Press conference at London airport • Friday, July 8, 1966

Press conference • Interview of The Beatles
Timeline More from year 1966
Heathrow airport, London, UK

Related concerts

Manila • Rizal Memorial Football Stadium • Philippines

Jul 04, 1966 • 8:30pm show • Philippines • Manila • Rizal Memorial Football Stadium

Manila • Rizal Memorial Football Stadium • Philippines

Jul 04, 1966 • 4pm show • Philippines • Manila • Rizal Memorial Football Stadium

Other interviews of The Beatles

One More For The Road

October 2000 • From MOJO

Fantastic voyage

October 1999 • From MOJO

Calm down! It's The Beatles. Their only interview!

December 1995 • From Q Magazine

Andy Gray talks to the Beatles, 1968

Jul 13, 1968 • From New Musical Express

Interview for The Kenny Everett Show

Jun 09, 1968 • From BBC Radio 1

Interview for The Village Voice

May 16, 1968 • From The Village Voice

Interview for WNDT

May 14, 1968 • From WNDT

Interview for The Tonight Show

May 14, 1968 • From NBC

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On July 5, 1966, The Beatles left Manila after being physically threatened because they didn’t join an invitation by the Philippines’ First Lady, Imelda Marcos. In the early morning of July 6, after a brief refuelling stop in Bangkok, they arrived in New Delhi, India, for a two-days stop. They left New Delhi on the evening of July 7.

They arrived at London Airport at 6 am on July 8, where a brief press conference was held. They were also interviewed by the ITN network and by Reuters, where they discuss their troubled time in the Philippines.

At all times, even in adverse conditions, Paul carried an ample supply of oil for pouring onto troubled waters. Back home in London he gave the press a graphic account of our departure: ‘We were being pushed and banged around from one corner to another. With the escalators switched off we couldn’t go anywhere very fast. When they started knocking over our road managers everyone was falling all over the place. I swear there were at least 30 of them surrounding us.’ George had the final word. Asked on his arrival in London what was next on the group’s agenda he replied with only the merest a hint of a smile: ‘We’re going to have a couple of weeks to recuperate before we go and get beaten up by the Americans.’

Tony Barrow – From “John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me: The Real Beatles Story” by Tony Barrow, 2006

George: If I go back. It will be with an H-bomb to drop on it. I intend to tip off The Rolling Stones about the place, because they are due to go there shortly.

John: I would not even fly over it now. Let alone land there.

Ringo: Go back there? You must be joking!

Paul: You can’t print my answer. I would not want my worst enemy to go there. We have never been jeered before. I must say that it is different.

George: I have never been so terrified in my life. We will never go back there.

Answering allegations about snubbing the President, The Beatles and Brian reply:

George: We knew nothing about it. Apparently at 11 o’clock in the morning, someone from the Palace saw Brian and told him that we were supposed to be at the palace.

Brian: We never got the invitation and even if we had we would have turned it down. I would much rather the boys met 300 children in India than 300 kids who just happen to be at a palace because their parents know someone.

John: All along the route to the airport, there were people waving at us, but I could also see a few old men who were booing us. There was a group of monkeys; you can’t call them anything else, waiting for us as we were about to fly out of the country. When they started on us at the airport, I was petrified! They shoved us around. I thought I was going to get hurt, so I headed for three nuns and two monks, thinking that might stop them. I think they were hoping that we would retaliate so that they could finish us off. As far as I know, I was just pushed around, but I could have been kicked and not known it.

George: Nobody likes getting beaten up, especially by a dozen half-wits who don’t really know why they are doing it.

Ringo: They were most probably customs men, because they were all wearing the same clothes and carried guns.

Reporter: Will you go back there again?

George: I didn’t even want to go there this time…

John: Neither did I.

George: … because we had heard it was a terrible place anyway, and when we got there it was proved!

Paul: Apart from Manila, the tour was just great. The kids in Tokyo went wild about us and really, the shows in Manila went well. We sang to about 100,000 people. And, of course, Germany always give us a good welcome.

LENNON: I thought I was going to get hurt — so I headed for the monks!

JOHN LENNON summed up the Beatles’ feelings about the Manila affair when he said back in London on Friday: “No plane’s going to go through the Philippines with me on it. I wouldn’t even fly over it.

At a 6.30 a.m. Press conference at London Airport the Beatles described the most terrifying experience of their career when they walked the gauntlet of Filipinos at Manila Airport. The Filipinos thought the Beatles insulted the President’s wife by not attending a reception she gave for them. But, explained the Beatles, they were NEVER INVITED!

PAUL jeering and jostling at the airport was the work of a group of troublemakers and not the thousands of fans who saw them off.

There were about thirty of these thugs, some of them with guns, waiting for us, and it was very obvious they were trying to get us,” he went on. “They were pushing us around and chauffeur, Alf Bicknell, ww pushed over on his back. I WAS FRIGHTENED — AND SAD, I THOUGHT ‘WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS, YOU IDIOTS?’ — BECAUSE WE KNEW WE HADN’T DONE ANYTHING WRONG TO DESERVE IT. BUT IT WAS NO GOOD SAYING THAT — OR SMACK! It was very cowardly because there were thirty of them and only ten of us. The police didn’t do anything and the promoters’ men guarding us left us. The President has sent us a telegram saying he was sorry this happened. He’s like us — just some poor fellow in the middle of it all. It was a big misunderstanding, and we tried to clear it up with people concerned. I was shopping in Manila wien suddenly I was told we were supposed to have been at this reception. There was never an invitation for us. The promoters got the invitation and thought we were bound to want to go and see the President, not thinking of our time schedule. I can’t believe we got involved in political things. What have I got in the politics of Manila?

John recalled: “All along the route to the airport there were people waving at us, but I could see a few old men booing us. When they started on us at the airport I was petrified. I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO GET HURT, SO I HEADED FOR THREE NUNS AND TWO MONKS THINKING THAT MIGHT STOP THEM. AS FAR AS I KNOW I WAS JUST PUSHED AROUND BUT I COULD HAVE BEEN KICKED AND NOT KNOW IT.

Said George: “They were waiting for us to retaliate so that they could finish us off. I was terrified — it was very bad. These thirty funny-looking fellows with guns had obviously arranged to give us the worst time possble. They were like the Gestapo and looking for a fight.

And Ringo commented: “Manila was the roughest reception we’ve ever had. Being booed by thirty people out of two thousand isn’t too bad. but they really had it in for us.


From Disc And Music Echo – July 16, 1966
From Disc And Music Echo – July 16, 1966
From Disc And Music Echo – July 16, 1966

From Band Returns to London – The Beatles History (
From Band Returns to London – The Beatles History (

Last updated on November 4, 2023

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