Revisit Jack White’s cover of the Modern Lovers song ‘Pablo Picasso’
At a time when millions of people are forced to remain home amid strict social distancing measures, music fans are forced to get their audio fix with a hint of nostalgia.
Here, while dipping back into the Far Out vault, we’re revisiting Jack White’s cover of the Modern Lovers track ‘Pablo Picasso’.
The song, which was famously covered by David Bowie, arrived a little while back as part of White’s Spotify Singles set and also includes a live version of his Boarding House Reach single ‘Over and Over and Over’.
The Modern Lovers, an American rock band led by Jonathan Richman in the 1970s and 1980s, enjoyed widespread success in 1976 when the band released their self-titled debut album. It was on that album the hit track ‘Pablo Picasso’ appeared.
The song was recorded in 1972 at Whitney Studios in Los Angeles, and produced by John Cale, but was not released until four years later. Richman, writing the lyrics to the song with his typically sarcastic wit, touches on the idea that women ever rejected Picasso’s romantic advances despite the fact that he was short in height.
“Well he was only five foot three but girls could not resist his stare,” Richman sings. “Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole / Not in New York”.
Richman, who isn’t a particularly tall man himself, explained that the inspiration for the song was driven by “his own adolescent self-consciousness with women” when talking in a past interview.
Hear both versions, below:
The Modern Lovers ‘Pablo Picasso’ lyrics:
Well some people try to pick up girls And get called assholes This never happened to Pablo Picasso He could walk down your street And girls could not resist his stare and So Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole
Well the girls would turn the color Of the avocado when he would drive Down their street in his El Dorado He could walk down your street And girls could not resist his stare Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole Not like you Alright
Well he was only 5’3″ But girls could not resist his stare Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole Not in New York
Oh well be not schmuck, be not obnoxious Be not bellbottom bummer or asshole Remember the story of Pablo Picasso He could walk down your street And girls could not resist his stare Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole Alright this is it
Well Some people try to pick up girls And they get called an asshole This never happened to Pablo Picasso He could walk down your street And girls could not resist his stare and so Pablo Picasso was never called…