Manage episode 344503974 series 2421448
For many, the Beatles offered a delightful alternative to the dull and the staid, while for others, the mop-top haircuts, the unsettling music, and the hysterical girls that greeted the British imports wherever they went were a symbol of unwelcome social and cultural change. This opposition to the group--more widespread and deeper rooted in Chicago than in any other major American city--increased as the decade wore on, especially when the Beatles adopted more extreme countercultural values.
At the center of this book is a cast of characters engulfed by the whirlwind of Beatlemania, including the unyielding figure of Mayor Richard J. Daley who deemed the Beatles a threat to the well-being of his city; the Chicago Tribune editor who first warned the nation about the Beatle menace; George Harrison's sister, Louise, who became a regular presence on Chicago radio; the socialist revolutionary who staged all of the Beatles' concerts in the city and used much of the profits from the shows to fund left-wing causes; the African-American girl who braved an intimidating environment to see the Beatles in concert; a fan club founder who disbelievingly found herself occupying a room opposite her heroes when they stayed at her father's hotel; the University of Chicago medical student who spent his summer vacation playing in a group that opened for the Beatles' on their last tour; and the suburban record store owner who opened a teen club modeled on the Cavern in Liverpool that hosted some of the biggest bands in the world.
Drawing on historical and contemporary accounts, Joy and Fear: The Beatles, Chicago and the 1960s (Permuted Press, 2020) brings to life the frenzied excitement of Beatlemania in 1960s Chicago, while also illustrating the deep-seated hostility from the establishment toward the Beatles.
John F. Lyons is a Professor of History at Joliet Junior College in Illinois where he teaches classes in British and American history. John on Twitter.
Bradley Morgan is a media arts professional in Chicago and author of U2's The Joshua Tree: Planting Roots in Mythic America. He manages partnerships on behalf of CHIRP Radio 107.1 FM, serves as a co-chair of the associate board at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and volunteers in the music archive at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Bradley Morgan on Twitter.
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