Interview for The Manila Times • Tuesday, July 5, 1966

Interview for the Manila Times

Press interview • Interview of Paul McCartney
Published by:
The Manila Times
Interview by:
Bobby Ng
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The day before, The Beatles had played their two concerts in Manilla. They also didn’t join an invitation by the Philippines’ First Lady, Imelda Marcos, because of miscommunication within their entourage. When they woke up on the morning of July 5, 1966, they realized something was going on. They didn’t get any response from the hotel management when ordering their breakfast. They then sent their road manager Mal Evans to see what was going on, but Mal couldn’t find any employee in sight in the lobby. When finally someone appeared at the front desk, he gruffly announced that there was no more room service for the Beatles.

From The Beatles in Manila: Remembering the Nightmare (

The popular television host Bobby Ng (“Jam Session”) had been doing a front-page multi-part series on The Beatles in Manila for the front pages of The Manila Times. That morning, he was ushered into Suite 402 of the Manila Hotel for an impromptu interview with Epstein, George and Paul, who sat atop the television set. Paul unsurprisingly played the nice guy. “We don’t want to offend anyone, especially since we’re visiting in this country. We just want to sing.” George was more sullen. “We didn’t even want to come here.

Paul asked if in the Philippines, the government controlled the press. Ng replied that the press was free, but the public was indignant. Paul pointed at the local papers lying in disarray. “The newspapers say, ‘Snub, Snub!’ then they say…[McCartney whispered] Oh…misunderstanding!

The morning before, as John, George, and Ringo slept after arriving from the yacht, Paul had explored Manila. He saw the homeless sleeping on the streets just across the toniest office buildings. He took photos of what he had seen. Now, Paul started on social inequality in the Philippines, and how the people were exploited by the few with wealth, with power, with yachts and palaces. He was interrupted by Ng, who said that perhaps the people would not be so angry with them had they agreed instead to move the meeting at the Palace at another hour. Paul was upset. “We weren’t supposed to be there in the first place. What were we going to do? Show up and say, ‘We’re here! Sorry we’re late!’ Why should we apologize for something that’s not our fault?” After Paul insisted that they had not asked for that appointment (“How would you feel if you were told what to do?”), Ng replied that the invitation from the First Lady “amounted to an invitation from one who represented all the people.

John Lennon walked into the room. “We got a few things to learn about the Philippines,” he told Ng. “First of all is how to get out of here.


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