Beatles Anthology

Here is an interesting picture of John Lennon (out of focus) on stage at the Budokan Hall, Tokyo Japan in 1966. (LIFE magazine)


One of my favourite parts of The Beatles Anthology series is the 1966 visit to Japan. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit myself. And the fact that John Lennon met his future wife (Yoko Ono) only a few months after that trip, makes it somewhat interesting as well.

The best parts of The Beatles in Japan video clips are the concerts at the Budokan Hall. Watching the video you get a glimpse into an authentic Beatles concert in full colour. The performance was considered by The Beatles to be substandard as it was one of the rare concerts where they could actually hear themselves play. It was only ever officially released as a laser disc in the 1980’s (in Japan of course!) but I have seen bootlegs on VHS and DVD (plus most of the footage can be be found on youtube).

This was the last world tour The Beatles would give and it included Germany, Japan, The Philippines, and finally America. The setlist for most every show was:

Rock n Roll Music

She’s a Woman

If I Needed Someone

Day Tripper

Baby”s In Black

I Feel Fine


I Wanna Be Your Man

Nowhere Man

Paperback Writer

I”m Down

The only new songs to play live in ’66 were “Nowhere Man”, “If I Needed Someone”, “Day Tripper” and “Paperback Writer”. They also neglected to try to to play anything from their new album, Revolver, although “Paperback Writer” was from the same sessions.

Standards like “Rock-N-Roll Music” and “She’s A Woman” (a great version is on the Anthology 2 CD set, with George’s guitar solo sounding just a bit psychedelic) were still predominant. Or maybe they didn’t want to play anything from Revolver as I remember hearing one interview where George Harrison said they had got fed up with it by the time it was completed. However, the scene in the Anthology where they are revisiting the original master tapes of Lennon’s tone poem “Tomorrow Never Knows” (which closes the album), George, Paul and Ringo are thrilled at the re-listening.


It’s also interesting that this 66 world tour was the last gasp of world Beatlemania. “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” were just around the corner.

Picture of 1995 Beatles from :


3 Responses

  1. I think large elements of Revolver would have been hard to play live, in truth, though I agree that the choices of tracks form this set list are curious – I suspect an element of lethargy?

    See my post here about the ropey shows if you are interested 🙂

    Great photo from Japan by the way. Also I dont recall the playback of TNK in the Anthology – maybe it is on the DVDs but not the TV broadcast versions…?

  2. Hi. Yes the “Tomorrow Never Knows” playback scene is on the Bonus DVD of the 2003 Box set…essential viewing for the Beatle fan…also great is a scene where they listen to a playback of “Golden Slumbers” and George H. goes “What album was that on?

  3. Ha ha, brill. I love their inability to remember anything.

    I’ve not seen the DVD version of the anthology just a battered old video taped off the telly when it was first shown. Much watched and worn away almost!

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