Top 10 Songs About Other Musicians
When you make music your life, it's only natural that you'd look at the people around you doing the same and find someone who just moistens the muse's panties. What we've tried to put together here is a list of those best efforts.
Bear in mind, with one notable exception we've steered clear of fellow/former bandmates, and omitted rap entirely as a dis list alone would fill many pages. When it comes to the world of pop and rock, though, here's the cream of the crop.
We'll let Smithereens front man Pat DiNizio tell it himself.
There's a lot of pop imagery in the lyrics (references to the Stones' Bill Wyman and '60s model/icon Jeannie Shrimpton) which I didn't give a lot of thought to at the time but seemed to create a certain interest later on. A true story, the words are about a girl named Kim from an all-girl group out of Boston called The Bristols.
It's been said that this song was written by Mick Jagger about Marianne Faithfull, who awoke from a coma to her him say those words. This is pretty much bullshit, but hell, it's our favorite Stones tune and a good story to boot. When in doubt, print the legend.
If someone even thinks the name Whitney Houston then please prepare for a shoryuken right in the empty place where your musical taste is supposed to reside. Parton wrote this song about her mentor and partner Porter Wagoner, with whom she was having a rather bitter business dispute at the time.
Falco was more inspired by the film Amadeus than he was by the actual Mozart, but that doesn't make the song any less of a classic. For the record, Houston's Asmodeus X's version "Rock Me, Asmodeus" is equally awesome.
Gwen Stefani basically built a career around singing about musicians. The joke in our house is that Return to Saturn should actually have been called Gavin Rossdale is a Big Poopy Head.
Michael Hutchence is looking down at us from the Dogs in Space poster as we type this. He was good friends with Duran and singer Simon LeBon in particular, touring with them and just hanging out. He died a month before the release of Medazzaland.
We'd really like to know what it was that ruined the friendship between Tori Amos and Trent Reznor. The rumor is that it had something to do with Courtney Love, and "Professional Widow" is supposedly about Love.
Roger Waters was shocked at the appearance of Syd Barrett when he walked into the studio while they were recording Wish You Were Here. The former Floyd member was deep in the throes of his mental illness, and it didn't even occur to him that "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" was about him. Waters never saw him again alive after a brief appearance at David Gilmour's wedding.
Fistful of Alice is the first live album we ever bought, and we were so naive that when Cooper said, "This is a song I wrote for Jim Morrison a long time ago" we had to go ask our mom who that was. Now we know, and we understand exactly what Cooper was going for.
After being entranced by a performance by Don Mclean, Lori Lieberman penned a poem that would become the basis of a hit song for Roberta Flack and the Fugees.
Interesting Note: In 1973 Perry Como's version of McLean's song "And I Love You So" was up for a Grammy, but lost to Roberta Flack's cover of "Killing Me Soflty." That means a song written by McLean lost to a song written about McLean. That is nine kinds of awesome.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.