Saturday, 17 March 2012

Marianne Faithfull

I defy any heterosexual male of a certain age not to fess up to the undoubted fact that in their adolescence they were madly in love with Marianne Faithfull. Apart from an extraordinary pretty face and an extraordinarily pretty voice, she had an extraordinary background. Her mother was an aristocrat from the very former Austria-Hungarian empire - an exotic state of affairs compounded by her being a dancer in productions by Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill. How cool is that? Plus her great uncle was one Baron Sacher-Masoch whose erotic novel Venus In Furs resulted in him giving his name to a certain activity - namely masochism.  Venus In Furs of course later became a song by the Velvet Underground.

She had hits in the early 60s, notably with the above, married and had a son. the marriage did not last long. 'My first move was to get a Rolling Stone as a boyfriend. I slept with three and decided the lead singer was the best bet'. 

Hmmm ...

Anyway, she became a subtext in various songs by the Stones and others. And below is probably her major hit of all time, a Jagger/Richards song.

Then things totally imploded, she split from Jagger in 1970 and lost custody of her son in the same year. She ended up heroin addicted, anorexic and literally on the streets. She came back in the end but differently. Her voice changed. Laryngitis, cigarettes drink and cocaine abuse produced a new husky voice.

It worked and with Broken English in 1979 came her most critically acclaimed album. It wasn't a smooth ride thereafter, drugs continued to feature along with disastrous relationships. It probably never will be a smooth ride. She's high maintenance. Inevitably health problems have followed. All those years later, I'm not in love with Marianne any more. But I do like her. She's paid her dues. This is slightly back to front as I did blog on the mature Marianne a while ago and this posting refers back to her early years. So for the sake of completeness - and anyway - here from Broken English and her comeback is The Ballad of Lucy Jordan

Oh okay then - somewhat tangential but just for fun here are the Velvets with Venus In Furs ...


Petit fleur said...

I adore The Ballad of Lucy Jordan. It was featured in Thelma and Louise. A movie that a very dear friend and I discovered and bonded over. She has now passed on, and that song gets me every time. She also was a 60s child whose life did not turn out as she'd hoped... but she did make it to Paris.

Thanks for this post.
xo pf

sybil law said...

I am so glad you posted the Velvet Underground, because you made me want to hear it after the mention. :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

JoJo said...

My only experience w/ her music was on the DVD of the Stones' Rock & Roll Circus.

Laci The Dog said...

Why do thoughts of Mars Bars and a carving for them come to mind when I think of Marianne?

Yes, a youthful Marianne is indeed a turn on. Although, I do have to admit some interest from watching Irina Palm. Not that I would go too far into those areas preferring to stick closer to Shaftesbury Avenue and the Theatres.

Still, what is the imagination for?

BTW, I seem to have drawn the wrath of the UK Idiot's Party for supporting the Beeb.

savannah said...

thanks, sugar, for the music and memories! xoxoxoxo

Scarlet Blue said...

I love As Tears Go By, and I would love to listen to it... but damn my broadband speed.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Not much for Marianne, but I do love me some Lou Reed. :)

white rabbit said...

PF - thanks for sharing this. Don't songs have associations?

Sybil - all together now ...

'Shiny, shiny boots of leather...'

JoJo - Don't think I've come across that

Laci - Tsk! Someone had to lower the tone and mention the Mars Bar ...

Savvy - Pleasure

SB - Sorry about broadband :(

Daisy - see comment to Sybil