The Beatles: Their Influence on American Teenagers and the Concert Experience

by  Author Dave Schwensen

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This program is about the influence of The Beatles on American teenagers from 1963-1966 and the experience of attending a Beatles concert. We begin in 1963 with a short film overview of news events and popular music. John F. Kennedy was President, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led peaceful protests for Civil Rights, Mercury Astronauts were rocket jockeys launched into space, and school children were taught to hide under their desks in case Cold War tension ended with "The Big One."

Following JFK's assassination in Dallas, The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. For American teenagers, their world moved from black and white to color and nothing would ever be the same again.

Hair was longer, skirts were shorter and the generation gap grew wider. The Beatles' music - influenced by American rock & roll, rhythm & blues, Motown, country and bluegrass (called Skiffle in England) - became the soundtrack for the '60s, the subject of courses at colleges and universities, and is still popular today.

Performances by The Beatles filled arenas with screams of delight and excitement. As a young fan Dave Schwensen, author of The Beatles At Shea Stadium and The Beatles In Cleveland witnessed these events when his parents took him to see The Beatles in concert. He shares this experience through rare performance clips and photos.

Step back into the mid-1960's to understand the spark that ignited a generation that changed the world. By the end of the decade Baby Boomers had become The Flower Power Generation and The Woodstock Generation. Beatlemania was not just about the music, but also the emotions stirred by the most influential group in the history of popular music.

"What I found most useful was how you weaved in the cultural dynamic. The Beatles themselves are representative of that change, and this is what I wanted my students to understand. Everyone loved the program. Two big thumbs up! We would definitely recommend it to others." - Clark Fork High School, Clark Fork, Idaho

"This was music history coming to life! Our students learned something special, and saw the relevance of understanding something rather than merely being entertained by something." - Cleveland State University

Program Includes:

* Opening film highlighting news and cultural events from 1963 with The Cold War, Mercury Space Program, Civil Rights Movement, popular music, President Kennedy's assassination, America's introduction to The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show and scenes of Beatlemania.

* The initial reaction of teenagers - The Baby Boomer Generation - following The Beatles arrival in America.

* Cultural changes influenced by The Beatles affecting popular music, style and opinions that helped shape a generation.

* A second short film of The Beatles performing in 1964 showing police stopping the concert because of overexcited fans. Includes comments from John Lennon, Beatle fans, and a judge denouncing the group (demonstrating the generation gap).

* The experience of attending a Beatles concert and why the group had to stop performing in live venues.

* Closing film of the Beatles concert attended by author Dave Schwensen with rare performance clips and photos.

* Questions and discussion.

Program Rating

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About This Program


Multipoint: $175.00
Multipoint Premium: $150.00


45-60 Minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Parent, Adult Learners Public Library Public Library: Library Patrons Colleges

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Family & Consumer Science, Fine Arts, Language Arts/English, Literacy, Performing Arts, Reading, Social Studies/History, Writing Popular Culture

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)

Booking Information

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Author Dave Schwensen

Vermilion, OH
United States

Dave is the author of six books and has designed and instructs courses in communications and presentations skills for Cleveland State University, Youngstown State University and others. He's a former talent coordinator and consultant for television and live events in Hollywood and New York City.

In addition to school and business training programs and keynotes, Dave is a nationally recognized comedy coach for The Improv Comedy Club. He is author of How To Be A Working Comic and Comedy FAQs And Answers, and includes humor and entertainment in all his programs. Yes, he really can be called the nutty professor!

Dave has been featured on PBS Television and Radio, U.S. News & World Report, Chicago Tribune, The Hollywood Reporter, Ohio Magazine, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Insidebiz.com Magazine and many others.

A pop culture historian and enthusiast, he is the author of The Beatles At Shea Stadium and The Beatles In Cleveland. Both Top 40 Best Sellers on Amazon.com, Dave is a featured author at Beatles conferences throughout the U.S. and presents programs on the 1960s and the impact of The Beatles to schools, organizations and lifelong learners. Both books were added to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Library & Archives.

For details about Beatles / pop culture video conferences and webinars visit www.BeatlesProgram.com.

Dave Schwensen

Program Details


1. This program begins with a short film overview of news events and popular music from 1963. Following President Kennedy's assassination, Ed Sullivan introduces The Beatles on American television. Scenes of excited fans, Beatles performance clips and hit songs lead into the author presentation.

2. Dave Schwensen gives insights into cultural changes affected by The Beatles from the perspective of American teenagers in 1964. This is done in a humorous and fun manner since Dave is also a professional comedy coach, speaker and humorist.

3. Discussion of The Beatles and their influence on music, fashion, attitudes and the generation gap between teenagers and adults in the mid 1960s. Hair was longer, skirts were shorter - and parents didn't often approve. Their musical influences can be traced to American rock & roll, rhythm & blues, Motown, country and bluegrass.

4. Short film of a 1964 Beatles concert. Extremely rare color footage of police stopping the performance due to overexcited fan reaction. Includes comments from John Lennon, an angry politician denouncing The Beatles and fan interviews.

5. Dave describes attending a Beatles concert with his parents in 1966 and shares insights detailed in his books The Beatles At Shea Stadium and The Beatles In Cleveland from promoters, journalists, radio deejays, fans and others.

6. Short film of The Beatles performing during their final tour in 1966 as excited fans climb onto the stage and once again forcing police to stop the show. Security for stadium shows was much different than today and the group could not be protected in public. As an example, a segment of this film shows a fan slapping Paul McCartney across the face as he runs off the stage - and is replayed in slow motion, frame by frame as a reason why The Beatles had to stop performing live. This is the same concert attended by Dave with his parents.

7. If there is adequate time at the end of the program, questions are always welcome (and encouraged!)


1. Understand news events and popular culture from the perspective of young teenagers in the early 1960's. Topics include The Cold War, Civil Rights, Mercury Space Program, and end of the Kennedy Administration.

2. Give examples of popular music and artists in America during 1963 and the sudden change in both marked by The Beatles arrival in America.

3. Discuss the impact and changes The Beatles had on American teenagers in terms of music, fashion and attitudes.

4. Build an understanding of popular music from one generation to another. Explain how earlier forms of American music influenced The Beatles.

5. Describe the experience of seeing The Beatles live in concert during the height of their popularity in North America.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

NA-M.K-5.7 Evaluating Music and Music Performances

NA-M.K-5.8 Understanding Relationships Between Music, the Other Arts, and Disciplines Outside the Arts

NA-M.K-5.9 Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture