Singer-songwriter Peter Sarstedt, best known for the song Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) which reflected the jaded zeitgeist at the end of the sixties, has died at the age of 75.
The song topped the UK singles charts in February 1969 and remained number one for four weeks. It was also number one in many other countries and won the Ivor Novello award for best song composition. He died peacefully after a six-year battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a family statement said.
The statement said his closest family were “with him to the last” and that many people would miss his songs and his music. Where Do You Go To (My Lovely), a song about a girl born in poverty who becomes a member of the European jet-set, was replaced as number one by Marvin Gaye’s I Heard it Through the Grapevine.
It was included in the compilation programme One-Hit Wonders at the BBC, which was broadcast on BBC Four last year, although Sarstedt also reached number 10 in the charts with Frozen Orange Juice in June 1969. He wrote more than a dozen albums in a career that spanned more than 50 years, releasing his last, Restless Heart, in 2013.
Sarstedt was born in Delhi, India, in what was then part of the British Raj, in 1941, where his parents, both themselves classically trained musicians, were civil servants in the British administration. He attended Victoria Boys’ School in Kurseong, in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, where his parents administered a large tea plantation. His family returned to the UK in 1954, settling in south London just before the rock ‘n’ roll boom, and the Sarstedt brothers started out performing skiffle music.
'And you sip your Napoleon brandy, and you never get your lips wet'. My 13 year old self loved that line. #petersarstedt
— David Aaronovitch (@DAaronovitch) January 8, 2017
His older sibling, Richard Sarstedt, who performed under the stage name Eden Kane, also topped the charts with Well I ask You in 1961, while younger brother Clive, performing under the name Robin Sarstedt, reached number three in 1976 with My Resistance is Low.
Sarstedt’s music reached new audiences when Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) was included in the Wes Anderson films Hotel Chevalier and The Darjeeling Limited, which were both released in 2007. According to his website, he retired in 2010 because of his illness – a rare, progressive neurological condition.
Farewell Peter Sarstedt, some of our memories go with you.
Peter Eardley Sarstedt (10 December 1941, New Delhi, India – 8 January 2017, Sussex, UK), briefly billed early in his career as Peter Lincoln, English singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and activist.
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