Catfished by Faux McCartney?
January 20, 2017 7:38 PM   Subscribe

In ~1996 I briefly corresponded with someone who may or may not have been Paul McCartney. Is there any way to find out if it was really him?

In 1996 I was 12 and completely obsessed with the Beatles. I spent large chunks of my weekends hanging out in AOL chatrooms playing Beatles lyrics trivia. One day someone in one of these chatrooms (who I don't recall knowing well) claimed to have the private AOL email used by the McCartney family. He or she shared this email with me, cautioning me not to contact them.

Being 12, I did anyway. The SN only popped up on my buddy list a handful of times, and I spoke to someone who claimed to be Heather McCartney. She was polite, but seemed (rightfully) irritated to be talking to a 12 year old American fan and asked several times that I not bother them. At some point, I also sent one email to the email address and received a friendly, brief message back from someone claiming to be Paul McCartney. All I remember was that he signed it "Be sure to eat your vegetables!" At some point I told my mother about this, and she sent him a heartfelt message to him about how "Let It Be" really helped her with my dad's death. If I recall correctly, she received a longer letter back from him.

The email address wasn't obviously related to Paul McCartney or the Beatles though it did contain some coded identifying information (I feel odd sharing it here, old habits die hard, maybe). I was listening to the Beatles the other day and randomly remembered all of this. It struck me for the first time that it might have been a prank-part of me almost hopes so, because in retrospect the idea of harassing a high profile celeb at age 12 is a little embarrassing. But another part of me is tickled by the notion that Paul McCartney might have told me to eat my vegetables. Is there any way to find out if I was really AOL buddies with Sir Paul? Were any mefites personally or professionally associated with him in the mid-90s and aware of whether or not he had a non-public AOL account?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You could try tweeting at him and linking to this question and see if he replies. But the tweets are pretty marketing-like and I don't see any replies to fans, so I assume the account is run by a promotions company and that you're not likely to get a reply. But you can try.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:34 PM on January 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

It is unlikely you will ever get definitive confirmation that the people with whom you corresponded were Heather and Paul. Ever if it is the correct publicized email addy, who knows who actually answered. I hope you do find out and that it was the McCartneys.

If it were me, in the absence of definitive proof, I would assume it was. Why not? Why doubt it because of some unknowns. I would believe the best. I would also eat my vegetables!
posted by AugustWest at 9:02 PM on January 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

You might tweet a link to this page to the Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn (@marklewisohn) who seems like a good egg and to whom no bit of trivia is too minor if it's Beatles-related.
posted by in278s at 9:23 PM on January 20, 2017 [15 favorites]

I would totally tweet this at him. It's probably the easiest way to get it to within a couple of degrees. It could work, good luck!
posted by rhizome at 9:53 PM on January 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have a vague memory of reading a news story once about Paul hanging out in the AOL chat rooms - so if my memory is accurate that could be a point in favor of "it could have happened."
posted by COD at 6:34 AM on January 21, 2017

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