Musical Muses: The Faces Behind The Songs

Sure everyone remembers the songwriters—and why shouldn’t they?  Those talented artists paint pictures with sound, composing poetry to move us, body and soul.  However, as monumental as their sonic creations may be, songwriters would be nothing without the inspiration of those whose lives serendipitously intersected their own.  So who are these immortal characters lucky enough to live forever in song?  Read on to meet some of music’s most memorable muses.

Angela Bowie inspired The Rolling Stones’ “Angie.”

Angela Bowie

Everywhere I look I see your eyes/There ain’t a woman that comes close to you/Come on baby, dry your eyes/But Angie, Angie, ain’t it good to be alive?/Angie, Angie, they can’t say we never tried…

Patti Boyd inspired George Harrison’s “Something” and Eric Clapton’s “Layla.”

Patti Boyd

Something in the way she moves/Attracts me like no other lover…

Let’s make the best of the situation/Before I finally go insane/Please don’t say we’ll never find a way/And tell me all my love’s in vain…

Janins Joplin inspired Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel No. 2”


I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel/You were famous/Your heart was a legend…

Jeff Buckley inspired Aimee Mann’s “Just Like Anyone.”

Jeff Buckley

So maybe I wasn’t that good a friend/But you were one of us/And I will wonder just like anyone/If there was something else I could’ve done…

(Read more about the story behind this song, and grab a free mp3 here!)

Tommy Stinson inspired Paul Westerberg’s “Sixteen Blue.”

Tommy Stinson

Drive yourself right up the wall/No one hears and no one calls/It’s a boring state/It’s a useless wait, I know…

Bob Dylan inspired Joan Baez’s “Diamonds and Rust.”


Well you burst on the scene already a legend/The unwashed phenomenon/The original vagabond/You strayed into my arms/And there you stayed/Temporarily lost at sea/The Madonna was yours for free/Yes the girl on the half-shell/Would keep you unharmed…

Justine Frischmann inspired Suede’s “Animal Lover.”

Justine Frischmann

I see you’re moving, see you’re moving like wildlife from the waist/But when your name’s scratched in on a shiny ring your waist is my resting place/And around my neck and around her neck hangs everything you are/I know you’ve been inside but what were you in for?

Edie Sedgewick inspired The Velvet Underground’s “Femme Fatale.”


Here she comes, you better watch your step/She’s going to break your heart in two, it’s true…

Marainne Faithfull inspired The Rolling Stone’s “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Marianne Faithfull

I saw her today at the reception/In her glass was a bleeding man/She was practiced at the art of deception/Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands…

Ali Hewson inspired U2’s “The Sweetest Thing.”

Ali Hewson

I know I got black eyes/But they burn so brightly for her/This is a blind kind of love/Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing…

Stephanie Seymour inspired Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain.”

Stephanie Seymour

So if you want to love me/Then darlin’ don’t refrain/Or I’ll just end up walkin’/In the cold November rain…

Erin Everly inspired Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”

Erin Everly

She’s got a smile that it seems to me/Reminds me of childhood memories/Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky/Now and then when I see her face/She takes me away to that special place/And if I stared too long/I’d probably break down and cry…

Chrissie Shrimpton inspired The Rolling Stones’ “Ninteenth Nervous Breakdown.”

Chrissie Shrimpton

Well, you were still in school when you had that fool/Who really messed your mind/And after that you turned your back/treating people kind/On our first trip I tried so hard/To rearrange your mind/But after a while I realized/You were disarranging mine…

Christie Brinkley inspired Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl.”

Christie Brinkley

She’s getting tired of her high class toys/And all her presents from her uptown boys…

Dave Coulier inspired Alanis Morissette’s “You Ougta Know.”


And I’m here to remind you/Of the mess you left when you went away/It’s not fair to deny me/Of the cross I bear that you gave to me…

Candy Darling inspired The Kinks’ “Lola.”

Candy Darling

Well I’m not dumb but I can’t understand/Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man…

Richard Ashcroft inspired Oasis’ “Cast No Shadow.”

Richard Ashcroft

Bound with all the weight of all the words he tried to say/Chained to all the places that he never wished to stay/Bound with all the weight of all the words he tried to say/As he faced the sun he cast no shadow…

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2 Responses

  1. here is my favorite one..because i’m from this town

    On 6/12/64, the Stones played a concert at Danceland in Excelsior, Minnesota during their first ever US tour. At the time they were a little-known band, performed poorly and drunkenly, and got booed off the stage.

    During this visit (in fact, the next morning), Mick went into Bacon Drug Store, an Excelsior store with a soda fountain, to get a prescription filled. Jimmy Hutmaker, a.k.a. “Mr. Jimmy”, a “local color” guy who had met Mick at the concert then night before, and who has some mental difficulties (although is pretty lucid most days–he still wanders the streets of Excelsior every day visiting with everyone he meets, he’s now around 75), was in the store in line in front of Mick at the moment, ordering a cherry coke. Problem–they were out of cherry juice. So the guy behind the counter gave Mr. Jimmy a regular coke. Jimmy shrugged his shoulders, turned around to Mick, and commented that, “You can’t always get what you want”–and a mega-hit was born.

    here is a picture:

  2. […] mulheres mais afortunadas tiveram o privilégio de entrar para a história do rock como musas inspiradoras de sucessos como Layla, de Eric Clapton, Julia, dos Beatles, ou Angie, dos Rolling Stones. Mas […]

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