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Christianity will go,” said Lennon. “It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that. I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first, rock ’n’ roll or Christianity.

Birmingham disc jockeys Tommy Charles, left, and Doug Layton of Radio Station WAQY rip and break materials representing the British singing group the "Beatles" on August 8, 1966. The broadcasters started a "Ban the Beatles" campaign after Beatle John Lennon was quoted as saying his group is more popular than Jesus. Charles took exception to the statement as "absurd and sacrilegious." (AP Photo)
Birmingham disc jockeys Tommy Charles, left, and Doug Layton of Radio Station WAQY rip and break materials representing the British singing group the “Beatles” on August 8, 1966. The broadcasters started a “Ban the Beatles” campaign after Beatle John Lennon was quoted as saying his group is more popular than Jesus. Charles took exception to the statement as “absurd and sacrilegious.” (AP Phot

 


The Beatles went up in smoke near Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., on August 12, 1966 as neighborhood youngsters severed once and for all their two–year friendship with the four world figures. The Beatlemania bonfire, planned by Chuck Smith, 13, was in protest against John Lennon remark to the effect that the Beatles a
re “more popular than Jesus.” (AP Photo)

 


The Beatles appear to have lost their popularity at Beaver Meadows, a small community in northeastern Pennsylvania according to the sign, “God Forever, Beatles Never”, posted along Route 93, near Hazleton on August 10, 1966. A proposal in the Pa. legislature asks the ban of any future appearance of the Beatles in this state because of a remark attributed to one of the Beatles that they are more popular than Jesus Christ. (AP Photo)

Young churchfolk from nearby Sunnyvale on the San Francisco Peninsula protest against the Beatles and John Lennon's remark that the Beatles are more popular than Jesus.
Young churchfolk from nearby Sunnyvale on the San Francisco Peninsula protest against the Beatles and John Lennon’s remark that the Beatles are more popular than Jesus.

Text and image from flashbak

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Did you ever wonder about what The Beatles were up to on a week-to-week basis?  Are you a Beatles trivia buff?  Test your knowledge at PlanetRetro’s “Beatles This Week” as you look at what happened to The Beatles in a specific week in time.

December 7, 1963 – “With The Beatles” topped the British charts and remained there for 21 weeks.

December 12, 1963 – The Beatles became the first ever act to knock themselves off the UK charts when “I Want To Hold Your Hand” replaced “She Loves You.”

December 9, 1964 – “Beatles For Sale” entered the LP charts at Number 1.

December 12, 1965 – The band played at the Capitol Centre in Cardiff.  It was the final show of their last British tour.

December 8, 1980 – John Lennon was killed outside his home in the Dakota building in New York City.  He was shot four times at close range by Mark David Chapman.

Taken from PlanetRetro’s “Beatles This Week”

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When you were the most popular band in the world you could make money on just about any thing – Ted 😉

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The four members of the British hit band, the Beatles, have arrived in New York at the start of their first tour of the United States. The young men, with their now infamous mop-head hairstyles, stepped onto the tarmac at Kennedy Airport just after 1300 local time. There were more than 3,000 screaming teenagers at the airport. Many had skipped school or work. Some were in tears and some were carrying placards with phrases such as "I love you, please stay".

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The Beatles’ first scheduled appearance will be on American television on Sunday on the Ed Sullivan show. He apparently booked them to appear after seeing the huge crowds who greeted their return to Heathrow from Sweden last October.

Security barriers
More than 5,000 fans applied for tickets to be part of the audience for the live show – only 750 were lucky enough to get them.The Beatles – Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison – received maximum police protection, the kind of arrangement usually produced for kings and presidents.

There were security barriers too, without which, the Beatles would almost certainly have been crushed by the throng of screaming women.  Elsewhere in the United States, excitement over the Beatles’ arrival has reached almost fever-pitch. Their songs are playing constantly on radio stations, in shops and other places of work.

Millions of Beatle records have already been sold and a company called Puritan Fashions Incorporated, which describes itself as "the only exclusive official licensed manufacturer of Beatle wearing apparel" is marketing T-shirts, sweat shirts, turtle-neck sweaters, tight-legged trousers, night shirts, scarves and jewellery inspired by the Beatles.

Beatle wigs are also for sale at $2.99 each – or the equivalent of one guinea.

