|Before He Was Fab
George Harrison's First American Visit
by Jim Kirkpatrick
Cache River Press, paperback 2000, $14.95
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From the stylized cover to the unseen photos depicting Georges visit to his sisters home in Illinois in September 1963, this book is a true delight. Georges older sister, Louise, works with the author in providing details, documents and (the above mentioned) photos, which paint a clear picture of what went on during the Beatles exploration of Americas heartland (i.e. small town USA).
Among other things, we learn that George played with a local band called The Four Vests; he bought a guitar (which would appear in many international photos of the boys in the months ahead as their fame continued to skyrocket); and he went camping with the family as well as taking a tour of the points of scenic interest in southern Illinois.
To put this somewhat homespun tale into perspective, you must take into consideration that in the weeks following Georges return to the UK, The Beatles played at the London Palladium and at the Royal Command Performance, and were discovered by Ed Sullivan at the London Airport on their return from Sweden. Only five short months later, George was once again in America for The Beatles phenomenal first performance on the Sullivan show.
Although the book was published before Georges death in late 2001, it now serves as a sweet and gentle look back at the young man who became known and loved by the world as the quiet Beatle. Its undoubtedly a must-have for every Beatle fans book collection.
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