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Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker on quest to find woman who inspired Common People

By Stephen Hayward

She inspired the pop classic, but the name of the loaded student who wanted to be like Common People is a mystery Jarvis Cocker wants to solve.

According to Pulp’s 1995 song, she came from Greece with a thirst for knowledge and studied sculpture at London’s St Martin’s College of Art and Design.

Now the singer, 58, is desperate to find out who the woman he barely knew was.

Jarvis said: “We went to the pub and she just came out with that she wanted to live in Hackney with common people.”

There had been speculation the woman was Danae Stratou - the wife of ex-Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis – who attended St Martin’s at the same time as Jarvis.

Jarvis, 58, is desperate to find out who she was (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
According to the 1995 song she came from Greece with a thirst for knowledge (Getty Images)

But he said: “It wasn’t her because she had blonde hair and the girl had dark hair.”

Jarvis added: “In 2011 we played at St Martin’s and someone showed me a picture on their phone and said, ‘Is that the girl you wrote the song about?’ I went, ‘Yeah, I think it is’.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t ask them for the picture and I can’t remember who showed it to me so it’s still a mystery.”

Jarvis also revealed on Radio 4’s This Cultural Life how a horror fall from of a third-floor window at the age of 23 sparked his songwriting.

He said: “I bust my foot and fractured my pelvis. I was in hospital for a month and a half.

“I started to write everything down in as much detail as I could from real life."

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Dive Deeper:
Chilling images captured on hikers’ camera show final moments before they vanished
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One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
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Get all your news in one place