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20 September 2012 | PR 12/168

Beatles conference to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Love Me Do

The Beatles

The Beatles emerging from the Ritz Cinema, Fisherwick Place, Belfast on November 8, 1963

The nation’s biggest conference on the Beatles this century will take place at Loughborough University next month - fifty years to the day that the Beatle’s first single Love Me Do was released.

The conference, which features talks from two dozen leading historians, art historians, social scientists, musicologists and cultural critics from Britain, Europe and the United States, will discuss the band’s impact on the sixties and subsequent influence on culture, society and politics. Topics to be covered include a note-by-note analysis of Love Me Do, an examination of Beatlemania, a reappraisal of the business acumen of manager Brian Epstein and new evidence relating to the real reasons for sacking original drummer Pete Best.

Conference organiser and Lecturer in Modern British History at Loughborough University, Dr Marcus Collins, said conferences like this serve to demonstrate how the Beatles’ iconic status rested not simply on their music, but on their ability to symbolise and advocate social and cultural change.

“It is virtually impossible to understand the sixties without understanding the Beatles, and vice versa. That is a large part why they commanded attention from fans and critics then, and why they deserve sustained academic appraisal now,” he said.

“The Beatles’ on-going symbolic resonance was recently seen at the Olympics. The songs played at the opening and closing ceremonies – Hey Jude, Because, Here Comes the Sun, I Am the Walrus and John Lennon’s Imagine – perfectly captured London 2012’s inclusiveness. These anthems are at once quintessentially British and recognised worldwide. They help to create the community about which they sing.”

Dr Collins said the conference is a great opportunity to explore how and why the Beatles’ phenomenon happened, and what changes it wrought; but admitted that once the serious business of the conference is complete, there’ll definitely be room for a pub quiz and a sing-along.

The conference, Love Me Do: The Beatles at Fifty will be hosted by the School of Political, Social and Geographical Sciences at Loughborough University from Thursday 4 to Friday 5 October 2012. 

−ENDS−

For more information contact:

Dr Marcus Collins
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222991
E: marcus.collins@lboro.ac.uk

or

Emma O’Neill
Public Relations Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: E.Oneill@lboro.ac.uk
M: 07530390698

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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