“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Eldorado in Saline County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The "British Invasion" Begins

George Harrison Becomes First Beatle to Play in America

The "British Invasion" Begins Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, February 14, 2022
1. The "British Invasion" Begins Marker
Inscription.  On September 28, 1963, America got its first taste of English rock 'n' roll. Five months before the beginning of "Beatlemania," before the Beatles played on the "Ed Sullivan Show," George Harrison, lead guitarist for the British band, became the first Beatle to play publicly in America at the VFW Hall located at 1201 Veterans Drive in Eldorado.

During the summer of 1963, although the Beatles had a number one hit in England, the band was still unknown in the United States. When the bandmembers took a holiday, Harrison and his brother, Peter, visited their sister Louise in Benton, Illinois, making friends, camping in the Garden of the Gods, and watching a parade in Harrisburg. George bought a guitar in Mt. Vernon and later played it at Beatles performances. Two nights before returning to England, George and his siblings came to the VFW Hall to hear the Four Vests, a popular local band. The band, which had already jammed with George in his sister's living room, asked George to sit in, introducing Harrison as, "The Elvis of England." George Harrison made his American debut playing songs such as "Johnny Be Good," "Your Cheating Heart," and
The "British Invasion" Begins Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, February 14, 2022
2. The "British Invasion" Begins Marker
The marker is outside the VFW Hall.
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"Teddy Bear" in front of between 75 and 100 people. After the performance, one of those present said that, "with the right kind of backing that kid may go places."
Erected 2021 by Saline County Tourism Board and the Illinois State Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment. In addition, it is included in the Illinois State Historical Society, and the The Beatles series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is September 28, 1963.
Location. 37° 48.873′ N, 88° 26.258′ W. Marker is in Eldorado, Illinois, in Saline County. Marker is on Veterans Drive south of Crockett Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 705 Veterans Dr, Eldorado IL 62930, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Eldorado (approx. Ό mile away); Homestead of Judge Samuel Elder (approx. 0.6 miles away); Meeting House (approx. 1.2 miles away); The Kaskaskia Trail (approx. 1.2 miles away); Ingersoll Law Office (approx. 5.3 miles away); Dr. Lewis and the Lewis Sanatorium (approx. 7.4 miles away); Virginia Gregg (approx. 7½ miles away); Harrisburg City Hall (approx. 7.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eldorado.
More about this marker. Marker was dedicated on September 17, 2021.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 14, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 14, 2022, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 189 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 14, 2022, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Mar. 29, 2023