst the FBI collected a file on him, monitored his live shows and the content of his music-recordings and even tried to set him up in a drug-bust. Britain’s MI5, it’s claimed, was monitoring him too. As far as I’m aware, in all the years that Lennon spoke out against ‘the man’ in countless newspaper/magazine/radio/TV interviews he never mentioned ‘Illuminati’ or ‘pyramids of control’ or the ‘New World Order,’ however, when he did speak out against the forces who conspire against us, he often (IMO) got it pretty bang on point. There are countless quotes I could add here to illustrate this, but here’s just a couple. In 1966, he’s said to have opined, “the trouble with government as is it is that it doesn’t represent the people. It controls them. All they seem to want to do – the people who run the country – is keep themselves in power and stop us knowing what’s going on… I’m not saying politicians are all terrible men. It’s just the system of government that I don’t like. It’ll be hard to change.” In 1968, he declared, “I think all our society is run by insane people for insane objectives… I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends… I think they’re all insane…” These are quotes that resonate deeply today, decades after his death, and that were uttered years before the mass-internet, long before the emergence of the ‘alternative’/conspiracy-site media and the digital-age ‘Truthers,’ who, in one way shape or form, echo his words. Lennon, in some respects, was a prototype of all of them. In his book ‘Come Together. John Lennon in His Time,’ Jon Wiener, the historian and journalist who staged a successful decades-long legal battle to have the FBI release its secret documents on John, features a quote by Robin Blackwell. He’s a former editor of ‘Red Mole,’ a short-lived British ‘revolutionary’ newspaper of the early ‘70s, and he recalls that, at that time, the-then former Beatle “was setting up a project with a not-very-well-assorted group of people who were into alternative technology, alternative media, alternative politics and lifestyles.” However, it never came to pass. Lennon was also a fan, financial supporter of and personally acquainted with Mae Brussell one of the early conspiracy researchers, she’d been at it since the days of the JFK assassination, when today’s veterans such as David Icke would barely have been out of wearing short-pants. Also, Paul Krassner, a major mover and shaker in the Sixties counter-culture in the US is said to have spoken to John back in the early ‘70s about the possibility that many of the leading singers and musicians who’d died up to that point in time had been taken out, murdered by ‘the man.’ He told Lennon about his “theory that, with all the political assassinations, there were also cultural assassinations. I was wondering what he thought about the possibility that the deaths of Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix… may have been made to look like suicides, because they were rebels and role-models on the crest of the wave. John said, ‘no, no, they were just going in a self-destructive direction.’ A few months after that, when things must have gotten really heavy with him, he reminded me of that conversation and said, ‘listen, if anything happens to Yoko and me, it was not an accident.’” John is said to have made that warning to Krassner some time in 1972 when the FBI / US Government was hot on his tail. Lennon, by many accounts, was a voracious reader and seeker of knowledge in a wide range of topics from world affairs and politics to philosophy, religion and the occult. He might not have spoken openly about ‘the Illuminati’ or the ‘pyramid of control’ whilst in the glare of the media’s attention, but, of course, that doesn’t prove he was ignorant of such things. His associations with the likes of Krassner and Mae Brussell might add credence to this possibility, and John’s T-shirt, by my estimations, may very well suggest this too. He was comfortable enough to wear it again a year or two later. Below, a scan of a page from the website ‘Wornfree.com’ and that features a photo of John from, it’s claimed, 1980. From what I can see, it was most probably taken by now-veteran photographer to the Rock-stars, Bob Gruen. The blurb next to it and that gives us some background on the contents of the tee concludes that Lennon probably bought it “for a laugh” as if (I assume) he thought the whole Illuminati connotations of it ridiculous. Whatever, some might find it sadly ironic, if not inevitable given his biting outspokenness against governments, the military and so-called world-leaders, that it wouldn’t have been too long after this photo was taken with him wearing it that he met his end at the behest of ‘the watchers.’ (CLICK TO ENLARGE)…
Far from Lennon buying the T-shirt “for a laugh,” he may have been drawn to it because it appealed to his apparent interest in ancient knowledge and history. Here’s a photo of John and Yoko Ono in Egypt by the pyramids in, I’m guessing, the late ‘70s some time (?)…
Below, an excerpt from ‘Lennon in America: 1971-1980, Based in Part on the Lost Lennon Diaries’ by author Geoffrey Giuliano. In it, he details what’s said to have went on when John and Yoko visited Egypt in 1977 and became involved in “a clandestine archaeological dig.” The trip came at a time when the Lennons had begun to “seriously” invest their finances in art, and “while the centrepiece of several valuable paintings was a Renoir, the bulk of their investment was poured into Egyptian artefacts. Relics included a skull, an infant’s breastplate, and a seven-foot lion statue.” Indeed, Ono herself has spoken of her interest for collecting Egyptian antiquities, and which she does, not only because they make a sound financial investment, but also for their “magic power.” In 1980, she said, “to make money, you have to spend money. But if you are going to make money, you have to make it with love. I love Egyptian art. I make sure to get all the Egyptian things, not for their value but for their magic power. Each piece has a certain magic power.” In the excerpt below, Giuliano also mentions a man by the name of Sam Green, an old friend of Yoko’s and “a flamboyant globe-trotting art-dealer… the black sheep from a privileged family… The son of illustrious professors, Green was an ingratiating personality who sought out the company of celebrity millionaires” including Greta Garbo and, it might interest you to know, a member of one of the ‘Illuminati bloodline families,’ Cécile de Rothschild. According to the family’s own website, she was a woman who “inherited many Rothschild passions: motoring, haute-cuisine, yachting, wine, gardening, golfing and painting. Aged 13, she was given by her father Cézanne’s ‘Les Baigneuses,’ and this item formed the basis of her considerable collection which included a number of works by Picasso.”
