Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on holiday in Greece

September 16 - October 2, 1963

Related song

Yellow Submarine

Officially appears on Revolver (UK Mono)

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I remember going with Jane, Ringo and Maureen on a holiday to Greece, and nobody knew who we were. And we were trying to sell ourselves the whole holiday, ‘We are in popular singing group back in England,’ and they were going, ‘Uh, push off, gringo.’ ‘No, no, really, we are…’ The band at the hotel were actually quite good, they really had a little bit of acoustic stuff down and had obviously been playing there for years. In fact, in the song ‘Girl’ that John wrote, there’s a Zorba-like thing at the end that I wrote which came from that holiday. I was very impressed with another culture’s approach because it was slightly different from what we did. We just did it on acoustic guitars instead of bouzoukis.

We didn’t get pestered at all, but then I remember coming back and hearing, ‘Oh, your record’s big in Greece now,’ and thinking, Well, there goes another little safe haven, and realising we were knocking these little safe havens off one by one. I thought, Oh, shit, either we’re all going to get terribly disappointed and it’s not going to be what we wanted. Or get hip right now and start looking for things to offset it. I think I realised, before we even got there, that the Beatles would reach a point where there was no turning back, we couldn’t be unfamous after it. I never wanted to become a prisoner of my own fame. That always seemed to me the ultimate tragedy.

Paul McCartney – From “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now” by Barry Miles, 1997

In a 1967 interview Paul implied that the colored submarine idea had its genesis during a Greek vacation he’d taken in 1963 when he had been introduced to the “spoon sweet” known locally as vanilla submarine (or strawberry submarine if red), where mastic resin mixed with sugar is submerged in a glass of icy water and hardened, then chewed or sucked like a popsicle. “It’s like a sweet,” Paul had said. “It’s called submarine.”

From “Beatles ’66: The Revolutionary Year” by Steve Turner

Q: You and Richy went to Greece with Paul [McCartney] and Jane [Asher] in 1963, right?

A: Yes we did.

Q: How was that trip?

A: It was excellent. I think it was my first trip out of the country and I was so thrilled when Richy asked me to go. I was quite nervous because I was going with Paul and his girlfriend, but once we were there I relaxed. Paul is such a nice, genuine person and I quite enjoyed him. I got to know Jane as well during that trip. While Paul and Richy were off horsing around, Jane and I chatted quite a bit. She’s such an intelligent person and I thought them quite an odd couple at first. Paul is such an assertive fellow (you know) he knows what he wants and Jane is that way too. I often wondered to meself how they ever stayed together as long as they did (you know). Richy isn’t assertive at all. He’s pretty laid-back and gentle – some people could call him a pushover. He has this inferiority complex about ‘im. I don’t know how to describe it. He just wants me to constantly reassure ‘im that I love him because he gets afraid. We would be lying in bed and he would hold me close to him and say, “Do you really love me?” I would have to constantly reassure him that I did love him, that I did care for him; and I think he was really pleased to hear me say that to ‘im. He was so afraid that I might not love him.

Maureen Cox – Interview with French magazine Le Chroniqueur, July 1988

PAUL: One of the best days we had was the Wine Festival, where we paid ten drachmas, which is about five shillings, and tasted as many of the two hundred wines as we could! After that, you can choose the wine you like the most and it will be poured into your decanter. You can stay and drink all week if you want, but after about an hour we gave up. It was strong!”

© Хронология The Beatles

Ringo: “[In Greece] we had a great time! We went to Corfu for a week. We lived in a country house, we usually got up at ten o’clock and went to sunbathe. The trouble was that it was so hot that I had to finish it in an hour or two. Paul shot about ten reels of film there, but I used my trusty little fixed camera. Meal? Not so bad. I’m picky about what I eat – I can’t stand onions or garlic, so the cook cooked for me without it. After a few days we traveled a little, went to the island of Rhodes. In Rhodes we wanted to see the Colossus, so I asked one woman in the bar, “Excuse me, but where is the Colossus?” So we did and saw two small pedestals with two deer on them. I guess that’s where the Colossus stood.”

© Хронология The Beatles

Tony Barrow: “In Greece, Paul, Jane, Ringo and Maureen were shooting views of Athens with their new movie cameras.”   Ringo: “Paul shot about 10 reels of film there, but I used my trusty little fixed camera. Paul and I didn’t drive around like George did, but we had a great time! We visited Rhodes, Corfu and Athens. We went to Corfu for a week and then to Athens.”

Paul: “It was an amazing vacation. We took pictures on the Acropolis and actually had a blast.”   RINGO: “I remember we walked around the Parthenon three times, probably to please Jane, and I was very tired.”

© Хронология The Beatles

From The Beatles on Vacation – The Beatles History (

Ringo: “When we got home, there were a little bit of problems. There was an airline strike and we had to stay one more night. We had a great time at the hotel we were staying at. We couldn’t understand a word of the songs of the band that was playing at the hotel, but on the last night Paul and I did some rocker songs like “What’d I Say.” Then we went to a local bar with a few of our acquaintances, and performed the same program again! The locals loved it. They all tried to join us.”

© Хронология The Beatles

Barry Miles: Paul and Ringo are returning from Greece to England via Zurich and Frankfurt. John, Cynthia and Brian are coming back from Paris.”   Ringo: “When we got home, it was like traveling around the world, because we got on a plane that went through Zurich and Frankfurt! I didn’t buy many gifts because there weren’t many worthy for that purpose. But I bought a ring for my mother, a decorative plate, and a little bit of stuff.”

© Хронология The Beatles

Last updated on December 9, 2023

Going further

The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."

We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

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