Roll Over Beethoven — The Beatles' Australian Tour

Moore, Keith (2002) Roll Over Beethoven — The Beatles' Australian Tour. In Hanna, Barbara E., Buys, Laurie, Summerville, Jennifer A., & Woodley, Emma J. (Eds.) Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, 22 November 2002, Carseldine, QUT.


On Friday 12 June 1964, a crowd of more than 300,000 people congregated in the streets of Adelaide to see the Beatles. 'Hysteria in City', 'Amazing scenes as Hotel Besieged' and 'Beatle Frenzy' the headlines in Adelaide’s newspapers shouted. Two days later, 30,000 'screaming, chanting, struggling' teenagers massed outside Melbourne's Southern Cross hotel to glimpse the Beatles. Clearly distressed, television reporter Tony Charlton exclaimed: 'Mothers, if your child is out there, you should be ashamed'. 'The stupidity of letting your children come to something like this must be hitting home'. With mounted police carrying collapsed teenagers from the mayhem and about 150 injuries, the spectacle frightened many observers.

In Sydney too, Beatlemania, reigned supreme, as more than 10,000 'screaming, squealing, stomping fans packed into the Beatles' concerts. A number of lucky fans attended Paul McCartney’s birthday party.

The Beatles performed in New Zealand, before returning to Australia to play at Brisbane. Again the group generated frenzied and hysterical cheering and uncontrollable screaming from their fans, with the Courier-Mail reporting that during the concerts 'the thumping guitars and piercing screams could be heard a block away'. But the Brisbane visit was an anti-climax in many ways. Although 8000 fans greeted the Beatles at the airport, university students, sick of hearing Beatles records on the radio and Beatlemaina more generally, threw eggs at the 'fab four'. Furthermore, the police prevented large crowds from congregating outside the Beatles’ hotel.

This paper examines the Beatles' tour of Australia and the effects of Beatlemania in the four Australian cities that the musicians visited.

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ID Code: 9824
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Beatles, Rock and Roll, teenagers, 1960s, music, rebellion, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
ISBN: 1741070031
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Keith Moore
Deposited On: 01 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2011 05:43

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