by George Heymann

The inspiration for famous songs!

by Jon Pompia

Ever wonder where your favorite artists received the inspiration to craft some of history’s best loved songs? Visit and learn more than you can handle about the origins of the world’s best tunes:

“Octopus’s Garden” — Ringo Starr‘s lone contribution to the “Abbey Road” album was inspired during a boat trip to the country of Sardinia. It came about when Ringo was on a boating trip with his family in Sardinia in 1968. The boat’s captain offered the drummer an octopus lunch, but he turned it down.
The captain then began to tell him everything he knew about octopuses — including how they travel along the sea bed looking for shiny objects and stones with which to build gardens.

“White Rabbit” — Author Grace Slick  based the lyrics on Lewis Carroll’s book “Alice In Wonderland.” The Jefferson Airplane vocalist — quite familiar with drugs herself — saw lots of drug references in Carroll’s book, including the pills, the smoking caterpillar, the mushroom, and other trippy images.

“White Room” — The lyrics to this famous Cream song were written by a beat poet named Pete Brown. Brown was simply writing about his new flat (apartment), unfinished and empty.

“Running on Empty” — Jackson Browne didn’t have to look far for inspiration to this tune. Constant trips back and forth to the studio left his car’s gas tank permanently empty.
“I just never bothered to fill up the the tank because, how far was the studio anyway? Just a few blocks.”

“Pinball Wizard” — Who songwriter Pete Townshend was one track away from completing the soundtrack to “Tommy.” Once he found out that influential rock critic Nik Cohn — a noted pinball fanatic — was going to review the project, Townshend crafted this song to ensure a good review.

“American Woman” — Far from being a complimentary song, The Guess Who’s smash was an inspired rant against America’s imperialistic, pompous attitude, especially at the time of the Vietnam War.
The band, of course, is Canadian.

The Night Chicago Died” — A fictitious account of gangster Al Capone’s murderous reign over the Windy City, courtesy of two British writers inspired by American gangster movies.
Fortunately, no cops were killed during the inspiration for this song.

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” — Paul McCartney‘s 1971 unorthodox hit was inspired by his real-life Uncle Albert, who would quote and read from the Bible only when drunk.
Admiral Halsey was a nod to American Admiral William “Bull” Halsey.

Sister Christian” — Night Ranger’s signature ballad was written by drummer Kelly Keagy for his sister, Christy, who was quickly coming of age. Since the rest of the band thought Keagy was actually singing “Sister Christian,” that became the actual title.
Oh, yeah. “Motoring” is a term for driving around, or “cruising.”

“Rhiannon” — Steve Nicks wrote this after reading the book “Triad” by Mary Leader. It is about a woman who believes she is being possessed by the spirit of a woman named Rhiannon.
Nicks later learned that Rhiannon was a Welsh goddess who shuns a god to marry a mortal man.

“In a Gadda Da Vida” — The title was supposed to be “In The Garden Of Eden.” Someone had written “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” possibly while drunk, on a demo copy of this Iron Butterfly classic.
A record company executive saw it and decided to use it as the title, since it sounded mystical — and Eastern spirituality was big at the time.

“Angie” — Long thought to be about David Bowie’s wife, this Rolling Stones cut was named by Keith Richards, most likely after his daughter Angela.

“The Ocean” — Led Zeppelin’s tribute to the masses who faithfully attended each and every show.


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One Response

  1. Sunny says:

    I really enjoy reading your blog, please keep up the great works that you have been doing. I will check back soon.

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