The Beatles belonged to every teenage girl. Again, the behaviour sounds very familiar to the modern reader. One thing our society seems to value is moderation. The baby boom meant there were more teenagers than there had been for Elvis or Sinatra, with more money in their pockets, filled with a powerful sense that society was changing. Best of all, there were four of them, each with his distinct appeal, so you could choose which one reflected your own preferences and desires. Fandom represents excess and is therefore seen as negative. It wasn't just entertainment.
The Beatles are the Book of Genesis. I still feel that Cliff and Elvis fans were from an earlier generation even though there was only a couple of years in it. The critic Barbara Ehrenreich noted in a essay that while mainstream culture was increasingly sexualised paging Philip Larkin , teenage girls were still expected to be paragons of purity. One writer in Berlin, where the phenomenon began in , bemoaned the frenzy as "a depressing sign of the stupidity, the insensitivity, and the aesthetic emptiness of the public". It wasn't just entertainment. Of course, as with Liszt, the band's talent, charisma and showmanship were key, but two crucial extrinsic factors were timing and television. It was absolute pandemonium. What made Beatlemania a fan frenzy of a different order? In an infamous New Statesman essay Paul Johnson sneered: George seemed a bit nothing. The baby boom meant there were more teenagers than there had been for Elvis or Sinatra, with more money in their pockets, filled with a powerful sense that society was changing. They were adorable, they were different, they were irreverent and our parents didn't approve of them, which made it even better. I would never dream of being cheeky to my parents so that was our little outlet. Girls fainting, screaming, wet seats. It was like the Relief of Mafeking! We liked boys but boys were still a bit less mature than girls. But catchy new words have a magical power in the media. Either way, the phenomenon predated the label. Once it caught on, it seemed to cement the phenomenon in the collective imagination. We weren't at the age yet when we were permitted to date. Share via Email 7 February It was first applied to fandom in when German poet and essayist Heinrich Heine coined the word Lisztomania to describe the "true madness, unheard of in the annals of furore" that broke out at concerts by the piano virtuoso Franz Liszt. I think they were intimidated by the fact the girls were so attracted to these young men. There's a whole range of cultural prejudices. Best of all, there were four of them, each with his distinct appeal, so you could choose which one reflected your own preferences and desires. The Beatles belonged to every teenage girl. One thing our society seems to value is moderation.
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