June 14, 2017

"In a way, it’s kept me probably more childlike. That’s what drugs do to people."

"They stop emotional growth. So when you come out of it, you’re kind of 17."

Said Anita Pallenberg, quoted in her obituary. Amazingly, she made it to the age of 73.

What an embodiment of the mod beauty we adored in the 1960s! Go to the link — it's to the NYT — to see the photographs of her that made us so envious — in the arms of Keith Richards in 1969 and drawing lipliner on Mick Jagger (in the movie "Performance") in 1970.

That movie "remains as hallucinogenically strange and disturbing as ever and Pallenberg will be for ever remembered as Pherber: sexually omnivorous, dangerous, sweetly amoral. The movie... captures the psychosis of the end of the 60s, where art, crime and sex open up the gates of social mobility but identity becomes fragmented."
Pallenberg spoke of drugs freezing her, so she did not grow emotionally. Faithfull has spoken of not being able to have sex without being semi-anaesthetised with drugs. Their stories remind us of what sexual liberation could mean for women in the 60s. These great beauties paid a huge price for being the “girlfriends” of rock stars. Both these clever, multilingual, arty women educated their boyfriends (Jagger and Richards) about culture and art and style. Pallenberg got the boys to wear her clothes. Everyone, Faithfull once told me, was in love with Keith, even Mick of course …
"I like a high-spirited woman. And with Anita, you knew you were taking on a Valkyrie — she who decides who dies in battle." — wrote Keith Richards.

28 comments:

Earnest Prole said...

The great portrait of Anita Pallenberg in Guy Peellaert’s Rock Dreams.

Virtually Unknown said...

Pallenberg will be for ever remembered as Pherber: sexually omnivorous, dangerous, sweetly amoral.

So was the character based on the Margaret Trudeau? Mother of dreamy Fidel Castro dead ringer Justin?

Meade said...

"Faithfull has spoken of not being able to have sex without being semi-anaesthetised with drugs."

Hey Marianne, have you met my friend Bill Cosby?

Ann Althouse said...

Here's a clip from "Performance" — bathtub decadence with some glorious nudity.

Bay Area Guy said...

There was an ugly side to all the "Summer of Love" hippie-dippie bullshit in the late 60s and 70s. There were a lot of casualties. Keith Richards -- God bless his metabolism -- somehow survived, but a lotta famous folks did not.

A lotta non-famous folks also didn't survive the era. Lotta broken families, lotta wrecked children of the pill-popping culture. Some would say that Charles Manson, Jim Jones, and the AIDS epidemic emerged from this cultural era.

The music was pretty good, though.

Ann Althouse said...

Richards's autobiography (the last link in the post) is really good. Highly recommended, and there's a lot about Pallenberg, who was a big part of the drug problems.

Tank said...

That was a good book.

Pianoman said...

I've heard that before -- when you start using, you stop growing spiritually and emotionally.

Harder drugs tend to age you prematurely as well. So you have the horrible combination of a 35-year old, with the body of a 60-year old, and the emotional maturity of a 17-year old.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"I like a high-spirited woman. And with Anita, you knew you were taking on a Valkyrie — she who decides who dies in battle." — wrote Keith Richards.

Like this kid, for instance:

"In 1979, a 17-year-old Connecticut boy was found dead, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, in the house Ms. Pallenberg shared with Mr. Richards in South Salem, N.Y., a wealthy Westchester County suburb. The death was ruled a suicide, but it was rumored that the young man and Ms. Pallenberg had been playing Russian roulette. She was charged with criminal weapons possession."

Owen said...

Sorry to see her depart our sphere.

I didn't follow the Stones and their followers that closely. I saw them as fascinating in the same way that you would be fascinated by live ammunition being fed through a weapon. That is: amazingly powerful but not to be F'd with.

As I read this obit I think:the Stones and their kind had a certain, finite, amount of stuff. Call it "glamour." They could spend it on themselves but it was better invested in luring the wider world about the Stones Thing, whatever it was. They could apply it to hapless people like Anita, and make them (more) glamorous. They could dispense it onto activities otherwise considered banal or sick, and make *them* more glamorous.

