Today on the Fab 4 at 4, it's all about 1966!
In March, the cover of the US only release Yesterday and Today created an uproar, as it featured the band dressed in butchers' overalls, draped in meat and mutilated plastic dolls. Capitol parent EMI chairman Sir Joseph Lockwood ordered the butcher cover withdrawn.
In Late June and early July, The Beatles played three shows at the Nippon Budokan, a martial arts stage, in Tokyo, Japan. The performance provoked protestors upset about using that venue for a concert and resulted in The Bealtes being forced to stay inside their hotel rooms. John did sneak out of the hotel, using the name of a staff photographer, but he was eventually reconginzed and forced to return.
Following the shows in Tokyo, they went to The Philippines where they unintentionally snubbed the nation's first lady, Imelda Marcos, who had expected the group to attend a breakfast reception at the Presidential Palace. Unaccustomed to accepting "no" for an answer, the Marcos regime was extremely offened, resulting in their abandonment by their police escorts and increasingly hostile crowds. Before leaving, they were forced to pay in excess of $16,000 in taxes.
Almost as soon as they returned from the Philippines, Lennon's "more popular than Jesus" comment, which he had made in March, sparked a backlash against The Beatles from religious and social conservatives in the United States. Several radio stations held Beatles' record burning events.
The Beatles staged their third concert tour of America in August 1966. Lasting a total of fourteen shows, it was plagued with backlash caused by Lennon's comments, death threats, and the band's own dissatisfaction with the noise levels and their ability to perform live. After the tour, they became a studio band and focused exclusively on record production.
After taking a few months off, The Beatles entered the studio in November to begin recording the Sgt. Pepper album. 1966 would mark the last year that all four Beatles would be tied to their classic "Mop-Top" image, although their hair was noticeably longer by this time, and all-together unified look.
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