Pablo Picasso (song)

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"Pablo Picasso"
Song by the Modern Lovers
from the album The Modern Lovers
ReleasedAugust 1976
RecordedApril 1972
Songwriter(s)Jonathan Richman
Producer(s)John Cale

"Pablo Picasso" is a song written by Jonathan Richman[3] for the proto punk group the Modern Lovers. The song was recorded in 1972 at Whitney Studios in Los Angeles, and produced by John Cale, but was not released until 1976, on the Modern Lovers' self-titled debut album. The recording featured Richman (lead guitar, vocals), Ernie Brooks (second guitar), Jerry Harrison (bass) and David Robinson (drums), with Cale playing the repetitive hammered piano part.[4]

The central character of the song is the charismatic 20th century artist Pablo Picasso.[5] With dry wit, the lyrics suggest that women never rejected Picasso's romantic advances, despite his short stature. "Well he was only five foot three but girls could not resist his stare / Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole / Not in New York". In a 1980 interview, Richman stated that the song was inspired by his own adolescent "self-consciousness" with women.[6]

Cover versions[edit]

On recordings[edit]

Live performances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Slingerland, Calum (April 25, 2018). "Jack White "Pablo Picasso" (Modern Lovers cover)". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  2. ^ Oshinsky, Matthew (April 25, 2018). "Jack White Covers The Modern Lovers' "Pablo Picasso"". Paste. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "ASCAP, ACE Title Search". Accessed February 14, 2011
  4. ^ Mitchell, Tim (1999). There's Something About Jonathan. Peter Owen. p. 50. ISBN 0-7206-1076-1.
  5. ^ "Pablo Picasso" review. Accessed August 15, 2007.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Siouxsie - The Creatures with John Cale - Pablo Picasso". youtube. Retrieved 2 April 2015.