It was a business. You applied the paintbrush where you got the best result.

Anita was brushed.

R.I.P.

Titus said...

The woman in the bathtub in the clip has like no tits. I thought she was a boy at first.

YoungHegelian said...

These great beauties paid a huge price for being the “girlfriends” of rock stars.

Because the rock stars had somehow robbed them of their free will. They couldn't have walked out the door & said "See ya later, alligator".

Why, was a decent man in the world who would have married Pallenberg or Faithfull? No, they were cast adrift, with the only consolation left to them in their lives as pariahs was to blow Keith Richards & Mick Jagger.

I'm sorry, but the excuses women of a certain class make for their sexual behavior gets old quick. Just say -- "I just loved bad boy (rich as shit) rockers, & when I hooked up with Keith & Mick I thought I'd gone to heaven. But, bad boys take their toll, as every Catholic schoolgirl knows."

Everybody loves hot sex. Just own up to it & don't play victim, for Satan's sake.

Fen said...

Don't really care about some shank dying. But I bet she let everyone grab her pussy. Just another gold digging celebrity groupie.

Meade said...

"The woman in the bathtub in the clip has like no tits. I thought she was a boy at first."

Her IMBD page is also like flat.

Darrell said...

The woman in the bathtub in the clip has like no tits. I thought she was a boy at first.

This is why gay men shouldn't design clothes for women or define their beauty. Women are a million beautiful things including tits of all sizes.

Ann Althouse said...

This post is about Anita Pallenberg. I'm deleting all the comments that are not on topic.

Ann Althouse said...

There are 2 women in the bathtub. The first one you see is not Anita Pallenberg.

BN said...

Some people are known for what they do, some are known for whom they do it with.

Some drug users are immature, some just don't care. Some grow out of it, some don't.

In none of these cases are all of them the same. Meaning: there are lots and lots of people. Makes it hard to generalize when even 1% is a 100 million shitheads.

But... all of y'all do suck, you bunch a hillbillies!

readering said...

I'll have to watch Performance. Some trepidation because I finally watched Barbarella this year on DVD. What an amateurish bore! (although, Jane Fonda--Wow. AP, less of an impression.)

BN said...

"she who decides who dies in battle."

Finally, the mystery of who killed Brian Jones is solved!

readering said...

Faithful attributed her need for drugs for sex to having picked up signals as a child from her mother and grandmother, both victims of rapes by invading Red Army in their native Austria at end of WW2.

Etienne said...

She looked really bad after her 50's. The most recent pictures of her were similar to what you would expect in a demolition derby with used-up automobiles.

tcrosse said...

Compare and contrast with Charlotte Rampling, also glamourous, about the same age but with better companions and possibly better decisions.

Michael K said...

Hepatitis C, the curse of the boomer generation.

I was at a meeting last year that had a session about it. Almost all, if not all, cases of hepatitis C are in that generation.

The drug taking generation.

readering said...

Now it's the body modification generation.

David said...

The attentions of a woman of great beauty can make all things seem possible to the man who is bedazzled by it. It also surrounds women who know that they possess that power with great potential danger. This combination can mislead women by robbing them of awareness of the need for discretion and responsibility. Eventually all this power made Pallenburg ugly and repulsive but she continued to act as a beauty, not realizing that only the carcass of her celebrity survived for the newly celebrated to feed upon.. Or perhaps she did realize this. If so, what a horrible fate.

Unknown said...

Please don't be sad, if 'twere the straight line we had, Hell wouldn't have known you all these years.


Call me carry on maybe.

William said...

Brian Jones missed out on fifty years of traveling in the company of supermodels to his own Caribbean island on a private jet. I would say that he was the biggest loser in that crowd. Pallenberg lost her looks, not her life. Faithfull lost her looks but never her talent. You could argue that her harsh looks augmented the talent on display in Broken English.......Pity the straight person in love with a beautiful addict. Two addicts can share can share love on a folie a deux basis. They have a lot in common. They're both addicts. But a straight person involved with an addict is on a Möbius strip of a dead end road.