The Beatles 1966 International Tour
(Part 1 of 2)
Many thanks to the website meetthebeatlesforreal.com for much of the photos and information provided here along with Mark Lewisohn's book "The Complete Beatles Chronicle".
Many, if not most, photographs are from the Robert Whitaker archives.
Note: I don't have a detailed book to help me get every photograph identified 100% correctly, therefore, unlike my posts on the 1964 North American Tour the chances of error are increased, but I will do my best to be as accurate as possible.
23 June 1966 - At London Airport on their way to Munich.
23 June 1964 - This West German part of the tour was sponsored by the entertainment magazine "Bravo", which Ringo is holding in his hands here. Because of that, it was dubbed the "Bravo Blitztournee".
[Video archived at my account on Dailymotion]
23 June 1964 - The Beatles arrive in Munich and get to the Hotel Bayerischer Hof, where I believe they had a short rest before their expected press conference.
23 June 1966 - The first press conference of the tour held in Munich at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof. There does not seem to be much that survived from that event but you can catch a few moments from it at the end of my posted video on Dailymotion here: http://dai.ly/x4k14fh
23 June 1966 - Paul at the first press conference of the tour in Munich
23 June 1966 - Many thanks to the website meetthebeatlesforreal.com for the information explaining this photo. The German portion of the Beatles' 1966 Tour was sponsored by Bravo Magazine, and it was at this press conference that they were presented with the Bravo Otto Award. This award was established in 1957 and honors excellence of the performers in film, television and music. (www.bravo.de)
A rare look at a rare 'rehearsal' the Beatles did for their 1966 Tour. Having spent so much time invested in recording their next studio record, suddenly a live tour was upon the Beatles, and suddenly they realized they hadn't played some of the old tunes in months. With what little time they had left, a show was put together.
24 June 1966 - The Beatles in Munich
(This was labelled as being in Munich but I'm not 100% positive about this.)
Unfortunately not the best photo in clarity, but a very cool angle, so I didn't want to pass on this one.
This German Television Special "Die Beatles" captured not only the Beatles but a few songs from opening acts Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, the Rattles and Peter and Gordon.
Unfortunately only 6 Beatles songs were presented. I have not learned the fate of the other 5 songs that were also performed on this date. I can only believe they must have been recorded, but still have not seen the light of day.
In their place, and to give the idea of a complete show, I have inserted contemporary photos of the Beatles along with audio from an audience tape of the show they performed in Essen the next day, June 25, 1966.
This video contains mostly newsreel footage of the Beatles arrival into Munich including more police film of the preparation for their show. It is mainly interesting because of some of the color shots of the stadium (Circus-Krone-Bau) and color footage of the Beatles on-stage along with some shots of them singing songs that did not appear on the German TV Special "Die Beatles".
A lot of the German police film is silent so I supplied some dialogue that was taken during their press conference in Essen the following day, June 25, 1966.
25 June 1966 - The Beatles on their way from Munich to Essen in (West) Germany.
This short video contains more German police film covering the Beatles leaving Munich for Essen by train. There is also some footage of their concert in Essen the next day, however, unfortunately with some weird negative-reversal printing effect of the Beatles themselves on stage, which doesn't help, in my opinion.
All of this presentation was silent so I supplied audio from some of the Beatles' dialogue with the press in Essen.
25 June 1966 - Press Conference in Essen
Please select the link above to hear the audio from this press conference which is probably most important for being one of the dumbest the Beatles had to endure. Much of it is difficult to hear so a transcript is provided at this link, with many thanks to www.beatlesinterviews.org
George's Epiphone Casino guitar with the song line-up for the shows.
25 June 1966 - The Beatles concerts in Essen
Meeting at the train station, I presume?
Somehow finding a few moments of 'down time' in Hamburg.
According to Mark Lewisohn in the "The Complete Beatles Chronicle", there were many old faces in Hamburg to greet the Beatles upon their arrival, including Astrid Kirchherr & Bert Kaempfert.
This is John with the Star-Club barmaid Bettina Derlien.
In-between John & Bettina is Hans-Walther Braun
George holding up a photo of his former Hamburg self.
Just found! (7 Sept 2016) Un-cropped!
All Together Now.
26 June 1966 - Hamburg Press Conference
The Beatles in Hamburg (26 June 1966)
This is a fairly decent short video of the Beatles' return to Hamburg on June 26, 1966.
