Home Jambase The Beatles Start Budokan Run On This Date In 1966

The Beatles Start Budokan Run On This Date In 1966

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The Beatles’ 1966 tour would be the one that led the band to give up live shows altogether. There were a number of heavy shows on the tour: the infamous Philippines run-in with the Marcos regime; the momentous Shea Stadium show in New York City; and the last show of all time at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

It was a controversial tour, especially when The Fab Four kicked off a run at the Nippon Budokan, a venue that traditionally was used for sumo wrestling and other martial arts. The Beatles would be the first rock band to play the venue on this date in 1966 and returned the following day.

As far as Beatles shows go, the Budokan is one of the better ones. You can actually hear the band. Beatlemania was in full swing, but the audience was more subdued. “The people were very restricted as to what they could do and how they could respond to us. It was a warm reception – but a bit clinical, as Japan is,” George Harrison said, as Ultimate Classic Rock reported.

But they both rock. John Lennon kicks it off with Chuck Berry’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music” followed by “She’s A Woman.” George Harrison’s stellar song “If I Needed Someone,” complete with the Rickenbacker 12-string electric, fills out the first third of the set.

“Baby’s In Black” hits next ahead of the riffy “Day Tripper.” The revolutionary feedback of “I Feel Fine” comes next. Paul McCartney gets his time in the sun for “Yesterday” followed by the Ring’o Star rocker “I Wanna Be Your Man.” The only difference in the setlists is a “Nowhere Man” on June 30. The harmonies of “Paperback Writer,” which would herald what was to come next for The Beatles, filled the arena. A fitting “I’m Down” closes out the short set.

Check out the setlists and watch both shows below:

Setlist

The Beatles at Nippon Budokan

  • Rock and Roll Music  
  • She’s a Woman
  • If I Needed Someone
  • Day Tripper
  • Baby’s in Black
  • I Feel Fine
  • Yesterday
  • I Wanna Be Your Man
  • Nowhere Man
  • Paperback Writer
  • I’m Down

Setlist

The Beatles at Nippon Budokan

  • Rock and Roll Music  
  • She’s a Woman
  • If I Needed Someone
  • Baby’s in Black
  • Day Tripper
  • I Feel Fine
  • Yesterday
  • I Wanna Be Your Man
  • Paperback Writer
  • I’m Down

[Originally Published: June 30, 2019]