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Format: Audio CD|Change
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Larry Kane was 21 when he accompanied the Beatles on their first and second American tours. What is striking about Kane and the Beatles is how mature they seem (for the most part) in the face of unprecedentedly frantic, and sometimes terrifying, whirlwind tours. Sometimes it is startling to think just how young they were -- at one point Kane mentions that George was concerned about his pimples.
The fans were often hysterical, and there were thousands of them. They climbed on top of cars the Beatles were to travel in, collapsing the roofs. They threw jelly beans, filet mignons, and cans of fruit salad at the Beatles while they were performing. They stalked them and hid out in their rooms. It must have been frightening. But the Beatles maintained a good humor and seemed to be enjoying themselves, according to Kane.
This is a fun book, with the occasional unexpected tidbit to keep things interesting. For instance, John Lennon and Jayne Mansfield were a hot item in Hollywood when the Beatles played there. Kane seems to be genuinely fond of the Beatles, except perhaps for Paul, who is painted as a bit standoffish and calculating in this book.
Minor drawbacks to Ticket to Ride are that there is no index, and the CD is almost unnecessary. Kane has included all the transcripts of the "interviews" (snippets, really), and the CD has so much explanation from Kane, that in 60 minutes of recording, there may be about 10 minutes of actual Beatles, and much of that consists of gems as "Hey, Larry, how ya' doin'." And Kane makes rather a big deal of Brian Epstein making a pass at him. He hints at it throughout the book, and when he finally tells the whole story near the end, it consists of an invitation which Kane declines, Epstein is disappointed, but doesn't take it any further.
Ticket to Ride is well worth an afternoon, perhaps while listening to your old Help! album.
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