Beatles Impact on New Zealand Society

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During the 60’s New Zealand teenagers were becoming increasing connected in the international youth culture thanks to technology such as the television. Weeks before the Beatles were due to tour New Zealand, television introduced the majority of country to the band when a special about the band was shown. Teenagers were already hooked by their records, with their biggest hit being ‘She loves you’. The popularity and fame of the Beatles worldwide had a huge impact on the small country of New Zealand.

One impact the Beatles had on New Zealand was the mass hysteria created amongst their teenage fans, especially young women. Seven thousand screaming fans awaited them when they landed in the country, and the events that took place at the airport foreshadowed the crazed chaos that would follow them during their tour. A girl badly slashed her thigh trying to climb a wire fence to get to them, and two others were forced through the fence itself due to the pressure of so many others pushing behind them. The team of 30 officers there underestimated the security required, a mistake that occurred again at their concerts in New Zealand, with the sheer number of fans overwhelming the small number of police available. Throughout the course of their tour pandemonium broke loose – teenagers damaging police motorbikes, girls broke into hotels just to catch a glimpse of the Beatles, a clump of hair was torn from John Lennon’s hair, Ringo was injured, and the list goes on. The obsession with these stars drove young women to insane measures, throwing themselves at cars and slashing their wrists upon being refused an introduction. The Beatles themselves grew angry, not only over their physical injuries suffered thanks to fans, but from the fact that their music was drowned out by constant screaming, meaning no one in the audience could actually enjoy their songs. These were definite negative consequences of the Beatles impact on New Zealand, as the crazed fans posed massive...
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