Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Marianne backstage during opening night of "The Three Sisters":
The Girl On A Motorcycle:
Marianne's young life may have featured a lot of "lead guitars and movie stars" (perhaps "lead singers" is more accurate), but when she first became Mick's S.O., Miss Mari was on the verge of a budding film and acting career in addition to her pop stardom. It's such a shame that her career completely took a back seat to Mick, the grandiosity and overwhelmingness of the Stones, and, of course, to drugs. Many people forget that she was quite a talented actress. Not that you'd know that from the cheesy, sexploitation roles she took in films like I'll Never Forget What's 'Is Name (1967 - notable for the fact that Marianne got the honor of being the first person to say the word "fuck" in a mainstream movie) and The Girl On A Motorcycle (1968). Featured here are my scans and stills from those two movies, plus Marianne in Chekhov's The Three Sisters, where she performed at the Royal Court in London in 1967. Mick always came to the show's second act if he couldn't make the whole play, and got her flowers and even an orange tree for her tiny dressing room on opening night (a sweet gesture that annoyed her co-stars who had to share the space). All photos = my scans or screen caps.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I received the large, hardback coffeetable book Street Fighting Years in the mail last week, and here are some of the scans from it (unfortunately, that's all of Marianne & Anita featured in the book). I am always shocked and horrified when big Rolling Stones anthology-type publications don't feature more of them. Especially Anita, as she was such a strong, dynamic and important presence on the band for almost 15 years. Marianne usually gets her due mention, but probably because she was somewhat of a "star" in her own right, and her relationship with Mick was much more publicized than Keith and Anita's. Certain books, like some of those published in the late 70's or the 80's, tend to focus more on Bianca and Jerry, because they were Jagger's then-wives, and the relationship with Marianne is often downplayed. But books published recently (and those in the early 70's, if you're lucky enough to find them), usually feature plenty of Ms. Faithfull (I suppose in retrospect, one can feature "all" the important girlfriends/wives of Mick with some distance). Some time soon I'll post my collection thus far of Stones books and some thoughts on each one, for any collectors out there, or those who, like me, devour those great pics of our favorite goddesses. One book I definitely do NOT recommend is "The Rolling Stones: A Pictorial History" by Marie Cahill (1990). ONE photo of Marianne in the whole damned book, and it's from her Broken English days. Total waste. Anyway, all of the above photos I've seen before (and you probably have too), but they make good, clean sccanned copies. I've been looking for the one of Marianne from TGOAM laying on the motorcycle in that lovely fur for quite a while, so I was happy about that. Enjoy!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
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)