In Context
The Beatles were the first British band to break into the American market. Their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show reportedly led to a dip in the crime rate to a 50-year low as 73 million people or 40% of Americans tuned into watch. They performed the songs All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There and I Want To Hold Your Hand.

The band appeared twice on the Ed Sullivan show and their performances still rate as the second and third most-watched programmes in the history of US TV. Only the 1983 final episode of Korean war comedy MASH achieved more viewers

In February 2004, the Beatles were given the President’s Award at the Grammys to mark the 40th anniversary of what became known as "Beatlemania". It was accepted by the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.

Text from BBC’s On This Day

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April 23, 1964 – John Lennon was the guest of honor at a Foyle’s Literary Lunch in the Dorchester Hotel, London.

117397_beat6April 24, 1964 – The last movie scenes for “A Hard Day’s Night” were filmed in West Ealing.

April 25, 1964 – Peter and Gordon’s “World Without Love,” a composition by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, knocks “Can’t Buy Me Love” out of the #1 slot.

April 25, 1965 – “Ticket To Ride” reached the top of the British charts and stayed there for three weeks.

April 26, 1964 – After 15 weeks of not performing, The Beatles returned to the stage at the Empire Pool in Wembley.  It was the New Musical Express 1963-64 Annual Poll Winners’ All-Star Concert in front of a crowd of 10,000.

April 28, 1965 – The Beatles were presented with a Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group for “A Hard Day’s Night.”  This was done at the studio and taped so it could be broadcast in the US during the award show.

April 29, 1967 – The 14 Hour Technicolor Dream Event, (a multi-artist event) took place at Alexandra Palace.  John Lennon performed, and Yoko Ono was also a performer.

Text from “Retroplanet

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April 16, 1964 – “A Hard Day’s Night” was recorded in three hours at Abbey Road.

117397_beat4April 17, 1964 – The press announced that the movie The Beatles were working on was officially given the name “A Hard Day’s Night.”

April 19, 1967 – The Beatles and Co., a legal business partnership, was formed to bind the band together until 1977.

April 20, 1966 – The band began recording “And Your Bird Can Sing” and “Taxman.”

April 20, 1973 – “The Beatles 1962 – 1966” (the Red Album) was released in the UK, reaching No 3 in the charts. “The Beatles 1967 – 1970” (the Blue Album) was also released this day, and reached No 2 in the charts. Both albums stayed in the charts for 172 (Red) and 137 (Blue) weeks.

April 21, 1969 – John and Yoko Ono formed Bag Productions, a company to publish books and release films.

April 21, 1963 – The Beatles play to a crowd of 10,000 as part of the 14-act NME Poll Winner’s Concert at the Empire Pool in Wembley.

April 21, 1965 – Filming continued for the movie “Help!”

Text from “Retroplanet

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April 9, 1967 – The Monterey Pop Festival planning advisory board asked Paul to join them. He advised them to book Jimi Hendrix. (He gave an iconic performance.)

April 9, 1970 – John was at the Arthur Janov clinic, receiving treatment for heroin addiction.

April 12, 1968 – John and his wife Cynthia as well as George and his wife Pattie returned to London after a long trip to India, visiting and learning from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the International Academy of Transcendental Meditation.

BEATLES WAVING TO FANSApril 12, 1970 – Paul released his first solo LP, “McCartney” in Britain. It reached No. 2 in the charts.

April 13, 1963 – The band appeared on national BBC television for the first time when they recorded “The 625 Show” at Shepherd’s Bush.

April 13, 1964 – The Beatles received a Gold Disc in the US for “The Beatles Second Album.”

April 13, 1966 – Work was finished on “Love You To” and recording began on “Paperback Writer.”

April 14, 1969 – Paul and John recorded “The Ballad of John and Yoko.”

April 15, 1965 – The Beatles appeared on “Top of the Pops” performing “Ticket To Ride” for the first time.

Text from “Retroplanet

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April 2, 1968 – The band initiated Python Music Ltd, a new publishing company.

April 3, 1967 – George was the only Beatle around to work on “With You Without You.” He added the vocals, the sitar and acoustic guitar.

117387_beat2April 4, 1964 – The Beatles held all of the top five positions on the US Billboard charts. 1)”Can’t Buy Me Love” 2)”Twist and Shout” 3)”She Loves You” 4)”I Wanna Hold Your Hand” 5)”Please Please Me”

April 4, 1965 – After two months of filming their movie, “Help!” was chosen as the title.  Paul and John wrote the title track, “Help!”

