Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Events slated to mark anniversary of the Beatles' 1966 visit to Tokyo

The Beatles visited Japan in June and July 1966 and gave memorable performances at the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo.

This year various commemorative events are scheduled in Tokyo to mark the 40th anniversary of the legendary band's visit.

Capitol Tokyu Hotel in Chiyoda Ward, which was the Tokyo Hilton when the Fab Four stayed there, is planning some events, including a "Beatlemania" stay in which guests can book the presidential suite, the band's room 40 years ago, at about 115,000 yen per night, a quarter of the regular charge, in August.

The suite's furniture, including tables and lights, are almost the same as before, according to the hotel.

"We would like to offer a last chance for fans to stay in the suite before the hotel is torn down," said spokesman Takanori Yasuoka.

The hotel will close Nov. 31 and be rebuilt.

In addition, the Return, a Beatles cover band from the U.S., will stage a dinner show Friday at the hotel's Pearl Room, where the Beatles held news conferences.

"There are many cover bands across the world, but we have chosen the Return because its members resemble the Beatles members, with the mushroom haircut. The person playing the role of Paul McCartney is also left-handed," Yasuoka said.

The Sony building in Chuo Ward on Monday started an exhibition titled "The Beatles in Tokyo," featuring pictures taken by Shimpei Asada, the only official photographer for the band's Tokyo visit. The free exhibit runs until July 17.

Toshiba-EMI Ltd. is marketing the CD set "The Beatles '65 Box," a reproduction of four LP records compiled in the U.S. in 1965.

But what dedicated Japanese fans will no doubt be most interested in will be the Cirque du Soleil show "The Beatles-Love," supervised by George Martin, the Beatles producer, in Las Vegas this summer. Beatle George Harrison, who died in 2001, conceived the idea of the show.


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