Monday, July 4, 2016

The Thriller in Manila

When we left our four favorite guys, it was 4am and they were getting settled into their suits with six adjoining rooms at the Manila Hilton.   Ringo, John and George went straight to sleep, but Paul and Neil got into a car and drove around the financial district of Manila.    Paul recalls that on one side of the street it was like Wall Street and the other had  squallers.  

What the Beatles weren't aware of was that while they were in Japan, Ramon Ramos Jr., the promoter of the Manila concert had sent a telegram to Tony Barrow inviting them to a reception at the Palace with the Marcos family as well as various friends and family of the presidential family plus numerous children.    It seems like no one wants to take the blame for the miscommunication, but what I believe is that Tony read it and ignored it, as the Beatles frequently get invitations to these sort of things.  

So while the Beatles were sleeping, people were gathering at the Palace, expecting to have a meal with the Beatles at 11am.    Reportedly, the first Brian Epstein knew about this was when he was having coffee with Peter Brown (really--he was there???) at the hotel coffee shop and Vic Lewis (who involved in the tour) asked Brian what time the Beatles were going to leave for the palace.   Brian didn't know anything about it and said that the Beatles weren't going to attend because they needed to sleep and they don't do those sort of functions.  

The Ambassador to the Philippines then called Brian at his hotel room and advised him that it was in the Beatles best interest to attend the luncheon and he best not insult the royal family as they were the ones that provided the police security for the lads.   But Brian didn't change his mind and told him, no.

The guys must have woke up around 10:55a.m. because when they turned on the television in the suit, they saw news reports about how they hadn't arrived to the luncheon and they sat there and watched themselves not arrive.   The camera zoomed in on the empty plates and sad faces of the children.     All the while, police were banging on the door of the suit yelling for the Beatles to come out.     They were most likely scared and stayed in their rooms, or perhaps Brian had called them and said that he had taken care of it and not to be concerned.     Paul was under the impression at that point that Brian would apologize on their behalf and all would be fine.

So as they left the hotel to do two of the largest concerts they ever did, they had no idea that at the palace kids were saying things such as, "I'd like to pounce on the Beatles and cut off their hair!  Don't anybody dare me to do anything because I'll do it!"    And "there is only one song I like for the Beatles, and it's Run for your life."


  1. Sara, this series is riveting!. I can only imagine how much hard work it has been to put together, but your trouble is worth it, a million thanks. Tammy: Duchess of Oven.

  2. Great backstage Manila photos - never seen these.