Beatlemania

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This article is about the fan frenzy towards The Beatles. For the musical, see Beatlemania (musical). For the element in The Beatles: Rock Band, see The Beatles: Rock Band#Gameplay.

Beatlemania is a term that originated during the 1960s to describe the intense fan frenzy directed toward British rock band The Beatles during the early years of their success. The word is similar to the much earlier term Lisztomania, used to describe fan reaction to the concerts of pianist Franz Liszt.

History[edit]

Andi Lothian, a former Scottish music promoter, claims that he coined the term while speaking to a reporter at the Caird Hall Beatles concert that took place as part of The Beatles' Mini-Tour of Scotland, on 7 October 1963,[1][2] and an early printed use of the word is in The Daily Mirror 15 October 1963[3] in a news story about the previous day's Beatles concert in Cheltenham. Beatles' publicist Tony Barrow credited the press for the term, but saw the phenomenon as beginning with the band's appearance on the London Palladium TV show on 13 October 1963, at which point he no longer had to contact the press but had the press contacting him instead.[4]

Beatlemania was already evident when the band arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York in February 1964, but became common in the United States after The Beatles performed on several editions of The Ed Sullivan Show the same month. It was characterised by intense levels of hysteria and high-pitched screaming, demonstrated by female fans both at concerts and during the band's travels. The extent of Beatlemania in the United States is evidenced by their sales. During the 6½ years between the appearance of the "I Want to Hold Your Hand" single on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Let It Be LP, The Beatles had the Number One single in the US for a total of 59 weeks and topped the LP charts for 116 weeks. In other words they had the top-selling single one out of every six weeks, and the top-selling album one out of every three weeks.[5]

The world experienced its last major Beatlemania event on 29 August 1966 at San Francisco's Candlestick Park. On that evening the foursome performed their last live concert to a crowd of 25,000 at the end of The Beatles' 1966 US Tour. On that night The Beatles retired from touring and live performing.[6]

Similar coinage[edit]

The term later became the name of various tribute groups dedicated to singing the songs of The Beatles, many with impersonators of the group.[7][8]

The term has had a number of derivatives with the suffix "-mania", usually short-lived, to describe a similar phenomenon toward other bands, such as "Rollermania"[9] in the early 1970s for the Scottish band Bay City Rollers, "Menudomanía" in the 1980s to describe frenzy across Latin America for the boyband Menudo, and "Spicemania" in the 1990s[10][11] for the Spice Girls. In professional wrestling, the popularity of Hulk Hogan during his tenure led to the creation of the term Hulkamania. In modern times, the "-mania" suffix is often placed at the end of sports figures' names when they acquire sudden popularity, such as with Tim Tebow and his "Tebowmania" in 2011.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Radio interview, Radio Tay AM. Accessed 26 May 2007
  2. ^ Video interview, The Courier. Accessed 7 October 2013
  3. ^ > online text searchable archive of the Daily Mirror[dead link]
  4. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 27 - The British Are Coming! The British Art Coming!: The U.S.A. is invaded by a wave of long-haired English rockers. [Part 1]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu.  Track 5.
  5. ^ The Beatles Forever (1977), Nicholas Schaffner, McGraw-Hill Paperbacks, p. 216.
  6. ^ http://www.televideos.com/barryhood.htm
  7. ^ "Beatles Tribute band at". Beatlemanianow.com. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Jennifer Cantamessa, RJ Design. "Welcome to The Cast of Beatlemania". Moptops.com. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  9. ^ By brizzle born and bred Paul Townsend+ Add Contact (1 December 2007). ""1975 Rollermania comes to town" | Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Flickr. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  10. ^ Spice Mania BBC
  11. ^ Spice Mania in the 90s BBC

Further reading[edit]

  • André Millard, Beatlemania: Technology, Business, and Teen Culture in Cold War America. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.