When the Beatles came to Australia: ‘Letters to the editor were apoplectic about their hair’

Tout sur les Beatles

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Sixty years since the Fab Four arrived to mass hysteria, a new book captures the thousands who lined up for a glimpse, the moral panic and resulting generation gap

It was exactly 60 years ago that the Beatles arrived in Australia. For those of us who weren’t there – perhaps even those lucky enough to see Taylor Swift’s Eras tour – it’s hard to fathom the level of hysteria that accompanied their 1964 tour: in Adelaide 300,000 people lined the streets to welcome the band on 12 June – the largest crowd ever to greet the Fab Four.

Like Swift, seemingly every waking moment of the Beatles’ tour was dissected; editors were savvy enough to know just mentioning their name was a way of increasing circulation. Now that historic fortnight in Australia and New Zealand has been exhaustively documented in a new book by Greg Armstrong and Andy Neill, When We Was Fab.

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