The second half was silent, so I added dialogue from their press conference in Hamburg.
26 June 1966 - Beatles concerts in Hamburg
27 June 1966 - Tearful fans gather to see the Beatles fly out of Hamburg
27 June 1966 - Before leaving Hamburg, the Beatles were photographed with their German opening act, the Rattles. Also, according to Mark Lewisohn's book "The Beatles Complete Chronicles", John and Paul were able to make a "nostalgic midnight stroll down the Reeperbahn, visiting old haunts and friends." This occurred the night before this photo was taken.
At this link, http://dai.ly/x4l95uq, you will find a featurette consisting of some of the Beatles' German friend's remembrances of them. It's all in German, but the visuals remind me of what it must have been like for John and Paul on that midnight stroll in June of 1966
Select this text-link to see the Beatles' German freinds in Hamburg reminisce about the early days of Beatlemania.
[Video archived at my account on Dailymotion]
27 June 1966 - Flying out of Hamburg, back to London for a very short stay, and then onto Tokyo.
According to Mark Condon at his website, onabbeyroad.com, his mother, Satoko Kawasaki, was a stewardess for Japan Airlines and she "was in charge of the First Class cabin which was to house the Beatles for their voyage from London to Tokyo on June 27, 1966."
It is possible to me that this is Mr. Condon's mother, Satoko Kawasaki shown here in this photo and that this may be of them all boarding their flight to Tokyo from London.
28 June 1966 - This photo shows Satoko Kawasaki (as identified by her son Mark Condon at his website, onabbeyroad.com) with Paul McCartney aboard Japan Airlines en route to Tokyo.
This is unfortunately a very tiny photo, but all I could find of the Beatles on a bus headed to a hotel in Anchorage.
27-28 June 1966: View from the Westwood Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska
Photographer, Robert Whitaker.
A very cool story about this part of their voyage I happened to stumble across concerned the first class stewardess, Satoko Kawasaki, as told by her son, Mark Condon, at his website onabbyroad.com. In order for his mom to get on board a flight that had long since established a crew, she contacted the Japan Air Lines promotional department. It was decided she could make the flight, but she had to somehow get the Beatles to wear the JAL 'Happi Coats' as they got off the plane in Japan as this would be quite an advertising coup.
As it turned out, it was John Lennon who first let it be known they had travelled many hours in the same clothes now, unable to get to their luggage which remained on the plane when they landed in Alaska. He was concerned about their appearance as they were to meet their Japanese fans for the first time.
Satoko eventually took this opportunity to suggest the Happi Coats, which would not only hide their wrinkled attire, but please the fans seeing them wearing something so 'traditionally Japanese'.
John happily agreed and passed out Happi Coats to the others. This story finally puts to rest what always was something I wondered about in the back of my mind because it seemed unlike the Beatles to be dressed as such upon arriving in a new country, although they did wear their caped coats from Hong Kong when they arrived in Australia in 1964, but it was raining at the time, and the coats didn't 'advertise' anything.
Here's a link to a video I uploaded on Dailymotion, which documents their arrival in Japan: http://dai.ly/x4lfgf6
Select this text-link to see a short video of the Beatles' arrival in Japan along with preparations made for that arrival.
[Video archived at my account on Dailymotion]
On display many years later...
29 June - 2 July 1966: Preparation for showtime.
Select this text-link to see a featurette of the Beatles' arrival in Japan along with their first full concert performed in Tokyo on June 30, 1966.
[Video archived at my account on Dailymotion]
30 June 1966 - The Press Conference, Tokyo, Japan.
Select this text-link to see a reconstruction of the Beatles' Tokyo Press Conference, June 30, 1966.
[Video archived at my account on Dailymotion]
1 July 1966 - The 2nd show performed in Tokyo, and also the 2nd show to be video recorded.
Select this text-link to see a featurette of the Beatles in Japan including their second full concert performance in Tokyo on July 1, 1966.
[Video archived at my account on Dailymotion]
I can not be sure of this, but the photo reminds me of the story that says the Beatles' suites were on the 18th floor, and so all lifts stopped at the 17th at the Tokyo Hilton where they were staying. I can just imagine after the show they having to be escorted up a flight of stairs to their rooms.
The caption where I found this on the internet, however, says they are being escorted to the stage at the Nippon Budokan. I'm just curious as to what point do they get their guitars.
