May 16 - June 17, 1969
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On December 11, Paul McCartney, Linda Eastman, and her daughter Heather flew to Portugal, to visit the author Hunter Davies at his holiday home. Davies had written an official biography of the Beatles, had stayed in touch with the band thereafter, and was renting accommodation in Luz, Portugal.
Paul, Linda and her daughter Heather arrived in the middle of the night, and I could hear this hammering and banging on the door. I could also hear this Liverpool voice shouting and hollering, ‘Get up!’ I came down stairs and there was a taxi outside, which they had got from Faro Airport, and Paul had no money, so I had to pay the taxi off. Paul had hired his own jet and he had flown out late at night to Faro airport with no luggage, no money, no nothing. He did have a twenty-pound note, but, while he was trying to get a taxi, he actually gave the note to somebody and asked him to get the local currency. But, the taxi arrived, and it went off, leaving this bloke with a twenty-pound note. Paul had brought with him his guitar and he used to go in the lavatory and sit, playing his guitar. One evening, it came out that my real Christian name is Edward, Edward Hunter Davies, but I’ve always been called Hunter. Paul thought this was very funny and he went to the lavatory and he wrote this song for me, it was called ‘Little Eddie.’Hunter Davis – From his autobiography, “Memoirs From The Outside Looking In“
Paul decided he would do a deal with the media, to protect his privacy during his stay in Portugal. From Shining In Luz (wordpress.com):
Paul McCartney decided he would do a deal with the media. He would give them an interview in return for having family privacy respected for the rest of the holiday. The story of Paul’s impending marriage to Linda Eastman was the main thrust of the report. As you can see, Paul scribbled a little note for the Popular Diary which was included by the newspaper, and the story got published on 13 Dec 1968.
The interview was held on December 12, on a beach.
During their stay in Portugal, Paul proposed marriage to Linda. It was around the time Linda found out she was pregnant with their first daughter Mary.
As our relationship solidified and we really started to feel very confident with each other, it was a question of ‘Well, shall I get off the pill then?’ and we talked about that, and I said, ‘Yeah!’ I don’t know why. It wasn’t like planning a family, it was more ‘If you like. We could see what happened. If anything happened. That would be all right.’ Then Mary was on the way, it was definitely not planned. And we decided, round about that point, to get married.Paul McCartney – from “Many Years From Now”, by Barry Miles, 1997
I remember one tune he played for me in Portugal, which he had written on the lavatory (he rarely went there without his guitar), which was called ‘There You Go Eddie’. Just a short verse, and I don’t think he ever completed it. He had discovered that my first Christian name is Edward, something I’ve always kept quiet.Hunter Davies, 1985
“There You Are Eddie” would be rehearsed by Paul McCartney during the “Get Back” sessions in January 1969.
The Penina was the first golf course to be built in Algarve, in 1966. One night during his stay, around 1:30 am, Paul entered the luxury hotel to exchange five pounds for “escudos” (the Spanish national currency at the time). He then decided to visit the hotel’s bar where the resident band Jota Herre was performing. The band members recognized the singer and asked him to join them.
The bar, which was half empty and almost closing, quickly filled up with guests and staff who were overjoyed to see the world-famous musician sing an impromptu song while playing the piano. The party continued late into the night (around 4 am) and saw McCartney improvising a song, named “Penina“, which he then “offered” to Jota Herre who ended up recording and releasing it in 1969.
The story was narrated by the Daily Express, in its January 9, 1969 edition:
In one of those spontaneous gestures for which the Beatles are well known, Paul McCartney is making an escudo millionaire out of a Portuguese bandleader. It all started during the 26-year-old bachelor Beatle’s New Year holiday in Portugal’s Algarve.
McCartney had spent an evening listening to the resident band at the resort’s luxury Penina Golf Hotel. He decided to give a tip in appreciation. And composed a few bars — called Penina — for the lucky bandleader, Anibal Cunha. To help them along McCartney beat out the rhythm on the drums.
As the shareholders of Northern Songs (currently standing at 33s. a share) know, McCartney compositions never fall to net £20,000 at the very least.
But before they rush to cell an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting to ask about their percentage from “Penina”, they may care to note the view Paul’s business associate Derek Taylor, of the Beatle’s firm Apple.
“Naturally he has obligations to his shareholders and fellow directors“, says Mr. Taylor. “One of the sad facts of life is that he is in business. But this was not a whole song he gave to the bandleader. It was more a rif“.
A rif, in the trade, is the name given to a repeated musical phrase coupled with a suggested rhythm.
Northern Songs shareholders in fact are presently benefiting from a rif, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. John Lennon and Paul McCartney borrowed from another performer, Jimmy Scott. The Marmalade version of this song topped the hit parade this week for the first time.
“John and Paul saw him right,” says Mr. Taylor. “They are themselves often asked for help on their travels. And it just isn’t possible for them to refuse.“From the Daily Express – January 9, 1969
Last updated on October 20, 2021
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!