Tuesday, September 22, 2009
One Plus One
She was certainly no Marianne, but...
"He left Marianne behind when he left England, and, after enjoying himself for a time as one of European high society's most eligible bachelors, he gave his fans a real shock -- and confirmed his top-of-the-gossip-column status -- by announcing his impending marriage to Bianca Perez Moreno de Macias, actor Michael Caine's ex. The wedding ceremony, held in St. Tropez on May 12, struck a crushing blow to the Stones' rock n' roll credibility. Mick failed to realize that most of his fans had bought the image he'd created for himself over the years, the image of the androgynous anarchist-trickster, implacable of the establishment. And his new image -- the social butterfly and talk-of-the-town celebrity -- appalled them. It appalled Keith Richards, too. He registered his own private protest at the wedding by hurling an ashtray through a thick glass window.
Given Mick's restless nature, his fascination with extremes and his determination to carve out a long-term career that would sustain him after he was too old to rock n' roll, partying with and even marrying into the Western social elite made perfect sense. But Stones fans who weren't simply grossed out by it were at least mystified. Rock icons had entered into surprising marriages before, but not without attempting to explain themselves. John Lennon had gone out his way to explain his love for Yoko Ono -- in songs, on the backs of albums and in interviews. But Mick had almost nothing to say about Bianca, in his music or in the press, until the relationship began to sour a few years later, and there were plenty of gossip columnists who had nothing better to do than fill this factual vacuum with endless speculation. Someone noticed that Mick and Bianca bore a remarkable resemblance to each other, and on this slender thread a heavy load of amateur psychoanalysis was hung.
Mick never offered much rejoinder to these idle speculations, and his relationship with Bianca remained an intensely private one; the Mick-and-Bianca-go-dancing candid photos and all the gossip column items were ciphers, revealing nothing. It seems likely that he kept the relationship private because he was genuinely in love, with a genuine flesh-and-blood woman, though their physical resemblance may well have been an additional turn-on."
(All photos scanned by me; text by Robert Palmer)