In Honor of The Beatles' 'Ed Sullivan' Debut We Ranked The 8 Craziest Beatlemania Moments Ever
Fifty years ago today The Beatles played on The Ed Sullivan Show and gained fans across the country with their lively music. The band played to 60% of the American public, an audience of 74 million viewers in 23 million homes, breaking the record for any TV show up to that point. This memorable TV event just might be the reason Beatlemania swept the States.
In honor of that momentous night and the Beatles' legendary career, the Grammys are airing a special tribute to the great band featuring Beatle covers from musicians like John Legend, Alicia Keys, Keith Urban, Annie Lennox and Stevie Wonder. As if the Grammy performances by Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney during the actual Grammys weren't enough for Beatles' fans, both plan to participate in the special tribute along with Beatles' family members like Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Dhani Harrison in the special, titled The Beatles: The Night That Changed America on CBS.
Looking back on the Beatles rise to greatness starting in America, it's impossible to forget the wild frenzy of fans that the Beatles amassed, the likes of which had never been seen before. Dubbed "Beatlemania," throngs of screaming and sobbing girls welcomed the Beatles into the country and their popularity only grew from there. So while the Grammys recognize the finer points of Beatles history, we're going to take a look back into the craziest moments of Beatlemania.
1. GIRLS ATE THE GRASS THE BEATLES WALKED ON
These crazy fans wouldn't worship the clumps of green ground that the band walked on, but they would actually consume it. Hardcore.
2. A GIRL ALMOST DIED TRYING TO MAIL HERSELF TO THE BAND
In 1966, Carol Dryden sealed herself in a crate marked "Presents for the Beatles" and asked her friend to pay the $8.40 postage fee. Fortunately her plot was discovered before she suffocated to death from the lack of air holes in the box.
3. FANS DEFACED JOHN LENNON'S HOUSE
As Beatlemania was just beginning several fans found out where John Lennon lived and descended upon his house, many of them carving their names into the front door. One fan even carved "Ringo" which makes little sense as it wasn't even his house. Lennon's wife Cynthia said of the graffiti: "You should see the outside of the house. It’s been scrawled on by people with messages that can’t be removed. They’re engraved. I know you expect people to find out where we’re living, but it’s a strange thing to want to do.”
4. A FAN ONCE RAN ON STAGE TO SHAKE JOHN LENNON'S HAND IN THE MIDDLE OF A CONCERT
These security-defying fans were cray. At least Lennon found it funny.
5. THEY WERE EXTREME SWOONERS
All the crying and screaming and general expression of emotions simply became too much for some fans and many legitimately fainted.
6. THEY PELTED THE BEATLES WITH CANDY
George Harrison once said in an interview that he loved jelly babies, a soft British candy, which Americans translated into "jelly beans." And what do you do with your band's favorite candy? Throw it at them, obviously. During the Beatles Washington D.C. concert fans pelted the band with the hard candy for the entirety of the concert. George Harrison said afterwards, "We were absolutely pelted by the f*****g things. They don’t have soft jelly babies there, they have hard jelly beans. To make matters worse, we were on a circular stage, so they hit us from all sides. Imagine waves of rock-hard little bullets raining down on you from the sky."
7. THEY STOLE LOCKS OF HAIR
Everything the Beatles touched was important to the fans; bedsheets from the hotels they stayed in were cut into small squares and sold for fortunes. But one fan took things a step further when she snuck up on Ringo Starr at a party and cut a lock of his hair off.
"I just went clip, clip, clip, clip, clip all around the side, and he didn't feel it at first," the fan said when she was interviewed about the incident in 2012.
8. THEY WERE MORE RABID THAN BELIEBERS
In the end Beatlemania can be summed up quite nicely by this video of screaming, hysterical crowds. Respect to the world's original fangirls.
Image: Getty Images; thebeatals/Tumblr