Story of the Song: Bohemian Like You, The Dandy Warhols (2000)
Friday 23 September 2011
A defining song of the last decade, "Bohemian Like You" is rooted in rock's paradigmatic "cars'n'girls" format. Courtney Taylor-Taylor, the Dandy Warhol's guitarist and principal songwriter, was at his apartment window watching traffic pull up at the lights below. "An early Eighties BMW 320i stops there with an amazing looking young woman behind the wheel," he says. "Her elbow was hangin' out the window at a jaunty angle and her roots were showing. She had a cool tattoo and her face was exquisite."
As the lights changed and she pulled away, Taylor-Taylor reached for his guitar and began spontaneously strumming the chords to a new song, "Bohemian Like You", inspired by his fleeting vision of loveliness. With no idea who she was, and knowing nothing else about her, he began to fantasise about what a relationship would be like with the car girl, who by now had evaporated in the evening rush. His composition took the shape of a one-sided conversation. "My silly little brain ran amok with the dream of love and vintage motor malfunctions," he says. "It was only natural to weave it into a song on the spot. I was overwhelmed, ya know?"
"Bohemian Like You" was recorded at a warehouse in downtown Portland, Oregon, one of a clutch of new numbers for the album 'Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia'. An obvious single, it failed to make the Top 40 until it was re-issued in 2001, following its use in a mobile phone advert. And the car girl? "Sadly I never saw her again, although I asked around a lot with my German-car buddies," says Taylor-Taylor. "One dude told me she was a pastry chef. Needless to say I ate a lot of pastries that week."
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
MOBO Awards 2014: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of nominated white artists
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Silly, sensational and sensitive
MOBO awards 2014: Sam Smith sweeps the board with four gongs
The Apprentice, episode 3 - review: Lord Sugar hacks away at the deadwood with another double elimination
Channel 5 set to give Big Brother the cold shoulder
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'