According to Giuliano’s book:
Sam Green learned from one of his colleagues about a clandestine archaeological dig being conducted in Egypt to unearth an ancient temple. The project, however, needed funding to complete the excavation. When Green relayed this news to Yoko, she could barely wire the money to Cairo fast enough, and began planning a visit to the site. Lennon, too, excited by the prospect of an intercontinental hunt for artefacts, couldn’t wait to get on the plane… John plunged enthusiastically into his sketchbook, drawing romantic Egyptian deserts dotted with camels and Bedouins. He purchased the proper wardrobe, got himself a new passport photo… At the same time, Yoko and Sam Green were finalising the details of a complicated plan to sidestep the Egyptian authorities. Because Egypt’s ancient national treasures were under assault by international art poachers, its governmental authorities instituted safeguards to protect these sacred gravesites, and even resorted to aerial searches to catch would-be raiders. John, eavesdropping from the next room on Yoko and Sam’s conversation, was thrilled to hear that accompanying them would be a cache of potent marijuana…
Arriving in Cairo, the Lennons checked into the ‘Nile Hilton.’ John took a nap before venturing into the city to purchase a wardrobe for the excavation. He ran into Thomas Hoving, former director of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, who was in Cairo on his own expedition for art. An enraptured John spent his first night exploring one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the great Cheops Pyramid, built by Pharaoh Khufu, founder of the Fourth Dynasty, around 2680 B.C. Afterwards, he took in the nightly Giza light-show extravaganza, a gaudy commercial tourist attraction he enjoyed thoroughly.
The next day Lennon awoke energised and refreshed. An ardent history buff, he enthusiastically toured the pyramid at Saqqara, which he found even more fascinating than the Cheops site. As he explored the underground chambers, he ran his hands across the hieroglyphics and marvelled at the intricacy of the ancient artwork on the stone walls. Coming upon an open sarcophagus, Lennon was unable to resist the temptation and recklessly tore off a scrap of material as a souvenir. Only later did he wonder if his blasphemous action had incurred the mummy’s curse; he was worried enough to call an emergency meeting with one of Yoko’s mystics.
While Lennon was exploring various sites, Ono was finalising details for the proposed visit to the illicit excavation. The more intent she became, the more Green feared her presence might cause problems. An internationally known celebrity couple wasn’t likely to go unnoticed by the Cairo authorities. Green used Thomas Hoving as a means to discourage Yoko’s plans. He concocted a story that the renowned art director had gotten word of their scheme for obtaining artefacts and stood prepared to alert the authorities himself unless all parties left Egypt immediately. Marlene Weiner, Yoko’s psychic du jour, confirmed the imagined threat, telling her that a certain assertive six-footer they’d meet in Cairo should be avoided. It wasn’t clear if Green encouraged her to make this statement… She (Yoko) was concerned enough to abandon the plan. Surprisingly, John wasn’t all that disappointed by the abrupt turn of events. He had already had his fill of Egypt and was more than anxious to go home.
In the book ‘John Lennon: A Biography,’ Jacqueline Edmondson, its author, notes that John, according to what Sam Green recalled, “believed he had lived” in Egypt “in a previous life.” As you might be well aware, in past articles on both this website and its parent, ‘Conspiro Media,’ I’ve shared the thoughts of veteran symbologist, Robert Richard Hieronimus Ph.D. who suggests that, whoever came up with the band-name, ‘The Beatles,’ may have been unconsciously inspired to do so by the lure of ancient Egyptian motifs, such as the insect, the scarab beetle. He says, “the beetle is actually – in ancient Egypt – a very, very sacred symbol.”
