Monday, June 30, 2008

This date in Beatles history: 1966

On the evening of June 30, 1966, the Beatles played their first concert in Tokyo. It was videotaped.

In 1984, a 44-minute Laserdisc (and VHS cassette) of this concert was released commercially in Japan. This recording has been the subject of copyright litigation (and the object of bootlegging) ever since.

Of course, all the songs are up on YouTube. Below is the group’s performance of “Yesterday” from that Tokyo show.

12 comments:

estiv said...

Interesting take on the song. Notice how Paul looks over to George when George plays the cello line on the second bridge. Obviously carefully worked out. And the song has been transposed up a whole step, so John and George can play it in the guitar-friendly key of G. (On the Beatles Anthology version of the song, Paul explains that he's tuned his guitar down a whole step, so that he's playing in F even though he's fingering chords in G.) Damn, I wish I'd seen them.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I'm grateful it's a show in Japan that got documented. Had to be the most reserved audiences ever during the Beatles heyday.

Which means we really get to hear how they sounded as a live band. (And with your knowledge of keys and such, you're gleaning a lot more than I.)

dez said...

My computer doesn't want to play nice with YouTube embeds, dagnabbit. I love the Beatles!

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Booyah, dez!

jjbrock said...

UBM that is my favorite Beatles song. The Class of "75" chose that song for our gradulation song.

Jeff said...

Really great stuff. You inspired me to dig out an old interview with Paul McCartney (from the Rolling Stone 20th Anniversary issue), where he commented on the greatness of the Beatles as a band:

"...because that was the great thing about the Beatles; we really were a great band. I mean, REALLY. I know now from playing with other people that it's not always you can sit down and actually get in a groove. With the Beatles, it nearly always was. We could sit down and do any old piece of crap, and we'd generally hit a groove - and that is something you cannot buy."

Undercover Black Man said...

The Class of "75" chose that song for our gradulation song.

Glad you liked it, JJB. You know what? I can't even remember what our graduation song was (Class of '79).

Undercover Black Man said...

"We could sit down and do any old piece of crap, and we'd generally hit a groove -"

Yep, Jeff. More so than seeing them in concert, though, I really wish I could travel back in time and be a fly on the wall at Abbey Road... watching them kick ideas around...

dickster1961 said...

UBM-According to the fancy beer mug we got at our prom (I can't believe I still have it) our prom theme was "Love's Holiday."

Dougfp said...

Inspired by your selection, I looked up the Tokyo concert on YouTube and watched a few of the numbers. It was hard to stop. They do a fantastic version of "I'm Down", a minor Beatle classic that has them sounding like the most tuneful punk band ever.

Undercover Black Man said...

... our prom theme was "Love's Holiday."

Oh Lordy, Dick... I must have that mug in a box somewhere. Is the prom theme the same as a graduation song? These are the questions that vex.

Either way, it should've been "Shake Your Groove Thing."

Undercover Black Man said...

Doug: Yep... great to see Paul just rock out and scream.