Forget New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, and One Direction. The first pop group to cause mass hysteria in every far-flung corner of the globe was unquestionably The Beatles. Yes, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr no doubt enjoyed the perks of being the kind of stars that every man wanted to be and every woman wanted to be with. But their stratospheric levels of fame also came with a price. Here’s a look at 30 photos that show how Beatlemania was often synonymous with danger.
1. “Three Beatles grimace at crowd antics”
In this photo, George seems to be taking all the madness in his stride, but two of his bandmates look entirely unnerved. Yes, it’s clear that Paul and Ringo aren’t exactly enjoying all the screaming fans from the grimaces on their faces. In fact, the latter looks like he’s just seen a ghost! Who knows where John was at the time? But apparently all four members of The Beatles were at John F. Kennedy International Airport for a changeover as they continued their tour of North America.
2. Police drop fan
You might expect that two policemen would have little problem lifting an injured Beatles fan to safety. But the pair in question here look as if they’re about to add to her woes. Yes, the poor youngster in blatant pain is on the verge of being dropped by the men carrying her out from the crowd. Let’s just hope she enjoyed the parts of the show at Vancouver’s Empire Stadium she did get to see. The gig was part of the Fab Four’s North American tour in the summer of 1964.
3. Fans sobbing at a concert
Screaming incredibly loud wasn’t the only noise pollution The Beatles had to put up with whenever they took to the live stage. Their highly emotional fans also had a habit of bursting into uncontrollable tears upon coming face to face with their musical heroes. No doubt that staff at Comiskey Park in Chicago had to stock up on tissues when John, Paul, George, and Ringo came to town for one particular 1960s gig. Approximately 20,000 tearful Fab Four lovers descended to the venue, many of whom turned on the waterworks.
4. Buy your own Beatles’ hair
John, George, and Ringo might not have had much hairdressing experience. But you can’t blame Paul for relying on his bandmates to give him a trim as seen in the right-hand side of this throwback photo. It appears as though at least one former barber — or perhaps one of their other clients — helped themselves to a lock of the bassist’s hair during a previous snip. And to capitalize on the need for all things Fab Four, the shrewd hair collector then sold their slightly icky stash for a cold, hard profit.