That’s because it was likened to the “ancient Egyptian beetle-headed god, Khepera, who represented the rising or morning sun. Khepera was among the original creation gods in Egyptian mythology… The scarab was held as a symbol of resurrection and fertility as beetles were believed to be the incarnation of Khepera. There is no reason to believe that whoever came up with the name ‘The Beatles’ was consciously intending to link their name with the Egyptian god of rebirth, but conscious or not, they chose a name which reflected what they were to accomplish – the act of creation. Later in life, John Lennon is reported to have become interested in world mythologies and especially in Egyptian magic. He may have begun to realise that symbols carry psychic energy even when they have not been consciously selected. Some might say synchronicity (meaningful coincidences) played a role in the naming of the most revered Rock and Roll group in history. Like attracts like.” You can read (and hear) more of Robert’s analysis about this (if you haven’t already) in this link:
According to what The Beatles themselves have said publicly about the origins of the band name, well, it’s a bit confusing and muddled in places because each member that’s spoken about it has recounted a different version of events to the other – but what they are all unanimous on is that it was derived, possibly, from ‘beetles.’ Indeed, for a time, in their earliest days, they did call themselves, The Silver Beetles. Some of the credit for this has been attributed to Stuart Sutcliffe, John Lennon’s friend from his art-college days in Liverpool. According to George Harrison in the official Beatles biography/documentary ‘Anthology,’ “it’s debatable where the name came from. John used to say that he invented it, but…” he went on, “there was The Crickets, who backed Buddy Holly, that similarity; but Stuart was really into Marlon Brando…” There’s a movie in particular Brando starred in, 1953’s ‘The Wild One,’ which follows the exploits of American motorcycle gangs ‘BRMC’ (‘Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’) led by Johnny Strabler (Brando) and the ‘Beetles’ whose head was Chino (played by Lee Marvin). Harrison recalled, “in the movie The Wild One there is a scene where Lee Marvin says: ‘Johnny, we’ve been looking for you, the Beetles have missed you, all the Beetles have missed you.’ Maybe John and Stu were both thinking about it at the time…” Interestingly, as an aside, one of the characters in the film is called ‘Gringo.’ However, there does appear to be a bit of a glitch in George’s account, because, the movie wasn’t released in the UK until 1967. Back in working-class Liverpool in the 1950s, before the days of internet and home-videos and DVDs, neither Harrison or his fellow band-mates would have been able to access it, unless of course they had friends in the motion-picture industry (highly doubtful, right) or physically went overseas to see it. According to McCartney, “it was John and Stuart who thought of the name. One April evening in 1960, John and Stuart announced: ‘Hey, we want to call the band The Beatles.’ We thought, ‘hmm, bit creepy, isn’t it? – It’s all right though, a double meaning.’ One of our favourite groups, The Crickets, had got a dual-meaning name: cricket the game, and crickets the little grasshoppers (we‘ve spoken to The Crickets since, and found that they hadn‘t realised that we had a game called cricket. They never knew they had a second meaning.)” For his part, John recalled, “I was looking for a name like The Crickets that meant two things, and from crickets I got to beetles. And I changed the BEA, because ‘beetles’ didn’t mean two things on its own. When you said it, people thought of crawly things and when you read it, it was beat music.” In the very early days of The Beatles’ fame the band did indeed adopt the beetle as part of their image, as this logo from their drum-kit shows. It ‘s said to have been designed by a Liverpool sign-writer by the name of Tex O’Hara…
And here’s Ringo seated behind it, February 17th, 1963…
There’s beetles imagery again to be seen in The Beatles’ debut big-screen movie ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ from 1964. Here’s a scene from it…
After I came across the photo of Ringo Starr and John with his eye and pyramid T-shirt, my original plan for posting it up here was to keep it all really plain and simple, just to share the pic and add maybe a small, brief couple of paragraphs with a bit of background info and some of my passing thoughts on it all. But then – call it synchronicity if you like – I found myself coming into contact with breaking events in the news of a Beatles-related matter and that have, to some degree or other, connections and connotations to ancient Egypt and pyramids. As a result, I’ve included them here too, it seemed like the logical thing to do because it adds more depth, perhaps, to the possible significance behind what John is wearing in the photo. And so, what happened is, one afternoon as I was contemplating how to get this article together, miles away in London, Paul McCartney was outside ‘Abbey Road Studios,’ the place of course where The Beatles recorded most of their music (and that was known at the time as ‘EMI Studios’). He was posing for a photograph on the zebra-crossing outside, the one made famous (as well as occult-icily notorious) by The Beatles after they walked across it for the cover of their album ‘Abbey Road.’ I came by the photo (and video) that same day, July 23rd (2018), when it was published in a brief article on the news-site, ‘MailOnline.’ It reported that, “Paul looked in great spirits as he headed out to the crossing to strike a pose on it – 49 years after the famous album cover was shot in the same location. The legendary musician was back at his old stomping ground for a secret gig…”
Being that I was working within a ‘pyramid’ frame of mind at the time, upon looking at the article, I was instantly reminded of the fact that the ‘Abbey Road’ album was originally going to be called ‘Everest,’ a title, it’s claimed, that was inspired by the brand of cigarettes regular Beatles and EMI Studios recording-engineer, Geoff Emerick smoked at the time.
According to a quote I picked up from ‘The Beatles Encyclopaedia: Everything Fab Four,’ and that is itself credited to an interview with renowned Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, McCartney claims the idea behind Everest came about because the band “were stuck for an album title, and the album didn’t appear to have any obvious concept, except that it had all been done in the studio and it had been done by us. And Emerick used to have these packets of Everest cigarettes always sitting by him, and we thought, ‘that’s good. It’s big and it’s expansive.’”
