Your Name Here: Songs Named After Other People, Part One

The other night, MGMT was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live .

For their first song, they chose “Flash Delirium” from their new album, Congratulations, but in their second song slot they went with “Brian Eno,” a kind of trippy tribute song with the lyrical tag “We’ll always be a step behind him, he’s Brian Eno!”

This made me think of all the songs I know where a musical artist sings about another musical artist (or a personal hero from any field) in the title. Recently, after the death of Alex Chilton, I think we all heard The Replacements song, “Alex Chilton” quite a bit, but it’s a good one so here it goes again…

This always makes me think of how They Might Be Giants had a song called “We’re The Replacements”:

Here’s a Lala link to that song

We’re The Replacements – They …

And if that link doesn’t work (and I’ve been told that it might not in Canada), here’s a live clip from a Barnes & Nobles instore…

TMBG also did a song called “XTC vs. Adam Ant” but I can’t find a good video (seek it out for yourself) for that so let’s move on…

Years back, David Bowie latched on the whole cult of the famous name drop with his song “Andy Warhol”, ever the progressive Bowie updated that in this 1996 tour clip:

and of course Bowie also gave us “Song For Bob Dylan”

The Dandy Warhols reckon they always wanted to be as “Cool As Kim Deal”

I’d never heard of the band Crash Into June but Amy, on Facebook, suggested their song “Pete Ham”, which is of course about the late songwriter and singer from Badfinger

Who could forget Billy Bragg’s “Levi Stubbs’ Tears”?

Then there’s Scissor Sisters who dance about and sing of “Paul McCartney”

Here’s a very drunk Ian Dury doing “Sweet Gene Vincent” allegedly from The Old Grey Whistle Test…

“I never liked George Michael much,” sang Wham! fans Black Box Recorder, “although they say he was the talented one…” in this lovely little song about the other one, “Andrew Ridgley”

Half Man Half Biscuit sang about “Joy Division Oven Gloves,” which sort of fits here…

Teenage Fanclub love singing about other people first it’s Neil Young in “Neil Jung”

and then about The Byrds’ “Gene Clark”

And while Robyn Hitchcock’s “Queen Elvis” and “Madonna Of The Wasps” sorta count, I’m playing “The Wreck Of The Arthur Lee”:

House Of Love crossed off two bands at once with “Beatles And Stones”

Oh and Living Color want to remind you that “Elvis Is Dead”


Finally, before we go, my pal Chris Wardman told me about this song, “Stephen Hawking” by The Year Of, and while I couldn’t find a YouTube clip, I did find another Lala link, hope it works on your end:

Stephen Hawking – The Year Of

12 Responses to “Your Name Here: Songs Named After Other People, Part One”

  1. CSS, who did the very catchy “Music is My Hot Hot Sex” that was used on an ipod commercial, also have a song called “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death from Above”. I love that band.

  2. Amy Nyman Says:

    Nice, Paul! Crash Into June did indeed take their name from the Game Theory song. If you’re looking for more, Norwegian band I Was A King have a song called “Norman Bleik”, which is about Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake. Video here:

  3. “blind willy McTell” – bob dylan

    I could name 2 songs I’ve written but that would be goofy!

  4. On “Venus & Mars/Rock Show” near the end Macca gives a shout out to professor longhair, but that’s not quite the same as titling a song after someone…

  5. Jef Farquharson Says:

    Jackie Wilson Said…Van Morisson
    Jesus Christ Pose…Soundgarden
    Pablo Picasso…The Jim Carroll Band
    Bela Legosi’s Dead…Bauhaus
    Suite Judy Blue Eyes (Judy Collin’s)…Crosby Stills and Nash

  6. Pablo Picasso – Johathon Richman
    Green Hornet – Al Hirt
    Bessie Smith – The Band
    (David Bowie I Love You) Since I Was Six – The Brian Jonestown Massacre
    Bonnie & Clyde – Serge Gainsbourg
    Marcus Garvey – Burning Spear
    John Sinclair – John & Yoko
    Billy Jack – Curtis Mayfield
    Michael Jackson – Fatboy Slim
    Blame it on the Stones – Kris Kristofferson Wolfman Jack – Todd Rundgren
    Bing Crosby – Van Dyke Parks
    Graham Greene – John Cale
    Billy Preston – Miles Davis

  7. Dean Thut Says:

    Joan Crawford –Blue Oyster Cult
    Harry Truman–Chicago

  8. Max Hutchinson Says:

    Once again:

    Timothy Leary’s Dead — Spirit
    Joe Hill — Joan Baez
    R.A.M.O.N.E.S — Motorhead
    Andy Warhol — David Bowie
    Tim McGraw — Taylor Swift
    Steve McQueen — Lambchop

    And let’s not forget,

    They Saved Hitler’s Cock — Angry Samoans

  9. Max Hutchinson Says:

    Willie, Waylon And Me — David Allan Coe

  10. Lou Reed’s “Andy’s Chest” pre-dates Bowie by 2 years. Other songs with real people in the title:
    “Clap for the Wolfman” – The Guess Who
    “Bette Davis Eyes” – Kim Carnes
    “Robert De Niro’s Waiting” – Bananarama
    “Roy Rogers” – Elton John
    “James Dean” – The Eagles
    “Rasputin” – Bony M
    “Biko” – Peter Gabriel
    “Michael Caine” – Madness
    “When Smokey Sings” – ABC
    “Rosanna” – Toto

  11. […] The Pulmyears Music Blog Musings on music from the desk of Paul Myers. « Your Name Here: Songs Named After Other People, Part One […]

  12. i love bob dylan, he is one of the best singer songwriter -:”

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