- Timeline More from year 1966
More from year 1966
Paul McCartney and family on holiday in Jamaica
April 12 to April 15, 1973
Spanish holidays for the McCartney family, and Wings
Mid-June to June 25, 1972
Paul and Linda McCartney on holiday in Jamaica
Early December 1971
Paul and Linda McCartney on holiday in Antigua
Paul and Linda McCartney on holiday in Provence and Corfu
May 15 - June 17, 1969
Paul and Linda McCartney spend three weeks in New York (and in Bahamas)
March 16 to early April, 1969
Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman on holiday in Portugal
December 11 - End of December, 1968
Paul McCartney spends time with Linda Eastman in Scotland
November 5 - Mid-November?
Paul McCartney and Mal Evans travel from Los Angeles to London
April 11-12, 1967
Paul McCartney and Mal Evans spend some time in Los Angeles
April 10-11, 1967
Paul McCartney and Jane Asher’s Denver vacation
April 06-08, 1967
Paul McCartney and Mal Evans fly to San Francisco
April 03-04, 1967
Paul McCartney meets Mal Evans in Bordeaux
Nov 12, 1966
Paul McCartney flies to France
Nov 06, 1966
Paul McCartney and Jane Asher on holiday in Switzerland
March 6 - March 20, 1966
Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.
This trip to Kenya would inspire Paul McCartney to write the song “Wild Life”, some years after. “Wild Life” would be released on the eponym album in 1971.
‘Wild Life’ was to do with me having gone on safari and actually seeing that sign that I sing about: ‘The animals have the right of way’. Which really impressed me. You just realise the sort of dignity and strength of wild animals because here they’ve got the right of way. Whereas we’re all so full of our own importance. It’s kind of nice, you know. You’re just a guy in a Land Rover. You don’t matter so much! So that was why I wrote that song. Man, you know, we’re the “top species”, and yet we’re the ones who eff it up, which is not right.Paul McCartney – From paulmccartney.com, October 29, 2018
McCartney and Evans met at 1 p.m. the following day, November 12th, at a pre-arranged spot under the Grosse Cloche clock tower in Bordeaux’s Saint-Eloi Catholic church. Together they drove towards Spain, stopping off at the coastal town of San Sebastian, and then to Madrid, Cordoba and Malaga. The idea had been to visit Lennon on the set of How I Won the War in Almeria, but along the way they were informed that filming had moved on and Lennon was already back in England. Disappointed by drizzly weather and bored by the aimless driving, McCartney craved something more exotic. So, like many adventurous Englishmen before him, he booked a safari in Kenya.
Having arranged for the Aston Martin to be driven back to London, the men embarked on a flight to Nairobi, where McCartney’s girlfriend, actress Jane Asher, joined them. The trio took accommodations at a lodge in the Tsavo National Park and hired a man named Moses to drive them to the local sightseeing spots. At Mzima Springs they watched splashing crocodiles and hippos from an underwater viewing station, and followed wildlife through the Maasai Amboseli game reserve at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. For an added treat, they stayed at the famous Treetops Hotel, built into an enormous chestnut tree overlooking an elephant watering hole in Aberdare National Park. Queen Elizabeth II had been residing there when she ascended to the throne in 1952. McCartney’s stay would provide another historical footnote.
The group spent their final night in a YMCA on Nairobi’s State House Ave before boarding a flight bound for England on November 19th. Once elevated, McCartney reflected on the 13-day excursion. The time alone had been restorative, and the change of scenery had been stimulating, but he remained fascinated by the transformative properties of disguise. Unencumbered by the burden of celebrity and liberated from any preconceived expectations, he could indulge his every impulse or curiosity. It was total freedom.
As the jet hurtled towards London, bringing him ever closer to the epicenter of over-ripened Beatlemania, he contemplated how to apply these same principles to a band in danger of being suffocated by their own fame. It had already robbed them of live performance, and if they weren’t careful, it would crush their musical creativity. In five days he was due at EMI’s Abbey Road studios for the band’s first sessions since completing Revolver that June, and the way forward seemed murky. “We were fed up with being the Beatles,” he said. “We really hated that fucking four little mop-top boys approach. We were not boys, we were men. It was all gone, all that boy shit, all that screaming, we didn’t want any more.” They yearned to be accepted as artists, but most saw them as the same cuddly act they’d known for all these years.
Perhaps the Beatles needed a disguise. “I thought, ‘Let’s not be ourselves. Let’s develop alter egos so we don’t have to project an image that we know. It would be much more free. What would really be interesting would be to actually take on the personas of this different band. We could say, ‘How would somebody else sing this? He might approach it a bit more sarcastically, perhaps.’ So I had this idea of giving the Beatles alter egos simply to get a different approach.”