April 5, 1963 – The Beatles received their first silver disc for “Please Please Me.”

April 5, 1964 – The opening scenes of “A Hard Day’s Night” were filmed at Marylebone Station in London.

April 6, 1965 – DJ Simon Dee from the pirate station Radio Caroline presented the band with a Bell award. Also, the EP “Beatles For Sale” was released in the UK.

April 6, 1966 – The first recording session for the album “Revolver” took place at Abbey Road. “Tomorrow Never Knows” was the first track to be recorded, and it only took three takes. New technology such as artificial double tracking, tape loops, and a Leslie speaker were experimented with.

April 8, 1968 – “Lady Madonna/”The Inner Light” received a gold disc in the US.

April 8, 1974 – Paul and Wings released “Band On The Run”/”Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five” in the US.

Text from “Retroplanet

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March 19, 1964 – The Beatles were presented with the Variety Club of Great Britain’s Award for Show Business Personalities of 1963 by Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

March 20, 1969 – John and Yoko were married at the British Consulate in the British protectorate of Gibraltar.

March 20, 1976 – Paul’s band, Wings, moved their world tour to Europe, starting with Copenhagen, Denmark.

March 21, 1984 – Strawberry Fields was opened in New York’s Central Park and was dedicated to John Lennon.

March 22, 1963 – The Beatles’ debut album, “Please Please Me,” was released in the UK.

March 23, 1964 – John Lennon’s first book, “In His Own Write” was published. He appeared on “Tonight” to promote it.

March 23, 1973 – US Immigration Service ordered John Lennon to leave the country within 60 days.  He fought back by applying for a green card.

March 25, 1966 – The photo session for “The Beatles Yesterday and Today” album took place. The pictures are now called the famous “butcher” photographs, showing the boys in white coats with headless baby dolls and raw meat draped over them. A limited number of albums with this picture were released until Capitol Records replaced the image with an inoffensive photograph on the cover.

March 25, 1969 – After their marriage and honeymoon, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held a seven-day bed-in for peace at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel in the Presidential Suite.

Text from “Retro Planet

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March 7, 1963 – The band performed as part of the Mersey Beat Showcase at the Elizabethan Ballroom in Nottingham.  They appeared with Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Big Three and Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas.

March 2, 1964 – Shooting began for the movie “A Hard Day’s Night.”  Also, the single “Twist and Shout”/”There’s a Place” was released in the U.S. and went to No. 2 on the Billboard charts.

March 6, 1965 – Filming for the movie “Help!” took place at Nassau Airport in the Bahamas.

March 4, 1966 – London’s “The Evening Standard” published an interview with Maureen Cleave in which John Lennon said that The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus now.”

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March 2, 1967 – Paul and John’s “Michelle” won Song of the Year at the ninth annual Grammy Awards.  Paul also won best performance for “Eleanor Rigby.”

March 2, 1969 – John played with Yoko at a concert performance at Lady Mitchell Hall, Cambridge, with an audience of 500.

March 6, 1970 – The Beatles’ last single, “Let It Be”/”You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” was released.  It reached No. 2 in the charts.  Also “Hey Jude,” the album, went gold in the U.S.

March 1, 1972 – John Lennon’s immigration visa had expired, and he faced being deported.  A battle with the authorities began, and the FBI started secret investigations on him.

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March 6, 1975 – After a breakup with Yoko lasting 18 months, John announced that they were officially back together again.

March 4, 1996 – “Real Love”/”Baby’s In Black” was released in the UK.  It was the second single released by Paul, George, and Ringo using an original John Lennon recording.  It reached No. 4 in the UK charts, and sold half a million copies in the U.S.

Text from “RetroPlanet

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Beatlemania arrives in the US

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The four members of the British hit band, the Beatles, have arrived in New York at the start of their first tour of the United States. The young men, with their now infamous mop-head hairstyles, stepped onto the tarmac at Kennedy Airport just after 1300 local time. There were more than 3,000 screaming teenagers at the airport. Many had skipped school or work. Some were in tears and some were carrying placards with phrases such as “I love you, please stay”.

The Beatles’ first scheduled appearance will be on American television on Sunday on the Ed Sullivan show. He apparently booked them to appear after seeing the huge crowds who greeted their return to Heathrow from Sweden last October.

