Photographer Shimpei Asai was lucky enough to step behind the curtain with John, Paul, Ringo and George on their 1966 trip to Tokyo. The rare, behind-the-scenes photos have only just been released in the limited edition photo book Hello, Goodbye.
“Though there had to be a lot of security, the Beatles actually escaped from it briefly. I think they accepted their situation though.”
“I had never felt this before. I did know about hysterical fans, but the atmosphere in the Budokan was different. It was as if all the audience shared one idea, and this was the only time they had.”
“I tried not to make them conscious I carried the camera, so they wouldn’t feel my presence.”
“John and Paul did escape from the hotel for a short time, but they saw almost nothing in Tokyo before they had to come back.”
“They looked frustrated about the amount of security, and they were. But they didn’t hate this situation, they accepted it.”
“When I first saw the Beatles, they were in a large room, resting. They didn’t talk to each other very much, they seemed so used to each other they didn’t have to.”
“I saw many teenage girls and they seemed to be the generation that understood the Beatles most. They were certainly the first generation of Beatles fans, and I was struck by their willingness to accept the newness of the band.”