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December 3, 2001
9:40 AM   Subscribe

Pre-Fab George. In a fascinating sidelight, it turns out George Harrison and his brother Pete actually visited the U.S. for a couple of weeks in 1963, visiting George's sister, who lived in a small town in rural southern Illinois. Lots of history was made there: He bought the album containing the original version of "Got My Mind Set On You," which he would cover 25 years later; he bought his first Rickenbacker guitar, the sound of which would change rock music, and little WFRX, West Frankfort, became the first U.S. radio station to play the Beatles, thanks to lobbying by George and his sister. Not to mention he played a nearby VFW dance, sitting in with local rockers the Four Vests. There's a Tom Hanks movie in here somewhere. Not to mention the obligatory "George Slept Here" bed and breakfast.
posted by luser (5 comments total)

 
I would roadtrip to that B&B if it was set up like the flat the boys have in the film. With cool little sunken beds that you have to climb down a little flight of steps to get into. Sammiches in a vending machine. Four doors that go into the same big fab room. Such possibilities with a name like "Hard Day's Nite"!

Alas, it looks like my grandma's house, if my grandma put her television sets in the walls.
posted by kittyb at 10:26 AM on December 3, 2001


Harrison's sister helped get the Beatles radio airplay in Illinois, and a few significant years later George helped press the flesh to get his sister a gig singing at a teen dance in Minneapolis.
posted by CosmicSlop at 11:23 AM on December 3, 2001


I didn't see "Hard Day's Night", but wasn't that the flat they had in "Help!"? Maybe they had the same flat in both films.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 12:45 PM on December 3, 2001


Oh, Big Fat Tycoon, you're absolutely right. (How many times have I had to utter that line in my life? ROFLMAO!) I was just thinking that I hadn't seen the films in ages and it was time for a refresher course. I guess they've melded into one wacky blob in my poor addled mind. Time to dust off the tapes, indeed.
posted by kittyb at 1:12 PM on December 3, 2001


luser: I met Louise Harrison about 20 years ago, at a sale of Beatles material in Milwaukee. She was friendly and unaffected--like anyone's sister. Thanks for reminding me!
posted by Carol Anne at 2:40 PM on December 3, 2001


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