'Garota de Ipanema': the young woman who inspired the iconic song, became a model, a businesswoman and won an unusual lawsuit

‘Garota de Ipanema’: the young woman who inspired the iconic song, became a model, a businesswoman and won an unusual lawsuit

It is said that after “Yesterday”, the most recorded song in history is “Garota de Ipanema”. The reasons why a song is so successful are in the realm of the inexplicable. However, it is possible to appreciate the charms contained in its history, its poetry and its music to try to decipher the reason why the passage of time made it a true legend. You may even meet the muse of song who inspired its creators, the composer Antonio Carlos Jobim and the poet Vinicius de Moraes.

The story begins in the summer of 1962, in the famous Veloso bar, which over time had to be renamed Garota de Ipanema.. And they called it that because at one of their tables, Vinicius and Jobim composed the famous song.

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At that time, Ipanema had barely forty thousand inhabitants and the tallest building did not exceed four stories, but the area was full of small bars. There was Mal Olor, Lagoa, Chopnik, Farolito, Zeppelin, Jangadeiro, Bofetada and many less famous ones. Jobim and Vinicius spent the afternoons in the old Veloso bar, greeting each other, drinking, talking. Today, it is one of the busiest bars for tourists visiting Rio de Janeiro.

It turns out that along this street that used to be called Montenegro and is now called Rua Vinicius de Moraes, Every day passed a 17-year-old girl with dark hair and green eyes who made her way to the beaches of Ipanema, stopping occasionally to buy her mother cigarettes.. It is seen that Jobim and Moraes noticed how the girl caught everyone’s attention when she walked by, completely mesmerized by her beauty and style. The inspirational muse had a first and last name, Helô Pinheiro (or Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto) and in mid-1963, she made Ipanema the bossa nova capital of the world simply by absentmindedly strolling her grace there..

Both in poetry and in the notes of her melody, Jobim and Moraes masterfully describe the “sweet rocking” of her hips and capture the aura of this beautiful woman from head to toe. little girl that every day he walked in front of his nose in this kind of slow, discreet and elegant samba, just like bossa nova.

The song was born under the name of “Menina que passed”, and initially it was intended for a musical titled dirigible (Airship), in which Vinicius worked those days. The first audio-recorded performance on August 1, 1962 was of a session at a Copacabana nightclub called At Bon Gourmetwith the participation of Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, João Gilberto, Os Cariocas, Otávio Bailly on bass and Milton Banana on percussion. The original verses (sometimes used as the introduction to the song) read as follows: Vinha cansado de tudo, de tantos caminos / Tão sem poesía, tão sem passarinhos / om medo da vida, com medo de amar / Quando na tarde vazia, tão linda no espaço / Eu vi a menina que vinha num passo / Cheio de balanço caminho to tame.

Vinicius de Moraes and the "little girl"Hello Pinheiro
Vinicius de Moraes and the “girl”, Helo PinheiroFacebook

At the time, a producer named Creed Taylor was looking for new repertoire for one of his proteges, saxophonist Stan Getz. And he decided to bring these Brazilians to record an album. It was so, In March 1963, Getz and Jobim recorded “Garota de Ipanema” in New York, with João Gilberto singing in Portuguese and Astrud Gilberto in English..

A few months later, it became a worldwide success renamed “The Girl from Ipanema”. It stayed on the Billboard magazine chart for 96 consecutive weeks and won four Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Best Jazz Soloist and Best Recording.

The naturalness of the voice of Astrud Gilberto – at the time the wife of João Gilberto -, owner of this casual charm, like someone who begins to sing at a meeting of friends, imprinted this stamp on her costs who defines itYes that after having conquered Brazil was going to be known in the United States and from there all over the world, through the album Getz/Gilbert (Verve, 1963), a collaboration between tenor saxophone Stan Getz and Brazilian guitarist, with Tom Jobim on piano, when his verses became famous: Olha que coisa prettier, más cheia de graça /É ela a menina que veme e que pasa /Num twelve balanço caminho do mar / Moça do corpo dourado, do sol de Ipanema / O seu balançado é more than a poem /é a coisa more beautiful than eu já vi passar.

That being the case, the huge mystery of who this girl from Ipanema was would soon emerge. It was at the Veloso that Jobim and Vinicius took the courage, only in 1965, to tell Helô that she was the little girl from Ipanema. During a press conference in 1965, Vinicius made it public and dedicated these words to it: “She is a golden girl, a mixture of flowers and sirens, full of light and full of grace, but whose personality is also full of sadness because she feels that youth is passing and that beauty cannot be held back. She is the gift of life with its beautiful and constant flow”. And with those words, she was launched into instant stardom as a model and actress.

And it was at the Veloso that one day in 1966 a waiter approached Jobim’s table to tell him that they were calling him from New York. It was Frank Sinatra who wanted to record the famous “Garota”. The album came out of this call Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

But the love did not go beyond a platonic love. Helô had a boyfriend, was engaged, and Jobim and his wife ended up as groomsmen at the wedding. Worldwide success, the little girl from Ipanema became very famous and the sudden popularity helped launch her career as a model, actress and host. His fame has remained constant, even making two Playboy appearances, one in 1987 at age 40 and another in 2003, with his daughter. Also, as a businesswoman, she opened several stores, including one for swimwear called Girl from Ipanema.

To keep the name, he even had to face legal action for the rights to the title of the song made by the relatives of Tom Jobim, already deceased at that time, action which was finally won by Helô, the real girl. from Ipanema.

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