(CBS) — Fifty years ago this month, Beatle George Harrison took a break from European stardom to go someplace where no one knew him — southern Illinois.
Saturday, the state of Illinois remembers what was probably “the quiet Beatle’s” last anonymous trip anywhere in a day that Gov. Pat Quinn has proclaimed “George Harrison Day” statewide in his honor.
It’s difficult to believe, but Harrison and his sister Louise hitchhiked with a stack of records and a guitar to local radio stations, looking for airplay. WXRT’s resident Beatlemaniac, Terri Hemmert, said Harrison bought a Rickenbacker guitar at a local store, played cover tunes with a band at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall with a cover band known as The Four Vests, took in a drive-in movie, rode in a convertible, rifled through record store bins — and no one screamed, even when he was introduced on stage at the VFW Hall as the “Elvis of England.”