Those are the lyrics of one of the greatest hits of The Beatles: Strawberry Fields Forever. John Lennon was inspired by his six-week long stay in Almeria and its neighbourhood, and, as a result, he wrote this song.
It was the autumn of 1966, when only 26 years old John Lennon came to Almeria to play in a comedy How I Won the War a role of a soldier called Musketeer Gripweed. The first few weeks, John stayed in El delfin verde suite, which is situated near Almeria beach, Zapillo, and in which, as a result of boredom, the firsts sound of the famous Strawberry Fields Forever were created. Right next to the green dolphin, there was El Manzanilla restaurant, in which the musician used to eat dinner and in which, together with his wife and Ringo Starr, who came there especially for this occasion, he celebrated his 26th birthday.
During their visit, Lennon decided to rent, the famous at that time, Cortijo Romero villa – a large residence from 1866, which many movie stars stayed in, including Peter O’Toole and Yul Brynner. The reason for that was that spaghetti westerns were being filmed there. Iron gates and lush gardens, which surrounded the mansion, reminded Lennon of his childhood, during which he spend some time playing in Strawberry Field, belonging to the Salvation Army in Liverpool, situated near the musician’s family home.
Inspired by the scenography and a bit bored by his stay on the coast – as he admitted in one of his interviews – he created a nostalgic melody which he fully recorder for the first time in the bathroom in the residence. The Strawberry Fields Forever single is perceived as a flagship piece among psychedelic rock, and it is considered to be one of the best songs of the rich discography of The Beatles.
Years later, the residence was turned to a museum of cinema history, known as Casa del Cine de Almeria, in which we can see the aforementioned bathroom decorated with the lyrics of the song.
Walking through the centre of Almeria, you can come across a monument of John playing a guitar. There is also a Lennon Forever Almeria association which makes sure that the memory of The Beatles and of the artist’s stay in the city and its neighbourhood, stays alive. The organization’s activity on Facebook HERE.
Later, other member of the band visited Almeria, as well, i.e. in 1971, Ringo Starr came to Tabernas desert to star in Blindman western as Candiego.