1-2 July 1966: It is unclear about the attempts that the Beatles made to escape their imprisonment on floor 18 of the Tokyo Hilton Hotel, but there was a story that they all tried at one time, and when John attempted it alone they were threatened with a security withdrawal.
I've come across these photos of Paul & Mal outside and the idea they are not alone suggests it was okay. Either way, it's pretty understood the Beatles saw little of Japan during their stay there.
ca. 1 July 1966: Getting ready for another show. There are some suggestions that I've read that say this may be for their 3rd show the evening of July 1, 1966.
2 July 1966 - I believe these photos are from their final show in Tokyo.
The Beatles give interviews for the Japanese "Music Life" magazine.
3 July 1966: Departing Tokyo for the Philippines.
There were two shows scheduled for the next day at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium as worked out with local concert promoter Ramon Ramos. The first one was at 4pm, and also on the Beatles' schedule was a 'vague mention of a 3:00pm visit to the Palace to meet President Marcos & the First Lady.'
Ramon Ramos failed to pass this message on, and while the Beatles were in flight to the Philippines, the Manila Sunday Times made this report: "President Marcos, the First Lady, and the three young Beatles fans in the family, have been invited as guests of honor at the concerts. The Beatles plan to personally follow up the invitation during a courtesy call on Mrs. Imelda Marcos at Malacañang Palace tomorrow morning at 11 o'clock."
George Harrison: There were tough gorillas, little men who had short-sleeved shirts and acted very menacingly. ...a fellow was screaming at us, "Leave those bags there! Get in the car!" ...it was a very negative vibe from the moment we got off the plane, so we were a bit frightened. We got in the car and the guy drove off with us four, leaving Neil (Aspinall) behind. Our bags were on the runway and I was thinking, "This is it. We're going to get busted."
George Harrison: They took us away and drove us down to Manila harbor, put us on a boat, took us out to a motor yacht and put us in this room. It was really humid, 'Mosquito City', and we were all sweating and frightened. For the first time ever in our Beatle existence, we were cut off from Neil, Mal & Brian Epstein. There was not one of them around and, not only that, but we had a whole row of cops with guns lining the deck around this cabin that we were in. We were really gloomy, very brought down but the whole thing.
Neil Aspinall: They drove me to the end of a pier and I got out of the car and said, "Where are they?" They pointed: "There they are," and there was a big boat miles away in the middle of the harbor. There were what seemed to be rival militia gangs. One gang had taken them and put them on this boat to meet some people who weren't the people putting on the show.
When it was learned all of them would not be allowed on shore until about an hour before the concert, Brian Epstein managed to get a radio signal out to the Manila Hotel letting them know, "Were not staying one minute longer on this bloody boat. The boys are fed up. There's absolutely nothing to do and we do not want to spend any more time on this ghastly little yacht!"
George Harrison: The next morning we were woken up by bangs on the door of the hotel and there was a lot of panic going on outside. Somebody came into the room and said: "Come on! You're supposed to be at the palace." We said: "What are you talking about? We're not going to any palace."
"You're supposed to be at the palace. Turn on the television."
We sat in amazement. We couldn't believe it. We just had to watch ourselves not arriving at the presidential palace.
Paul McCartney: ...I bought a couple of paintings from the shanty town as presents to go back home and went back to the hotel to have lunch. Everyone was up and about then and we were in our hotel room when they started saying: "You've got to go to the President's Palace now. Remember that engagement?" We said: "No, no, no." The promoters, with those white shirts with lace that everyone in Manila seemed to wear, looked a little heavy to us. A couple of them carried guns, so it was a bit difficult. We were used to each different country doing it their own way. They were starting to bang on the door: "They will come! They must come!" But we were saying, "Look, just lock the bloody door."
Ringo Starr: Personally, I didn't know anything about Madame Marcos having invited us to dinner.. But we'd said no and Brian Epstein had told her no. John and I were sharing a room and we woke up in the morning and phoned down for (breakfast). We were just hanging out in our beds, chatting and doing whatever we were doing and time went by so we called down again: "Excuse me, can we have our breakfast?" Still nothing happened, so we put the TV on and there was a horrific TV show of Madame Marcos screaming: "They've let me down." There were all these shots with the cameraman focusing on empty plates and up into the little kids' faces, all crying because the Beatles hadn't turned up.
