Tuesday January 12, 1999


Paul is alive, but four “lost” Beatle tunes are dead. In fact, they never existed outside the imaginations of journalist-turned-comedian Martin Lewis and the most rabid Beatles fans. Lewis confessed in Los Angeles yesterday that he invented the fab fakes to pad out an article about the Fab Four he wrote in the early ‘70s for a British magazine.

Now starring in a one-man show, “Great Exploitations!” Lewis expanded a too-short story by simply inventing four titles: “Colliding Circles,” Pink Litmus Paper Shirt,” “Deckchair” and “Left Is Right (And Right Is Wrong).” The band, (clockwise from top left) Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison, never blew the whistle, so music historians started to include the titles in Beatle bios - and record collectors have been hunting for the charla-tunes ever since.

Neil Innes, a co-creator of “The Rutles,” a ‘70’s Beatle spoof, is one of the few people in on the hoax. “God bless Martin for being able to carry it off for 28 years. It was good fun,” Innes told the Post from his London home. Lewis’ ruse is the biggest Beatle hoax since the “Paul is dead” craze in the ‘60s, when millions of fans convinced themselves that McCartney had died, and that his bandmates were leaving clues in their lyrics, album covers and records - if played backward.

The Martin Lewis Homepage