The “George Comes to Benton – 1963” mural is an one-of-a-kind piece of art created by California artist John Cerney. Beatles fans from across the country who traveled Interstate 57 through southern Illinois on their way to and from the total solar eclipse of 2017 had a chance to see the original work the week of its construction. Now a tourism site, Cerney and the City of Benton, published a postcard of the picturesque attraction which gives a brief description of how the project unfolded.
The postcard reads as follows:
“George Comes to Benton- 1963” – This mural installation, painted in 2017, commemorates the first visit by a Beatle to America. Several months ahead of the British rock group’s big splash on US soil in early 1964, George Harrison and his brother Peter came to Benton, Illinois to visit their sister Louise and her family. The Beatles were unknown to Americans, despite being at the top of the charts in England, and George was able to remain anonymous during his two week stay. He played with a local band, bought a guitar in a neighboring town, and mostly hung out as a tourist. The Beatles were about to explode on the world stage, and for years to come, folks in Southern Illinois would recall the police young man with long hair and a funny accent. Created by California artist John Cerney, the 16-foot-tall mural is located along Interstate 57 in Benton, Illinois.
Source: The City of Benton