Neil Aspinall: The Beatles didn't do that sort of stuff for anybody. They wouldn't get involved in politics and they wouldn't go to the palace. After it was all over and they hadn't turned up and people were going barmy, we asked Brian what had happened and he said; "I cancelled it. You weren't supposed to go there."
They would bring up food that was terrible. Even if it was Cornflakes for breakfast, you'd pour the milk out and it would come out in lumps. They had given you sour milk. I remember ordering dinner and it came up one of those big trays with the rolled lid on it. I rolled back the lid and Ohhhhh! Just by the smell of it I knew we couldn't eat it.
It appears there were two different stage 'back-drops', one for each concert that day.
*(Added 21 October 2016) The above two screen shots are from the Ron Howard movie "Eight Days A Week" . The top one is particularly wonderful as it is the clearest photo I've ever seen from this day, although they got it wrong here. It's actually July 4, 1966.
Bomb and death threats for the Beatles were telephoned to the British embassy & the Beatles' Manila Hotel suite.
Police & security were withdrawn.
Brian Epstein called for a TV crew to come to the hotel and allow him to read a statement written by himself and Tony Barrow to help explain to the public what had happened.
From Mark Lewisohn's "The Complete Beatles' Chronicles": But when the recording was transmitted an unfortunate surge of static blighted every TV screen in the Philippines just as he began speaking. It obliterated his every word until the speech finished, when the static vanished.
Ringo Starr: Things started to get really weird: "Come on! Get out of bed! Get packed, we're getting out of here." And as we got downstairs and started to get to the car - we really had no help - there was only one motorbike compared to the huge motorcade that had brought us in.
The flight bound for New Delhi, India (their next destination) was waiting for the Beatles at the airport. They knew being alone and with no assistance, they'd be late catching that flight.
Using an air-to-ground public phone service (Skyphone) Brian Epstein managed to get the pilot to agree to wait but only to the point where he did not have to refuel to reach New Delhi, otherwise he would take off with or without the Beatles.
Vic Lewis was the NEMS booking agent of the Beatles for their Asian tour and he explains what happened next after there came a knock on his door: There was a man saying, "I'm from the Department of income tax and you owe us $80,000." I naturally said to him, "I beg your pardon." So he said, "Yes, from your concert last night." I told him, "You're completely wrong. I am the agent of this whole affair and I set the whole deal up. I know exactly the contract from top to bottom without reading it, but if you'd like to see it, I'll bring out a copy."
This I eventually did and showed him the relevant clause where it stated that all income taxes, whether domestic or internal, connected with the tour, would be borne by the promoter in each country. So I phoned down and told Brian (Epstein) about this and he said, "We don't want to have any trouble with these people, so let's just get out of here. I'm waiting for the promoter to bring me the money and when he does, we'll go." So I said, "As far as I can see, this man's going to stop us from leaving the country."
Paul McCartney: We got down to the airport and found they'd turned the escalators off. So we had to walk up the escalators. All right, let's get out of here then if that's what it's going to be.
Neil Aspinall: Nobody would help us with all of this equipment and so we started using escalators and then they stopped. So we had to lug all the stuff up the stairs and once we got it all up the stairs the escalators started to work again.
The Beatles were going to Delhi and the equipment was going back to England. So at the check-in-desk we kept saying, "OK, that's going to Delhi", and they kept putting it on the pile that was going to England. In the end Mal (Evans) jumped over the counter and sorted it all out for us because nobody was going to do it.
Ringo Starr: There was chanting, with people hating us all the way. They started spitting at us, spitting on us, and there's a famous story of John and me hiding behind these nuns because we thought, "It's a Catholic country, they won't beat up the nuns."
Paul McCartney: There was a group of nuns in the corner of the airport and when all of the fisticuffs broke out we went over to the nuns. It was rather a nice little shot, nuns and Beatles in the corner. They didn't actually protect us, they just stood there looking a bit bemused. Whenever they moved, we moved the other side of them.
John Lennon: When they started on us at the airport, I was petrified. I thought I was going to get hit, so I headed for three nuns and two monks, thinking that might stop them. As far as I know I was just pushed, but I could have been kicked and not known it. "You treat like ordinary passenger, ordinary passenger," they were saying. We said: "Ordinary passenger? He doesn't get kicked, does he?"
Although in the end the four Beatles seemed to get through the crowd intact there are many different reports concerning how badly the others in the group faired. It is said the Brian Epstein was injured, Mal Evans suffered kicks to the ribs as did Alf Bicknell, their chauffeur, and possibly even a spinal injury.
