I had definitely left, I couldn't take it any more. There was no magic and the relationships were terrible. I'd come to a bad spot in life. It could have been paranoia, but I just didn't feel good – I felt like an outsider. But then I realised that we were all feeling like outsiders, and it just needed me to go around knocking to bring it to a head.
I got a telegram saying, 'You're the best rock'n'roll drummer in the world. Come on home, we love you.' And so I came back. We all needed that little shake-up. When I got back to the studio I found George had had it decked out with flowers – there were flowers everywhere. I felt good about myself again, we'd got through that little crisis and it was great. And then the 'White' album really took off – we all left the studio and went to a little room so there was no separation and lots of group activity going down.
At George Harrison's instigation, Mal Evans covered Ringo's drum kit with dozens of flowers.
Although Ringo's return from Sardinia was much celebrated, there was little for him to do in this recording session, which took place in Abbey Road's studio two from 7pm until 3.30am the following morning. George Harrison worked alone, recording a backwards guitar solo for While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Also on this day...
- 2018: Ringo Starr live at Starlight Theater, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
- 2010: Yoko Ono visits John Lennon’s school and childhood home
- 1968: Recording: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
- 1964: Live: State Fair Coliseum, Indianapolis
- 1963: Radio: three episodes of Pop Go The Beatles
- 1962: Live: Queen’s Hall, Widnes
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: Hambleton Hall, Liverpool
- 1960: Live: Indra Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.