When The Beatles Set Off To Turn Greek Island Into Their Own Nation


Sometimes you just need to escape. Other times, you’re so famous and wealthy you consider starting your own nation on a Greek island. Well, the Beatles almost made that happen back in the 1960s.

The Beatles | Photo Credit Rolling Stone

In the summer of 1967, John Lennon sparked the idea of the Beatles buying a set of Greek islands. At the time, he wanted a real community and he wanted to build it from the ground up.

It was quite the utopian idea and likely inspired some of their hit songs.

George Harrison Talks Beatles’ Wild Dream

The Beatles | Photo Billboard

George Harrison said, “We rented a boat and sailed it up and down the coast from Athens, looking at islands. It was a great trip. John and I were on acid all the time, sitting on the front of the ship playing ukuleles.”

The band noticed Greece to their left and a huge island to their right. They sailed along and sang songs like “Hare Krishna” as they cruised across the water. Locals referred to the island as Leslo but it doesn’t technically have a name.

There are four islands around Leslo and four Beatles. The idea was for each one to have their own island and they could unite on Leslo.

Leslo May Be The Background Behind “Imagine”

The Beatles | Photo Credit Alux

The background to this idea later came out in the song, “Imagine,” by John Lennon from his solo career. “Imagine there’s no countries,” he said. “It isn’t hard to do,” he added, possibly thinking about Leslo.

Lennon felt like “wars, nationalism, fascism, communism, capitalism, nastiness [and] religion” could not work, so perhaps something else. They went as far as to get clearance from the Greek government to buy the islands.

But Paul McCartney said that the actual idea was less appealing once they got to the islands. “Having been out there, I don’t think we needed to go back,” he said. “Probably the best way to not buy a Greek island is to go out there for a bit.”

Clearly, there were some problems with the idea but Lennon likely would have gone through with it if the others had followed. After all, all he wanted was peace.

What do you think about this idea from John Lennon?