An acute case of Beatlemania
 Helen Tully
& Miguel Gonzalez

The third and final installment in our Beatles Australian tour anniversary celebration shows Beatlemania at its highest – and loudest – point.


The Beatles leaving Sydney on Sunday 21 June 1964

Australia’s overwhelming response to the 1964 tour is forever preserved in the NFSA’s collection. The news file here depicts the band’s departure from Sydney on Sunday 21 June 1964 for the New Zealand leg of their world tour, showing ’beatlemania’ in full flight.

Note: Parts of this clip have no sound. Courtesy : WIN Television Corporation Pty Ltd. NFSA title: 286629


This is just one of a number of television news items about The Beatles’s Australian tour held in the NFSA collection and available for researchers to explore. Other items include Bob Rogers’s interview with John Lennon and his Aunt Mimi during their flight to Australia, where John quips that 'She’s [Aunt Mimi] never been this high before’; the news conference before The Beatles’s first Australian concert in Adelaide on 12 June at Centennial Hall, with replacement band member Jimmy Nicol, who stepped in because of Ringo’s absence with tonsillitis, Ringo rejoining the group for their Melbourne concert.

The Melbourne 17 June concert at Festival Hall was recorded by GTV 9 and broadcast as a TV special The Beatles Sing for Shell and is also preserved in the collection.

Following their New Zealand concerts, The Beatles would return to Australia for a final show in Brisbane at Festival Hall on 29-30 June 1964.


Fan showdown: The Beatles vs piano virtuoso Arthur Rubinstein

Cinesound Review: That Mersey Sound: Beatles at the Stadium is a newsreel special on The Beatles’s tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1964. It includes footage of The Beatles on the streets of Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand.

Highlights include a friendly confrontation between Beatles fans and followers of Arthur Rubinstein, outside a hotel in Kings Cross, Sydney. Don’t miss John Lennon playing with a stuffed kiwi, and Paul McCartney’s attempt at a traditional Maori greeting.