Friday, December 28, 2012

The Girl From Ipanema, in Body and Song

Her voice is as cool and effervescent as a champagne bottle left overnight in the bucket. Nearly subdued to the point of sedation with a tone that dances on the flat side of the notes, Astrud Gilberto appears to have absorbed all the confident insouciance of the Carioca girl of whom she sings. Then add to this that ultra cool saxophone––the archetype of sex and titillation going back to the days of burlesque––that in the mouth of Stan Getz gets a full porn work out. Add a pulsing samba rhythm––samba, possibly an Arabic word corrupted in Portuguese, translates as a "blow struck to the belly button area"––and you may've the sexiest song ever recorded on the subject of a stalker's blue balls. (The man who watches the Girl walk by "each day" and smiles and loves her, could warrant a restraining order.)

The song apparently represented more than just someone's wet projection of a Brazilian babe. The composers admit it was inspired by an actual person and her name was Helô Pinheiro (pic at top). Pinheiro would've been a girlish 19 when the song was written. After the song was a big hit it went on to be the Brazilian bossa nova standard (originally released in 1962) and possibly the second most recorded song in pop history. Pinheiro would attempt to capitalize on some of that success. Being the girl led to modeling gigs, public appearances, her own boutique named for the song (Garota de Ipanema), and posing for Playboy twice (in her less girlish years): once as a Playmate (1987 at age 44) and again in a pictorial featuring her with her daughter (in 2003, she would've been a ripe and cougarish 60): As seen here at right––The Brazilian Waxes of Ipanema––even as a grandma she's still tall, tan, and very tappable.

This just in: Want to see what she looks like in a bikini at age 63?

Thanks to the blog Crying All the Way from the Chip Shop for the heads up.

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