Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Questions Halt Ban on Beatle-Like Groups

Cleveland Press November 5, 1964

Mayor Locher's musical tastes may be excellent but his wisdom in banning the Beatles and similar groups from Public Hall is less than perfect.

Aside from the danger of arbitrary censorship, inherent in any such act by a public official, is the bizarre possibility of a fight developing over free speech in artistic expression in a matter in which the expression isn't very artistic.

THERE HASN'T BEEN a situation quite like this since Jayne Mansfield's "Promises, Promises" threatened to become a free speech issue.

For those of us who deplore the noises made by the shaggy-haired invaders from England and are alarmed by the hysteria created by it among youngsters, the first rash reaction is to congratulate the mayor for his action.

It helps us to wash our hands of the problem.

It answers that question -- "why doesn't somebody do something?"

It accepts an easy solution.

PARENTS are abdicating their responsibilities to leave the matter to the mayor and they are being naive if they think promoters in the entertainment industry are going to show any concern over the matter.

(In reference to the latter the "adults only" sign outside some neighborhood theaters showing a "Tom Jones" or an "Irma La Douce" has meant that only adult priced tickets were being sold and the price of admission -- not age -- was the only criterion for admission.)

Parents aren't going to solve their problems by urging a ban on entertainment they have never witnessed, complaining about movies they have never seen and continuing to demand family shows they will not support.

THE MAYOR may have stirred up trouble of another sort as well. What if the Beatle ban were to be considered an infringement of freedom to worship? For the sort of adulation they produce is little short of religious fervor.

Ridiculous? Of course.

Possible? Why not?