From the shelf | The song that Ringo Starr turned into a book – El Sol de México

From the shelf | The song that Ringo Starr turned into a book – El Sol de México
From the shelf | The song that Ringo Starr turned into a book – El Sol de México

About a decade ago, Ringo Starr, who turns 84 this July 7, published a book that did not reveal secrets about his companions, nor about his own life as a musical star, but rather it was a brief but beautiful story for children, called The Octopus Garden.

It is a book in whose pages Ringo captured, as is, the lyrics of the homonymous song that occupies track number five of the album. Abbey Road” from 1969 by the Beatles and which Ringo arranged together with George Harrison, who, despite acknowledging that the lyrics could pass for a children’s song, always thought that it contained a much deeper message.

He talks about how he would like to live at the bottom of the sea, in an octopus’s garden, where he and his friends can be safe in the storm. However, the origin of this composition – which would be the second that Ringo would make for the Liverpool Quartet and the last as lead singer – is much more human than one might imagine and shows the tensions that already existed between the musicians who had the world at their feet, before their irremediable separation in 1970.

Ringo himself recounts in an interview he gave on the famous presenter Jimmy Kimmel’s show in 2022, that it all began when, after the release of the band’s ninth album “The Beatles”, from 1968, colloquially called “The White Album”, Ringo decided to leave it, because he did not feel “part of the band”. This, the drummer stated, was not a unidirectional symptom, because, when he let his companions know his annoyance, they told him that they had the same perception of themselves.

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One day, Ringo flew to Sardinia, a paradise island in Italy, and had two encounters with octopuses. The first was while climbing some rocks near the sea with his nanny, who suddenly told him to pick up one of the two children who had accompanied them on the trip, because an octopus was climbing his leg. The second was during lunch on his friend and colleague Peter Sellers’ boat; he had been served a dish he had never tried: octopus with chips, something that contrasted with British cuisine, which only knows fish.

It was at that moment, as Ringo recounts in that interview, that he was preparing to light a marijuana cigarette and enjoy the pleasure of the sun, the breeze and the waves of the Mediterranean Sea, when the captain of the ship told him that octopuses usually collect stones and shiny objects with which they build beautiful gardens around themselves, an image that seemed to him at that moment the best idea in the world to write a story.

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