Security barriers
More than 5,000 fans applied for tickets to be part of the audience for the live show – only 750 were lucky enough to get them.The Beatles – Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison – received maximum police protection, the kind of arrangement usually produced for kings and presidents. There were security barriers too, without which, the Beatles would almost certainly have been crushed by the throng of screaming women.

Elsewhere in the United States, excitement over the Beatles’ arrival has reached almost fever-pitch. Their songs are playing constantly on radio stations, in shops and other places of work. Millions of Beatle records have already been sold and a company called Puritan Fashions Incorporated, which describes itself as “the only exclusive official licensed manufacturer of Beatle wearing apparel” is marketing T-shirts, sweat shirts, turtle-neck sweaters, tight-legged trousers, night shirts, scarves and jewellery inspired by the Beatles.

 Beatle wigs are also for sale at $2.99 each – or the equivalent of one guinea.

In Context
117139_bm1The Beatles were the first British band to break into the American market.
Their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show reportedly led to a dip in the crime rate to a 50-year low as 73 million people or 40% of Americans tuned into watch. They performed the songs All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There and I Want To Hold Your Hand. The band appeared twice on the Ed Sullivan show and their performances still rate as the second and third most-watched programmes in the history of US TV. Only the 1983 final episode of Korean war comedy MASH achieved more viewers

In February 2004, the Beatles were given the President’s Award at the Grammys to mark the 40th anniversary of what became known as “Beatlemania”. It was accepted by the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.

Text from BBC home’s On This Day

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What an absolute ridiculous question, the Fab Four versus three falsetto wankers from the colonies. One need to be brain-dead even to think it, let alone ask it – Ted

Image found at “70s child

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The Beatles This Week

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September 4, 1962 – The Beatles had their first recording session at Abbey Road. “How Do You Do It” and “Love Me Do” were taped.

September 3, 1963 – The last three episodes of “Pop Go The Beatles” were recorded at Aeolian Hall, London.

August 30, 1964 – The band played at the Convention Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey in front of 18,000 fans.

September 4, 1964 – The Indonesian government banned Beatles haircuts.

August 31, 1965 – The last two shows of the band’s North American tour were held at Cow Palace in San Francisco.

September 4, 1965 – The single “Help!” reached No. 1 in the US, staying there for three weeks.

September 5, 1966 – John flew to Hanover, West Germany to prepare for his role as Private Gripweed in “How I Won the War.”

September 5, 1967 – After a break to mourn Brian Epstein’s death, the Beatles went back to Abbey Road to work on “Magical Mystery Tour.”

September 4, 1968 – The band was at Twickenham Studios to record promotional films for “Hey Jude” and “Revolution.”  A 36-piece orchestra and 300 singers were used for the chorus.

September 3, 1971 – John and Yoko Ono left England to fly to New York. It was the last time John would leave England

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11442_be1From BBC home’s “On This Day
The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, has been found dead at his Belgravia home in London. It is not yet clear how he died. Friends found his body in bed after his housekeeper raised the alarm.

Mr Epstein, 32, was due to travel tomorrow to Bangor in north Wales to join the Beatles at a meeting of the International Meditation Society. Paul McCartney and his girlfriend, Jane Asher, drove back to London in a chauffeur-driven car after hearing the news. The other Beatles were also returning to London.

Before leaving Bangor, John Lennon said: "Our meditations have given us confidence to stand such a shock." George Harrison said: "There is no such thing as death, only in the physical sense. We know he is ok now. He will return because he was striving for happiness and desired bliss so much." Brian Epstein’s housekeeper became worried when she did not get an answer after knocking on his bedroom door in the middle of the afternoon.

Friends, who had called round to see him, broke into the room and found him dead. The police were called. One of his business colleagues, Don Black, described his death as "a terrible and stupid accident". Another colleague said: "He has been unwell for some months. The reason for his death is at present unknown, but there were no untoward circumstances associated with it."

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A concert at the Saville Theatre, London, headed by Jimi Hendrix, was cancelled tonight in tribute to Mr Epstein. He owned the theatre’s lease. Mr Epstein brought a number of singers to fame. Apart from the Beatles, his other protégés included Cilla Black, Billy J Kramer, The Dakotas and Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Mr Epstein discovered the Beatles when they were still performing in blue jeans and leather jackets at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. He encouraged them to smarten up their image, wear suits and stop swearing and smoking in public – in order to broaden their appeal.

