In my circle I was the one elected, and since we lived our lives on the pages of the tabloid press, I became famous for it. From now on, we only read rock n' roll memoirs written by the women who slep "In families there's always one person - almost always a woman - who is designated to be the mad one.
From now on, we only read rock n' roll memoirs written by the women who slept with these dudes. I'll admit freely that before I read this, I had no idea that Marianne Faithfull was a successful musician in her own right before she fell in with the Rolling Stones crowd, and became most famous as the on-and-off-again girlfriend of Mick Jagger. Which just goes to show, really, how the women who surround famous men are pushed to the side of the narrative, and only ever described in relation to the famous dudes they used to fuck.
Marianne Faithfull, in telling her story in her own words, gets to give her own side of events especially the infamous Redlands drug raid and trial, which Faithfull - fascinatingly - frames as the circumstances where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards developed their rock star personas and show the readers that she was doing a lot more than just sleeping with a bunch of famous dudes. I mean, she also sleeps with a lot of famous dudes, but can you blame her?
The woman deserves a statue! As is the norm with memoirs from this era, there are a lot of drugs. But Faithfull's memoir is in a class by itself, because Faithfull wasn't just a drug user, she was by her own admission a full-on junkie.
It sometimes reads like they're trying to prove something, to live up to their rock star image. Faithfull's memoir is unique because of how far she really fell into drug addiction, and her descriptions of drug use are some of the most interesting I've read. She also goes into the time she overdosed and went into a coma and had a near-death experience where she had an entire conversation with recently-deceased Brian Jones.
It might be total bullshit, but it's fascinating. Part of what's fun about this memoir is getting to watch the crazy rollercoaster that was Faithfull's life - she careens from child of aristocrats, to pop star, to globe-trotting rock n' roll girlfriend, to housewife, to junkie, to homeless junkie, to film and stage actress I mean, all they ever did was play in a band.
Marianne Faithfull has lived at least ten different lives, and what's possibly even more impressive especially considering her near-death experiences and heroin addiction , she's still alive. There is something very powerful inside Marianne Faithfull that has enabled her to survive her own life, and the best part of the memoir is seeing her put aside her Manic Pixie Dream Girl Groupie persona and tell us about her life with unblinking, blunt honesty.
I criticized the groupie memoir I'm With the Band by Pamela des Barres for its complete acceptance and forgiveness of the garbage men in her life. I wanted anger, and des Barres either didn't have it, or recognized that publicly airing her dirty laundry with most of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame wasn't the smartest long-term plan. Faithfull isn't angry, exactly, but she's certainly not pulling her punches when it comes to calling out the toxic behavior of the men in her life. She's honest about her own failings, and she also sees others' motivations clearly.
She describes running into Bob Dylan and happily telling him that she's off heroin, in treatment, and very happy.
All I got from Bob was 'What? They liked me better on heroin. I was much more subdued and manageable. It's very common with rock stars. They surround themselves with beautiful and often brilliant women whom they also find extremely threatening. One way out is for the women to get into drugs. This makes them compliant and easier to be with. But whereas Pamela des Barres was utterly uninterested in applying a critical lens to her past, Faithfull isn't afraid to question the behavior and motives of the people from her past.
But he never did anything to stop me. The most he would say was, 'Don't you think you're doing a bit much of that stuff? Mick is the classic codependent. He gets his energy from being around drug addicts. He'll do drugs with addicts if he has to, to get their trust and affection. Like an undercover cop. He's no longer the Byronic lad I once knew. More a Shakespearean character, a combination of Prince Hal and Falstaff.
It's always very reassuring to see him. I feel, when I'm with him, as if we are the last remaining compatriots of a long-vanished kingdom who have not entirely renounced the old ways although we do differ on the interpretation of the alchemical creed. Apropos of yet another casualty in our ranks, Keith volunteers, 'It's always baffling when somebody commits suicide.
Not you, in Australia, of course, yours was a perfectly valid reason. It was pretty funny to read about her self-described passionate affair with Mick Jagger in her own memoir, and then read Marianne Faithfull's version: These girls would do anything. He was the rock star par excellence - the point was to please him. So when he came back to Cheyne Walk he quite naturally wondered whether he couldn't get some of the same stuff at home!
Unfortunately for Mick, I'd only recently read Germaine Greer's Female Eunuch, from which I had discovered that the whole point was the orgasm.
One night shortly after he got back, Mick suggested that I start using ice cream-flavored douches. I realized that this must be the sort of thing that American chicks did. But I didn't put two and two together till I read I'm With the Band Pamela has a whole rap about strawberry- and peach-flavored douches. Actually, cocktails with Princess Margaret was a little bit more relaxed.
It was fun, though. Anyway, all my friends' kids were terribly impressed.