The Beatles visit Greece • Day 3

Tuesday, July 25, 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, due to a storm off Crete, the yacht was delayed. While waiting for it to arrive, they spent their time sightseeing. The yacht, which had 24 berths and a crew of eight, including the captain, a chef, and two stewards, eventually arrived on July 25, 1967, and the party, minus Ringo Starr and Neil Aspinall, set sail to the set of islands they intended to purchase.

Ringo and Neil decided to return to London the following day. Maureen, Ringo’s wife, was in the late stages of pregnancy and had remained in Britain. Ringo was eager to see her.

The boat was eventually ready and it really was the last word in luxury. But that first night on board, the weather was stifling. I couldn’t sleep in my stuffy cabin so I thought I’d stretch out on deck where it would be cooler. I climbed the stairs in the darkness, anxious not to wake anyone up and suddenly fell on to something lumpy and human.

‘Who the hell’s that? Get off. What are you doing? Christ, it’s hot!’

I’d fallen right on top of Paul and Jane.

‘Sorry,’ I gulped. ‘It’s me, Alistair. I didn’t realise you were up here.’ I tried to get up without standing on anything too embarrassing but there was a little squeal from Jane when I steadied myself with a hand. She said, ‘Ouch, keep your hands to yourself, Al.’

As I floundered around, Paul’s voice said dryly, ‘You should have brought Lesley if you wanted a woman to grope in the dark, Al. Find a spare space and go to sleep.’

I realised then that far from being the first person to come up with the brilliant idea of sleeping out under the stars for a bit of cool axir, I was the last.

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


On Tuesday we set sail in the gleaming white motor yacht Arvi. It had 24 berths and, apart from the captain, a crew of seven including a chef and two stewards. The captain had purchased a brand new red ensign to fly on his mast to show he had a party of Englishmen on board. That evening we gathered up on deck to watch the sun setting over the islands. What a pity Ringo and Neil missed that! It was a fantastic sight. Still, the rest of us took many pictures and our movie cameras whirled away like mad.

At two o’clock in the morning we anchored under a full moon. Beside us was a mighty rock with the Temple of Neptune on top of it. The pillars were outlined in the moonlight —another unforgettable sight.

The days that followed were all swimming and laziness and beautiful sunshine.


After sunset each night we’d gather together on the top deck and sing until two or three. George played his ukelele, John got out his Greek guitar and we’d sing strange Hindu chants over and over again for hours on end !

We came home to London in two relays. George and Pattie wanted to go a little early — to pack again and leave for California — so Mal flew home with them on the following Sunday.

Then on Monday Paul, Jane, John, Cyn, Julian, Paula and Alexis headed for London. Alexis just about had time to pack a fresh set of clothes in time to leave for Los Angeles on the Tuesday with George, Pattie and Neil !

There’s no room here to tell you about the Harrison holiday in Hollywood so that will have to wait till next month.

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

Last updated on February 24, 2024

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