But, as “good” and “expansive” as it might have looked to them, and as attracted to the pyramid imagery of the idea as they might well have been, McCartney, according to the official Beatles documentary, ‘Anthology,’ claims that the band “never really liked that, but we couldn’t think of anything else to call it. Then one day I said, ‘I’ve got it!’ – I don’t know how I thought of it – Abbey Road! It’s the studio we’re in, which is fabulous.’” That’s not exactly how it’s reportedly remembered by one of the studio-team working on it. John Kurlander was an EMI Studios employee at the time and was assistant-engineer on the ‘Abbey Road’ album. The Beatles might have “never really liked” the Everest idea, but according to what he’s quoted as saying, they did talk of actually flying to the mount itself to take cover-photos for it. “It was around July, when it was very hot outside, that someone mentioned the possibility of the four of them taking a private plane over to the foothills of Mount Everest to shoot the cover photograph. But as they became more enthusiastic to finish the LP someone – I don’t remember whom – suggested, ‘look, I can’t be bothered to schlep all the way over to the Himalayas for a cover, why don’t we just go outside, take the photo there, call the LP Abbey Road and have done with it?’ That’s my memory of why it became Abbey Road: because they couldn’t be bothered to go to Tibet and get cold!” McCartney’s “secret gig” at Abbey Road Studios that the MailOnline article references featured a “star-strewn guest-list” including Hollywood actors Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom and the singer Kylie Minogue and rapper Stormzy. The set-list was a combination of Beatles, Wings and solo numbers as well as brand new songs from his forthcoming album, which is to be titled, ‘Egypt Station.’ Here’s a graphic for it…
Out in September, Egypt Station’s imminent release was announced on Paul McCartney’s birthday – June 18th – following a series of cryptic posts of symbols and Egyptian-themed graphics on his ‘Twitter’ page in the preceding days. It began with a doodle…
Then a few days later… This:
Then a day later – June 18th – this:
And then, finally, this
Just over a month after the announcement, McCartney spoke about the album at some length during a live onstage Q&A with broadcaster, musician and front-man of Brit band, Pulp, Jarvis Cocker. Paul said, “what I thought was – these days, you know – you got the big stars like Beyonce, Taylor Swift… Their songs are – in a way – a collection of singles – they’re all great commercial tracks – but it doesn’t kinda roll through like a Pink Floyd album used to. And so I thought, well, I can’t compete with that kind of Taylor Swift thing… So, you know… maybe what I can do is just do a sort of what used to be called a ‘concept album.’” On McCartney’s official website, he’s quoted as saying, “I liked the words ‘Egypt Station.’ It reminded me of the ‘album’ albums we used to make… ” He told Jarvis Cocker that the album begins “with a station noise, so you’re sort of in a station, and then a choir swells out of that, so it’s like Heavenly Station now – you’re trippin’ dude. And then it goes into the first song.” From what I could gather at the time of posting this article, the songs on the album – two of which I’ve heard – shared no common theme, lyrically that is, to suggest they were part of “a concept.” Indeed, according to McCartney’s official website, what ties all the unrelated tracks together is the idea that they’re all connected – to a music-journey, from one ‘station’ to another: “True to the inspiration behind its title, Egypt Station’s 14 songs combine to convey a unique travelogue vibe. Between the opening and closing instrumentals ‘Station I’ and ‘Station II’, each song finds Paul capturing a place or moment before transporting the listener seamlessly to the next destination. Stops along the way include an acoustic meditation on present day contentedness (‘Happy With You’), a timeless anthem that would fit on virtually any album of any McCartney era (‘People Want Peace’), and an epic multi-movement closer clocking in at seven minutes with a song suite structure harkening back to the days of Paul’s previous combos (‘Despite Repeated Warnings’). The result is a kaleidoscopic journey through myriad musical locales and eras, yet firmly rooted in the here and now…” The title, ‘Egypt Station,’ originates from a lithograph of the same name that McCartney created back in the late 1980s. He told Jarvis Cocker, “I did a painting, it had Egyptian iconography in it ‘cos I like that kind of thing – and just to remember it, I called it ‘Egypt Station,’ ‘cos it had sort of Egyptian things…” And here it is…
Any way, after painting it, according to Paul, “I never thought any more of it, but people quite liked it, and, I was looking at it one day and I thought, ‘quite a nice title that – Egypt Station.’ So I thought, ‘well, that could be the new album’s title… the painting could be the cover.’ So, that’s where it started, and then we got some really good art-directors who took it somewhere.” And here’s Egypt Station, the album-cover…
As for the actual lithograph and the inspiration behind it, Paul told Jarvis Cocker, “the thing was, I like kind of looking at reference books, history books often for old symbols. So, on the cover of Egypt Station… I’ll often see statues or Aztec, that kind of… So, I like those, and if I like the image, I’ll put it in the painting and just put other things in it, there’s a guy in there who’s definitely not Egyptian – and I’ll just mess it up so it kind of becomes kind of like a little surrealist composition.” On the website ‘McCartneyart.com,’ he gives more details about the symbols he was inspired by for the lithograph. He claims that his “original inspiration” was drawn from looking at a picture “with Egyptian symbols and shapes” from “a reference book on Egypt.” He goes on, “I was interested in the way they drew sunflowers, so two appear on the left and on the right. It was a nice shape, so I took that and then I also love the way they symbolise trees. I like the way they reduce a tree to just some very simple symbols.” I might be seeing it wrong but the lithograph/album-cover also shows the horned features of what looks like might be either an onyx or a ram, both of which are ancient Egyptian symbols, with the latter, of course, having been in some shape or form quite a prominent feature in McCartney’s post-Beatles recording career. His second album following the band’s break-up was ‘RAM,’ which was credited to Paul and his then-wife, Linda.
Aside from the album’s title and its front-cover – which was photographed at McCartney’s farm in Scotland – the only other reference to a ram of any type is the track, ‘Ram On.’ The lyrics, to me, don’t mean anything…
Ram on, give your heart to somebody
Soon, right away, right away
Who’s that coming now, they’re coming
Who’s that coming now, now, baby?
