This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first visit to America, their watershed appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and the start of a British Invasion that forever changed pop music, galvanized youth culture around the world and fueled the social and political upheavals of the 1960s and beyond.
“There’s always a tension between young people, who spontaneously generate their own culture from below, and the commercial interests who try to co-opt it for profit,” says Chad Martin, a University of Indianapolis history professor who specializes in modern British history, Western pop culture and international youth culture. “The Beatles inspired young people to recapture their own culture from the marketers and the corporations.”
Martin is available to discuss various themes surrounding the Beatles and the British Invasion phenomenon, including:
• The rise of the self-contained, songwriting guitar band as a central concept in pop music, sparking waves of imitators and revolutionizing the entertainment industry.
• Music’s role in boosting the economy and the spirit of a United Kingdom that was still reeling from the effects of World War II.
• The series of poor business decisions that cost the Beatles millions, despite their runaway success.
“On the plus side, their 1967 contract changed the rules of record royalty rates in favor of artists,” Martin says. “But overall, I'd say they were a template of what not to do.”
INTERVIEWS: University of Indianapolis Assistant Professor Chad Martin, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University, is available for interview on this and related topics. To schedule, contact UIndy media relations at (317) 371-5240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.