I fell in love with The Beatles almost ten years after they had broken up. I never knew real Beatlemania, but I did know the music and it was the Beatles that helped me fall in love with the idea of London.
Larry Kane was reporter who followed The Beatles around on the 1964 and 1965 US concert tours and Ticket To Ride is his recollection of those glory days. He says that he is still asked on a regular basis, so, what where The Beatles really like?
I listened to the audio book version of Ticket to Ride and found it to be absolutely perfect. Read by the author, an old radio and tv guy, Larry Kane knows how to give his words a great delivery and how to bring his stories to life.
The interviews he quotes are a glimpse into the world of the 1960s and how the Lads tended to repeat themselves and say things like-it’s a drag, man, you know, it’s a drag, it’s kind of a bummer, man. The Beatles were amazing as musicians, but their off the cuff remarks show that they were just four guys as well.
Ticket to Ride is filled with stories of rabid fans rushing the stage and surround the cars in mobs that hope to see the Fab Four. Insane fan stories make up a deal of the story, with tales of fans sneaking into hotels and disguising themselves as maids and how often Larry was by a fan that they would do anything to meet the Beatles. He gallantly turns down all these offers.
There are few stories that put the Beatles in any kind of negative light-with Larry’s one major gripe about John Lennon being that John was against the war in Vietnam and Larry joins the Air Force. He mentions in passing that the Beatles were living the Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll lifestyle. Woman, all of which were over the age of consent Larry points out, were always around and always willing. Drugs from marijuana to ‘pills’ were a part of the Beatles life, and even 40 years later it is clear that the Beatles disappointment Larry by indulging in such activities.
Above all is the now amusing fact that everyone, even The Beatles, thought they were just a flash in the pan that would soon enough be forgotten. The 1964 Beatles were modest and kind and wanted to make a good impression on everyone.
Ticket to Ride is a fun book that tells us about Larry Kane’s Beatles, four men that he really liked and who seemed to really like him.