Jarvis Cocker says it’s still a “mystery” about whom he wrote the Pulp hit “Common People,” but is determined to find out.
In the opening lines of the iconic 1995 song, Cocker sings about a woman “from Greece [and] thirsted for knowledge,” studied sculpture at the University of St. Martin’s in London.
Despite the song’s success – it was named NMEBest Songs of the 90s – Cocker has revealed that he no longer remembers the identity of the person who inspired the song.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s This cultural life (via Mirror), Cocker explains that the inspiration was Danae Stratou, a Greek woman who attended St Martin’s school at the same time as Jarvis, but confirmed that “it wasn’t her because she had blonde hair and girls have black hair.”
Of the song’s origins, Cocker said: “We went to the pub and she just came out saying she wanted to live in Hackney with normal people.
“In 2011, we were playing at St Martin’s and someone showed me a picture on their phone and said, ‘Is that the girl you wrote the song about?’ I said, “Yes, I think so” “he recalls.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t ask them about the painting and I can’t remember who showed it to me so it remains a mystery.”
Back in 2015, Deborah Bone, the inspiration behind Pulp’s 1995 hit “Disco 2000,” died aged 51. The mental health worker had been battling multiple myeloma – a type of bone marrow cancer.
Born in Sheffield, Bone and Cocker grew up close and their friendship inspired the band’s hit song, which begins with the lyrics:We were born within an hour of each other. Our mother said that we could be sisters and brothers. Your name is Deborah. Deborah. It never works for you. “
Bone moved to Letchworth at the age of 10 and went on to become a nurse, later setting up the Step2 health service for Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust in Stevenage. She has won various awards for her work in the field of mental health and just hours after her death it was announced that she would receive an MBE in recognition of her services to children and young people as part of the 2015 New Year Honors List.
Later this year, Cocker will release a new memoir Good Pop, Bad Pop. Set for release May 26 through Vintage Publishing, Cocker describes the book as an “inventory”. It revolves around the former Pulp member coming across “a jumble of objects that tell his story” while cleaning out his attic, with various moths being used as a stop to reflect on Cocker’s life and career. Pre-orders are available here.
His band JARV IS… recently composed the music for the new BBC comedy This will hurt and the full soundtrack was shared back in March.
https://www.nme.com/news/music/jarvis-cocker-is-on-a-quest-to-find-woman-who-inspired-pulps-common-people-3226419?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=jarvis-cocker-is-on-a-quest-to-find-woman-who-inspired-pulps-common-people Jarvis Cocker is on a quest to find woman who inspired Pulp’s ‘Common People’