The Girl in the Song: The Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics

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9781569765302: The Girl in the Song: The Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics

Women have long inspired rock artists, but what do fans really know about these muses? The Girl in the Song focuses on the girlfriends, wives, rivals, exes, groupies, celebrities, mothers, children, and even complete strangers who inspired 50 of rock’s greatest songs. Who was the Emily in Pink Floyd’s See Emily Play”? Did life change for Prudence Farrow after John Lennon wrote Dear Prudence”? And whatever happened to the girl with mousy hair,” an ex-girlfriend David Bowie sings about in Life on Mars”?

            Songs are typically short and one-sided, and rarely do justice to their subjects. But author Michael Heatley explains how each woman inspired the song written about her, when the song was released, and the impact it had on the charts, the performer, and the woman. He also includes a mini biography of the song’s muse. Music buffs will also appreciate sidebars on the performers who wrote about the women in their lives--Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett would include as many as four girls in the same song--as well as trivia from recording history. It’s the perfect book for anyone who’s ever wondered, Who was the girl in that song?”

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About the Author:

Michael Heatley has contributed to many rock music encyclopedias, including the Virgin Encyclopedia of Rock, and music biographies, including Eminen and Deep Purple. He has written for magazines including Music Week, Billboard, and Record Collector.

From Booklist:

Many of us know that Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” was inspired by Caroline Kennedy and that “Peggy Sue” was the girlfriend of Buddy Holly’s drummer. But who among us knew that “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby,” by Counting Crows, was written about Monica Potter, the actress? Or that the first verse of “Fire and Rain,” James Taylor’s classic, was a eulogy for a dead friend? Or that “The Girl from Ipanema” was Heloisa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto, a 15-year-old head-turner in Rio de Janeiro? Well, maybe pop-music fanatics will know all of these facts, just like they’ll know most of the rest of this book’s stories. But the book isn’t written for them; its audience is the ordinary reader, to whom the songs are familiar, but their origins remain a mystery. The author, a music historian and biographer, writes in a lively style, devoting a few pages to each song and then moving on to the next. A slim book but one packed with entertaining information. --David Pitt

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