‘Some kind of innocence’

The Beatles Monthly and the fan community


  • Mike Kirkup University of Teesside




Beatles, fandom, Beatles Monthly, 1960s, popular music, fanzines, pop culture, marketing, image


The Beatles Book had been overlooked in both academic research and popular biographies of the Beatles. Over 77 monthly issues between 1963 and 1979, the magazine told the Beatles story at it happened, giving modern readers a unique chance to follow the story without hindsight. This article looks in detail at the content of the magazine and its historical and social context: its beginnings as a form of ‘pop propaganda’, issues of fandom and the communication between fans and the band and the treatment of the change in the Beatles image in early 1967.

Author Biography

Mike Kirkup, University of Teesside

Mike Kirkup is Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Teesside. He is the author of Contemporary British Cinema: A Teachers Guide/Classroom Resources (2004) and won the Bob Dylan Impersonators Contest at the International Bob Dylan Conference in Manchester in 2001.


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Badman, Keith, ed. 2000. The Beatles Off the Record. London: Omnibus Press.

Barrow, Tony. 2005. John, Paul, George, Ringo and Me: The Real Beatles Story. London: Andre Deutsch.

Beatles Book, The (aka The Beatles Monthly). August 1963–December 1969.

Cohen, Stanley. 1972. Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers. London: MacGibbon and Kee.

Crawdaddy. 1967. ‘What Goes On?’ Crawdaddy (March).

Granada. 1967. Scene Special: It’s So Far Out it’s Straight Down.

Harry, Bill. 1992. The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopaedia. London: Virgin.

Heylin, Clinton. 2007. The Act You’ve Known for All These Years: The Life and Afterlife of Sgt Pepper. Edinburgh: Canongate.

ITN. 1966. Reporting 66, 28-29 December.

Jenkins, Henry. 2007. ‘Afterword: The Future of Fandom’. In Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, ed. Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss and C. Lee Harrington, 362–64. New York: New York University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199209927.003.0009

—2013. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, rev. ed. London: Routledge.

Lester, Richard (dir.). 1967. How I Won the War. United Artists.

Lewisohn, Mark. 2000. The Complete Beatles Chronicle. London: Hamlyn.

O’Mahoney, Sean. 2014. Email correspondence with author, 23 June.

Shepherd, Billy [aka Peter Jones]. 1964. The True Story of the Beatles. London: Beat Publications.

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Beatles, The. 1963a. Please Please Me. Parlophone.

—1963b. ‘She Loves You’/‘I’ll Get You’. Parlophone.

—1963c. With The Beatles. Parlophone.

—1963d. The Beatles’ Christmas Record. Lyntone.

—1964. A Hard Day’s Night. Parlophone.

—1965. Help! Parlophone.

—1966a. Revolver. Parlophone.

—1966b. ‘Love You To’, Revolver. Parlophone.

—1966c. ‘Yellow Submarine’, Revolver. Parlophone.

—1967a. ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’/‘Penny Lane’. Parlophone.

—1967b. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Parlophone.

—1967c. ‘When I’m 64’. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Parlophone.

—1967d. ‘Within You Without You’. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Parlophone.

—1968a. The Beatles. Apple.

—1968b. ‘Revolution 9’. The Beatles. Apple.

—1969a. ‘Get Back’ (with Billy Preston)/‘Don’t Let Me Down’. Apple.

—1969b. Abbey Road. Apple.

Harrison, George. 1968. Wonderwall Music. Apple.

—1969. Electronic Sound. Zapple.

Lennon, John, and Yoko Ono. 1968. Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins. Apple.

—1969. Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions. Zapple.



How to Cite

Kirkup, M. (2015). ‘Some kind of innocence’: The Beatles Monthly and the fan community. Popular Music History, 9(1), 64–78. https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.v9i1.27620