Mental Floss

The Quick 10: Nine Women Who Inspired Beatles Songs (and one song not inspired by a woman)

Stacy Conradt
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I'm going through a serious Fab Four phase at the moment, I think because of the eminent release of The Beatles: Rock Band (09.09.09, people, it's just around the corner!!). When I was younger I was fanatical, bordering on obsessive, but I think it's tempered nicely over the years... although it does rear its ugly head every now and then. I'll forgive them for not having a song about Stacy (not many bands do), but I will admit to being slightly envious of the nine girls below... and the one girl who doesn't really exist.

prudence
prudence /

3. Sadie, another White Album gal, wasn't actually a gal at all. "Sexy Sadie" was about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whom the Beatles had had a falling out with. They were under the impression that the holy man had made a pass at Mia Farrow and other girls studying with him and were convinced that he "made a fool of everyone" who had some to learn from him. Most of the group, including Mia Farrow, later said Maharishi's actions had been misinterpreted and they were sorry to have doubted him.

4. Martha is another one who wasn't really a girl "“ at least, not a human girl, although she was utterly devoted to Paul McCartney. "Martha My Dear" was named for his beloved English Sheepdog. He has since admitted that the title may have borne Martha's name, but the lyrics were "probably" about his ex-fiancee Jane Asher.

eleanor
eleanor /

6. Pam of Abbey Road's "Polythene Pam" was a fan from the Cavern Club days, but her name was Pat. By her own admission, she used to tie polythene (Polyethylene, the stuff shopping bags are made of) into knots and eat it. So"¦ that's weird. But even stranger is John's later admission that some of the song was based on a girl named Stephanie who was dating poet Royston Ellis in 1963. She liked to dress in polythene for kinky sex purposes, although John said he may have stretched the truth a little bit. "She didn't wear jackboots and kilts," he said. "I just sort of elaborated. Perverted sex in a polythene bag. Just looking for something to write about."

julia
julia /

9. Melanie Coe isn't mentioned by name in Sgt. Pepper's "She's Leaving Home," but she inspired it just the same. Paul had seen a headline in The Daily Mail about a 17-year-old girl who had run away from home, leaving her parents with no clue as to why she had left. She says he got most of the details right, except that she didn't met "a man from the motor trade," but a casino worker; she also split in the afternoon and not the morning.

10. "Michelle" from Rubber Soul isn't really about anyone in particular, and was in fact just a little song Paul messed around with before the Liverpudlian lads were famous. He had been at a party where he felt some art school guys were being pretentious with their French singing and goatees and decided to make up a song to mock them. It included a lot of faux-French and groaning noises. During the Rubber Soul sessions, John asked Paul if he remembered the little faux-French ditty and encouraged him to make it a real song.

Share your favorite and tell us why in the comments. And is anyone as pumped as I am about the game?!
Have a Q10 request? I'm on Twitter and I'm all ears! Err... all keys. Something.

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