- Timeline More from year 1966
More from year 1966
Jul 04, 1966 • 8:30pm show • Philippines • Manila • Rizal Memorial Football Stadium
Jul 04, 1966 • 4pm show • Philippines • Manila • Rizal Memorial Football Stadium
Other interviews of The Beatles
October 2000 • From MOJO
October 1999 • From MOJO
Nov 20, 1995
December 1995 • From Q Magazine
Jul 13, 1968 • From New Musical Express
May 16, 1968 • From The Village Voice
May 14, 1968 • From WNDT
May 14, 1968 • From NBC
May 14, 1968
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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
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.“
AS PAUL RUEFULLY REMARKED: “AND WE JUST WENT THERE TO SING!”From Disc And Music Echo – July 16, 1966
Last updated on November 27, 2022
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