George Harrison: Finally they announced the flight and we boarded the plane - and that was the greatest feeling, just to be on that plane. It was a sense of relief.
Then the plane sat there.
Eventually, there was an announcement on the speaker saying "Will Mr. Epstein and Mr. Evans and Mr. Barrow get off the plane?" They all had to get off and they looked terrified. Mal went past me down the aisle of the plane breaking out in tears and he turned to me and said: "Tell Lil (his wife) I love her."
The tax commissioner, Misael Vera, insisted they couldn't leave the country until they had paid that income tax on their concert receipts (which the promoter Ramon Ramos was still withholding). To settle the matter so they could get out of the country, Brian Epstein filed a bond for Pesos 74,450, even though Mr. Ramos was actually responsible for the tax levy.
Then, according to Mark Lewisohn's "The Beatles' Complete Chronicles" once more they were told they could not leave. Owing to a convenient 'bureaucratic bungle', there was no record of the Beatles' arrival in the Philippines two days previously. Since they technically had not arrived, they couldn't leave either being - in effect - illegal immigrants.
Finally..... after another 44 minutes on board a plane again stranded, the Beatles not knowing what was going on, the necessary paperwork was completed all were reunited and the plane was allowed to take off.
George Harrison: Nobody likes getting beaten up, especially by a dozen half-wits who don't really know why they are doing it.
George Harrison: Before the tour was planned, I had an arrangement made that on the return journey from the Philippines to London I would stop off in India, because I wanted to go and check it out and buy a good sitar. I had asked Neil if he would come with me, because I didn't want to be in India on my own. He agreed, and we had booked for the two of us to get off in Delhi.
Somewhere between leaving London and going through Germany and Japan to the Philippines, one by one the others had all said, "I think I'll come, too."
The irony of what the passage of time had delivered. (Modern Manila Hotel advertising.)
5 July 1966 - The Beatles arrive in New Delhi, India
George Harrison: So we got off. It was night-time, and we were standing there waiting for our baggage, and then the biggest disappointment I had was a realization of the extend of the fame of The Beatles -- because there were so many dark faces in the night behind a wire mesh fence, all shouting, 'Beatles! Beatles!' and following us.
We got in the car and drove off, and they were all on little scooters, with the Sikhs in turbans all going, 'Oh, Beatles, Beatles!' I thought, 'Oh, no! Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but Beatles have nowhere to lay their heads.'
6 July 1966 - George Harrison: The next day I bought a sitar. I had a guy bring them over -- again we couldn't really get out easily. I bought a sitar off a man called Ricki Ram, whose shop is still there in Delhi to this day.
(There is a slight conflict here with George's memory as some sources state all four Beatles actually visited Ricki Ram's instrument shop, and that this is where these photos were taken.)
7 July 1966 - George Harrison: We got in cars and had a ride out of Delhi to see what it looked like. That was quite an eye-opener. We were in enormous old late-1950s Cadillacs, and we went to a little village and got out of the cars. We all had Nikon cameras, and that was when it first sunk into me about the poverty. There were little kids coming up to us with flies all over them and asking for money: 'Baksheesh! Baksheesh!' Our cameras were worth more money than the whole village would earn in a lifetime. It was a very strange feeling seeing this: Cadillacs and poverty.
7 July 1966 - Ringo Starr: That was our first time in India, and it was quite interesting...going around looking at the shops is probably the biggest memory of that time in Delhi. We were offered huge pieces of ivory carvings, and we thought it was all too expensive -- huge chess pieces, which would now be antiques and worth fortunes. But I'm glad we didn't buy it; even in those days were were thinking not to buy ivory.
7 July 1966 - A page out of "The Beatles Anthology" book. First visit to India.
8 July 1966 - Safely back home!
There doesn't seem to be much out there intact from the press conference(s) on this day (July 8, 1966) but this 2 minute report seems to be one of the most watchable.
The quote that seems the most appropriate to leave this part of the story with comes from George Harrison, taken from the Mark Lewisohn book "The Beatles Complete Chronicles" when he was asked at the London airport what was next on the Beatles' schedule. His reply: "We're going to have a couple of weeks to recuperate before we go and get beaten up by the Americans."
As Mr. Lewisohn points out, he could have hardly known at the time, but this was a "painfully accurate prediction."
Part 2 [Conclusion] to be posted in September!
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