Nearly 49 years after The Beatles became the first pop artist to play the Nippon Budokan, Paul McCartney returned to the hallowed venue Tuesday as a solo act. It was for the last show of the Japan leg of his Out There tour. The Japan leg was made up of a stop at the 40,000-seat Kyocera Dome in Osaka, three nights at the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome and a final gig at the Budokan, which seats around 14,000 for concerts.
The hall was originally built to house the judo competition at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, and when a series of concerts by the Beatles for June and July 1966 was announced, there was stiff opposition from right-wingers to a Western pop act defiling the holy judo and karate arena (“Budokan” means "martial arts hall" in Japanese). The celebrated Sir Paul raised the ire of the authorities again 35 years ago: Japanese immigration officials detained him for 10 days after marijuana was found in his possession when entering the country in 1980.