Thursday, August 23, 2012

Famous Rock and Roll Muses

Women are a great source of inspiration for rock artists which enable them to come up with a great song. As the saying goes, "Behind every great man is a woman", and is true enough as it is reflected in some of the rockstars' music. Here are some notable "Rock muses" of the history who gave inspiration to some of the great rockstars in the music industry.

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1. Courtney Love - Famously known as the wife of the late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Courtney also had her share of talent as a lyricist and the lead vocals of the 90's all girl grunge rock band Hole. Before she married kurt, she had a relationship with Julian Cope, the lead singer of the band Teardrop Explodes. Her British lover turned against her and took out a full page ad in the New Musical Express which he wrote ” Free us from Nancy Spungen-fixated, heroin assholes who cling to our greatest rock bands and suck out their brains”. She also had a relationship to another rockstar Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins which she left for Kurt and months later, she became pregnant with Kurt's first child Frances Bean Cobain, which was legally emancipated from her mother. Songs rumored to be inspired by this rock’n’roll muse – Heart-Shaped Box (Nirvana), I’ll Stick Around (Foo Fighters), Disarm (Smashing Pumpkins), You Know You’re Right (Nirvana) About a girl (Nirvana)

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2. Gwyneth Paltrow - When bashful Chris Martin (who didn't lose his virginity until he was 23, by his own admission) hitched himself to Hollywood princess Paltrow, Coldplay became tabloid favourites overnight, and their fans started fretting about the influence she would wield over the group. Despite being able to carry a tune, Gwynnie swore she wouldn't collaborate with Chris, dismissing the suggestion of a duet and insisting: 'I don't want to be known as the girl who split up Coldplay.' Nonetheless, her influence is clearly felt on the band's hotly anticipated new album X&Y. Song inspired by her - The Message (Coldplay) (Source: Observer.guardian.co)

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3. Edie Sedgwick - She was best known for her association with Andy Warhol where she starred in his film Poor Little Rich Girl, she was a symbol of sixties style, rebellion, and freedom. During her teenage years, she used to have anorexia and bulimia and was placed under psychiatric care. When she improved, she collaborated with Andy Warhol and began to hang out with Bob Dylan. Their friendship turned to romance and she became pregnant with their child but suffered a miscarriage. She died on November 15, 1971 because of barbiturates and alcohol. Songs inspired by Edie - Leopard-skin Pill-box Hat and Just Like a Woman (Bob Dylan)

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4. Anita Pallenberg - A blonde Model with a dark edge personality, adventurous, risk-taking, and a hardcore drug addict captivated the member and co-founder of The Rolling Stones Keith Richards. She have caused conflicts between the band's members because of her "association" with Brian Jones, who was her partner before she left him for Keith Richards; and was rumored to bed Mick Jagger while in a relationship with Keith. Despite all these, she influenced the band with her personality, ideas and style, and she was the band's adviser because of her knowledge about culture, music, and fashion. She and Keith had 3 children; Marlon, Angela, and Tara. Today, she lives in England, where she is an avid gardener; she and Keith are still good friends. Songs inspired by Anita Pallenberg – possibly Angie (Rolling Stones)

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5. Yoko Ono - Referred as the woman who broke up The Beatles, Yoko inspired John Lennon with her assertiveness, ideas, and imagination. Beatles' women traditionally kept out of the group's affairs, but Yoko wasn't content to be a passive sidekick. Frankly, Lennon would be less interesting without the avant-garde frivolities, sloganeering and bed-ins. Still, rock girlfriends quake with fear at the prospect of being branded a 'Yoko'. Plus she's pushing it a bit with her latest endorsement: a Lennon musical that tells his life story using post-Beatles songs. Songs inspired by Yoko Ono - Woman (John Lennon) Get Back (The Beatles) (Source: Observer.guardian.co)

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6. Sara Lownds - Of all Dylan's muses, the former Playboy model can lay claim to be the most significant. Domestic bliss in Woodstock spawned Self Portrait, the object of Rolling Stone's notorious 'What is This Shit?' review, but when their marriage hit the rocks, the anguished masterpiece that is Blood on the Tracks resulted. Even then, he couldn't get her off his mind, as later songs such as 'Sara' demonstrated most clearly.(Source: Observer.guardian.co)

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7. Nico - She was famously known because of her work with Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones, and she was also a member of Velvet Underground. She was a successful fashion model before joining Lou Reed and Brian Jones in making music. Her beauty gave her access to the world’s most glamorous circles. However, her beautiful face concealed her tragic family background. Her father was a soldier during the world war II, who obtained a head injury and was used for experiments in the Nazi Camps. Her father died and she left school at 13 to begin her professional modelling career. While pursuing her music career, she suffered with deafness in one ear but continued to appear in films and record solo albums. She died because of cerebral hemorrhage due to a fall from a bicycle. Songs inspired by Nico – I’ll Be Your Mirror (Velvet Underground), The Birds of St. Marks (Jackson Browne)

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8. Marianne Faithfull - She began her career as a folk singer during the sixties, she collaborated with The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards and Mick Jagger to record the song As tears goes by, which the two have written especially for her. She later admitted that she "planned" to have a romance with a member of the Stones to further her music career. Her Four-year relationship with Mick Jagger was ended by her uncontrolled drug addiction which left her homeless on the streets of London until she was rescued by her friends. Today, she is a respected recording artist and her most notable album Broken English. Songs inspired by Marianne Faithfull – Carrie Ann (the Hollies), Sister Morphine (co-written by the Stones and Faithfull), Wild Horses (the Rolling Stones), You Can’t Always Get What You Want (the Rolling Stones)

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9. Linda Eastman - Best known for her marriage with Beatle Paul Mcartney, She was an American Photographer and entrepreneur who grew up in New York. In 1962, her mother died in a plane crash. She Married Melvin See Jr., her first husband after studying art in college. She gave birth to a child named heather, and in 1965, she divorced Melvin and became a professional photographer. She met Paul in 1967 in London and in 1969 she married Paul in the Marylebone registry Office while pregnant with their daughter Mary. She became a keyboard player in Paul's new band Wings. She passed away at age 56 due to breast cancer. Song inspired by Linda Eastman/Linda McCartney – No More Lonely Nights (Paul McCartney) and Maybe I’m Amazed (Paul McCartney)
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10. Pattie Boyd - She was then a young model when she met George Harrison when she was chosen to appear as an actress in the Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night. Though she turned down George's advances at first, she married George in 1966. During these years, George and Eric Clapton became friends and collaborated on some musical projects. Eric fell in love with Pattie and made advances with her but she turned him down leading him to heroin addiction and alcoholism. On the late 1970's George and Pattie's marriage were having trouble because of George's personality changes and infidelities. She was comforted by Eric, begging her to leave her husband to start with him. She divorced George in 1974 and married Eric in 1979. Her marriage with Clapton though did not last for long because of his alcoholism and infidelity issues which led them to divorce in 1988. Songs written about Pattie Boyd: Something (the Beatles), Layla (Eric Clapton), Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
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Credits: ToptenzGuardian

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