“Tom Hanks was only 7 years old when the Beatles made their American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. Just a few months removed from John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the world was a ‘dark, gray, and lonely place,’ Hanks remembers, but he found an escape in the British band’s music as it filtered through his dad’s Volkswagen and sister’s clock radio. ‘It was a joyful sound’” says Hanks, who followed the band’s world tour from afar throughout 1964.
Later that year, as the band embarked on a trip to Australia, Ringo Starr came down with tonsillitis. Instead of canceling the tour, manager Brian Epstein tapped English drummer Jimmie Nicol as a replacement for eight shows. For three decades, Hanks couldn’t get the story out of his head. ‘That had definitely stuck in my craw because I thought, ‘What was that guy’s life like for a while?’'”