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Thursday, June 23, 1966

The Beatles travel from London to Munich

Last updated on December 20, 2023


  • Location: Bayerischer Hof Hotel, Munich, Germany


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A day after they completed the recording and mixing of the “Revolver” album, The Beatles took an 11:05 am flight from London to Munich, to start the first leg of their world tour, which would bring them to West Germany, Japan and the Philippines, and the USA.

Among those accompanying them were Brian Epstein, his assistant Peter Brown, road managers Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans, press officer Tony Barrow, photographer Robert Whitaker and various journalists.

[…] The start of the 3,000 miles in three days tour was the massing at London Airport on Thursday morning of the press party, Brian Epstein, his assistant Peter Brown, road managers Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans and several photographers from a German national newspaper.

The Beatles, as usual, swept onto the tarmac in John Lennon’s gleaming black Rolls and straight on the plane, with barely a hundred Beatle fans on the airport roof for the departure.

No signs of Beatlemania were apparent at the British start of the race across Europe – a deceptively quiet start to one of the most hectic Beatle tours ever, thanks to the unbelievably bureaucratic pig-headedness of German officialdom and the stronger-than-ever security screen around the four lads.

The Beatles sat along with ordinary passengers in the first-class forward section of the plane. Did George and Ringo enjoy the flight? “As much as you can enjoy any flight,” replied George, wearing a hat straight from a Marx Brothers’ film. […]

From Melody Maker – July 2, 1966

From 1966: Beatles give concert in Hamburg | NDR.de – History – © picture alliance / AP Images
From From left to right, George Harrison , Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and… News Photo – Getty Images – From left to right, George Harrison (1943-2001), Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon (1940-1980) of English pop group The Beatles posed on steps leading up to an aircraft at London Airport on 23rd June 1966. The group are flying to Munich, West Germany to play concerts in Munich, Essen and Hamburg. (Photo by Paul Popper/Popperfoto via Getty Images)
From Germany Tour Begins – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)
From Germany Tour Begins – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)
From Germany Tour Begins – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)

The Beatles arrived in Munich just before 1 pm, were picked up at the airport and brought to the Bayerischer Hof Hotel.

At the hotel, they spent time brainstorming about the title for their new album. Titles like “Magic Circle“, “Four Sides To The Circle“, “Beatles On Safari” and “After Geography” (a parody of The Rolling Stones’ recently released “Aftermath” album) were mentioned, but no one was convinced.

On their arrival in Germany, The Beatles were faced with a unique problem. Six months of Revolver thinking meant that they hadn’t played any of their old numbers for over half a year. So, on arrival, at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Muich, Paul quickly organised rehearsals. Even so, when they finally went on stage at the Circus Krone the following evening, their new bottle green suits and watered silk lapel’s couldn’t hide the slightly rusty way in which their act started. But the very first number, ‘Rock And Roll Music’, blew the cobwebs out of their heads and they were away.

From The Beatles Monthly Book

They played their new LP tape in their bedroom – on a machine with terrible reproduction. “It brings me down, listening to things that sound so bad on rotten machines,” said Lennon. Never mind. It’s a fascinating new LP and the boys spent hours trying to dream up a title for it. No luck. “Magic Circles”, “Bubble and Squeak”, “Beatles on Safari” and “Freewheelin’ Beatles” are the nearest they reached.

From Disc And Music Echo – July 2, 1966

At 4 pm, a press conference was organized at the hotel. The day ended with some rehearsals ahead of the two concerts planned the following day.

From June 1966: Germany went wild over The Beatles’ blitz tour – DW – 06/22/2016 – When their plane landed at the Munich airport at 12:56 on June 23, 1966, chaos broke out with 200 police officers desperately trying to get control over the fans. Journalists stormed the stairs, and Paul smiled at them while manager Brian Epstein tried to calm down the situation. John fought his way through the crowds, while the remaining Beatles disappeared into the crowd. Image: Rockmuseum München, Foto: Rainer Schwanke/Archiv Herbert Hauke
From Germany Tour Begins – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)
From June 1966: Germany went wild over The Beatles’ blitz tour – DW – 06/22/2016 – Fans are pictured waiting in front of the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich where the band stayed. The crowds screamed while the hotel management feverishly worked out the quartet’s booking. Much to the disliking of the four gentlemen, double rooms had been booked by mistake. After that got worked out, the famous foursome greeted their cheering fans from their windows. Image: Rockmuseum München, Foto: Rainer Schwanke/Archiv Herbert Hauke
From Germany Tour Begins – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)
From Germany Tour Begins – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)
From Germany Tour Begins – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru) – Photo by Frank Fishbeck.
From Germany Tour Begins – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)
From Germany Tour Begins – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)

Triumphant Return!