McCartney’s reported to have said the album-title came to him one day as he was driving. “I remember driving… and deciding that ‘Ram’ would be a good title for the album, then the picture came, and you can ‘ram’ a door down, and a ‘ram’ is a male, like a stag. It just seemed like a good word.” In 1977, six years on from RAM’s release, Paul brought out an instrumental, orchestrated version of it, but did so anonymously. Titled ‘Thrillington,’ it was credited to the ram-headed Percy ‘Thrills’ Thrillington…
Although McCartney is said to have overseen the recording of the album (indeed, he was the producer) he didn’t play on it, and Percy Thrillington was the fictional character he and his wife Linda created to be its star – no one was to know it was a Paul production. In the run-up to its release, the couple paid to have short Press-reports printed in the ‘classified’ sections of the newspapers about what ‘Thrills’ was up to. “Percy Thrillington has been persuaded to prolong his stay in Paris as he finds the springtime atmosphere most conducive to creativity,” read one. “Percy Thrillington, despite excesses on both social and business time, hopes to lend his support to today’s daffodil ball,” read another, and so it went on. According to the sleeve-notes of the album, Percy was “an enigmatic figure” who was born in Coventry, England in 1939 then “wandered the globe” as a young man, studied music and “gained expertise in conducting and arranging as well as the marketing end of the music business.” But his “long ambition” was to form his own orchestra and to record, which he did “after he met Paul McCartney who helped Thrillington secure a recording-contract.” It wasn’t until many years later, at the tail-end of the 1980s I‘m led to understand, that McCartney began saying anything in public about his role in the creation of the ‘Thrills’ character. He’s reported to have commented that it was “one of our madcap publicity schemes.” The actual orchestrator of ‘Thrillington,’ a man who’d been hired by Paul after previously working with producer Phil Spector as an arranger on the Beatles’ 1970 album ‘Let It Be,’ was Richard Hewson. He’s spoken in not very glowing terms about the credit for the RAM reworking going to Percy Thrillington over McCartney. “I wasn’t totally for it.” He thinks that maybe Paul “felt it was a better way to show his crazy ideas, but if he’d released it as ‘Paul McCartney Orchestral’ or something, it might have sold much better, because it didn’t sell very well… It’s a mystery that I’ve never quite figured out why he did it.” Well, there’s all sorts of mysteries surrounding the former Beatle, that’s for sure. He’s quoted as saying, “you could say that Percy Thrillington was Richard Hewson, or just a fictitious leader of a band that never appeared anywhere. We’ve put out some weird and wonderful things like that occasionally.” Then, interestingly, he reportedly went on to say, “we would put clues into songs about certain things, because if people are going to play mind games with our lyrics then we can play mind games with them.” Is “we” referring to Paul with Linda, or, Paul and his fellow Beatles, or both? Anyway, “Thrillington was one of those” in his catalogue of “mind games.” Many of course have held the Percy Thrillington character up, what with his ram’s head, as yet another occult clue connecting McCartney to ‘Satanic’ sympathies, and the horned deities Moloch and Baphomet are often illustrated as examples of this. But, I’m going to return specifically to Robert Hieronimus’s contention that either one, some or all of The Beatles were consciously or subconsciously attracted to ancient Egyptian motifs relating to rebirth / creation. We’ve already taken a look at the said significance of both the scarab beetle and Khepera in this. But, I’ll suggest… what about the ram, which has featured often enough in McCartney’s work for it, I think, to be mentioned and considered here? For example, maybe – just maybe – part of the “mystery” that Richard Hewson claims he can’t figure out behind the apparent importance to Paul of Percy ‘Thrills’ Thrillington can be explained by another ram-headed figure, the ancient Egyptian god, Khnum…
Khnum, like the beetle-headed Khepera, is regarded a god of creation. He’s the creator of human-beings, the bringer of life. He’s been described as the maker of the ‘cosmic egg.’
In the book ‘The Egyptian Hieroglyph Metaphysical Language’ by Egyptologist Moustafa Gadalla, we get a direct connection shared between Khnum, the ‘cosmic egg,’ as well as the beetle, which was, in Robert Hieronimus’s words, “a very, very sacred symbol,” because scarabs roll large balls of dung to lay their eggs in, and that eventually hatch with their young from there, a behaviour that Egyptians saw as an act of spontaneous self-creation hence its association with the life-giving sun-god, Khepera who “was said to be self-created, born of his own substance.” In his book, Moustafa Gadalla notes the significance of this particular species of insect through his translation of Horapollo Nilous:
To signify… birth… or the world, or Man, they (Egyptians) draw a scarab… it takes some cow-dung and makes a round ball of it, very much in the shape of the world. Rolling it with its hind legs from east to west, it faces the east, so as to give it the shape of the world, for the world is borne from the east to the west.
The Universal Bubble is egg-shaped and therefore the universal bubble is also called the Cosmic Egg.
Egyptian texts refer to Khnum as the one who:
“made the cosmic egg.”
Khnum represents the Cosmic Egg and all creation within it, as affirmed by references to his attributes in the Egyptian text as being:
– The modeller
– Governor of the House of Life – being the Cosmic Egg
– Maker of heaven and Earth, and the tuat, and water and the mountains
– The maker of things that are
– Creator of things that shall be
… the Cosmic Egg has same definitions as the ram-headed Khnum. Khnum is therefore almost always depicted next to or within the Cosmic Egg.
