It’s strange and surprising what can influence record research. Last week I turned on the radio, and subsequently have had a lyric stuck in my head (‘Half of what I say is meaningless,’ as sung by John Lennon in The Beatles’ ‘Julia’). For no other reason, I decided to delve into one of the records The National Archives has relating to the most famous band the world has ever seen.
A search on our new catalogue, Discovery, provides a number of results for The Beatles, but one in particular catches the eye: the Foreign Office record referring to the band’s 1966 trip to Tokyo (FO 371/187127). 1
The band arrived in Japan at the end of June 1966 on the back of a storm. Alongside the wild Beatlemania which had spread across the globe in previous years, a tropical storm delayed their arrival in Tokyo for several hours. The ‘Beatles typhoon’, as it was nicknamed, provides a neat metaphor for the band’s days in the city, as they arrived to perform five concerts in five days at the Budokan Arena.