Every Beatles tour starts off with well organised precision. “The party will fly to Munich from London on Thursday June 23rd via BEA flight number BE 502 departing London Airport at 11.05 a.m.”… read our instructions. But anyone who’s been on a Beatles tour before — and the Beatles Book staff have been there most times — knows better. Every Beatle person in the particular country they’re touring wants to meet and talk to the boys — who wouldn’t. But there is always a big posse of police and guards equally determined to protect their charges.

After a ninety minute trip our Comet touched down at Munich Airport and was immediately surrounded by a big crowd of aircrew, groundsmen and photographers.

The boys emerged from the plane to a battery of clicking cameras, shouted questions and hurried greetings from their press officer, Tony Barrow, who had arrived in Germany before them to prepare for their visit.

When everyone started to close in, Tony decided it was time to go, and whisked the boys and Brian Epstein into a white Mercedes which took them to the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich, where several hundred fans had gathered.

Before anyone realised what was happening the Beatles were inside and safely installed in their fifth floor suite.


The boys had a bit of a problem on their hands when we joined them in their rooms — they had to do a bit of quick thinking, and come up with a good title for their new L.P.

After listening to the tracks on George’s tape recorder, we all swopped suggestions and came up with names like “Magic Circle”, “Four Sides To The Circle”, “Beatles On Safari” and “After Geography” (a Ringo pun on [The Rolling Stones’] “Aftermath”) — but still no luck.

Then it was time for the press conference. Everyone made for the lift, which was designed to take ten people. Fifteen crammed in, the door closed and the whole thing jammed between floors for ten minutes, whilst those downstairs waited and wondered and everyone in the lift wondered and waited.

The lift was repaired, the Beatles were freed and the press conference began. Photographs were followed by questions, followed by more photographs, and then a presentation of a trophy by Bravo magazine, the organisers of the tour. Everyone happy, the boys returned to their suite to practise. After all, they were going on stage the following day to perform numbers they hadn’t played together for six months.

The evening was spent quietly with just a quick dip in the hotel swimming pool. […]

From The Beatles Monthly Book – August 1966
From The Beatles Monthly Book – August 1966


BEATLES departure for Munich at the start of their Germany-Japan tour has been brought forward a day to Thursday, June 23. They fly from London Airport by BEA flight number BE.502 at 11.05 a.m.

After their Munich, Essen and Hamburg appearances (24-26) they fly on to Tokyo for shows (from June 30-JuIy 2), returning via Manila to London on Tuesday, July 5, flight arrival time not yet announced.

Beatles American-Canadian August tour dates have been tentatively fixed as: Chicago (12), Detroit (13). Cleveland (14). Washington (15), Philadelphia (16), Toronto (17), Boston (18), Memphis (19), Cincinnati (20), St Louis (21). New York Shea Stadium (23-24), Seattle (25), Los Angeles (28), San Francisco (29). Return to London August 30.

From Disc And Music Echo – June 11, 1966
From Disc And Music Echo – June 11, 1966


IT’S Beatles action week. Today (Thursday) the Beatles blast off from London Airport on one stage of their German and Far East tours — the first concert performances the four have made since last December.

First stop: Munich, where the Beatles give a press reception at the city’s plush Beyerischer Hof Hotel this afternoon. They open their German tour tomorrow night at Munich’s Circus Kroner, where they play two shows.

Two Beatles concerts — one in Germany and one in Tokyo — are being filmed for television.

The Beatles completed their new LP at EMI’s St John’s Wood studios this week. A spokesman for the group told the MM: “They completed the last track of their 14-track LP on Tuesday. They had hoped to have it finished before leaving for their dates in Germany and the Far East.”

It is hoped that the album will be released in August.

Sales of “Paperback Writer” have passed the million mark. Sales in America exceed 750,000 and British sales are well over the half-million.

From Melody Maker – June 25, 1966
From Melody Maker – June 25, 1966

Going further

The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."

We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

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