Khnum is, from my understanding, strongly associated with ancient Egyptian solar symbolism. According to one account I’ve read, he‘s described as being “soul of the sun-god,” Ra. The beetle-headed deity Khepera is allied with this sun-god too. Indeed, as mentioned earlier, in Robert Hieronimus’s words, “Khepera… represented the rising or morning sun.” He was the “Egyptian god of rebirth.” In his book, ‘The Secret Teaching of All Ages,’ the mystic, scholar, author and 33rd Degree Freemason, Manly P. Hall states, “Ra, the god of the sun… As the creator of the universe he was symbolised by the head of a scarab and was called Khepera, which signified the resurrection of the soul and a new life at the end of the mortal span. The scarab was the emissary of the sun…” Khnum is said to represent the nocturnal manifestation of the sun before it rises again the next day with Khepera. Below, a representation of what I understand to be the ancient Egyptian god, Nun holding up the barque (boat / barge) of Ra – and in the middle, the beetle…
Incidentally, with regards to Ra (pronounced: ‘Rah’), in 1977, the same year as the release of ‘Thrillington,’ its anonymous orchestrator, Richard Hewson, formed a studio project that would go on to enjoy a Top 10 UK hit single in the 1980s with ‘Clouds Across the Moon.’ He called it the RAH Band. According to his official website, he chose this name because he “was lucky enough to have the initials R.A.H. (Richard Anthony Hewson).” He doesn’t go into why that’s “lucky” for him… Nothing to do with ancient Egyptian symbolism, is it? I can only wonder.
Also (below) from the ‘Back to the Egg’ album, inner-sleeve artwork from the vinyl edition. I have no idea what it is, or where it was taken – perhaps maybe the roof of a church or cathedral?… But, what’d’ya think… Sun symbolism?…
‘Back to the Egg’ was Wings’ seventh and final studio-album before they split, and was recorded with an all-new line-up of the group. Released on the back-end of the Punk explosion and amidst the rise of New Wave, listening to it, you can hear these influences. There’s a hard-Rocking element to it, perhaps the hardest from all their recorded output as a band since forming in 1971. McCartney is reported as saying in 1979, “it was just a sort of back-to-the-beginning kind of feeling for us while we were making it. We were sort of trying different things, while we were making it, and that seemed to sum it up – Back to the Egg. A back-to-square-one kind of thing, you know?” Back to square one – back to the egg – complete with a band line-up of fresh members – the dawn of a new day, the rising of the sun. Rebirth – although they would part ways and split within a year or two later… to pinch a phrase from another Beatles blogger, Paul, from then on, was no longer a “Beatle with Wings” (beetle with wings).
Manly P. Hall states, “because of its relationship to the sun, the scarab symbolised the divine part of man’s nature. The fact that its beautiful wings were concealed under its glossy shell typified the winged soul of man hidden within its Earthly sheath.”
Included in the cover-art of the RAM album is a photograph of two beetles copulating…
Given that at the time of RAM’s release in 1971 McCartney was involved in a legal dispute against John, George and Ringo to have their partnership formerly dissolved, was continuing to exercise his hostility towards Allen Klein the notorious New York music-biz boss who’d become business-manager of The Beatles after he was voted in by all the band except Paul (who refused to sign with him), and was bickering in public with Lennon, some have commented that the copulating beetles pic was a deliberately-placed metaphor alluding to the bad vibes and sense of betrayal that McCartney was likely feeling. According to author Christopher Sandford in his book, ‘Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s,’ the “nature-photography library-shot of two beetles copulating” on the RAM album-cover “was interpreted in various ways: fucking Beatles, fuck The Beatles, fucked by The Beatles, Paul insists that its inclusion was purely accidental. ‘It was just a funny shot,’ he protests. ‘A photograph of two beetles shagging. I mean, that had to get on the cover. Then afterwards, you go, ‘oh, but they were beetles.’ To me they were just a couple of ladybirds or something. I swear to God I didn’t think about that. The thing is, whatever you do gets interpreted. And I don’t see half of it coming.’” Maybe Paul ‘didn’t see it coming,’ but – given the legal, personal and financial turbulence that he was getting from his strained relations with his ex-Beatles – one can’t be blamed for interpreting the copulating beetles as his reaction to this. There is, in Sandford’s words, a “fuck you” connation to RAM. Some of the songs on it, lyrically, are perceived to have been written as digs aimed at McCartney’s estranged partner, Lennon (most notably ‘Too Many People,’ ‘Dear Boy,’ and ‘3 Legs’). Also, the album’s title can be construed as an aggressive one if we’re to believe that it conjured up in Paul’s mind the picture of ‘ramming a door down.’ In the official mini-documentary, ‘Ramming,’ when he talks about how the word, ‘ram,’ came to him, he says, “Linda and I were travelling through Scotland… As I’m driving I’m just thinking… and I just hit upon the word, ‘ram.’ It’s a strong, it’s (a) male animal. And then there’s the idea of ramming – you know – pushing forward strongly. Very short, very succinct kind of title.” He was drawing a line in the sand and moving on – solo. Same as Back to the Egg, perhaps RAM should be regarded, symbolically, as a rebirth / a re-creation?… The ram in action. Recalling the previously-mentioned song ‘Ram On’… There’s an interesting idea put forward by the guy behind the website ‘Beatlesbible.com,’ that the track’s title might relate to a pseudonym that McCartney had used previously in the past. He’d adopted it briefly in his pre-fame Silver Beetles days after the band were booked to back a singer by the name of Johnny Gentle on a concert-tour of Scotland in 1960, a major achievement for the group who‘d struggled to get any big breaks. Paul says, “now we were truly professional, we could do something that we had been toying with for a long time, which was to change our names to real show-biz names… George became Carl Harrison after Carl Perkins, John was Long John… ” Paul became, Paul Ramon. “It’s French,” he’s recalled. “Ra-mon, that’s how you pronounce it.” Okay… but how about seeing it as: ‘Paul ram on’? Nine years later, in amidst the dying days of The Beatles, during the squabbles and the fall-outs, McCartney adopted the pseudonym again, this time to be used as a credit on a song he’d guest-played on titled ‘My Dark Hour.’ It was by the American musician/song-writer Steve Miller and released on his 1969 album titled, in case you’d like to know this, ‘Brave New World.’ Is Paul Ramon an A.K.A. for ‘ram on,’ RAM, the ram?… All and the same? Whether intended or not, in whatever variant these words have appeared, they have been a source of expression for him, from his days as a struggling teenage Silver Beetle and then out the other end of the Beatles’ split in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.
