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Bonnie Botham Bonnie Botham
Bedford, NS
Joined: 11/15/2009
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Russ Gibb Dies at 87 5/1/2019
Detroit Free Press
Russ Gibb, the farsighted arts lover and entrepreneur who helped ignite Detroit´s live rock scene, but became famous for helping to spread the "Paul is Dead" hoax in 1969, died Tuesday April 29 in Garden City after a series of medical struggles. The longtime Dearborn resident was 87.

Gibb was on the air at WKNR-FM in October 1969 when a listener called to discuss rumors, then circulating on the underground, that Beatle Paul McCartney had died. Gibb gleefully took up the discussion on his show, pushing the story into the limelight and ultimately helping kick off a cottage industry of "Paul is dead" conspiracy theories based on clues from Beatles lyrics and imagery. Gibb was a guest on Beatle Brunch several times discussing the conspiracy where Paul McCartney had died and was replaced by an imposter - lookalike, William Campbell.

Gibb — a larger-than-life character known to local music fans as "Uncle Russ" — transformed the Grande Ballroom into Detroit´s psychedelic-rock palace in 1966, a game-changing move that launched an indelible chapter in Detroit music history. It was just one hallmark in a colorful life that included decades as a beloved video-production teacher at Dearborn High School.

Gibb, who had been battling health issues the past several years, was rushed Tuesday afternoon to Garden City Hospital after suffering respiratory distress while at the Heartland rehabilitation center in Dearborn Heights. He died Tuesday evening at the hospital, said Andy Fradkin, a former student of Gibb who held power of attorney.

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