In January 1962 the band agreed a five year contract with Epstein, although he refused to sign it, saying their mutual regard for one another was enough. He got them their first record deal with EMI in October 1962 and by autumn 1963, Britain was engulfed by Beatlemania. Mr Epstein was a director of Northern Songs, the company which owned the copyright to McCartney and Lennons’ songs. He was also a major shareholder in Nems Enterprises, which in turn was a big shareholder in Northern Songs.

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In Context
A post mortem examination showed Brian Epstein died of an overdose of sleeping pills. The death was officially ruled as accidental, although it has often been speculated that it was suicide.

Brian Epstein started out in the family business as a furniture salesman. He quickly got bored and spent a year at RADA before returning to the family business.

The Epstein empire expanded to take over what was North End Road Music Stores and Brian was put in charge of the ground floor, which sold pianos and radios.

He began to sell gramophone records and the new department was so successful he opened a separate branch, which became known as NEMS.

The shop was just around the corner from the now-famous Cavern Club, where Brian first saw the Beatles play.

He looked after every aspect of the Beatles’ business careers and after he died their business affairs rapidly crumbled. By 1970 they had split up.

A Beatles’ autobiography, published in 2000, claimed Epstein wanted the Beatles to agree to a £50-a-week-for-life deal, which would have netted them just over £100,000 each, rather than the millions they actually earned.

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Did you ever wonder about what The Beatles were up to on a week-to-week basis?  Are you a Beatles trivia buff?  Test your knowledge here as you look at what happened to The Beatles in a specific week in time.

June 22, 1963 – John was taped for an appearance on “Juke Box Jury.” He insulted the singles that were out at the time, even Elvis Presley’s “Devil In Disguise.”

June 23, 1963 – The first Lennon-McCarthy song to enter the US charts was performed by Del Shannon.

June 26, 1963 – John and Paul wrote “She Loves You” after playing the Majestic Ballroom in London. Some say George helped, but he received no credit.

June 21, 1964 – The boys flew to New Zealand to continue their world tour.

June 24, 1965 – “A Spaniard in the Works,” John’s second book, was published.

June 27, 1965 – Continuing their tour, The Beatles played four performances at the Theatre Adriano in Rome.

June 21, 1966 – “She Said, She Said,” written by John, was recorded in one 7 hour session. The song has been said to be about a conversation between John and Peter Fonda while experiencing a LSD trip.

June 25, 1967 – The band appeared on the BBC’s “Our World,” performing “All You Need Is Love” for an estimated 400 million TV viewers on 5 continents. It was the last live television performance for the band.

June 26, 1970 – “Let It Be” was certified gold in the US.

June 22, 1973 – George’s album “Living in the Material World” was released in the UK.

  Text found at:RetroPlanet
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It is 50 years ago since The Beatles played their first gig at the Cavern Club in Liverpool – the venue where the band built their reputation and where Beatlemania was born.

Alex McKechnie, then 16, was in the crowd for that first show and went on to be a regular at the club:

11189_cav3"I saw The Beatles a few times in the north end of Liverpool and was working in Liverpool city centre as a messenger boy in a printing works when I heard that they were on at the Cavern in a lunchtime session.

"The Cavern was in the basement of a three or four storey warehouse. The public went down one flight of stone stairs and then there were three long arches.

"At the end of one of the long arches was a little tiny stage. That’s where the Beatles performed 292 times.

"I remember it being very highly charged with excitement. The music sounded even more exciting [than the previous gigs] because The Cavern was this little squashed space so the music sounded a bit louder, a bit more exciting and a bit more vital. About 20 to 30 people were there.

"The Beatles were the complete package – they didn’t just have a great singer, they had two great singers. They always did harmonies right from the very first time I saw them.

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"They could probably only afford two microphones, and so when one was doing the lead singing the other two were facing each other on the mic, and it was quite charismatic, it was nice to look at. They had a camaraderie about them.

"I never heard them singing one of their own songs because they were just a straight covers band at that time, as was everybody else in Liverpool.

"The standard songs that they sang – them and the other bands in Liverpool – were [by] Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly. The sound that I very clearly remember the Beatles playing in the Cavern was a Chuck Berry riff.

"As well as doing the stock standards, the Beatles were a bit different because they were better at playing complicated chords. The Beatles were a bit more adventurous.

