A few years ago younger son had asked me to buy him a gift subscription to Smithsonian Magazine. Since then they have sent me marketing materials to re-subscribe.
When I saw the deal of $8 for a whole year of Smithsonian, which has some really good pictures I can use for collage after reading, I signed up for 2 years.
The first issue, May 2020, arrived a couple of weeks ago. It sat there for at least a few days as a white horse is on the cover; although I like horses, it wasn’t compelling enough to pick it up.
As this magazine isn’t the type I read from cover to cover (like I used to read Rolling Stone and Oprah Magazine,) I went to the Table of Contents. Imagine my delighted shock to find listed on page 60, “Meet the Beatle!” The description says:
The year before the Fab Four’s “Ed Sullivan” debut, George Harrison was just a desheveled-looking bloke from Liverpool visiting his sister in a small town in Illinois and playing guitar for fun with a local band. The feature is written by Alan Pell Crawford, with photographs by Ackerman + Gruber.
The article has delightful photos of this and that, including one of a really cool billboard near Benton, IL, of a giant George playing his Rickenbacker and female adoring fans looking up at him. There’s a photo of Louise, George’s sister; George holding his toddler niece, Leslie; and older brother, Peter, who also made the trip with George. There is a current photo of the first person to interview George on American radio, when “she was just 17.”
The article includes several quotes from people still living in Benton who remember George’s visit. There is a story of when George bought his Rickenbacker 425. I don’t want to include too much more, but needless to say, anyone who is a fan of The Beatles, and George in particular, is going to want to take a look at this issue of Smithsonian.
What is probably the most amazing thing of all is that the whole issue is available online for free. Free!? Why did I buy the mag if I can see it online? Oh well. I still can use the pics.
Find the Geo feature here.