Beatlemania Essay, Research Paper
Fashion and music play a major role in influencing teenagers. Today, fashion and music are very diverse, with many different styles of dress and a variety of music. But it wasn?t always like this. Bellbottoms, platform shoes, and Rock-and-Roll dominated the 1960?s. And with Rock-and-Roll came the Beatles and Beatlemania. Beatlemania swept over the United States in the 1960?s.?The Beatles began in 1957 as teenage boys playing in cellars and drive bars in Liverpool, England, and Humburg, Germany.?(Wilkenson, p.1) The band consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. John Lennon to one author ?was never able to deal with the compromise that he had to make as a part of The Beatles. He knew that their image was a lie.?(Wilkenson, p.7) John
was the craziest Beatle of them all. His aunt Mimi raised him and he always knew he was a genius. Even though John had this knowledge he was always rebellious. He was the lead singer of The Beatles. Paul McCartney was the other singer in the band and he also played guitar. ?Paul McCartney was raised with a knowledge of music. He could play several instruments and had a lot of musical talents that the other Beatles lacked.?(Wilkenson, p.5) George Harrison was the youngest Beatle. He was quiet and shy. He hung around with the Beatles for two years before actually becoming a part of them. John and Paul let him carry their stuff to their gigs, and would sometimes let him play when they were short a guitar player. Because George was not old enough to do many things the Beatles did when they went out, he often stayed back, and practiced. By the time the Beatles became famous, George Harrison was playing lead guitar. Ringo Starr came into the Beatles in 1962 replacing Peter Best. Throughout their career the Beatles proved to be one of the most influential groups ever.
The Beatles came out with quite a few new songs in the beginning of their career. ?Influenced by American rock-and-roll artists of the late 1950?s such as Little Richard and Buddy Holly, the Beatles styled their songs after an American tradition of popular music songwriting that peaked in the
1920?s and 1930?s.?(Green, p.16) The first British hit was ?Love Me Do? in 1962 and the first American breakthrough was ?I Want to Hold Your Hand? in 1964. They also came out with the Sgt. Pepper album, which rocked the nation. ?Sgt. Pepper was a surprising artistic triumph from a group easily dismissed as a lightweight pop music combo. Yet as early as 1965, the Beatles demonstrated they were capable of more.?(Samuels, p.45) A couple of other songs that swept over the nation were ?With a Little Help From My Friends? and Lennon?s ?Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.? ?The cheerfully homey voice of Ringo Starr anchored the arresting pop song ?With a Little Help From My Friends?. Lennon?s ?Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds? was very descriptive.?(Samuels, p.25)
Beatlemania affected the United States and the teenagers that lived within very much so. Teenage boys began growing their hair longer to copy the Beatles. Teenage girls screamed so loudly during the band?s concerts that it was impossible to hear the music. At first, many parents feared the effects of Beatlemania. But the personal charm and musical appeal of the band soon conquered older listeners.
?By the mid 1960?s, it appeared that the Beatles had reached the pinnacle of achievement in the world of rock-and-roll.?(Samuels, p.19)
Lennon and McCartney songs like ?Help? and ?Yesterday? explored personal vulnerability and loss, demonstrating maturity and complexity far removed from the boy-girl themes found in much of the early 1960?s rock-and-roll. In November 1966, the Beatles entered London?s Abbey Road studios with producer George Martin, a pivotal figure in translating the band?s artistic concepts into workable music. The Beatles made two new songs, ?Penny Lane? and ?Strawberry Fields Forever?. These two songs showed what was to come in their career.
?In 1970 the Beatles split up. Each member pursued another musical career. Despite individual success, members were often approached with requests to reunite, fueling wide speculation until John Lennon?s murder in 1980.?(Green, p.41)
?The Beatles turned rock-and-roll from an American-dominated music style into an international phenomenon.?(Talbertino, p.76) Beatlemania swept across the United States in the 1960?s and opened the doors for later British bands.
Green, Greg. British Music. New York: Franklin Watts, 1983.
Rocke, Brad. ?The Beatles?. Time 26 September 1965: page 25.
Samuels, Vanessa. Beatlemania. Brookfield, Connecticut: The Millbrook
Talbertino, George. Beatlemania. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1989.
Wilkenson, Ben. ?Beatle Links?. 19 March 1999. Online. America Online.
Accessed 19 May 1999. Available http://www.gac.edu/~twalden/beatles.html