"It wasn’t just the music and the singing, it was their lack of respect for the audience. At the Cavern for those first few gigs, they were quite irreverent to the audience and other people. They were sort of the first punk band. The Beatles were a law unto themselves on the stage.

"They were still doing that when they went to America – if someone asked them a question they didn’t give a serious answer, and that’s how they behaved on stage in the Cavern, and that’s why I think they liked it in the Cavern.

11189_cav4"They were the epitome of rebellion in Liverpool because they weren’t trying to imitate Cliff Richard and the Shadows doing little in time steps. They would dance out of step on purpose.

"That was their purpose in life – to upset the apple cart. They were so cheeky and so entertaining all around. They were a little bit of a voice for us against authority. I think they were rebels. We were mini rebels supporting them.

"Of course when I went back to work I used to stand gazing out of the window thinking about the Beatles and the girls at the Cavern. I couldn’t really concentrate on doing any work.

"Just in a few weeks they’d gained a bigger following. When word went around, the crowd grew and people kept coming back. Once you’d seen them, not many people didn’t go to see them again.

"They had big long queues, right down the length of the street and even round the corner at the bottom. But at that stage I’d dumped them.

"They started talking about going to London and making records and things like that. Betrayal.

"I wasn’t the only one. I think the ones who thought that they’d discovered them were a little clique and really did give up on them when the masses found them. It was only when I heard Love Me Do on the radio that I started getting interested in them again. My wife subsequently bought all the LPs but that first era of The Beatles was over for me."

Alex McKechnie was speaking to BBC News entertainment reporter Ian Youngs

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The Beatles 4-speed 17-1/2" x 10" x 6" NEMS record player 10956_brp

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This is considered by most collectors to be the ultimate piece to own of all commercial Beatles memorabilia. The 4-speed 17-1/2" x 10" x 6" NEMS record player was manufactured in 1964 and only 5000 were made. Very few survived, making it the most sought after item of Beatles memorabilia. So far only one or two mint or near mint units have turned up – the majority that have surfaced are in worn condition.
The colourful 20" x 11" x 7" packing box is even rarer, only a couple are known to exist. An owners manual was also included (pictured above). The serial numbers were on a piece of cardboard attached to the inside lid, and in most cases this has fallen off or is missing. The value has nearly doubled in the last three years for upper condition players, selling then from $1500 to $2000 and now in 1997 for $3000 and up, when they can be found.

Information like the one above and hundreds of others about the Beatles  can be found and enjoyed on The Beatles Virtual Museum. This is a must for any hard-core Beatles fan or anyone interested in the sixties music scene in Britain at all. Hit the thumbnail to the right to go there


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Article from the American magazine Sexology October 1964. Found at modernmechanix.com
The Beatles and their admirers have aroused widespread interest and attention. Fifty million dollars worth of goods bear their name as this article is written. These include wild Beatle wigs, Beatle sweaters, Beatle shirts, Beatle hats, Beatle buttons, etc., etc.

To most adults, the ear-piercing sounds, the jungle screams, and the strange body movements of teen-age Beatle fans are the hardest part of the Beatle-mania burden.

All kinds of speculations and explanations have been published about the Beatle fad. But one aspect seems to have escaped the observers’ attention, namely the sexual involvement of the youngsters.

Beatles fans in the grips of beatlemania

This is amazing since similar fads of past decades—the Sinatra frenzy and the Presley mania—should have convinced even the most sex-blind layman that it is the sex drive that time and again tosses millions of teenagers into hysterics.

Indeed, the sex glands are clearly guilty in the astounding audience response to the “art” of these mop-topped pop wailers from Liverpool. The self-forgetfulness of the young adorers is similar to sexual abandon.

Shrill shrieks break through the moaning—”Yeah, yeah, yeah”—that seem to push toward a climax. Boys here and girls there jump up and down as if they couldn’t hold the contents of the bladder any longer. Some, breathlessly exhausted, drum the rhythm on a neighbour’s chest; others move buttocks, hips and pelvis as if they were galloping on a horse. For some the performance ends when they faint.

Beatles fans in the grips of beatlemania

Sexual excitement may not be the only trigger to the release of such actions, but it certainly plays an eminent role in bringing this release about. There is even less doubt about the involvement of sexual feelings when two twelve-year-old girls exhibit to each other the signatures of their heroes printed on their panties while they rock ‘n’ roll with the beat of a Beatle record.

