Benton, Illinois: Giant George Harrison Cut-Out

A freestanding photorealistic mural by John Cerney, west of I-57, celebrates when George Harrison came to Benton to visit his sister in 1963.

Address:
Airport Lane, Benton, IL
Directions:
I-57 exit 71 (George visible southbound). Drive east on Main St. Turn left at the first stoplight onto N. Du Quoin St. Drive north until the road crosses back over the interstate, then make the first left onto Airport Lane. You'll see the mural ahead.
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George Harrison and fans.

George Harrison Cut-Out

George Harrison's older sister Louise was the wife of a coal mining engineer. They moved from Scotland to Benton, Illinois, for work. George visited in 1963, prior to Beatlemania hitting the U.S. in 1964. This made him the first Beatle to set foot on American soil.

This giant 3-D stand-up cut-out depicts adoring fans throwing themselves at George even though when he was here no one knew who he was. Also, this was erected in 2017, made of plywood, and in 2020 it's already showing signs of age. Not sure how long it will last!

[Mike Gassmann, 09/10/2020]

George Harrison in Illinois.

George Harrison Mural

A large mural, just to the west of I-57, commemorates the two weeks in 1963 when George Harrison came to Benton to visit his sister.

[Tim Rodems, 06/21/2019]

At the time, George was unknown in the States. The photo-realist roadside mural -- actually a kind of giant plywood stand-up -- was created by John Cerney in 2017. He's made others as well.


Nearby Offbeat Places

Charlie Birger Gallows and George Harrison ArtifactsCharlie Birger Gallows and George Harrison Artifacts, Benton, IL - < 1 mi.
Franklin County Garage MuseumFranklin County Garage Museum, Benton, IL - < 1 mi.
Marker: First Beatle in AmericaMarker: First Beatle in America, Benton, IL - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Big John - Grocery Clerk, Carmi, IL - 41 mi.

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