Photos of The Beatles in Japan by Robert Whitaker. New paintings by artist Jann Haworth, contemporary musicians Elvis Costello, and Jerry Dammers (The Specials) - inspired by The Beatles' only known painting, 'Image of a Woman’, created whilst on tour in Japan in 1966.
On 29 June 1966, The Beatles arrived in Tokyo for their first and only tour of Japan.
Beatlemania had reached such a peak that concert tickets were oversubscribed by seven times. The band were confined to their room in the Tokyo Hilton (now the Capitol Tokyu Hotel) and with police roaming the hotel corridors, they spent their time painting and listening to acetates of what would become the ‘Revolver’ LP.
The concerts were held at the Budokan, the martial arts arena built for the Tokyo Olympics two years previously. Now familiar as a music venue, the Beatles were the first rock group to perform there – their appearance at the national home for martial arts was considered almost sacrilegious by some in Japan. To keep order at each of the concerts – and to make sure that people remained seated – the 10,000 audience were overseen by 3,000 police.
In this atmosphere of hysteria and controversy, the Beatles were accompanied by photographer Robert Whitaker. The only person to photograph the band on their flights and in their hotel room, his is a unique record of three intense days in Tokyo.
Opening: Thu 24th Nov 6:30-9:30 PM
Until Sunday 11th December
ART IN A CORNER is organised in support of Children & the Arts and Youth Music and will benefit the 85,000 children and young people they work with each year.
Robert Whitaker was born in 1939 and began work as a photographer in London in the late 1950s. He moved to Melbourne in 1961 where he studied at university and ran a freelance studio. During The Beatles tour of Australia in 1964, he met manager Brian Epstein which led to him taking a series of images of the band. Epstein offered Whitaker a job as photographer at his artist agency where he also worked with Gerry and the Pacemakers and Cilla Black. His closest association, however, was with The Beatles and he accompanied them for the next two years. Amongst the famous images of the band that he created were the photographs for ‘Revolver’ and the notorious ‘Butcher’ album cover. After the Beatles stopped touring, he collaborated on Cream’s ‘Disraeli Gears’ album cover, contributed to ‘Oz’ magazine, and worked with subjects like Salvador Dalí and Mick Jagger. He also contributed to ‘Time’ and ‘Life’ magazines as a photojournalist. In the early 1970s, Whitaker retired from photography to concentrate on farming.
(reference from Daiwa Foundation web site : http://www.dajf.org.uk/exhibitions/the-beatles-in-japan-1966-photographs-by-robert-whittaker-2/1189-2 )