Book: The Beatles in Perspective
Chapter: 8. The Beatles and Fandom
The roles of fans, both collectively and individually, have been crucial to the cultural mediation and even construction of The Beatles. This chapter chronologically discusses key manifestations of such processes. The Beatles Monthly fanzine commoditised the Beatles as four lovable mops tops, while letters published from girls as published in the magazines carried a highly sexualised subtext. Beatles Monthly also provided a space where original meanings of The Beatles’ image and music were translated into various sexual meanings. With Beatles conventions, beginning in 1974 in New York, fans began to take their own forms of ownership over the Beatles’ legacy (at a time when the group itself seemed uninterested). The Beatles phenomenon has also produced the curious hybrid of the journalist/fan, and with further forms of creativity, the work of slash fiction and innovative remixes as disseminated on YouTube, thus experimenting with form itself in new ways of hearing – and in important sense, ‘owning’ The Beatles’ music.