The Beatles visit Greece • Day 2

Monday, July 24, 1967
Timeline More from year 1967
Athens, Greece

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On July 22, 1967, Paul McCartney and his girlfriend Jane Asher joined John Lennon, his wife Cynthia and son Julian, Pattie Harrison’s 16-year-old sister Paula Boyd, Mal Evans, and NEMS employee Alistair Taylor on a trip to Athens, Greece. They aimed to explore a group of Greek islands that The Beatles were interested in purchasing to live on. The remaining group members, George and Pattie Harrison, Ringo Starr and Neil Aspinall, had already travelled to Greece two days before.

To reach the islands, they had arranged for a luxurious yacht named MV Arvi. However, it was delayed due to a storm off Crete, so they spent time sightseeing until it arrived on July 25, 1967.

The previous day, they spent time in a small village called Arachova. On this day, Paul McCartney and George Harrison decided to have a quiet day while the others went shopping.

It was one of the most enjoyable holidays I’ve ever had, even if it was supposed to be work. The Beatles and their womenfolk were the most fun people to be around I have ever known. The joking and banter never stopped. The four boys were like four brothers. They might tease and wind up each other something rotten, but they were as tight a group of people as I’ve ever seen. To be admitted, even briefly, into their company was to experience a constant good time. They laughed and messed around like kids on their first school trip.

Alistair Taylor – From “With the Beatles: A Stunning Insight by The Man who was with the Band Every Step of the Way“, 2011

[…] On the Monday George and Paul decided to have a quiet day. They stayed behind and played guitars while the rest of the party went into the shopping centre. John wanted to buy the local equivalent of a guitar. A huge crowd of fans and sightseeing tourists gathered round the instrument shop we tramped into. To our surprise the shop was stocked with a wide range of modern electric equipment — Vox amplifiers and the lot! “It’s just like going into Sound City in London” observed John as we looked around. But he found the instrument he wanted in the store’s antique department!


Ringo devised a cunning way of by-passing the crowds. He’d wait until John and the rest of us went into one shop, then he’d sneak quietly away into the one next door while the crowds gathered round John. His scheme came unstuck when he spent a bit too long choosing a pair of sandals. Forty photographers and umpteen Americans descended upon him (“Say, isn’t that crazy? We travel all the way from Chicago and find Ringo Starr in a Greek shoe shop!”)

All the shopkeepers of Athens expect you to argue about the price of everything. The boys got pretty good at this bartering game and managed to pick up a load of bargains from the tiny rows of antique shops in the old part of the city. But whether we wanted to buy or not the shopkeepers urged us in very broken English to “just come in and look around so we can tell people Beatles was here!”

All the time we were in Greece we had wonderful food. One evening we stopped for dinner in a small village and sat down at tables under the trees in the square. Paul, Ringo and Jane decided to test the local cooks by asking for an English meal just for a change. They had one of the best egg and chip meals they’d ever tasted — garnished (like every Greek dish) with tomatoes in olive oil and lashings of cheese. The rest of us had delicious kebabs —skewered chunks of lamb beautifully cooked.

All the while quiet Greek music was pouring out of a little loudspeaker in the tree above our tables. Suddenly they changed the record AND PUT ON “A HARD DAY’S NIGHT” BY THE BEATLES. The owner of the cafe stood at the top of the steps beaming brightly and we all had a good laugh before signing some autographs and heading for home!

From The Beatles Monthly Book, September 1967
From The Beatles Monthly Book, September 1967

Last updated on February 21, 2024

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