How Leaving The Beatles Inspired Ringo Starr To Write This Famous Song
Song inspirations can come from anywhere. But, it looks like Ringo Starr drew inspiration from the time when he left the Beatles. As a result, he managed to write one of his most iconic songs during the time of The Beatles. Yes, we’re talking about Octopus’s Garden!
When Ringo was in despair and left the Beatles
When talking about Ringo Starr, everyone remembers him very fondly with an aroma of calmness. We can say that he was the only one from the band who didn’t have gigantic egos. Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick even said in his book Here, There, and Everywhere about Ringo that:
I was always impressed the way Ringo would rebound the next day, fresh and ready for another bout of marathon drumming.
However, a time came when he was so fed up with what was going on with the band that he temporarily quit the Beatles. By that time, the recording sessions weren’t as enjoyable as they were before, and Ringo Starr genuinely felt unappreciated. He recalled in the Beatles Anthology series:
I felt I wasn’t playing great, and I also felt that the other three were really happy and I was an outsider… I had definitely left — I couldn’t take it anymore… It wasn’t just me, the whole thing was coming down.
As soon as he quit, he went to the island of Sardinia for some time off. Back home, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and John Lennon tried to finish the White Album without him. However, Ringo wasn’t just getting a tan in Sardina. He wrote one of his most memorable songs over there!
How Octopus’s Garden came into existence
Ringo brought his family to Sardinia too and enjoyed there on his friend Peter Seller’s yacht. And Ringo had a fun time. For example, he tried squid for the first time and learned a lot about marine life. He recalled in the Anthology series that:
I stayed out on deck with the captain and we talked about octopuses… He told me that they hang out in their caves and they go around the seabed finding shiny stones and tin cans and bottles to put in front of their cave like a garden… I thought this was fabulous, because at the time I just wanted to be under the sea too
And thus, the famous Octopus’s Garden from the Beatles’ Abbey Road was born! Ringo was so stressed out by what was happening with The Beatles that he made such a happy escapist song, expressing how he felt at the time. It’s evident when you look at the lyrics:
We would be warm below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
It is as if he was just trying to find someplace to hide, which was Sardinia at the time. Moreover, Ringo also felt that he was constantly dictated by John, Paul, and George. These lyrics describe his real feelings:
We would be so happy, you and me
No one there to tell us what to do
These lyrics along with George Harrison’s great guitar quip made it a truly memorable song from Abbey Road. And he had a lot of kind words to say about this masterpiece from Ringo Starr, labeling it as a ‘cosmic’ song:
I find very deep meaning in the lyrics,” George said in ’69 (Via BeatlesEbooks). “Things like ‘we’ll be warm beneath the storm,’ which is really great. Because it’s like this level in a storm and if you get sort of deep in your consciousness, it’s very peaceful. So Ringo’s writing his cosmic songs without noticing it.
And so, a yacht trip literally gave birth to Ringo Starr’s famous Octopus’s Garden!