The sixties were the decade of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll and the Beatles were right in the thick of it. This series contextualizes the events of the sixties and examine their relevance today. What is the real legacy of the swinging sixties?
Programme 2: Sex, spies and rock & roll 1962-1964
In Liverpool in 1962 the Beatles caused a sensation at the Cavern Club. They had only one single to their name. But a fateful meeting with Brian Epstein was to help them top the charts. Epstein changed their image from the American biker look and soon realised the Sixties was the selling decade. Youth was all the rage and the old Tory Prime Minister Harold McMillan seemed out of step with the times. The Profumo sex scandal nailed the Tories and before long Harold Wilson’s Labour government took power. The age of deference had passed and the Beatles played up their cheeky persona. As ‘Beatlemania’ was exported around the world, it embodied the optimism and national pride which had infected Britain. By the end of 1964 Britain had shifted into a modern age. The Beatles success was evidence that a more meritocratic society had arrived and class barriers had fallen.