George Harrison Tunes Up
Though George Harrison said in February, before departing the U.S., "They'll never see us again," the Beatles returned to North America in August for a tour of 24 cities and 32 shows in 34 days. Broadcast reporter Larry Kane published a breathtaking account of the experience, Ticket to Ride: Inside the Beatles' 1964 Tour That Changed the World. In Kane's book, the story is high drama, on the verge of violent and deadly chaos: Crowds awaiting the Beatles surge out of control, a fan gets shoved through plate-glass windows. In Quebec, an anti-British faction threatened the band. "One group of extreme separatists," reports Kane, "had apparently complained about Ringo Starr, whom they called the 'English Jew'. . . . Ringo replied with a chuckle to a newspaper reporter, 'I'm not Jewish. But I am British. . . .' " Kane asked Lennon how the tour's opening show, at San Francisco's Cow Palace, felt. "Not safe," said Lennon. "Can't sing when you're scared for your life."