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pablo picasso


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Probably the band's most inventive song, and one of the few Simple Minds carried over into their early oeuvre, Pablo Picasso was written by John Milarky. It drew on the dual inspirations of Jonathan Richman's Pablo Picasso and Milarky's dislike of his leather-clad, motorbike fanatical blonde brother.

As Richman sang:

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 avacado when he would drive,
Down their street in his El Dorado,
He could walk down you street,
And girls could not resist his stare,
Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole.

Milarky didn't feel the same way about his brother:

Leather freak, leather freak, stay away from me
Because all the girls think you're a fucking asshole.

Pablo Picasso - all the girls think you're an asshole.

It was around before Johnny And The Self Abusers, as Milarky played it to Jim and Charlie when they first met. Jim remembered the song during that first meeting as frightenly good.

This great rabble rouser of a song was a highlight of the set and was duly committed to tape when the band recorded their second demo (where it was the only song sung by Milarky).

Jim and Charlie liked it enough to keep it around during the Life In A Day and Real To Real Cacophony tours, where it acted as a useful encore. The lyrics were slightly changed: "All the girls think you're such an asshole." However, despite its popularity and sly humour, it was eventually discarded as the band moved on with their own material.

It was formally officially released on the The Early Years 1977-78 CD in March 1998. Questions over legalities, especially the financing of demo tape, saw the CD being swiftly withdrawn.

see also:
Pablo Picasso (Demo)

The lyrics have never been published.

Demo Version (3:32)
Producer: Simple Minds and Brian Young

The Early Years 1977-1978 CD

live history
Johnny And The Self Abusers: 1977
Life In A Day Tour: 1979
Real To Real Cacophony Tour: 1979-1980