Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Beatles Barely Escape from the Philippines

During the Beatles final world tour, they landed in the Philippines in July of 1966. Imelda Marcos, wife of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, invited the Beatles to a luncheon, which Brian Epstein declined on behalf of the Beatles, saying that the Beatles were not in the habit of attending state functions when visiting a country. While technically true, the Beatles had a day off scheduled and held fast to their position that they were not going to give it up for Mrs. Marcos.

Imelda Marcos was enraged, and the Beatles police escorts suddenly disappeared. Epstein and roadie Neil Aspinall had a difficult time finding cars to take the group to the airport since it was becoming obvious that they might be in danger. At the waiting lounge in the airport, the Beatles were shoved from one corner to the next, and roadie Mal Evans was actually punched. Epstein was told to leave the plane, and he was not allowed to board the aircraft until he returned the Beatles' advance earnings for the concert that never took place.

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