Okay, you’re now pretty much travelling on the last leg of this article, and, at this point, I’m going to take you down what I think will be a bit of a humorous route for some reading this, here’s some more about the ram-headed Khnum The Creator, or, more to the point, a fellow ancient Egyptian creation deity who’s closely associated with him, a female, described – depending where you look in your research – as his consort and/or his counterpart. Her name was Heqet (Hekat), goddess, it’s said, of life-giving and rebirth (here we go again) and she too was represented in the form of a human’s body with an animal’s head – that of, a frog – she was worshipped in the form of a frog(!). Anyone old enough to remember this from 1984?…
Alright, stop sniggering… Released as a single back in ‘84, ‘We All Stand Together’ by Paul McCartney and The Frog Chorus is – yes indeed – not only considered a very embarrassing, deeply low-quality point in his musical catalogue, but a source of much making fun of at his expense (but it did get into the British Top Ten singles chart reaching Number Two – twice!). If you’re too young (or lucky) never to have heard what all the ribbing’s about, you can listen to the song below. It was featured in the animated short ‘Rupert and the Frog Song’ starring the vintage comic-strip children’s character Rupert Bear – you’ll see him in the vid, it’s actually a scene from the film which was released in cinemas back in ‘84, a one-off production produced, financed and partly written by McCartney.
Okay… yeah… thing is, I have actually considered the esoteric aspects of this video… Heh, heh.. now you’ve seen it all, eh? An occult analysis of the Frog Chorus. However… think about it… the song probably did get a lot of the listening public all bewildered at the time of its release with them wondering what the hell possessed McCartney to record such a thing. Okay, sure, it was the song from a kid’s film, so people shouldn’t have expected a Rock/Pop masterpiece, but, why frogs? The ‘Rupert Bear’ stories, since they began back in the 1920s, have featured a wide array of regular characters in animal form such as Edward Trunk the elephant, Bill Badger the – well – badger, and Willie the mouse, to name a few, but rarely (if ever) anyone of a froggy or toad-like demeanour. In the ‘Rupert and the Frog Song’ film-short however, the story revolves almost entirely around Rupert and lots and lots of frogs – there’s hardly next to no sight of his usual cast of friends – with the exception of less than a minute’s-worth of an appearance of a couple of them in passing. So here’s Rupert, on the big-screen for the first time ever (as far as I’m aware), and his regular co-stars are almost nowhere to be seen. But… there’s lots and lots of frogs. What possessed McCartney indeed? Well, not stupidity I’m sure, and ancient Egyptian symbolism translated through a modern children’s cartoon isn’t far-fetched as a possible explanation for it all, is it?… I mean…
The ‘Rupert and the Frog Song’ film-short – which lasts around 12 minutes in length – follows one particular day in the life of Rupert, when he goes off for a walk in the countryside and accidentally discovers a cave leading to a secret world inhabited by talking frogs. He sneaks in and, with the moon having risen, he watches the ‘Frog Song’ spectacle, a musical extravaganza that only takes place once every couple of hundred years, and which is the actual full performance of ‘We All Stand Together’ as seen in the video above. During this rarest of rare events, the frog queen and king rise out of the water…
Heqet is symbolically connected to the Nile, as is Khnum, who’s also been dubbed “the king of frogs.”
The 19th century poet and writer and researcher of ancient Egypt, Gerald Massey, states in his written work ‘Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World’:
The frog was a lunar type… The name of the frog in Egyptian is Ka, whence the Lunar Lady, who was represented as a Frog, is designated Mistress Heka or Hekat, who was consort of the Solar God Khmun-Ra. An inscription in the ‘British Museum’ tells us that under one of his titles Khmun was called “the King of Frogs.” There is no proof, perhaps, of his being a Frog himself, but his son, Ptah, had a Frog-headed form, and his consort, Hekat, is the Frogess. Khmun-Ra is the nocturnal sun, and Hekat, his consort, is a representative of the Moon that transforms in the lower hemisphere, as the tadpole emerges from the waters in the form of a frog…
Below, a screen-cap from a scene from the ‘Rupert and the Frog Song’ film. It’s from the bit after the so-called ‘frog king and queen’ emerge from the water. I’ve also added the pic of Heqet within it for comparison…
Heqet has also been linked to the beetle-headed Khepera.
In the book ‘The Coffin of Heqata (Cairo JdE 36148): a Case Study of Egyptian Funeray Culture of the Early Middle Kingdom,’ its authors Ah and Harco Willems write, “there is… an analogy between the mysterious birth process of the frog (Heqet) and that of the scarab (Khopri / Khepera). The Egyptians believed that both were born spontaneously from the Earth. As a result of this self-generative aspect, the gods came to be understood as creators and as such as being involved in the process of solar (re-)birth. The coupling of Khopri and Heqet finds an interesting parallel in a regeneration amulet depicted in a Kushite relief of King Arnekhamani. It shows a scarab bracelet with frog’s legs.”
