Monday 12 December 2022

Celebrity Jukebox #59: Jean Shrimpton

I hadn’t planned on doing a post on Jean Shrimpton, even though her name came up while I was looking into Terence Stamp’s murky past a couple of weeks back. But then, as fate would have it, I heard a song in the car that mentioned her… and that’s often a trigger to start me digging.

Iffypedia tells me that back in the swinging 60s, Jean Shrimpton was dubbed the “most famous”, “most photographed”, “most beautiful” and consequently “highest paid” model in the world. She has said she owes her career to photographer David Bailey, with whom she had a 4 year romance (prior to Terry Stamp), although Bailey also called her his muse and claimed her photos helped his own rise to fame.

Here’s a song named after Jean, from the appropriately named Close Ups, a cartoon band from 2006 in the manner of The Archies and Gorillaz…

The Close-Ups – Jean Shrimpton

When I saw the name Shark Inferno, I got very excited, imagining a ridiculous disaster B-movie starring Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and some flying CGI sharks with flame-throwers. Sadly, the reality was a low-key backing track with a bit of “Ohhh”-ing over the top.

Shark Inferno – Jean Shrimpton Boogie

Hardly a song befitting “the most beautiful girl in the world”, is it? So here’s Prince instead.

Prince – The Most Beautiful Girl In The World

And, just because I can…

Charlie Rich – The Most Beautiful Girl In The World

Neither of those songs are specifically about Jean Shrimpton, and I’ve set the bar way too high now. But here’s the man who wrote Taylor Dayne’s Tell It To My Heart with something far less annoying than his big hit. A lovely little tune that mention Jean, David Bailey and someone called Paul McCartney in its seemingly unrelated coda…

Seth Swirsky – Watercolour Day

“Never mind all that, Rol!” I hear you cry. “What was that song you heard in the car!?!”

Only New Jersey’s 11th best rock band*, The Smithereens, with their 1986 UK Indie Chart “hit”, Behind The Wall Of Sleep, a consummation devoutly to be wished.


Best of all, this track doesn’t just mention Jean… but also former Rolling Stone and your French teacher’s worst nightmare*, Bill “Interesting” Wyman…

She had hair like Jeannie Shrimpton back in 1965…

…and she stood just like Bill Wyman
Now I’m her biggest fan

Sounds like a winning combo to me.

(Because of the way he mangled the language in Je Suis Un Rock Star, nothing more salacious than that.)

1 comment:

  1. Back in the 60s you were either a Twiggy or a Jean Shrimpton.

    There was a really good drama a few years back starring our local girl Karen Gillan as Jean. Might have to revisit it. (Crikey just checked and it was 10 years ago. Time argh... It's running away from me).


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