A Beatles Journey: Larry Kane’s ‘Ticket To Ride’

Ticket To Ride

Initially, Larry Kane did not want to go on tour with some teen idol pop band. He viewed himself as a serious reporter who would be better served covering something more important. But when Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles invited Larry to join The Beatles for the entirety of the 1964 North American tour, Larry reluctantly said yes. The lesson he learned from this, which I’ve heard him repeat in print and in person… “Never turn down an assignment.”

Larry was later invited to re-join the Beatles on their 1965 North American tour.

Other than the surviving Beatles themselves, there is no one alive who has seen The Beatles perform live as many times as Larry Kane. He was the only American journalist to travel with The Beatles on the entirety of the 1964 and 1965 North American tours.

More so than being The Beatles tours (which in itself should be significant enough), the 1964 and 1965 North American tours were the biggest rock & roll tours the world had ever seen, and laid the groundwork for every concert that ever followed them.

Ticket To Ride is literally that, it’s Mr. Kane sharing his ride with the Beatles as we get to know the Band, their touring entourage, and the overall experience of touring with what could very well be the greatest pop music phenomenon of the twentieth century.

Admittedly, I didn’t rush through this book. I just didn’t want the journey to end. This is the second book of Mr. Kane’s I’ve read regarding The Beatles (or ‘a’ Beatle), the first being ‘Lennon Revealed,’ and I would be hard pressed to say which I enjoyed more. This book was set in more of a chronological order, giving the reader a real-time idea of how things went on the tour. There were certainly many other unexpected surprises and tidbits that I hadn’t known prior to reading it, and Larry tells the story in an unbiased way, like a good journalist should.

One thing I learned for certain is that it wasn’t easy being a Beatle on those tours. Not being able to hear yourself play over the throngs of screaming fans while being repeatedly pelted onstage by teens throwing jelly beans and then having to (sometimes literally) run for your life when the concert was over had to make life interesting. Then to do that sometimes days on end (they didn’t get much down time between shows) certainly gives one a new found respect for what it must have been like for the four guys from Liverpool, strangers in a strange land.

That’s about all I’m willing to give away, the rest you’ll just have to read for yourself. Whether you’re a hardcore Beatles fan or simply a lover of all things Rock & Roll, this book is a must read. The Beatles paved the way for every concert tour that came after, and this book is a testament to how and why The Beatles were the pioneers of the rock concert.

Once again Larry, great book.

-Craig Sumsky

Larry Kane – http://www.larrykane.com


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