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no wizened expert when it comes to ancient symbols. I have a basic understanding and its that which guides me in putting together articles such as this one. So, as a result, there could be a lot I’m missing in my analysis – that’s certainly the case with regards to the ‘Rupert’ film. Any way… moving on now…
You’ve probably seen the pic below before (?). It’s the coat of arms that was granted to famed Beatles producer Sir George Martin in 2004. He was knighted by the UK’s Queen Elizabeth in the late ‘90s and, yep, it’s got beetles on it…
Assuming that those insects on the arms are meant to represent his close connection to The Beatles, I really don’t know why he chose only to feature three on there, although I am aware that some supporters of the ‘Paul is Dead’ theory/conspiracy have suggested it’s a clue hinting at McCartney’s ‘death’ in 1966. Also, for whatever reason, one of the beetles on there, is slightly larger than the other two.
According to the website ’CollegeOfArms.gov.UK,’ here’s what the coat of arms represents, but there’s no explanation for the apparent ‘missing beetle/Beatle’ or the larger one:
Arms: Azure on a Fress nebuly Argent between three Stag Beetles Or five Barrulets Sable.
Crest (upon a Helm with a wreath Argent and Azure): A House Martin proper holding under the sinister wing a Recorder in bend sinister mouthpiece downwards Or.
Badge: A zebra statant proper supporting with the dexter foreleg over the shoulder an Abbot’d Crozier Or.
And, so I’m led to understand, the words at the bottom of it, ‘amore solum opus est,’ translate to, ‘all you need is love.’
It was in 2001, if I’m not wrong, that McCartney was granted his coat of arms by, according to BeatlesBible.com, the previously-noted “College of Arms, part of the royal household. McCartney had originally applied for the coat of arms in 1997, the year he was knighted, but the death of his first wife Linda from cancer in 1998 delayed its design and approval.” Pictured below, “the coat depicts a guitar held by a Liver bird, a reference to his musical career and his Liverpool roots…” You might not be able to see it with a casual glance, but if you focus and look, according to the BeatlesBible, “the shield, featuring two black curved emblems, is divided in two” and “the resulting four shapes” resemble “beetles’ backs,” they “symbolise McCartney and his fellow Beatles…” A page on the website of ‘The Heraldry Society’ describes it as: “The four bits of beetle-back made by the flaunches, represent the four Beatles.” The motto at the bottom of the coat of arms, “ECCE COR MEUM (‘Behold My Heart’) refers to the oratorio written while his first wife Linda was dying.”
So there you have it, of his own volition, McCartney, through the imagery of his coat of arms, has aligned his family name in a most permanent fashion to the beetle, insect of inspiration for ‘The Beatles’ and a highly revered deity of ancient Egypt. Whether its inclusion is a reference in some degree or other to its occult associations to rebirth and creation, who am I to know, I‘m just some bloke blogging, so, there’s not much else I can do but offer up, as I’ve done in this article, some photos, album-art, words and names for your consideration. I do suggest though that what you should take into account if you choose to consider what I’ve posted is, McCartney’s comments during his Q&A with Jarvis Cocker when he spoke about the inspiration behind his Egypt Station lithograph. He said the images on it were derived from reference books he enjoys reading on ancient symbols, including Egyptian iconography because, “I like that kind of thing.” If that’s true, well, I’d lay money that, as he was flicking through the pages, he would have come across the figure of Khepera who was after all, in Robert Hieronimus’s words, “a very, very sacred symbol.” So, whether you believe McCartney has consciously been paying homage in his work to this deity or not, I’m of the view that he is fully aware of him, he has come across him. When that might have occurred, I don’t know, was it during the 1980s when he created his lithograph, or in his ‘ramming’ days of the 1970s, or back in the beginning when he was Paul Ramon of The Silver Beetles? Get an answer to that and you might find it to be a welcome clue if you’re of the opinion of or suspect that, yes, McCartney was indeed aligning himself with ancient gods of creation and rebirth. The same applies to John Lennon. He too I’m sure would’ve had knowledge of deities such as Khepera even if he wasn’t consciously drawing inspiration from them – after all, if nothing else, not only had he visited Egypt and its pyramids, but his wife was a collector of its antiquities for their “magic.”
And it’s on the subject of pyramids, actually, that I’m wrapping this article up now…
When news of McCartney’s new Egypt Station album was beginning to surface on the ‘net, someone I know brought my attention to one of the symbols that Paul was posting on social-media in the run-up to its official release-date announcement. Here it is, an image that was pointed out to me because it reminded them of something that they knew would’ve struck me…
I didn’t notice it, I didn’t click until it was spelt out for me, but, that symbol… Well, it don’t half look like the logo for this website’s parent, ConspiroMedia (!) and as devised and designed by myself and artist, Robbie Allen (I gave Robbie some ideas and a theme and he ran with it with gusto)…
Now… I for one am not going to suggest for one minute that it was an inspiration for McCartney and his design-team behind the Egypt Station album, but… there it is.
Twitter: @ChrisShawEditor Last known photos of John Lennon with Paul McCartney (1974); George Harrison (1974); & Ringo Starr (1979)
‘Come Together. John Lennon In His Time.’ – Jon Wiener (1995 edition)
YouTube: ‘John Lennon, Our World Is Run By Psychopaths “THE WORLD IS RUN BY INSANE PEOPLE”‘
YouTube: ‘Paul and Linda McCartney: Ramming – The Making of RAM – Documentary’
YouTube: ‘Rupert and the Frog Song (Featuring Paul McCartney’s ‘We All Stand Together’)’