The idea of a double or impersonator has been employed by just about every writer of fiction at one time or another. Actors play dual roles or have stand-ins all the time. The question is: Have the Beatles had more than their share of allusions to the double?
There are real doubles in Beatles history. They had stunt doubles for the skiing scenes in the movie, "Help."
I'm surprised that grandfatheraleister/joshblue33 hasn't used that image in any video yet. He must love the hand signals.
More recently, Paul McCartney used a "look-a-like" in his video for Dance Tonight. He was used mainly for testing lighting etc., but there actually was a shot of him in the video itself...from the knees down.
Going back to "Help," there is a scene where the other Beatles impersonate Ringo in order to trap the thugs who are trying to kidnap him.
But after 1966, the examples of Beatle Doubles rose dramatically. We have two sets of Beatles on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The Magical Mystery Tour film gave us not only the Beatles on the bus, but also the 4 or 5 magicians beyond the blue horizon.
Yellow Submarine's plot involved the Beatles passing for the original Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
We can also include the Beatles seeing themselves as they passed through the sea of time, as well as the two Paul's on the submarine for no apparent reason.
The poster in the White Album contains the picture that most PID enthusiasts believe is Paul's imposter before plastic surgery.
The solo years are also filled with references to doubles. In the 1971 film "Imagine" (not to be confused with the 1988 Andrew Solt documentary) John is seen on the toilet after the song "Crippled Inside." After a flush, he and Yoko walk to the window and say good morning to another John and Yoko who are having tea below.
Ringo Starr's 1978 Television Special was based on The Prince and the Pauper and featured Ringo in a dual role as himself and a "nerd" named Ognir Rrats.
The backwards name and the plot line with a pop star being replaced by a look-a-like would raise a few eyebrows anyway, but the cameo by George Harrison makes it even more compelling. Harrison's bit is one of the funniest parts of the show. When a reporter asks George why Ringo is being chased by the police, his response is "Well, a fireman wouldn't chase you would he?" In the end, Ringo is reunited with his double and switches places just in time for his big concert.
Paul McCartney is the prize winner for the most doubles. Again, you see multiple versions of rock stars all the time in videos, but has Paul had more than his share? There are several Pauls in Coming Up.
For the "Goodnight Tonight" video, you have this guy on bass...
...and this guy on percussion...
McCartney did the double thing again with his recent "Ever Present Past" video.
We know about all of the McCartney alter egos on record (e.g. Percy Thrillington, Country Hams, Fireman, etc.) but there is also an example of a picture sleeve replacement. If you bought the Ferry Aid charity single "Let It Be" it might have come in a sleeve with this Paul McCartney on the top left.
But on your next trip to the record shop you could have purchased that same single with a different Paul McCartney on the sleeve.
The subject of Rotten Apple video 61 was the Red Square Press Conference. In it, Paul appears to be asked, "Are you a natural or double?"
Even with consideration for the language barrier that is an odd way to ask the question that we are interpreting to mean, "Are you the real Paul McCartney?" But let's assume that our interpretation is correct. We also know that Iamaphoney is not always honest with his editing. However, I have the source video, and while there was some editing done in other parts of it, I can tell you that Paul's response to the "natural or double" question, "That's a secret, I can't tell you" was shown exactly the same as in the original. So, unless we are wrong about the meaning of the question, we have to score one for Iamaphoney.