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GEORGE: Short message : hello! Very nice to be here after such a long time.

ERIC CLAPTON: Yes, it's nice to be back in Japan, this time with a friend. I love to come to this country. I come as often as I can and will continue to do so. I hope this will be a success and hope you will enjoy it.

QUESTION: What attracts you to each other?

GEORGE: Well, it's very difficult; it's simple, but difficult, because something mutual that you like, you can say it's the way he bends the strings or the way he says hello. It's difficult to say. It's just an attraction we have, an attraction in our lives and it's also the way he bends the notes. Was that good enough?

CLAPTON: Well, George is senior to me by, what, I don't know, a year?

GEORGE: I'm about thirty. How old are you?

CLAPTON: Seventy-nine. But I've always thought that he's a great songwriter, a great musician, a very unique man, and he gave up smoking. I have to respect him for that. I think he's very brave to come here because he hasn't worked on the stage for a long time and it can be a very frightening experience, but I think it will be rewarding. But I always thought of George as being a little like an older brother I never had, and I respect his judgement and his values and i think he's a wonderful man. I like the way he bends the strings, too. He's a great slide player, most of all he's a fantastic slide player.

QUESTION: What do you think about Prime Minister Major?

CLAPTON: Very anonymous. He seems to be okay, but he just seems to be rather blank.

GEORGE: I've not met him. I've only seen him a couple of times on TV, because I also gave up watching television as well as smoking and I also gave up reading newspapers. So I don't really know much about him, but Istill think he's better than Mrs. Thatcher.

QUESTION: How did the idea of a tour come about and why did you come to Japan?

GEORGE: Well, the reason why I came to Japan was because Eric suggested to me that this time of year would be good if I wanted to do a concert tour. He was not working and he and his band were available to become my band. That was one reason why I thought about working, because Eric asked me. And the reason we came to Japan was, he likes Japan and he suggested we come here. That was the first question. To convey to my fans, really, just whatever the meaning of the songs are, if they have some meaning for the fans of Japan. I've had a lot of mail over twenty-five years from Japan. Very nice letters from the Japanese people and they seem to like - or the ones who write anyway - seem to like my records. So I just hope they like the live music as much as they like the records.

QUESTION: How were the songs chosen?

GEORGE: They were chosen by either the fact that they were hit singles or that it had a feeling for me that it would be good to put on - like the song "Taxman" - it's a song that goes reguardless if it's the sixties, seventies, eighties. nineties. There's always a taxman, so if the song seems to fit. Just what I felt would be reminiscent like, "If I Needed Someone" I sang at the Budokan twenty-six years ago, maybe, so might as well sing it at the Dome twenty-six years later. The rest were mainly singles or a selection from different albums going right from 1965 until last year.

QUESTION: Will you play "Roll Over Beethoven"?

GEORGE: Yes. It's very popular in Japan.

QUESTION: What would you like to do in Japan?

GEORGE: Well, I'd like to see all the bits I didn't see last time. That's maybe from the hotel to the Tokyo Dome and back. I'd like to go to Kyoto and see some temples and some gardens although it's not the best time of the year to see the gardens. But still, I may not come back for another twenty-six years so I better go now. And maybe go to the electric shop and buy an electric toothbrush or something.

QUESTION: Why is your song "Tears of the World" not included in your book Songs by George Harrison?

GEORGE: It fell out on the way to Japan. I don't know, really. You should write to the publisher and ask him. Or you'll have to buy volume two. The publisher of the book is coming to the Tokyo Dome, so I'll tell him.

QUESTION: Will the Beatles reunite?

GEORGE: No. It can't be possible because the Beatles don't exist especially now that John Lennon is not alive. It just happens, every time Paul needs some publicity he announces to the press we're getting back together again. I wouldn't pay much attention to that.

QUESTION: Eric, what are your plans?

CLAPTON: When this is finished, I go back for Christmas and then I'll start a tour next year. I don't know what George will do. Maybe he will start a world tour on his own, I don't know.

GEORGE: Who knows, we'll have to wait and see.

QUESTION: December ninth, the anniversary of John's death, takes place during your tour. Do you plan to do anything special on that day?

GEORGE: I'd have to look at the itinerary. We'd have to be doing a concert or if not we'll be travelling to a concert. But we on't be doing anything other than singing songs. We won't be doing anything special. No, the day doesn't have any special meaning to me.

CLAPTON: I think the fact that George will be playing is tribute enough.

GEORGE: It's not that I don't respect the day John Lennon got killed or anything, I'm just not into days. I don't remember my own birthday, I don't remember anniversaries or anything. I'm just not into remembering days.

QUESTION: What changes have you experienced since you were last in Japan?

GEORGE: Everything has changed over the last twenty-five years. First of all, I'm much younger now than I used to be. I think I can sing better, I can play better, and I can be a happier person. Everything's changed.

QUESTION: Are you planning to play "Layla"?

CLAPTON: I don't think so, unless there's some kind of riot or public outcry and we have to play it. I've played it at nearly every show for the past twenty years, so it doesn't bother me not to play it now and then. And George has only given me a very limited space [laughter], so I'm going to try and do a couple of new songs. But it's all negociable, don't worry.

GEORGE: I don't mind if he does it.

CLAPTON: We'll see, we'll see.

GEORGE: Thank you all very much; it's nice to be here.