I read Rebel Heart a few years ago, probably around 2006-ish (which seems like forever ago), long before Dandelion, Wonderful Tonight, or a bunch of other books were even published. I remember reading it and immediately identifying with so much of the book. But finishing it, I didn't enjoy it on the whole. There were many parts that were moving and charming, but there was a tone about it that sort of rubbed me the wrong way. In comparison to I'm With the Band, where Des Barres is almost purposefully self-deprecating, I thought Buell's book was less humble. But, I also believe this had a lot to do with Rebel Heart's coauthor, Victor Bockris. Reading interviews and messages written by Bebe, it is so easy to see that she is a warmhearted, intelligent, and funny girl. But Bockris I think made her story sound more tawdry and scintillating, which was really unnecessary. With a different cowriter, perhaps David Dalton (who worked with Marianne Faithfull on both of her books), who worked to retain an authentic voice, Rebel Heart would've been on a different level completely - totally mindblowing.
For years I've secretly hoped that Bebe Buell would publish a second book - one that would talk bout her years as a singer and writing/recording albums. To me, that would be fascinating. To whoever commented that they are obsessed with "Sugar" - I definitely agree. I play it all of the time. I even forced one of my friends, who is a DJ on the radio, to play two of her tracks for me for my birthday.
I feel like an idiot for how I came off sounding because I adore Bebe, she's a fantastically amazing woman. I wasn't trying to slag off on her, but I just offered a bit of criticism on her book. Perhaps unwarranted, but that's my fault. All I wanted to say was that I didn't enjoy Rebel Heart, not that I don't enjoy Bebe or her life's story. As I've said before, there are large parts of the book I really like, but the overall tone of it was off for me.
There was a comment that I deleted initially because it was so mean that it almost made me cry. I almost wish that I had kept it up there. It was mean not just to me, but also to what the person had said about Bebe. I don't consider her a 'groupie' or a 'whore' like this person said, nor do I consider myself like that, which this blogger also said.
Just to prove I'm not a heartless bitch or a liar, my favorite bits from Rebel Heart:
- The part where my sixteen-year-old self fell in love with her: "My secret desires were locked up inside of me. I didn't dare tell anybody what I realy wanted to be. All I knew was that I wanted to be somebody. That somebody resembled Anita Pallenberg, Pattie Boyd, Marianne Faithfull, Jane Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, and Janis Joplin! Or at least resembled their essence."
- "I always had fantasies of being some kind of artist. A performer, a "somebody." But I was afraid that people would laugh at me because I wanted to be famous."
- On meeting Pattie Boyd: "Mick had told me how he lusted after her. Eric almost killed himself over her. Woody, who had had an affair with her, claimed she was the ultimate girl. I saw her in A Hard Day's Night when I was eleven, and I thought she was the ultimate rock star's girlfriend. And here I was, finally sitting opposite her, and I realized that she was just a normal woman - one who had very large breasts. That was another thing that was very shocking. I was thinking, Pattie Boyd has these really large tits, but she has this tiny little body. Then I thought, That's the key - the Barbie Doll body."
- On Keith Richards: "I really loved Keith, and he treated me like a jewel. One time when we all arrived at a party, Mick just got out of the car, but Keith got out, twirled and extended his hand to help me out, then twirled back and executed a complex bow that would have out him in good standing alongside Sir Walter Raleigh. I remember thinking, Jesus, that was gorgeous. He had class, and he was a little more considerate of women, of their feelings and opinions, than Mick was."
- About the Birds of Britain: "Music represented freedom, inspiration, rebellion. The British bands brought a whole new generation of British girls into the limelight - Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Shrimpton, Julie Christie, Patti Boyd, Linda Keith, Anita Pallenberg, and Hayley Mills, among others. The majority of my friends hated these competitors for their heroes' attention, but I was as infatuated with them as I was with the boys in the bands. When I was a young girl, I used to look at Marianne Faithfull and Anita Pallenberg and think those girls were gorgeous. I used to think, Jesus, they are so free. They are so wild-looking. These must be the girls that the guys write the songs about. These must be the girls that make the whole fucking thing tick. That was before they called girls 'groupies.'"