But the new group needed a new name. The Beatles’ moniker, for all its global recognition, belonged to a different pop era by the end of 1966. Had the band extended their stay in San Francisco after playing Candlestick Park, they would have encountered Big Brother and the Holding Company, Country Joe and the Fish, the Only Alternative and His Other Possibilities, and Quicksilver Messenger Service. “It was the start of the hippy times, and there was a jingly-jangly hippy aura all around in America,” McCartney remembered in the Beatles Anthology documentary. “I started thinking about what would be a really mad name to call a band. At the time there were lots of groups with names like ‘Laughing Joe and his Medicine Band’ or ‘Colonel Tucker’s Medicinal Brew and Compound’; all that old Western going-round-on-wagons stuff, with long rambling names.”From Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ at 50: What Inspired the Title Track – Rolling Stone
McCartney was mulling it over when the inflight meal arrived. Evans found himself momentarily confused by the packets marked “S” and “P” on the trays. “Salt and pepper,” McCartney reminded him, before making a quick aural joke: “Sgt. Pepper.”
It was merely a pun – just above groan-worthy, really. But something about the name was catchy. It evoked the Edwardian militaria that had recently come into vogue among London’s fashion-conscious elite. Beautiful young men and women delighted in subverting these emblems of the British empire, steeped in violence and rigid adherence to order, by turning them into stylish works of art. Ultra-hip boutiques like I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet on King’s Road sold vintage dress tunics bedecked in stripes, frilly epaulettes and gleaming brass to Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix and lesser stars of the rock galaxy.
MAL’S PAGE – A special report by Mal Evans who went on safari with Paul
Our rendezvous was outside a theatre in Bordeaux, Tuesday evening at seven o’clock. Paul had flown out from Lydd Airport ahead of me. He arrived dead on time and we began an exciting ten-day holiday which took us down through France into Spain and on from there to Africa and the National Parks of Kenya.
We took it in turns to drive Paul’s dark green DB6. On the journey south we just stopped when we were ready to do so, looked around until we found a decent hotel and booked ourselves in. We took time out to see the sights — Paul went mad with his movie camera and used roll after roll of film everywhere we went. We bought souvenirs from Paul’s favourite type of antique shop. Before we left France he’d picked up a fantastic old oil lamp — like something out of “Aladdin” – and I collected an antique double-barrel shotgun which the border people wouldn’t allow into Spain so we left it at a little café just north of the actual frontier.
Our route took us through San Sebastian, Madrid, Cordoba and Malaga to Torremolinos. The original intention was to drive East all along the coastline beside the Mediterranean and meet up with John at Almeria. But by phoning London we found that John had finished work on “How I Won The War” earlier than expected and was on his way home with Cyn and Neil!
“That’s torn it,” exclaimed Paul, “O.K., how about a safari as compensation?”
“Spain isn’t really safari country, Paul,” I replied blankly. “No, but Kenya is!” came the prompt reply.
We sorted through maps and got in touch with our very helpful travel agency. In no time the spur-of-the-moment schedule was planned. Drive to Seville and have someone get the DB6 back to London while we flew to Madrid. Then another plane from Madrid to the city of Nairobi in Kenya. By way of Rome where we spent ten hours looking at St. Peter’s and everything. And taking a sightseeing bus trip which ran all through the sort of Knotty Ash of Rome and back into the centre!
At Nairobi we were introduced to our African driver, who had this shiny big Plymouth all ready to go.
“Got a radio?” Paul asked the driver.
“I hope you can sing then!” And we all did!
First stop — Tsavo National Park, with this fabulous lodge (more like a luxury hotel complete with blue pool) as our base. Some British soldiers in the bar started talking pointedly about Beatles until we joined them, Paul admitted his identity and went on to play and win a great game of poker!
A highlight of the two days at Tsavo was a trip to the big springs and the chance to gaze through an underwater observation window and watch all these massive fish and so forth. Monkeys, elephants, hippos, alligators, deer, zebras — we saw the lot and Paul’s got loads of movie to prove it.
Our next stop was a quickie visit to Ambosali Park, the least happy bit of the holiday because Paul had caught too much sun and felt really bad for a day or too. Here we were housed in individual chalet-type huts at the foot of Kilimanjaro. Driving back we were 200 yards from the huts when we came to this narrow stretch of road with high, steep banks. A whacking great elephant blocked our way. It was a bit scary because if we frightened him he could easily charge. We couldn’t back up because there was another car right behind ours. And we couldn’t pass — there wasn’t room, Eventually, with fingers crossed, we let rip and roared past at top speed before the elephant realised what was happening!
And so, back to Nairobi and the best bit of all — our stay at the fantastic Treetops Hotel, really built in trees with massive trunks going right through the rooms! To get there we had to use a landrover—and the services of an expert hunter to guard us because this was the really wild country. The people at the Treetops were wonderful company. About 40 of us all told and it was like a big dinner party with a friendly sort of family atmosphere. On the final morning Paul and I crawled out of bed at five o’clock to film the sunrise.
One last thing — a simple memory from Nairobi. We stayed over at the YMCA before taking a Friday night flight home. I left Paul to go into the town for a few last-minute gifts. When I got back he was sitting on the grass surrounded by this “audience” of ten or twelve little kids who had a half-day school holiday. Paul got a great kick out of just chatting to them… now if John hadn’t finished his film early those kids would never have met a very thinly disguised Beatle outside Nairobi YMCA! And I wouldn’t have had the most memorable safari holiday of my life!From The Beatles Monthly Book – January 1967
Last updated on February 25, 2023
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!
If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.
Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!