Billy Joel’s ‘Uptown Girl’ Isn’t About Christie Brinkley?

There’s a new book out with some surprising news–Billy Joel actually wrote the song “Uptown Girl” while he was dating Elle Macpherson. In The Girl in the Song: The True Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics, authors Michael Heatley and Frank Hopkinson reveal the women that inspired 50 famous songs.

According to the NY Daily News, one of the stories in the book is about Billy Joel vacationing at a hotel in the Caribbean and meeting three models: Elle Macpherson, Christie Brinkley, and a then-unknown Whitney Houston. Joel hit it off with Macpherson and wrote “Uptown Girls” about the three women. When he began dating Brinkley, he changed the title to “Uptown Girl” and it was Brinkley who famously starred in the music video.

Other stories in the book include how Neil Diamond wrote “Sweet Caroline” about Caroline Kennedy and Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” was inspired by Joan Baez.

Here’s more information about The Girl in the Song:

Women have long inspired rock artists, but what do fans really know about these muses? The Girl in the Song focuses on the girlfriends, wives, rivals, exes, groupies, celebrities, mothers, children, and even complete strangers who inspired 50 of rock’s greatest songs. Who was the Emily in Pink Floyd’s “See Emily Play”? Did life change for Prudence Farrow after John Lennon wrote “Dear Prudence”? And whatever happened to “the girl with mousy hair,” an ex-girlfriend David Bowie sings about in “Life on Mars”?

Songs are typically short and one-sided, and rarely do justice to their subjects. But author Michael Heatley explains how each woman inspired the song written about her, when the song was released, and the impact it had on the charts, the performer, and the woman. He also includes a mini biography of the song’s muse. Music buffs will also appreciate sidebars on the performers who wrote about the women in their lives–Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett would include as many as four girls in the same song–as well as trivia from recording history. It’s the perfect book for anyone who’s ever wondered, “Who was the girl in that song?”

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