Why did Beatlemania happen
pop musicThe Beatles began their first US tour 50 years ago
"Ladies and Gentlemen: The Beatles!"
As the Beatles in February 1964 on the Ed Sullivan show live on US broadcaster CBS
were seen, around 73 million Americans sat in front of their home screen - a record in television history at the time. The Liverpool band, who set foot on the American continent for the first time on February 7, 1964 and thus began their phenomenal world career, had been largely unknown in the United States until recently.
Even in Great Britain the "Fab Four" had only been able to place their first number one hit in the charts a year earlier. A few weeks before their arrival they also succeeded in the USA, and now a hysteria spanning the globe, hitherto unknown, followed, which was to go down in pop music history as "Beatlemania".
Brian Epstein had cleverly prepared the landing of the Beatles in New York with accompanying promotional measures. The manager promised everyone who joined the group
John F. Kennedy Airport would receive a Beatles record as a gift, and more than 5,000 fans gathered there. And 200 journalists, whose sometimes provocative questions the Liverpoolers knew how to answer with good-humored mischief.
Journalist: "Would you please sing something?"
All Beatles: "No, no - next question!"
Request from a journalist: "... you can’t sing?"
John Lennon: "No, we need money first."
Lots of hysterical girls
"First the fee, then the music" - with answers like this, the troupe was able to keep the press happy, appear self-confident and yet avoid an overly rebellious aura. This mixture of honesty - the Beatles mostly appeared in suits and ties at that time - and music aimed at the emotions of the mostly female audience hit the nerve of a youth looking for emotional outlets.
The Beatles' songs stormed the hit lists and all sales records were exceeded. Especially on the second, larger USA tour in the summer of the same year, all dams broke. Police protection was necessary around the clock, and there were riots at concerts. The mere presence of the Beatles seemed to be a disruptive factor. Jim Rhodes, the Republican governor of Ohio, in a televised address:
"The question is, can you put 14,000 kids in a stadium knowing they're coming here to get hysterical because the whole show is designed to create hysteria? The girls passed out, their eyes glazed over, some tore their hair out, tore their clothes, some kissed the stage, kissed the seats on which the Beatles had sat. "
Appearances became a burden
The fact that the Beatles' live activities would end quickly was primarily due to a technical reason. George Martin, the group's producer:
"John, Paul and George stood at microphones in front of a screaming crowd of 60,000 people, Ringo was behind on the drums. They couldn't hear themselves. Today you have a different technique in concerts, the musicians have monitor boxes, they hear what is happening. You didn't have that back then. "
The Beatles found the performances increasingly a burden, and two and a half years after their first arrival in the USA, in August 1966, the band began to gradually break up with their last live concert worldwide in San Francisco. She withdrew to the protected studio. In addition to increasingly advanced productions, more and more independent, solo pieces by individual members were created there - until the group finally disbanded in 1970.
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