On the previous day, 19 July 1967, The Beatles had discussed their plans to purchase an island hideaway in Greece.
It was John Lennon’s idea that the group and their family and friends should all live on the same island, in four separate villas with a recording studio and entertainment complex. Alexis Mardas, a Greek friend of Lennon’s known as Magic Alex, had found a suitable island with around 80 acres, a small fishing village, beaches and 16 acres of olive groves, which was priced at ￡90,000.
We’re all going to live there, perhaps forever, just coming home for visits. Or it might just be six months a year. It’ll be fantastic, all on our own on this island. There some little houses which we’ll do up and knock together and live communally.
I’m not worried about the political situation in Greece, as long as it doesn’t affect us. I don’t care if the government is all fascist, or communist. I don’t care. They’re all as bad as here; worse, most of them. I’ve seen England and the USA, and I don’t care for either of their governments. They’re all the same. Look what they do here. They stopped Radio Caroline and tried to put the Stones away while they’re spending billions on nuclear armaments and the place is full of US bases that no one knows about.
On this day George Harrison and Pattie Harrison, Ringo Starr and Neil Aspinall flew to Athens where they met Mardas and his father, who was a member of the Greek military police. The party stayed at the Mardas family house in Athens until the rest of The Beatles arrived on 25 July.
It came to nothing. We didn’t buy an island, we came home. We were great at going on holiday with big ideas, but we never carried them out. We were also going to buy a village in England – one with rows of houses on four sides and a village green in the middle. We were going to have a side each.
That was what happened when we got out. It was safer making records, because once they let us out we’d just go barmy.
Also on this day...
- 2016: The Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl to be released in September
- 1968: Jane Asher announces her split from Paul McCartney
- 1967: The Chris Barber Band records Catcall
- 1964: US single releases: And I Love Her, I’ll Cry Instead
- 1964: US album release: Something New
- 1963: Live: Ritz Ballroom, Rhyl
- 1962: Live: Bell Hall, Warrington
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: St John’s Hall, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.