Beatle dolls (made of plastic) are passionately hugged in bed. Smaller ones, made of sugar candy, are enjoyed with immense delight. There are even chocolate-cake Beatles that appeal especially to children as young as 5 or 6.

In their attempts to convince parents that the children’s crusade to the lands of the beat is an innocent lark, some writers emphasize the “peculiarly sexless appeal” of the Beatles. A comparison would seem to confirm this judgment.

Beatles fans in the grips of beatlemania

Frank Sinatra’s crooning warmed up all the longing for wickedness in the bobby-soxers’ hearts; Elvis Presley tried to bulge with sex appeal; the four Liverpoolers appear as if they had intentionally removed themselves from sex competition.

“The way they wag their wigs” is considered cute and funny by their audience but definitely not sexy. Indeed, the mop-style hair-do, adopted in imitation of that of a German female photographer, not only gives them a clownish note, but it also blurs the line between the sexes.

However, this very fact has shaped their appeal to the youngsters who unexpectedly took the clowning seriously.

For if the Beatle enthusiasts are compared with the Presley and Sinatra fans, one difference becomes immediately evident: the majority belong to younger age groups.

Beatles fans in the grips of beatlemania

The ages of Beatle fans spread as far down as 9 years and include about 30 per cent boys. The solid nucleus consists of girls, 12 to 15 years old, still before or briefly after their first menstruation.

These age groups are characterized by distinctive qualities which every parent and every teacher recognizes.

“Puppy love” is a well-known cliché on the screen and in printed fiction. The treatment usually varies between “haw-haw, how funny,” and “oh, how pitiful they are.” For there they stand, these youngsters, filled with desire for each other yet unable to express it, clumsy, and as a result sometimes so hostile that they thwart their own hopes and intentions.

The cliché may be corny, but it does have some truth. And those mop-headed singers act as if they were pals of the youngsters, partly representing, partly making fun of their clumsiness and their appearance.

Beatles fans in the grips of beatlemania

Appearance is important. Affected by an awkward but unconquerable irregularity of growth, the older child and the young adolescent feel rather self – conscious. They express their feeling in grouchiness or aggressiveness. The parents are no great help.

Since these youngsters are hard to live with, the adults often show their disappointment. The children don’t like to be cuddled, patted, or kissed. Daddy’s little girl all of sudden spits hatred or sheds tears if father jokingly slaps her on the buttocks.

The snooping mother may find outcries of indignation in the 12-year-old daughter’s diary like the following: “I saw Him touch Her breast. And She let Him.” She may not know that Him and Her are she and her husband.

Sex becomes a problem. The children have become conscious of sin and social prohibitions. And their judgments are usually stricter than the rules require. On the other hand, they may giggle over a word that almost sounds like a well-known obscenity or sex term.

Beatles fans in the grips of beatlemania

This apparent sexlessness is mirrored in the apparent sexlessness of the Beatles. Their uncouthness dramatizes the pre-adolescents’ aversion to washing and grooming.

In other ways, too, the Beatles provide a safety valve. The frustrations of pre-adolescence and early adolescence are considerable. Overrating their maturity, the young people desire independence, but at the same time they are afraid of it.

The direction of the sex urge is not yet definitely determined. Homosexual thoughts stir feelings of guilt, heterosexual desires arouse feelings of inadequacy.

Confusions and frustrations of this kind seek an outlet in aggression. Yet aggression is not tolerated in our society.

The Beatles give them a legitimate opportunity for both second-hand and direct relief. The Beatle records themselves are an attack on cultured ears. Participation in a live performance does even more for them.

A girl of 15 was asked why she didn’t listen to her four heroes on television rather than standing in line for hours to see them on the stage. She replied: “I didn’t come to listen, I came to scream.”

Beatles fans in the grips of beatlemania

And that has become an essential part ,of the performance: yelling, pounding, stomping and singing along so loud that the performers themselves cannot be heard. This is an outlet for approval and for defiance. It raises their self-confidence.

Sometimes it also raises the courage to such a pitch that walls and seats and anything breakable cannot withstand destruction. Most often, fortunately, the mood remains within bearable limits, a mere flailing, a noisy rebellion against the demands of a not quite understood world.

Yet a happy rebellion. For those shaggy-haired idols offer the children identification as well as emotional outlets. They are a cool, cynical lot —as cool and unconcerned as their admirers would like to be.

