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The day that changed England in 1962 – Amrita Bazar

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The day that changed England in 1962 – Amrita Bazar

Inside Britain, the years following World War II were marked by austerity, while the 1956 Suez Crisis made it clear that Britain was no longer the political superpower. or military of which she had long boasted. “Britain at this time needed a new history and a new way of understanding itself,” John Higgs, author of Love and Let Die: Bond, the Beatles and the British Psyche, told BBC Culture . “For centuries we have known what we were: a global empire. The story we told ourselves was that Britain ruled the waves and the sun never set on the British Empire. Our sense of identity is gone. We need a new one. It’s Bond and the Beatles here in a modern, contemporary embrace. They gave us examples of who we want to be.”

The sudden collapse of the imperial status quo, combined with a growing consumer society, paved the way for a sea change in British values ​​led by popular culture. As uneducated working-class Northern English musicians, The Beatles defied all preconceptions about the origin of great art. Their appearance was surprisingly androgynous, their accent colorless, and their retinue lovable. Christine Feldman-Barrett, author of The Beatles Women’s History, told BBC Culture: “The band’s unique sound and image showed young audiences that success didn’t mean following a certain path.” “The Beatles showed that trying something new and channeling your talents – no matter your background or who you are – can be a winning combination. It was a powerful message in 1962 It seemed like a harbinger of the future And women consider the path of youth. At the beginning of the band’s history – including their fans, female fans – it was a future that included women as key players. In this dynamic new world, symbolized and imagined by The Beatles, everyone matters and everyone can participate.”

“Love Me Do” peaked at number 17 in the UK charts, the first step in a meteoric rise to unprecedented heights of popularity. Most of the British establishment had no idea what was hitting them. Conservative politician Ted Heath, then Lord Privy Seal and future Prime Minister, said in 1963 that he had trouble recognizing the Beatles’ Liverpudlian accents as “Queen’s English”. John Lennon replied, “We’re not going to vote for Ted.” Two years later, Heath’s party was duly dismissed and the Beatles were at Buckingham Palace to collect their MBEs.

The intimacy of Bond and the Beatles

Like the Beatles, cinematographer James Bond set a new pattern for British life. Ian Fleming’s novels, beginning with Casino Royale in 1953, portrayed Bond as a largely reactionary figure. Sean Connery, working-class actor and former Edinburgh bodybuilder, created Bond on the big screen as a dynamic, modern hero fit for the Sixties. Producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli explained in his autobiography, “Physically and generally, he was too hardy to be Fleming’s best agent. That was good for us, because we wanted our 007 to have broader box office appeal. We wanted to give The Modern Action Hero was born, as a result, a complete break from the cool, elite ‘gentleman hero’ of earlier British thrillers like Bulldog Drummond, combining a classic British style with a tough, transatlantic mistrust. Some moviegoers prefer Connery’s regional accent to Ted Heath in The Beatles “Dr. No, if you look at reviews from American critics, they can’t place his accent, they think he’s Irish,” said Levella Chapman , author of Fashion James Bond, to BBC Culture.

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