Trailer for the upcoming Australian documentary.
TV Documentary: When the Beatles Drove us Wild, Tuesday June 10 8:30pm on ABC1
Fifty years after their only Australian tour, the ABC will screen a documentary on The Beatles ‘down under’ called When the Beatles Drove us Wild.
Narrated by Brian Dawe, who queued for three days to buy his tickets to the first concert in Adelaide, this features interviews with many leading Australians about their direct experiences.
Among those reminiscing are Glenn Shorrock, Jim Keays, Glenn A Baker, Blanche d’Alpuget, Jenny Key, ‘Little Pattie’, Chantal Contouri, ‘Molly’ Meldrum, Bob Francis, Bob Rogers andBob Katter.
Squeaky clean by day and musically charged at their concerts – it was a different story behind closed doors. Much of what really occurred on the Beatles’ Australian tour has never been told before. Like JFK before them the media indulged in the spoils of being on tour with the Beatles and turned a blind eye to the bedroom antics!
In June 1964, the Beatles made their one and only visit ‘Down Under’ and turned the southern hemisphere on its head!
The social turmoil caused by scenes of mass hysteria and the loss of control of public spaces was new and very unsettling for conservative authority figures.
In Adelaide a crowd estimated to be around 300,000 people (half the City’s population at the time)turned out in the streets to welcome the Beatles. It was the biggest reception the Beatles ever experienced, anywhere in the world.
In Melbourne the army was called in to help police control the crowd.
In Sydney over 10,000 girls entered a competition to win one of just 17 invitations to attend Paul’s 22nd birthday party!
The Beatles and their music embodied the future – a future of infinite possibilities. This was a future that promised a world of freedom and promised it to the young! For the first time in Australia and New Zealand, jobs were plentiful and there were a lot of people under twenty with disposable income. It was fun!
In Australia and NZ, the older generations, shaped by depression and war, seemed bewildered and alarmed at their children’s reaction to the Beatles.
What happened ‘Down Under’ in June 1964 was a mirror to what was evolving worldwide.
This was a time when the ‘baby boomer’ generation was just starting to find its voice and unwittingly flex its muscles. Youth culture was inventing itself, marshalling its forces and was on the march to change Australia, New Zealand and the World!