Miss Marianne Faithfull:

Miss Marianne Faithfull:
(Born December 29, 1946) Songs she inspired: She Smiled Sweetly, Let's Spend The Night Together, She's Like A Rainbow, You Can't Always Get What You Want, Wild Horses, I Got The Blues, 100 Years Ago, Winter

Miss Anita Pallenberg:

Miss Anita Pallenberg:
(Born April 6, 1942) Songs she inspired: You Got The Silver, Sister Morphine (words by Marianne), Wild Horses, Coming Down Again, Angie, Beast Of Burden, All About You

Saturday, June 20, 2009

She looked so fine at first, but left looking just like a ghost...

The first official pictures of Marianne and Mick as a couple:
A classic and well-known Marianne shot indeed, but one of my faves. From the filming of The Girl On The Motorcycle (1968):
M & M attend a ballet, 1967:
Home alone - Frail Marianne returns from Australia after her coma:
Mick visiting Marianne in hospital after her overdose:
Headed to court:
Early 70's, when she lived on a wall in Soho:

Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger began dating in late 1966, at a time when one could argue Marianne looked most "fine" (year of the well-known photos of her, glassy-eyed and corset-clad). They first met, however, almost two years prior, at the party where Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham famously told 17-year-old ex-convent school alum Marianne that she simply had to be a star. Mick and Keith even wrote her a little ditty to record, "As Tears Go By", the tune that singlehandedly launched her career. They officially broke up in 1970, although I think they still saw one another off and on in early '71. It was that same year that Jagger and the band made off for France to escape Britain's harsh taxes, and on May 12, Mick wed diminutive Nicaraguan brunette Bianca Pérez-Mora Macías in St. Tropez. Very quick, aren't we, Mick?

1967 was a good year for the couple, despite their infamous drug bust at Redlands (which, at the time, they seemed almost amused by). They were young and breath-takingly gorgeous, rich, idolized and in love. It was 1968, the year work began on Donald Cammell's notorious masterpiece that was to destroy many a psyche - Performance - that trouble began to brew. While Mick was always able to 'dapple' with drugs, Marianne (and Keith, Anita and Brian) was on her way to becoming a full fledged cocaine addict. During the uncomfortable filming of the aforementioned film (due to Mick and Anita's on and off camera affair), Keith may have fumed outside in his Bentley with Spanish Tony, but Marianne was sent to Ireland, where Mick had a country estate, as she was in delicate condition - pregnant with Mick's baby. They were going to call her Corrina; sadly, Marianne miscarried, which devastated both parents-to-be.

On December 11 of 1968, the Rolling Stones taped the Rock N' Roll Circus, a show featuring themselves as headliners, plus the Who, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, and other esteemed guests. Marianne was part of the act as well, and in a painstaking performance, she sits in her signature docile, glassy-eyed manner, radiating ethereal beauty (the fact that she still looked unfathomably gorgeous even with short hair is so enviable), and sings a song called "Something Better". It is a profound moment considering all that was going on in her life at the time.

1969 was not the best of times, either. Mick was involved in yet another affair, this time with the African American singer Marsha Hunt ("Brown Sugar" inspiration). It was also a year of further drug-related court appearances. But, of course, the most dramatic event in the Stones circle was the death of Mr. Brian Jones, which had an agonizing effect on Marianne. She seemed to feel quite sorry for him and the way he was sort of 'disposed of' by Mick and Keith. In fact, Marianne mentions in her book that she one day overheard Mick talking to (I think it was) Allen Klein about "what to do" with her, and Klein essentially tells him he must get rid of her because she was a liability to Mick and the band. So, in that way, I think Marianne felt a closeness with Brian, even if he was a complete arsehole. She often had bizarre lucid dreams that she was to suffer the same fate as he did.

Mick and Marianne, both enjoying acting as well as pop stardom (though Marianne's singing career had stalled at that point), decided to shoot a movie together - Ned Kelly - to be filmed in Australia. When they arrived to begin work on the movie, Marianne attempted suicide by swallowing a lethal number of Tuinals and was rushed to the emergency room and went into a coma that lasted six days. Her role as Ned Kelly (played by Mick)'s sister was promptly given to someone else. In any event, the movie turned out to be poorly received by critics and was pretty much dismissed.

Marianne left Mick in 1970, running off with Mario Schifano, Anita's old boyfriend, but that was a short-lived affair. It's funny that all the headlines back then were, "MARIANNE: NOT FAITHFUL" and silly, overly dramatic things of that nature, when Mick had many instances of infidelity himself (they both did - Mario was not Marianne's first lover while in a relationship with Mick). When I think of all the bed-hopping they did in that circle, it amazes me. While many feelings were hurt all around, it didn't seem regarded as that big a deal. Needless to say it was the swinging sixties and most of the Stones and their cohorts were pretty fucked up on drugs, but sheesh, I know I couldn't live like that, despite how glamorous it may have seemed.

Marianne lost custody of her five-year-old son Nicholas in 1970 as well, a crushing blow that made Eva (Mary's mum) attempt suicide. Despite being addicted to drugs (her love affair with heroin began in earnest after reading Naked Lunch), Marianne was also anorexic for the last year of the 60's, and she did look quite destroyed. Blessed with big tits, her five foot five inch frame looked otherwise emaciated, and she probably only weighed 90-95 pounds. The Bob Dylan lyric from "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" reminds me of Marianne completely. "...Who looked so fine at first but left looking just like a ghost." Heartwrenching, isn't it?


Michelle said...

Lovely post on Marianne!

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