Press conference in Manilla • Sunday, July 3, 1966

Press conference • Interview of The Beatles

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The Beatles landed at Manila Airport on July 3, 1966, at 4:30 pm, where a large group of fans were waiting to greet them. However, they didn’t get to see them because The Beatles’ plane did not land close to them. The Beatles were then separated from their management staff and driven to the Philippine Navy Headquarters where a press conference was held.

[…] This was the first time in the Beatlemania era that the boys were all alone in a foreign country, cut off from both Neil Aspinall and Brian Epstein. Still uncertain about their friends or their bags or their fates, The Beatles were whisked to their press conference at the Philippine Navy headquarters. Only navy bands are supposed to hold press conferences at navy headquarters. Despite the circumstances, The Beatles tried to charm at the press conference. As the photographers stood up to take their photos, John yelped “Woof! Woof!,” Ringo pranced and shouted, “Shall we dance!”. Only Paul was not hiding behind sunglasses. They insisted, “[W]e’re not hiding from our fans. They’re hidden from us.”

The Beatles, through publicity man Tony Barrow, had imposed rules that would allow for a professional press conference, as opposed to a fan convention. No autographs allowed. No one under 18 allowed, except maybe The Beatles fan club chapter secretary. No standing room. A high-quality sound amplification system so that every word uttered by the lads could be understood.

These rules notwithstanding, the press conference that followed was predictably insipid. The absence of any shared contexts between the lads from Liverpool and the habitués of the National Press Club ensured that. Many of the questions were clearly formulated by grumpy old men. Would you be as popular without your long hair? When did you last get a haircut? How much tax do you pay? How do you solve the Vietnam War? To that last question, George earned laughs by drolly replying, Give it back to whoever deserves it. Yet it was clear that the boys were testy. When asked what their latest song was, they replied “Philippine Blues.” Few laughed. John had just published his second book, titled A Spaniard in the Works. A reporter asked, What do you mean by Spaniard in your latest book? John asked back, “Have you read it?” then barked, “Then read it,” after the reporter confessed that she had not.

Jean Pope of the Manila Times said: “John Lennon peered over his arrogant nose at the crowd.” Joe Quirino, the Ed Sullivan of the Philippines, liked Ringo most of all. “He gave serious answers and was respectful. But his taste of clothes is atrocious. He wore a maroon jacket with white stripes, foulard shirt and pants, and shoes that defy description.”

Epstein now stood at the sidelines. He, according to one Filipino, “always looked pissed off.” He cut the proceedings short after 30 minutes with a curt announcement, “Gentlemen, that’s all.” They then proceeded to the harbor, to board the Elizalde yacht, Marima, which then pressed on towards the sea. […]

From The Beatles in Manila: Remembering the Nightmare (, May 24, 2017

From Paul McCartney of the Beatles answers questions at the Philippine… Photo d’actualité – Getty Images – MANILA – JULY 4: Paul McCartney of the Beatles answers questions at the Philippine Navy Headquarters during their press conference before their concert at Rizal Memorial Stadium, on July 4, 1966, in Manila, Philippines. (Photo by Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images)
From Manila – The Beatles History (
From The Beatles 1966 Manila Press Conference Vintage Wired Press Photograph | #1906400669 ( – An original 1966 sepia tint photograph which shows The Beatles sat at a table during a press conference. On the reverse a previous owner has written ‘Manilla 3/7/66’ in blue pen. It is also stamped ‘Wired’ and ‘Sun Property’.
From The Beatles in Manila: Remembering the Nightmare (
From Meet the Beatles for Real: Manila Press Conference

Last updated on October 23, 2023


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