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The Beatles - The Philippines Incident

On July 4, 1966, a semi-diplomatic incident occurred between members of "The Beatles" the government and the people of the Philippines.


The Beatles members did not show up for the reception hosted by President Marcus' family at the Royal Palace in Manila, to which they were invited.

President Marcus' family, as well as 300 close guests of the administration, waited for the Fabulous Four in vain, as they were not informed that "the Beatles" had declined their invitation.

It all started the day before, on July 3, 1966, when "the Beatles" landed at the Manila Airport in the Philippines. In the airport, 50,000 enthusiastic fans were waiting for them on the verge of hysteria, ahead of two performances that were scheduled to take place the next day. "The Beatles" members were rushed from the airport with police escort straight to a private yacht to attend a party of wealthy and famous locals. The party ended only at four in the morning.

On the morning of July 4, when the Beatles woke up in their hotel rooms, they were exhausted. That day they were scheduled to go up for two shows at Riesel Football Stadium in Manila in front of 80,000 spectators. In light of this, when "the Beatles" manager Brian Epstein received an invitation to come to the palace, he simply and politely declined. Beyond that, "the Beatles" members had a policy of not accepting such "official" invitations, so it was clear to him that the band members were not going to come to the palace.

Epstein, however, did not anticipate the reaction that followed. "The Beatles" soon found themselves "enemies" of the Philippine regime, which was not used to receiving "no answer", and saw it as an insult.

The Philippine media portrayed the incident as a deliberate act by "The Beatles" members, and when Brian Epstein tried to convey the band's response to the incident on television, his words were interrupted by static noises.

The next day, as "the Beatles" made their way to Manila Airport, they discovered to their surprise that the Philippine government had removed their police protection as an act of retaliation for the insult. They had to make their way to the field on their own and without any escort.

At the airport they were greeted by an angry and a raging mob. The members of "the Beatles" were not protected. The crowd spat at them.

The hostile crowd beat the Beatles' show manager - Mel Evans. After the band members boarded the plane, Epstein was forced to hand over to the Philippine tax authorities 6,800 British pounds in pesos, before he could return to the plane.

"The Beatles" flew from there to New Delhi, with a short stop in Bangkok. They never forgot this hallucinatory and frightening incident.

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