The Beatles were a mystical happening that many people still
don't understand. Phenomenoligists had a ball in 1964 with
Beatlemania, a generally harmless form of madness which came from
Britain in 1963. The sole cause of Beatlemania is a quartet of young
Englishmen known as the Beatles. In the less than one year that they
achieved popularity in England to the time they came to America, The
Beatles achieved a popularity and following that is unprecedented in
the history of show business in England. They became the first
recording artists anywhere in the world to have a record become a
million-seller before it's release. They became the target of such
adoration by their fans that they had to cancel all one-night bookings
because of riots in early 1964. Beatlemania had reached unbelievable
proportions in England, it became a form of reverse lend-lease and
spread to the United States. Capitol records followed the Beatles'
single record with the release of an album, "Meet the Beatles," in
late January of 1964. That event was followed by the Beatles
themselves, who arrived in New York February 8, 1964 for three
appearances with Ed Sullivan. The first show was scheduled for Sunday,
February 9, the second was telecast from Miami a week later, and the
third pre-taped for an airing in March. These concerts were the most
watched television programs ever (70 million viewers) until recently.
The Beatles' arrival in the United States was presaged by a deluge of
advance publicity. Newsweek, Time, and Life have chronicled
Beatlemania, UPI, and the AP(Associated Press) had done their part for
the cause (including an AP wirephoto of J. Paul Getty sporting a
Beatle wig), and even Vogue shoved high fashion aside momentarily in
it's January, 1964 issue and carried a full-page photo of the group.
Baltimore's respected Evening Sun took notice of the coming of the
Beatles on it's editorial page at that time. Said the Sun: "The
Beatles are coming. Those four words are said to be enough to jelly
the spine of the most courageous police captain in Britain... Since,
in this case, the Beatles are coming to America, America had better
take thought as to how it will deal with the invasion... Indeed, a
restrained 'Beatles, go home,' might be just the thing." Precisely
how, when, and where Beatlemania got started nobody- not even their
late manager Brian Epstein(who died of a drug overdose in 1967) can
say for sure. The Beatles are a product of Liverpool, which had a
population of some 300 rock and roll bands( or "beat groups," as
Liverpudlians are wont to call them). The beat groups hawked their
musical wares in countless small cellar clubs, old stores and movie
houses, even in a converted church, nearly all of which are in
proximity to the Mersey River. Out of all these groups came, somehow,
the Beatles. And they had to go to Germany to do it. In order to
better their Liverpool take-home pay of around $15. per week apiece,
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo (so called
because of his penchant for wearing at least four rings) Starr took a
tramp steamer to Hamburg and a job which moved them up a bit
financially, if not in class. There, in a raucous and rowdy strip
joint, the Indra Club, the Beatles became the first entertainers to
play louder than the audience. There, too, they were "discovered" by
English promoter and talent agent, Brian Epstein, who has since become
deservedly known as "the fifth Beatle." Under Epstein's shrewd
guidance, the Beatles soon found themselves signing a contract with
Britain's giant Electric & Musical Industries, Ltd., the largest
recording organization in the world and major stockholder in Capitol
Records, Inc.; headlining concerts throughout Britain; and appearing
on television. Their first recording, "Love Me Do," was issued by
EMI's Parlophone label in October, 1962. It sold a respectable 100,000
copies, and it was the last time a Beatle single sold less than half
million copies. The first million-seller, "She Loves You," came out in
the spring of 1963. It was followed by two albums, "Please, Please Me"
and "With the Beatles." Both LP's sold over 300,000 copies.1 Then,
finally, came the unprecedented success of the newest single record,
"I Want to