Bebe Buell is one of my favorite girls. I guess it's because I feel like she and I are kind of kindred spirits - we are both vegetarians, both believe in reincarnation, both love Oscar Wilde and Mick Jagger, and both admire the great women who inspire rock music, like Pattie Boyd and Marianne Faithfull. The only difference is that Bebe actually became one of these women as well. To the public, she is known as the mother of Liv Tyler, and, to those more in-the-know, a great muse to some of the biggest names in rock history. But don't sell Bebe short - she's not just a muse to rock'n'rollers, but also a rock star in her own right. Her style is amazing, her demeanor alluring - after all, there's a reason why men from Mick Jagger to Jack Nicholson all flocked to her! I've written about the style similarities between Bebe and young fashionistas like Mischa Barton on the site before, but now is everyone's chance to get a little Bebe in their lives.
- Message tees of famous bands, authors, and magazines (a reproduction of the famed Oscar Wilde tee is available on Worn Free, as is a tee for BeBop Cafe)
- A floral, ruffly kimono wrap top, as worn in Playboy Magazine
- Cream-colored fur coat with a suede tie at the waist and huge fluffy collar - so luxe that it puts Penny Lane's Mongolian lamb fur trim to shame!
- Strapless dresses, often with empire waists, in a variety of colors (black, red, burnt orange - to name a few) and patterns
- Overalls with short legs in denim and khaki, at least one with a paisley trim
- High-waisted flared jeans (worn with a fitted tank top)
- White satin military jacket with gold embroidery and blue jewels - such a statement in itself that Bebe didn't need to wear anything underneath!
- Lace bustier/corset tops (red with black lace overlay) - worn backstage at concerts and to clubs
- Leopard leotards
- Knee-length full circle skirts with loud patterns
- Dresses with fluttery butterfly sleeves
- A good leather motorcycle jacket - an essential for hanging out with all of those badass rock'n'rollers
- A crazy-cool minidress with newspaper-style print all over it
- Tons of white eyelet, ruffles, and crocheted items for that beautiful innocent look that Bebe rocked so well
- Silk top hats
- Stylish berets (black, a red crocheted one with yellow and black patterns)
- Fishnets with thick seams at the back
- Gloves - black lace ones and a white pair with black polka dots
- Flowers in her hair, pushed behind her ears - sometimes behind both ears!
- A bottle of Chanel No. 5, never any other perfume. Once, according to Rebel Heart, Mick Jagger gave her "a large bottle of Shalimar perfume" which she refused to wear and referred to as "floozy juice." Which is kind of amazing.
- Hanging out with rock'n'roll elite
- Inspiring music and movies - she was the basis for the character Penny Lane in Almost Famous, and has inspired songs by Elvis Costello, Prince, and Chester French (who wrote a song called "Bebe Buell")
- Writing books and songs
- Being any number of these things: a Playboy Playmate, a fashion model, a rock star, a mother, a grandmother
- Being a "Creem Dream" - for which she still is, according to the lyrics to "Money Machine"
Friends and Lovers:
Bebe is an extremely popular girl, so here is just a sampling of who she has been associated with over the years...
- David Bowie, and his former wifey Angela
- Andy Warhol
- Salvador Dali, about whom she has said, "his moustache was greasy"
- Iggy Pop
- Rod Stewart
- Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin
- Eric Clapton
- Patti Smith
- Elvis Costello
- Todd Rundgren
- Debbie Harry
- Steven Tyler and Aerosmith
- The Rolling Stones, particularly Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood
- Stiv Bators - the duo was named Creem Magazine's Couple of the Year in 1980
- Coyote Shivers
- Jim Wallerstein
- Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty
- Kate Moss
- Pamela Des Barres (a conversation between the two women is featured in Des Barres' book Let's Spend the Night Together)
- Cyrinda Foxe
- Lori Maddox and Sable Starr - "They were really sweet girls, they'd meet you at the airport and run up to you to tell you how fabulous you were"
- Joey Ramone
- Liz Derringer
- Ritchie Blackmore
- Cameron Crowe, who based his most legendary 'band-aide' on Bebe
- Max's Kansas City in New York City
- CBGBs in New York City
- The "Riot House" on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles
- Tramps on Jermyn Street in London
- She fell in love with Oscar Wilde after seeing a photo of him at age eight
- She became a vegetarian being in the meatpacking district as a teen while on acid. "Back in those days, there were cows going by on hooks. And if you're tripping on good acid and you see that, you'll never touch meat again."
- She always knew she wanted to be a singer. In Rebel Heart she admits, "In my deepest heart, what I wanted most was to be a rock and roll singer. In my thoughts and journals, that's what I expressed. And I was conscious of that, but I never had the courage to tell people."
- Her favorite designers are Anna Sui, Calvin Klein, and Marc Jacobs
- She believes in reincarnation, calling it "the life of the soul."
- She calls leopard her favorite color
Pearls of Wisdom:
- "I knew that I had some destiny as a servant of the arts, but I also knew that I was an artist myself."
- "Life is a precious gift, and, as Oscar Wilde said, 'Life is what you make it.' It's been a bumpy ride, with highs and lows, love and loss, pain and growth. The one thing I've learned is that it is never too late to change, evolve, or take charge. You're never too old to rock - or to do anything, for that matter."
- "Groupies are girls who hang around and just want to have sex with rock stars. It's really kind of a gross tag. Band aides and people like that are there because they love the music. I think women have a right to an affinity and a love for music just as much as men do."
- "Muse is such a beautiful word. It just sounds nicer. It's a lot more romantic." - on her preference for the term 'muse' over 'groupie'
- "My secret desires were locked up inside of me. I didn't dare tell anybody what I really wanted to be. All I knew was that I wanted to be somebody. That somebody resembled Anita Pallenberg, Pattie Boyd, Jane Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, and Janis Joplin! Or at least resembled their essence. I don't know if the word star was embedded in my mind ... 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."
- "Fashion has always been a huge part of pop culture and music. The British Invasion really affected the way I look at clothes. I like the 'anything goes' attitude of some of the musical greats, the way they can take a street look and make it unique."
- "Black will always be the universal color of rock'n'roll."
- "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, Pattie 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."