markus heuger's



  Abstract 0369
  Johnson, Bruce (2001), "The Beatles in Australia." In: Yrjö Heinonen, Markus Heuger, Sheila Whitely, Terhi Nurmesjärvi and Jouni Koskimäki (eds.), Beatlestudies 3. Proceedings of the Beatles 2000 conference. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä (Department of Music, Research Reports 23), 2001, 69-77.
  When the Beatles arrived in Australia they were welcomed by the biggest crowds of their carier, particularly in Adelaide. There were local reasons for this, including the city's demography, and the fact that local fans had successfully petitioned tour management for a concert in an itinerary that initially bypassed the city. Of course, the Beatles and the "English Invasion" were pivotal in the history of twentieth century popular music, but their impact in Australia was distinctive in ways that are instructive to any account of the global pop diaspora. The crowds that greeted The Beatles' arrival were just the first sign of their impact, and this article examines the longer term influence of the band on Australian music and popular culture. Popular music in Australia grew out of distinctive national traditions and geography, situated in a larger history marked by a deep distrust of popular recreation.
  The main aim of this study is to set the Beatles in the context of an anglophone society, but one which was far distant and culturally liminal in relation to the main contemporary sources of pop, unlike the U.K. which had produced the Beatles, and the US, which had largely fathered the rock revolution. Prior to the "English Invasion" Australian popular music had absorbed rock in forms dominated by a convergence of US musical styles with local narratives and composition. It was also nurtured largely in performance rather than through recordings, in interaction between live audiences and performers who were part of the same community, who frequently knew the musicians personally. Rock itself thus occupied an ambivalent position. It was both local yet foreign. On one hand it was outrageously rebellious and a source of media-fuelled moral panic. Yet it was also interwoven with local middle and working class communities: police clubs sponsored rock dances, parents often helped their kids to prepare and promote their performances.
  The Beatles intersected this dynamic in profound ways. They awakened hitherto muted resonances in the Australian consciousness, they presented new ways of 'staging' and authorising youth culture, and they provided an emergent Australian pop music with new scenarios for commercial exploitation and mediation. If late fifties Australian rock was a case of a youth culture created by youth, the post-Beatles era saw the rise of a youth culture made for youth.
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