Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, Ringo Starr and Maureen Cox fly to the Virgin Islands

The day after flying from London to Lisbon via Paris, Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, Ringo Starr and Maureen Cox arrived at their holiday destination at St Thomas, one of the Virgin Islands.

We had a 30-foot motor boat that we’d rented. It came with a captain and his wife, and a deck-hand. It was nothing palatial, but we cruised around having a great time. I was with Maureen, and Paul was with Jane Asher. Jane couldn’t go in the sun and Paul got sunburnt one day and was screaming all night. Our bedrooms were either side of the passageway with only curtains dividing them, so you could hear everything.
Ringo Starr
Anthology

Paul McCartney bought a cheap acoustic guitar on the holiday, and wrote one of his greatest love songs. Things We Said Today was recorded in June 1964, and released on the A Hard Day’s Night LP.

One of the holidays we went on, again with Ringo and Maureen, was on a yacht in the Bahamas, the Happy Days. I remember writing Things We Said Today in one of the cabins below deck one afternoon on my acoustic guitar. I got away from the main party but it was a bit queasy downstairs; you could smell the oil and the boat was rocking a bit and I’m not the best sailor in the world, so I wrote a little bit of it downstairs and then the rest of it on the back deck where you couldn’t smell the engine. I don’t know why the engine was on, I suppose we were moving.

I wrote Things We Said Today on acoustic. It was a slightly nostalgic thing already, a future nostalgia: we’ll remember the things we said today, some time in the future, so the song projects itself into the future and then is nostalgic about the moment we’re living in now, which is quite a good trick. It has interesting chords. It goes C, F, which is all normal, then the normal thing might be to go to F minor, but to go to the B flat was quite good. It was a sophisticated little tune.

Then someone like the Daily Express got word that we were there so we had the buzzing little boats around. The reporters would say, ‘My editor says I’ve got to stay here till you give us a picture!’ So we always had to pose for a picture, smiling hello but thinking, Piss off!

Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

The guitar was given to Peggy, the wife of Captain Bolyard who manned the ship on which the party stayed.

Fantastic scenery in those islands – we really felt we were in another world. I remember taking the dinghy out to do some spear fishing. I had this clumsy old spear with me – honestly, it was big enough to catch whales. So I dove – or is it dived? – off the boat and started hunting around for fish. There were lots of little fish kicking around down below, but suddenly I saw some barracudas. Miniature sharks. Nasty fellows those! You can annoy other fish but barracudas are not for stirring. They’re for avoiding. I tried to get them to go away but it didn’t work. So I ran for my life – well, swam for it, anyway! You couldn’t see me for bubbles. Of course I didn’t catch anything that trip.
Paul McCartney

The holiday came to an end on 27 May 1964.

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