More from year 1965
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I met the Beatles in June 1965. I boarded a plane for the first time in my life and flew to London for an exclusive interview with John, Paul, George, and Ringo at EMI’s legendary Abbey Road studios. A year later, the Beatles came to perform in Japan, at the Nippon Budōkan. Following that original interview in 1965, I was able to meet and interview the Beatles every year until the band split in 1970. This wonderful opportunity gave me a precious glimpse of the personalities beyond these icons of my generation. […]
It was just after five in the afternoon of June 15 that I set out for the EMI studios in Abbey Road, where the Beatles were recording. Producer George Martin welcomed me to the mixing room of Studio 2. The Beatles were downstairs in the studio. Curious about this new arrival, dressed in a kimono, they stopped their conversation and looked up toward me in the mixing room. Paul McCartney pointed to the staircase and gestured at me to come down into the studio.
They’d been told that a journalist was coming to interview them, but probably hadn’t expected someone like me: a small (150-centimeter) woman dressed in a kimono. George Harrison rushed over and started asking me questions. Why was I wearing such a huge belt? And why were my sleeves so long? My decision to wear a kimono turned out to have been an inspired decision, proving an ideal icebreaker and talking point.
I think the sight of me—around the same age as they were, speaking hesitant English, small, and obviously harmless—put them at ease. They opened up right away. I’d been told I had only thirty minutes for my interview, but in the end I was with them for three hours. We’d solicited questions for the four Beatles from Music Life readers. When I handed a piece of paper with around ten questions to Paul, he took one look at it and said, “With your English, this’ll take all night,” and hurriedly passed question sheets to his bandmates. They all started dutifully writing their answers to our readers’ questions.
The most talkative of the four was John. At first he’d struck me as a bit reserved, but he soon relaxed and started cracking jokes. He seemed to know a fair bit about Japan, and told me he wanted to meet a sumō wrestler if he visited the country. He said a friend at art college had shown him a collection of old photos of Japan, including some “beautiful” photos of sumō wrestlers. “I can speak Japanese, you know,” he told me, before launching into a demonstration of pseudo-Japanese babble. […]Hoshika Rumiko – From When Beatlemania Came to Japan | Nippon.com, July 28, 2016
Last updated on September 12, 2023