Heritage June 2014


Photo retrospective showcases prime Beatles moments

To this day, the Beatles retain iconic status as British rockers. For many countries, including Japan, the band was among the first major UK music exports, who paved the Abbey Road to the currently held vision of Britain as a global hub for music.

They led the British Invasion of the 1960s that kicked off lasting collaboration between UK and US rock and pop musicians of the era.

The Beatles came to Japan in 1966, the same year hit tunes such as “Penny Lane”, “Paperback Writer” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” were recorded. This was also the year the foursome became associated with their signature “mop-top” hairstyle, a point that was not lost upon Japanese journalists posing questions at a press conference during the visit.

Tokyo was the first stop for the band’s Asia tour that year. Several performances were scheduled at Nippon Budokan Hall, a fact that enraged many right-wing nationalists who felt the venue was reserved for performances of traditional Japanese culture.

For their protection, the group was confined to their room at the Tokyo Hilton for the entire duration of their stay.

They had five successful shows, although band members reportedly described fans as very “clinical” and calm, subdued by policemen at the end of each row. The authorities were wary of violence among audience members after having received written threats from anonymous sources.

The following set of four photos was on display at Acme Studio in Tokyo from 15–28 May, on loan from Miss Tourism World Japan and Miss British Empire.

These pictures, in addition to several dozen others—all 40 to 50 years old—are available free of charge to readers and member firms for exhibition purposes. Interested parties should contact japan@misstourism.biz.