Which Beatle first visited America?
In February 1964 The Beatles arrived at Kennedy Airport on their first official visit. For three of the four member of the group their first experience of the USA was the sight and sound of thousands of screaming fan. Only George Harrison had crossed the Atlantic Ocean before, on a solo visit five months earlier.
In September 1963, The Beatles were given a short break in their manic schedule. While the others holidayed in Europe, George Harrison travelled to rural Illinois to visit his older sister, Louise,. Accompanied by his brother, Peter, George flew to New York and then on to St Louis. Louise then drove her brothers to her new family home in Benton, Illinois (pop.7,000).
|George with his siblings and niece in Benton, Illinois|
On the day of his arrival in Benton, The Beatles reached Number One in the UK record charts with She Loves You. But in the USA they had not yet charted and were almost completely unknown in America. There were no fan awaiting him at either airport and this would prove to be the last time he could visit a record store unrecognised.
He was also the first Beatle to publicly perform on American soil, sitting in with a local group playing birthday party in a roadside venue.
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