Today is the birthday of the legendary Marianne Faithfull, my personal hero. Though lots of names have been thrust upon her -- Miss X, Mick Jagger's moll, the Girl on a Motorcycle, the survivor of rock'n'roll, the Godmother of Punk -- there are not enough words to describe her incredible artistry and spirit. Her story and experiences span many lifetimes, and her recording history and film roles are awe-inducing. A feature I used to do way, way back in DRG history was called "Through the Years," where I'd do a sort of biography of a person through photos and personal quotes. This will be an abbreviated version of that -- just some of my favorite photos of Marianne and her always-incredible quotes, because the only way to appreciate the glory of MF is to revel in her genius.
"At a time when my life as a grown-up should have begun, I was still very much a child. And everything that has happened to me, it's as if it happened to a child. All my attempts at growing up were really no more than a child's playing make believe."
"One of the hazards of reforming your evil ways is that some people won't let go of their mind's eye of you as a wild thing."
"Maybe the most that you can expect from a relationship that goes bad is to come out of it with a few good songs."
"Between the ages of 17 and 19 I shed any number of old lives and grew new ones overnight without them seeming quite real to me; I discarded them as cavalierly as a child who moves from one game to another. Pursued in interest, any one of these might have led to a reasonably happy life. But then again, I wasn't interested in happiness. I was looking for the Holy Grail."
"The sixties was a great motley cast of characters in an ongoing operetta with multi-hued costumes to match. What I remember most is how beautiful everybody was, and, of course, the beautiful clothes: we dressed up like medieval damsels and princes, pre-Raphaelite Madonnas, popes, hussars, mad hatters and creatures visiting from other planets."
"They asked me to star in a Mars Bar ad. I told them to fuck off."
"Suicidal urges come out like commands. It's not like any other urge, like I'd like a pizza."
"The voice of God, if you must know, is Aretha Franklin's."
"We lived these lives a thousand years ago as courtesans, as opium-eaters at the court of the Kubla Khan. We had drunk of the milk of Paradise and its transforming liquidity made us all quite porous. There were no boundaries where Alph the sacred river ran. No genders, no time and space. We simply sparkled and vibrated. We were all pulsating little Bodhisattvas. I was in love with everybody. Actually, I was everybody."
"I never trusted anybody at all. I don't know why it was so hard, I just didn't."
"I think drugs were used by me as a way of suppressing my natural spirit."
"Never apologize, never explain -- didn't we always say that? Well, I haven't and I don't."
Title: from "Vagabond Ways" (Marianne Faithfull)