Thursday, September 4, 2014

As years go by

Marianne Faithfull, once hip, is now another grandmother with a broken hip;
Marianne Faithfull, who had her first hit record in 1964, a song written by a 20-year-old Mick Jagger and his friend Keith Richards, is rock 'n' roll. She was 17, a primly blond Brit who elicited aristocratic fantasies. Approaching her at a party where members of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were in attendance, Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham said, "I'm gonna make you a star, and that's just for starters, baby!"
In the ensuing decades, Faithfull lived a multiplicity of lives, riding and, at times, nearly being destroyed by an ecstatic energy she helped unleash. She was the "It Girl." A pop ingénue in '64, a headliner in '65, a torrid one-night stand of Richards's in '66, the muse and partner of Jagger for several years, the singer who rejected Bob Dylan, Miss X at the notorious Redlands drug bust in '67, best friends with model Anita Pallenberg; dabbler in black magic and hallucinogens.
Lately bedridden;
Faithfull is 67, splits her time between Dublin and Paris, smokes (e-cigarettes), walks, sings, writes, thinks. Though no longer the sex symbol she once was, she's still beautiful. I caught up with her by phone in Paris. She'd broken a hip this summer, which, along with another injury, gave her time to reflect. "Six months on your back will do that," she told me.
Time, time, time. Not on her side. No it isn't.

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