John and Cynthia Lennon, George Harrison and Pattie Boyd fly to Hawaii

12.00pm, Saturday 2 May 1964 (50 years ago)

Having completed the filming of their first feature film A Hard Day’s Night, The Beatles enjoyed holidays for much of May 1964. Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, Ringo Starr and Maureen Cox went together to the Virgin Islands, while John and Cynthia Lennon flew with George Harrison and Pattie Boyd to Tahiti via Hawaii.

The Beatles’ holiday was to be gloriously private. We hired a company and told them we wanted a fool-proof secret route plotting for four young men and three girlfriends and a wife. The men, we explained, would travel in pairs, the girls one pair, two singles. We wanted two destinations, at which two sets of couples would link up.

None of the arrangements were to be made by phone, and code names were created for the eight. Mr McCartney was Mr Manning; Mr Starr was Mr Stone. Their companions were to be Miss Ashcroft and Miss Cockcroft. Mr Lennon was Mr Leslie; and his wife, Mrs Leslie. Mr Harrison was Mr Hargreaves, and his girlfriend became Miss Bond. Manning and Stone, Ashcroft and Cockcroft were to holiday in the Virgin Islands; the Leslies, Hargreaves and Bond would go to Tahiti.

Brian Epstein
Anthology

The Lennon/Harrison party were planning to fly on to Papeete in Tahiti, but had to remain in Honolulu for two days. All the while they were hounded by members of the press.

In May, John and Cynthia and Pattie and I went on holiday. By now we were so famous that we couldn’t get on an aeroplane without everyone knowing where we were going.

We took a private plane to Amsterdam and caught a flight going to Honolulu via Vancouver. After a long flight we got off the plane in Vancouver for twenty minutes while they refuelled, and by the time we reached Honolulu the whole American disc-jockey network had got us covered.

We had to stay in Honolulu for a couple of days awaiting the connection to Tahiti, so to get away from Waikiki we drove up to the north of the island to a beach where no one knew us.

George Harrison
Anthology

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