Anita Pallenberg was one of those It Girls of the 1960s. She managed to finagle herself backstage at a Rolling Stones gig, where Brian Jones met her and became besotted. After a brief and violent relationship with him, she and Keith Richards fell in love, had three children (one of whom died at 10 weeks from pneumonia), took enough drugs that it was a miracle both survived, and moved on to become an actress, model, muse, designer, artist.
I met her very briefly during one of the craziest weekends I ever spent back in the day, when Marianne Faithfull was in NYC to do a gig on Saturday Night Live after her brilliant album, Broken English, was released and became a surprise hit. Suffice to say that I can’t quite share the details of what went down…only that it was no surprise Marianne lost her voice for that gig. The appearance she made at the Mudd Club after that, with Anita in tow, has now passed on into rock legend. So when I think of Anita, I can’t help but think of Marianne, who shocked and thrilled me a few months ago when she Friended me on Facebook.
Too many of the It Girls (and Boys) who were It when I was coming of age seem to be leaving us. It’s inevitable, of course, but it still takes your breath away when it happens.
Yesterday marked the 50th birthday of eternally boyish Brad Pitt.
It also marked the 70th birthday of the seemingly immortal Keith Richards, who’s been the first to admit that his many years of drug abuse should have done him in ages ago. Fortunately, they didn’t.
I think I’ve written about this before, but I met Brad when I was in LA doing a whole bunch of entertainment stories. His publicist begged me to meet with him although his credits at the time were fairly limited, including a stint as the babysitter’s boyfriend on the then-popular thirtysomething TV show. This adorable blond guy showed up at my door and drove me around, trying desperately to impress. He was incredibly sweet and thoughtful and even cashed a check for me. I called his publicist later and said I’d be happy to write about this kid when he had something to promote.
Which, luckily for him, turned out to be Thelma and Louise.
Fast-forward to me interviewing Brad many years later, and when I brought up that meeting he didn’t laugh or roll his eyes—he got angry. As in steamed. As in stomp-off-to-the-publicists-and-whine steamed. My take on his rage was that he didn’t like my pesky reminder that even the great and powerful movie star he’d become once needed journalists, not vice versa. Can’t say he’s the first one to suffer from Swollen Ego-itis, either.
Welcome to Lurching anyway!
Don’t let the door hit ya on the way down.