The Beatles discuss purchasing a Greek island

All four members of The Beatles met in London on this day to discuss the Magical Mystery Tour film project, and their plans to purchase an island hideaway in Greece.

The Greek island idea was John Lennon’s. He had decided that the group and their friends and family should live on the same island, in four separate villas with a recording studio and entertainment complex in the middle. There should, he said, also be housing for staff and visitors.

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.
John Lennon, 1967

John Lennon and Paul McCartney arrive in Greece, July 1967

Alexis Mardas, a Greek friend of Lennon’s known as Magic Alex, arranged for The Beatles to look for properties in the country. Mardas flew to Greece and found an island, often cited as Leslo, although such an island appears not to exist. The island is said to have had around 80 acres surrounded by four habitable islands, a small fishing village, beaches, 16 acres of olive groves, and was priced at £90,000.

We were all going to live together now, in a huge estate. The four Beatles and Brian would have their network at the centre of the compound: a dome of glass and iron tracery (not unlike the old Crystal Palace) above the mutual creative/play area, from which arbours and avenues would lead off like spokes from a wheel to the four vast and incredibly beautiful separate living units. In the outer grounds, the houses of the inner clique: Neil, Mal, Terry and Derek, complete with partners, families and friends. Norfolk, perhaps, there was a lot of empty land there. What an idea! No thought of wind or rain or flood, and as for cold… there would be no more cold when we were through with the world. We would set up a chain reaction so strong that nothing could stand in our way. And why the hell not? ‘They’ve tried everything else,’ said John realistically. ‘Wars, nationalism, fascism, communism, capitalism, nastiness, religion – none of it works. So why not this?’
Last updated: 17 July 2018
US single release: All You Need Is Love
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