The Beatles had a rare two-week break in September 1963. John and Cynthia Lennon took a belated honeymoon in Paris, George Harrison flew to America, and Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr went on holiday to Greece.
I remember going with Jane, Ringo and Maureen on a holiday to Greece, and nobody knew who we were. And we were trying to sell ourselves the whole holiday, ‘We are in popular singing group back in England,’ and they were going, ‘Uh, push off, gringo.’ ‘No, no, really, we are…’ The band at the hotel were actually quite good, they really had a little bit of acoustic stuff down and had obviously been playing there for years. In fact, in the song Girl that John wrote, there’s a Zorba-like thing at the end that I wrote which came from that holiday. I was very impressed with another culture’s approach because it was slightly different from what we did. We just did it on acoustic guitars instead of bouzoukis.
We didn’t get pestered at all, but then I remember coming back and hearing, ‘Oh, your record’s big in Greece now,’ and thinking, Well, there goes another little safe haven, and realising we were knocking these little safe havens off one by one. I thought, Oh, shit, either we’re all going to get terribly disappointed and it’s not going to be what we wanted. Or get hip right now and start looking for things to offset it. I think I realised, before we even got there, that the Beatles would reach a point where there was no turning back, we couldn’t be unfamous after it. I never wanted to become a prisoner of my own fame. That always seemed to me the ultimate tragedy.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
The party flew back to England on 2 October 1963, via Zurich and Frankfurt.
Also on this day...
- 2010: Paul McCartney to reissue Band On The Run
- 1969: Maclen (Music) Limited begins legal proceedings against Northern Songs
- 1968: Recording: I Will, Glass Onion
- 1967: Recording, mixing: Your Mother Should Know, Blue Jay Way
- 1966: John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Brian Epstein meet in Paris
- 1964: Live: City Park Stadium, New Orleans
- 1963: John and Cynthia Lennon holiday in Paris
- 1963: George Harrison holidays with his sister Louise in Benton, IL, USA
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1961: Live: Aintree Institute, Liverpool
- 1960: Live: Indra Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.