When American Idol finalist Crystal Bowersox performed the classic Janis Joplin love song "Me And Bobby McGee" last week, it got everyone thinking about who the real Bobby McGee was. According to Love Buzz, the tune, which was written by Janis' former lover Kris Kristofferson, might have actually been inspired by Janis. Wow, people might have thought Janis was pretty vain if they'd known all this time that she was singing a love song about herself!
Speaking of vanity, when Carly Simon recently re-recorded her hit "You're So Vain," the song became a subject of gossip once again. Although most people have always assumed that the song's famous narcissist was Warren Beatty and the latest rumor is that he was David Geffen, Carly's brother insists that the man in the song is actually an amalgam of several who did his sis wrong over the years.
Some songwriters are much more forthcoming about the muses behind their compositions. Here now is a list of love songs and the famous ladies who inspired them.
1. "Something," George Harrison - Something in the way she moves/Attracts me like no other lover
2. "Layla," Derek and the Dominos - I tried to give you consolation/When your old man had let you down/Like a fool, I fell in love with you/Turned my whole world upside down
3. "Wonderful Tonight," Eric Clapton - I feel wonderful because I see the love light in your eyes/And the wonder of it all/Is that you just don't realize how much I love you
While most women wish they could have one great love song written about them, Pattie Boyd was lucky enough to be the subject of three big hits. Well, "lucky" may not be the right term, since she was at the center of a well-documented and messy love triangle with best friends George Harrison and Eric Clapton. You can read about Pattie's life as a muse in her 2007 memoir, Wonderful Tonight.
4. "Rosanna," Toto - All I wanna do when I wake up in the morning is see your eyes/Rosanna, Rosanna/I never thought that a girl like you could ever care for me/Rosanna
5. "In Your Eyes," Peter Gabriel - I see the light and the heat/In your eyes/Oh, I want to be that complete/I want to touch the light, the heat I see in your eyes
If Pattie Boyd is the Queen of Muses, Rosanna Arquette is the Princess. And although the eponymously named Toto single was not actually written for her (she was dating band member Steve Porcaro, and the song was written by David Paich), the band did decide to use her name, partly because it was easy to sing and partly because she was well-liked by all the band members. But former live-in love Peter Gabriel did write "In Your Eyes" as a tribute to Rosanna. She must feel pretty good about that, because it's the better song and it's the soundtrack to one of the most iconic romantic images in pop culture history—Say Anything's John Cusack holding up that boom box outside Ione Skye's house.