Paul McCartney meets Mal Evans in Bordeaux, France

12.00pm, Saturday 12 November 1966 (47 years ago)

One week after beginning his road trip across France, Paul McCartney had a rendezvous with The Beatles’ roadie Mal Evans in Bordeaux.

Prior to meeting Evans, McCartney spent the night in a Bordeaux club. Wearing the moustache and glasses disguise he had prepared to allow him to travel incognito, the club staff wouldn’t let him in.

I looked like old jerko. ‘No, no, monsieur, non’ – you schmuck, we can’t let you in! So I thought, Sod this, I might as well go back to the hotel and come as him! So I came back as a normal Beatle, and was welcomed in with open arms. I thought, Well, it doesn’t matter if I’ve blown my cover because I’m going to meet Mal anyway, I don’t have to keep the disguise any longer. Actually, by the time of the club I’d sort of had enough of it. Which was good. It was kind of therapeutic but I’d had enough. It was nice because I remembered what it was like to not be famous and it wasn’t necessarily any better than being famous.

It made me remember why we all wanted to get famous; to get that thing. Of course, those of us in the Beatles have often thought that, because we wished for this great fame, and then it comes true but it brings with it all these great business pressures or the problems of fame, the problems of money, et cetera. And I just had to check whether I wanted to go back, and I ended up thinking, No, all in all, I’m quite happy with this lot.

Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

McCartney met Evans at the Saint-Eloi catholic church, on Rue Saint-James in Bordeaux.

We met up, exactly as planned, under the church clock. He was there. I figured I’d had enough of my own company by then. I had enjoyed it, it had been a nice thing. Then we drove down into Spain but we got to Madrid and we didn’t know anyone; the only way would have been to go to a club and start making contacts. So we thought, This is not going to be any fun, and rang the office in London, and booked ourselves a safari trip.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

The pair drove from Bordeaux to Spain, making films on their journey. They had hoped to meet John Lennon in Almería, but filming for How I Won The War had ended and he had returned to England.

Instead they decided on a safari holiday and flew to Kenya. McCartney arranged to meet his girlfriend Jane Asher there, and in Seville had someone drive his Aston Martin DB5 back to London.

McCartney and Evans flew from Seville to Madrid, and from there to Nairobi. They had a 10-hour stopover in Rome, during which they did some sightseeing.

Upon their arrival in Kenya they toured Ambosali Park, overlooked by Mount Kilimanjaro, and stayed at the Treetop Hotel, the royal family’s Kenyan base. The holiday came to a close on 19 November, when McCartney, Asher and Evans flew from Nairobi back to London.

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