Larry Kane’s backstage pass in doco The Beatles: Eight Days a Week


Larry Kane.
Larry Kane.

THE old show business saying goes “What happens on tour, stays on tour”.

It does not always apply to veteran journalist and news anchor from Philadelphia Larry Kane; he has told every newsworthy story from his time with The Beatles during the height of their popularity in the 1960s.

Kane had the distinct privilege of being the only broadcast journalist to accompany the band at every stop on their USA tours in 1964 and 1965.

He appears in documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years, which explores Beatlemania using concert footage and interviews with people with first-hand accounts of the phenomenon.

With three books about the band under his belt, Kane said there were few stories left to tell from the tours.

“There was late-night entertainment that I didn’t feel at the time was something to write home about; three of them were single, one was married,” he said.

“Only thing that emerged (from this documentary) was a story from Jacksonville; the band found out that the venue they were to play at Gator Bowl would be racially segregated, and they said they were not going to do it (perform).

“It was a 20-day fight (but) the venue integrated.

“Director Ron Howard found a woman who was there and it was the first time she had been able to sit with white people.”

While many journalists would have killed to be in Kane’s shoes at the time, he said it was not his dream job.

“The Vietnam War was escalating, there was racial tension, Muhammad Ali was training, I said why would I travel with this band? I didn’t want to go,” he said.

“(But) it was one of the greatest experiences.

“I have been to 23 political conventions and interviewed presidents, but the question I always get asked is what was it like (touring with the Beatles)?”

He attributed being granted such extensive access to the four most famous people in the world at the time to his age and lack of condescension.

“They were not simple people from the third largest city in England,” Kane said.

“They were 20, 21, 23 and 23 years old with panache and were super charismatic, but they were remarkably well educated about the world.

“I think I got along with them so well because I didn’t ask them silly questions.

“The older journos treated them with scorn and asked questions like what they had for breakfast and what they like in a woman and do they wash their hair.

“I asked them about family issues and social issues.”

There have been countless famous artists that have graced many stages around the world since, but has any act eclipsed the Liverpool rock band?

“Nothing has reached that level; Beatles rippled through the world, they were a teen sensation that morphed and the whole world listened to them,” he said.

“The thing that was important was that every woman thought the Beatles were singing directly to them.”

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years is in cinemas September 16.