The Beatles

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The Beatles

Contents

Introduction

The Beatles fan fiction community likely traces its roots back to the mid to late 1960s. During this era and during the ensuing thirty years, most of the fan fiction created by this community was probably drawerfic or published in fanzines related to the band.

Origins

Before Star Trek aired in 1966, the Beatles made their American debut and on February 7, 1964, they arrived in New York City for their first American tour. (Whelan) According to Barbara Ehrenreich, Elizabeth Hess, Gloria Jacobs in their essay "Beatlemania: Girls Just Want to Have Fun," this marked "the first mass outburst of the sixties to feature women – in this case girls, who would not reach full adulthood until the seventies and the emergence of a genuinely political movement for women’s liberation." This group was composed of primarily middle class, white teenagers. The Beatles were rejected early by many adults for due to the group member's long hair and sexually explicit lyrics. African American teenage girls of all classes were not fans of the group on a large scale, preferring music like jazz, the blues and other music coming out of their own communities. (Ehrenreich) This group of fans would, like other groups of fans before them, create their own fan products. This included fanzines. The fannish oral tradition alive today is implicit in their being fictional stories about band members being circulated during the early years of the band's history. This is substantiated by Ehrenreich, Hess and Jacob's essay which says such things as "girls exchanged Beatle magazines or cards, and gathered to speculate obsessively on the details and nuances of Beatle life."

Homosexuality

But what about homosexuality? The Beatles were at the forefront for many white, middle class teenage girls in helping them redefine their own definition of sexuality and their own defintions of what it meant to be female. (Ehrenreich) This was taking place in an era where there was that increased debate on subjects like "birth, a woman's obligation to society, and conception, bringing with it all of the bitterness and acrimony that have long surrounded these issues, beginning with perhaps the most obvious one of them all -- Sexism." (Rowland) Legal gender differences between men and women were beginning to fall. (Rowland) For young fans of the Beatles, popular culture was helping them by giving them real examples of people challenging American perceptions of gender. Real men just did not have long hair back then. The traditional middle class reacted to some of these changing gender roles, the "feminizing" of men by questioning a person's sexuality or clearly labelling them homosexual. During this period, homosexuality was being portrayed to the middle class, with some help from working class homosexuals who were seeking to gain equal rights to practice certain sex acts, as permiscious, with homosexuals having loads and loads of sex, of being homosexuals being obsessed with sex and not participating in long term monogamous relationships. Beatles fen were discussing these things, liking the fact that these traditional gender roles were being upset. They found the Beatles sexy. At the same time, these fen, like their fellow fen forty years later, fantasized about being involved with a member of the band. The average fan knew this wasn't possible, since the Beatles all had girlfriends/wives at the time. During a television performence each member was shown in close-up with their names on the screen, underneath John Lennon's name was a caption that said "Sorry girls, he's married!" The fans resented when a member of the band was involved with other women. They did not want to see that happen. It is highly probable, that given this and the fact that they were writing fictional stories featuring the Beatles, that some of the Beatles were written as homosexual if only as a way to ensure that the object of the fan's lust, since they could not be hers, would never belong to another female fan. A 1991 film, called "The Hours and Times" is one of these examples, a fictional take on a vacation to Barcelona taken by Lennon and the group's manager Brian Epstein, who was a closeted homosexual.

The Internet & Recent History

  • By 1997, this community was definitively on-line. In this year, "With Strings Attached" was written. This story was one of the most famous pieces of novel length fantasy pieces Beatles fan fiction written. The community benefited when, on October 15, 1998, FanFiction.Net was founded. This multifandom automated fan fiction archive allowed for the publishing of real person fic based on musical groups. Beatles fans quickly found the way there. By 2000, probably before, this community had several mailing lists. One example of a Beatles mailing list is beatlesfanfictionlist, founded on September 24, 2000.

After this event, parts of this community moved to LiveJournal. Most Beatles fanfiction on livejournal is slash and can be found on communities such as Beatlesslash, JohnheartPaul, and LennonHarrison. Of these, johnheartpaul is the most active as well as being the most active Beatles discussion group on livejournal as a whole.

See also Beatles internet fandom for more information about on-line Beatles fandom and fan communities.

  • To date, May 2010, there continues to be smaller but very active Beatles Fan Fiction sites of the "hetero," that is, "non-slash" variety as well. In addition to LiveJournal communities such as beatlesfanfics and the community at the "Beatles Fan Fiction Directory" bffd, there are also individual sites such as Das liebchen kind [[1]].


Terminology

Below is a list of terms and their definitions that are used in this fan fiction community.

This section needs more information.

Kerfluffles

This section needs more information.

Influential Stories

This section needs more information.

Fandom Members

This section needs more information.

Fandom Size

This section needs more information.

External Links

See also


Sources

  • Kidder, Kristine. "Passing Out and Acting Up with young female music fans" Bitch magazine. pgs 82-86. Issue 32, Summer 2005.
  • Hess, Elizabeth, Gloria Jacobs, and Barbara Ehrenreich. Adoring Audience : Fan Culture & Popular Media. Ed. Lisa A. Lewis. Florence, KY: Routledge, 1992. 84-88.
  • Whelan, John. "The Beatles Timeline." Ottawa Beatles Site. 1 Jan. 2000. 5 Apr. 2006 The Beatles Timeline.
  • Beatles and Their Juniors

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