How Teen Girls' Hysteria for Boy Bands Became an Unstoppable Force



Boy band hysteria officially began outside the London Palladium on the October 13, 1963. The Beatles could barely get to their own concert through the mob of violently excited fans. Women screamed and wailed, pushed through security and tried to mount their car.

The black and white photographs are iconic; it was the moment four young men from Liverpool undid feminine decorum. When you hear the term "Beatlemania," you instantly picture hoards of screaming female fans. It's so powerful an association, you'd think women didn't know what to do with their larynx until they'd heard Paul McCartney sing," She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah."

We already know that kind of display makes men nervous. This is what journalist Paul Johnson wrote in New Statesman in 1964: "Those who flock round the Beatles, who scream themselves into hysteria, whose vacant faces flicker over the TV screen, are the least fortunate of their generation, the dull, the idle, the failures..." What those Beatles fans did was a beautiful thing. Yes, they were having fun, but they also discovered a sacred formula: four young musician guys with terrific hair.

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