Unperturbed, they admit that they can’t even sing and that they care about nothing except money. Cool. Courageous. Their admirers can see themselves replying to prying adults in similar words.

Hence there is truth in what a 14-year-old girl said when she was interviewed: “They lift my morale.”

But at the same time, the rhythm translates erotic tendencies into movements and moans, a wakening sex force that operates on a deeper level.

These half-adolescents know themselves to be sexually unattractive. They are prevented by the social conventions of the adult world from expressing their sexual urges. Their own group code keeps them from expressing their sentimental wants.

But here, following the lead of those uncombed scrawny fellows with their undisguised backstreet accent, they can admit, amidst tears, aggressive screams and burlesquing, that they too want to hold a hand.
_______________________________________________________________

Dr. Beigel, formerly professor in the Dept. of Psychology, Long Island University, is a consultant in personal and sex problems, author of “Sex from A to Z,” editor of “Advances in Sex Research,” and secretary of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex.

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Did you ever wonder about what The Beatles were up to on a week-to-week basis?  Are you a Beatles trivia buff?  Test your knowledge here as you look at what happened to The Beatles in a specific week in time.

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March 8, 1962 – The Beatles made their radio debut with “Teenagers Turn.” (“Here We Go”)

March 10, 1963 – The Beatles had to dress up as policemen to avoid the crowds gathered at the Hippodrome Theatre in Birmingham.  It was the second date of their British tour.

March 13, 1964 – The band recorded the last scenes for “A Hard Day’s Night” at Gatwick Airport.

March 8, 1965 – Brian Epstein received the Best Group Award of the Mecca Carl-Alan Awards from Princess Margaret on behalf of the Beatles.  The boys were in the Bahamas shooting scenes for the movie “Help!”

March 11, 1967 – Northern Songs announced that 446 cover versions of Paul’s “Yesterday” had been recorded since the song’s release.

March 14, 1967 – The clips for “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” were screened on the American show “Where The Action Is.”

March 12, 1969 – Paul married Linda Louise Eastman at Marylebone Register Office.

March 12, 1971 – In the London High Court, the Judge ruled in favour of Paul in his legal case to dissolve the Beatles partnership.

March 13, 1974 – Ringo released “Oh My My”/”Step Lightly” in the states.

March 10, 1975 – John released “Stand By Me”/”Move Over Ms. L” in the states.

March 11, 1997 – Paul received his knighthood at Buckingham Palace.

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The Beatles This Week

From “The Beatles this week” at the blog on RetroPlanet, a site well worth visiting for any retro buff.

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Did you ever wonder about what The Beatles were up to on a week-to-week basis?  Are you a Beatles trivia buff?  Test your knowledge here as you look at what happened to The Beatles in a specific week in time.

January 26, 1963 – The Beatles played at “The Greatest Teenage Dance” at the Co-operative Hall in Darwen, Lancashire, put on by the local Baptist Youth Club.

January 29, 1963 – The “Talent Spot” was broadcast on BBC television, starring The Beatles.

January 29, 1964 – The boys recorded “Can’t Buy Me Love” at the EMI Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris, France.  They also recorded “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” in German.

January 27, 1967 – The Beatles signed a new contract with EMI, good until January 1976.

January 27, 1967 – The Beatles signed a deal with Hunter Davies, who was planning to write a biography on the band.

January 30, 1967 – The first shoot at Knole Park, near Sevenoaks, Kent took place to produce promotional films for “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane.”

January 27, 1968 – John Lennon recorded an interview for “The Kenny Everett Show.”

January 28, 1968Paul McCartney rehearsed with Cilla Black for “Step Inside Love.”

January 30, 1968George Harrison finished the recording for “Wonderwall.”

January 28, 1969 – The Beatles recorded “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down.”

January 30, 1969 – The Beatles gave their last live performance on the roof of their Apple Studio building in London.  It lasted 42 minutes, and the police were called to make the band stop playing, as they had brought the area down below to a complete standstill.

January 31, 1969 – The band recorded “The Long and Winding Road” and “Let It Be” for the “Get Back” documentary.

January 27, 1970 – The Plastic Ono Band recorded John’s “Instant Karma.”

January 27, 1975 – Ringo’s “No No Song”/”Snookeroo” went on sale in the U.S.

January 26, 1976 – The Beatles contract with EMI ended.  Paul signed with them again, but Ringo and George signed with other labels.  John did not sign with anyone.

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