hilton tokyo

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George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and Paul McCartney (as well as Neil Aspinall and Brian Epstein) looking at goods, listening to music and hanging out at the Tokyo Hilton, Japan, 30 June or 1 and 2 July 1966.

Photos © Shinko Music; Robert Whitaker

“When we came off the plane, we were put in little 1940s-type cars along with policeman dressed in metal helmets, like Second World War American soldiers’ helmets. We were driven in convoy into town and taken to the Tokyo Hilton where we were put in our upstairs suite - and that was it. We were only allowed out of the room when it was time for the concert.

To get our own back on the people who weren’t letting us out, we used to get them to bring tradesmen up to our suite. They would bring big boxes and trunks full of golden kimonos, jade, incense-holders and little carved objects, which we would buy: ‘We’ll show them!’ We wanted to go shopping.” - George Harrison, The Beatles Anthology

flickr

Room 3828 by Bart Palka
Via Flickr:
View from my room on the top floor, Hilton Tokyo;)

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George Harrison, Tokyo Hilton, 1966 (screen capped from footage of The Beatles in the hotel hallway)

“I remember interviewing them, and in those days, honestly, George wasn’t the most exciting Beatle. As a journalist, you’d go after John or Paul of Ringo. George’s introspection made us afraid of getting too much of the mortal sin for a broadcaster, namely dead air. But in retrospect, that was very wrong. I think now that if we had given George the courtesy and respect he deserved, his whole persona might have changed. But none of us did that. It was the other three who got 90 per cent of the action.

When he was interviewed, George was always direct, never flowery with his words. He answered succinctly. If he could answer in two sentences, he never made it into a paragraph. He had kind eyes. When you spoke with him, he looked directly at you. You knew there was sensitivity at work. I remember talking to George in one Beatles interview, and McCartney butts in and asks John, ‘Hey, John, why don’t you tell him who you’re sleeping with now?’ First of all, in those days, you didn’t make those kinds of references on the air. But I remember George looking down. He didn’t say anything, but he looked down as if he was embarrassed or disapproved. I don’t know whether it was for me or for what McCartney said, but it did seem that he felt the comment out of line. Maybe their success in America had hit them so quickly that they didn’t always know how to handle it and would sometimes react with nervous energy and get occasionally snippy. But Harrison never was.“ - Bruce "Cousin Brucie” Morrow on The Beatles, Here Comes The Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison by Joshua M. Greene [x]

John looking out the window of the Tokyo Hilton’s Presidential Suite where they stayed while they were there. Photo - Robert Whitaker (1966)

“We’re not on holiday. We don’t expect to see any sights or have any fun. And if we get fun as well while we happen to be touring, well then it’s okay, you know. But it’s our job as well.” - John Lennon during the press conference held at the Tokyo Hilton, June 30, 1966

KEN GARY: “Since you are all the time caged in your hotel except for performances, is there any pleasure at all except for the money in traveling abroad?”

GEORGE:
“And when we go away, anyway, the main reason for going away is just so that all the people can see us at the concerts. So it doesn’t really matter if we don’t have a good time because it’s for the other people, anyway.”
-Excerpt from The Beatles Press Conference held at the Hilton Hotel in Tokyo, Japan (1966)