Behind the Music

The following article is for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as scholarly research or as a final authority on the topic.

Wild-Card Wednesday is upon us again.  You know what that means.  Anything can happen.  Music’s the name of the game today.  Let’s talk about songs that were inspired by famous people.

iTunes has a built-in playlist for the songs you play most.  It comes programmed to pick out the twenty-five most played songs.  I reprogrammed mine to include the top fifty most played songs.

“Edie (Ciao Baby)” by The Cult stays on my top fifty.  It’s a power ballad from the 80s complete with wailing guitars and and violins.


Click here to listen to the acoustic version, which is interesting but not as sweeping as the original.

Edith Minturn “Edie” Sedgewick lived 1943-1971.  She is best known for being one of Andy Warhol’s Superstars and starring in his underground films.    Some of the films Edie appeared in were Vinyl, Poor Little Rich Girl, and Ciao! Manhattan.

In addition to being an actress and model, Edie was also a socialite and heiress.  Her family was from Santa Barbara, California and was involved in philanthropy, ranching and art.  The family’s roots date back to Manhattan’s colonial days.  A triple-great grandfather, William Ellery, signed the Declaration of Independence.

Despite the impressive pedigree, Edie had a troubled life.  She struggled with anorexia, drug abuse, and a lot of broken heartedness.  Her death was the result of mixing alcohol and barbiturates.  Whether or not she committed suicide is up for debate.

George Harrison (of The Beatles fame) wrote “Something” about his then-wife Pattie Boyd.  The two met in 1964 on the set of A Hard Day’s Night and married in 1965.  They divorced in 1974.  Pattie claims George was the one true love of her life, and she wishes she’d tried harder to work things out.

This is the most beautiful version of “Something” I’ve ever heard.


Pattie also inspired “Layla,” “Wonderful Tonight,” and “Bell Bottom Blues” by Eric Clapton.  Boyd and Clapton married in 1979 and divorced in 1989.  Apparently, their struggles as a couple had to do with Clapton’s infidelity and addiction.

Can you imagine having that many men that in love with you?

Marilyn Monroe has inspired lust in the hearts of men for more than fifty years.  It’s no surprise Joe Elliot of Def Leppard is known to say, ‘I want more than her picure” when he sings “Photograph” at concerts.

Marilyn Monroe was born in 1926.  She spent the majority of her childhood in orphanages and foster care.  Modeling led to her first acting contract in 1946.  She used her “dumb blonde” persona in films for comedic affect.  Her dramatic performance in Bus Stop (1956) was critically acclaimed, though.

Marilyn was married to baseball legend Joe Maggio, to playwright Arthur Miller,
and was linked romantically President John F. Kennedy.  She died in 1962 of acute barbiturate poisoning.   Whether Marilyn’s death was suicide or murder has been the subject of many debates.

Walter Egan was smitten with Stevie Nicks.  After she recorded backup vocals for his song “Tunnel o’Love,” he wrote “Magnet and Steel” with Stevie in mind.  In a great twist, Stevie Nicks sings backup on “Magnet and Steel.”


This song always reminds me of that scene in Boogie Nights where Dirk Diggler pitches Brock Landers and Chest Rockwell to Jack Horner.  Listen real close, and you’ll hear it playing in the background.



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