Todd Rundgren wrote this song about his girlfriend (some would say groupie) Marlene Pinkard. Later known as Marlene Morrow, she was Playboy's Miss April of 1974. The writer and photographer Paul Zollo discovered in 2006 that she was homeless, living on the streets of Hollywood, and using the name Persephone.
Suggestion credit: Austin - Granville, OH
When Rob Steen asked Rundgren if we was still dating Marlene when he wrote this song, Rundgren replied: "It was just around the same time. There would have been a lot of miserable material about her had I not got out of that state of mind."
In the Something/Anything? liner notes, Rundgren wrote of this song: "A shiver and a sigh."
"Marlene" is the name of a chapter in Rundgren's 2018 memoir The Individualist. Speaking with Songfacts, he explained: "That was the last time I ever wrote a song with a girl's name in it. So, maybe that's some sort of milestone."
Marlene from Montreal, QcI always used to think that mine was the only name that didn't appear in a song. Thanks Todd!!
David from Liverpool, United KingdomMarlene, Marlene - I'm depending on your love - Marlene....................... The fade out is appropriately Toddlike. :)
Landi from Westhills, Camarlene is not homless . marlene is doing good at this time , marlene did go through some rough times . i speak with my sis very often . and for bebe , she is so full of her self she looks like ahas been , funny how she wanted to hear from her . i wrote to her and no response , bebe you are classles, and to say you marlene was nothing to todd . thats why she got the song and you did not . merry christmas to all god bless ;;;
Landi from Westhills, Camarlene is my sister. todd dated my sister when she was 17 . wrote the song marlene. great song ;;
Budd from Rutland, VtOne of my all time favorites from the Something/Anything lp.I love the Burt Bacharach like arrangement. This should have been a big hit for Rundgren.
Mustang Sally from Texas Riviera, TxAgreed. NOT his high school sweetheart, but jailbait. Unfortunately, Marlene's last known whereabouts is a sad tale. A search using or "Marlene Morrow" and "Persephone" should come up with the eloquent tale told by a photographer who found her homeless on the streets of Hollywood in '06.
John from Philadelphia, PaMarlene Pinkard, aka Marlene Morrow, went on to become Playboy's Miss April in 1974, at the age of 19.
Kleingeld from Philadelphia, PaThat Marlene was Todd's high school sweetheart is a popular misconception. In fact, she was a high school-aged girl who was Todd's girlfriend while he was recording the album Something/Anything, from which this song comes. That's the purpose of the line: "who'd believe that you're only seventeen I'm in trouble if your folks get mean And if they do Then I don't care if they bust me"