By the height of beatlemania many fans had completely lost their minds. A combination of bad music played at mind-numbing volumes, media manipulation, and complete global saturation resulted in a state of what could only be called ‘forced retardation.’
The average beatle fan suffered not only a loss of intelligence, but a loss of reality. Beatle blind pilgrims searched desperately for secret messages and salvation on album covers and cereal boxes. A few even went so far as to try finding meaning in their music. Delirium raged and the moptops were suddenly elevated to the status of prophets and snake handlers.
Fans began bringing disabled children to their concerts, convinced that with a word or a gesture the four wise men from Liverpool would heal them. It didn’t end there, mentally and physically handicapped people of all ages were wheeled backstage for a shot at salvation. Thalomide kids with deformed and missing limbs, the blind, people with crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and oxygen tents. Understandably, the only people who didn’t want to be healed by the beatles were the deaf.
These poor misguided people, or spastics as Lennon commonly referred to them, may have pinned their hopes of salvation on the wrong lads.
Ringo: “people would bring in these terrible cases and leave them in our dressing room. They’d go off for tea or whatever, and they would leave them behind. If it got very heavy we would shout, “Mal, cripples!” and that became a saying, even when there were no handicapped people present. If there were any people around we didn’t like, we’d should, “Mal, cripples!” and they’d be escorted out.”
George: “John was allergic to cripples. You could see he had a thing about them; I think it was a fear or something. …We’d come out of the band room to go to the stage and we’d be fighting our way through all these poor unfortunate people.”
John: “When we would open up, every night, instead of seeing kids there, we would see a row full of cripples along the front. When we’d be running through, people would be lying around. It seemed that we were just surrounded by cripples and blind people all the time, and when we would go through corridors they would all be touching us … They’d line them up, and I got the impression The Beatles were being treated as bloody faith healers …”
-source: The Beatles Anthology, pages 142-143