Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Teens Losing Heads over those mop-top Wigs

A newspaper article from the Boston Record American dated Monday, February 17, 1964 all about the Beatles wigs.   

photo by Ringo Starr

Teens Losing Heads over those mop-top wigs
By Eddie Sullivan
February 17, 1964

If you haven't already surrendered to the Beatles you might as well, even if you don't dig them and their crazy hair-dos and their skinny legged pants and their rock and roll and way out signing.

The Beatle Madness is sweeping the land since they established a beachead in their New York Invasion landing on Feb 9.

By Monday thousands of stores all over the land were selling wigs--crazy looking bangs and matted locks -- just like the Beatles showed off on the Ed Sullivan show.

In Boston Gilchrist's kids were spending $1.99 like it was nothing and in 24 hours cleaned out all the stocks in the area.

The stores were all prepared for it and the kids were ready with their money.

As of Friday there were few of the wigs left in stock and New York supply sources were literally buried under "hurry up" orders for more.

Only Beatles Wigs are approved by the British boys because they collect royalties on every one sold.  The Seltaeb (Beatles spelling backwards) company of New York, headed by Nick Byrne, a British business man, has exclusive right to use of the name.

But "beetle wigs," will spelling like the bugs, and "Bug Wigs" and "Beatnik Wigs" and other wigs by names to get around the copyright and avoid royalties are appearing in droves.

Beatle pins, Beatle necklaces and other bits of jewelry, all made in cast metal and bearing likenesses of the originals are being offered some with the copyright name and others with the "beatlenik" or beetle label.

Jack Lynch of Kingston St,, Boston, said that he had a consignment of wigs and sold out by Monday.  "I've got orders for tons of it but can't get delivery," he said.

Catalogues in the hands of retailers list caps, sport shirts, walk shorts, hats and other headwear, coats, ties and other apparel for boys.  for girls there are handbags, belts, blazers, slacks, sweaters, beach bags and "other" teen-age accessories.

From the standpoint of those who don't dig the Beatles, their records, their music and their fashion is that the Beatles Madness threatens to carry right through the summer.   Everywhere you go you'll see their faces topped by wild hair on sweatshirts, shirts, blouses, sweaters, bags, etc., etc., & etc...even in egg cups and ashtrays.

The all Street Journal {sic}, bible of finance, in its Wednesday edition said:  "U.S. teenagers in the next 12 months are going to spend $50 million on Beatle wigs, Beatle dolls, Beatle egg cups and Beatle T-shirts, sweatshirts and narrow-legged pants."

It didn't forecast how much more will be spent on imitation bearing other names or the added millions from records and personal appearances.


  1. remember the tables with the wigs, sweatshirts & dolls being sold in the Kresge's and Bradlees stores near the Beatles records

    1. Bradlees? Cool... you must be from the CT/MA-area. And I never knew the store was around in the 60's. I only remember it from the 70's through to when it closed in 2001. I bought lots of LPs and 45s there. Simpler times. — Joe

  2. the wigs were small and more like the one Brian has on