Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sister Morphine

Anita Pallenberg was born in Rome, Italy on January 25, 1944. While her family lived in Rome, she was sent to German boarding school where she became fluent in four languages before being expelled at age 16. She then began acting and modeling, while hanging around with the Dolce Vita, Living Theatre, and Warhol crowds. In 1965, she and a friend got backstage at a Rolling Stones concert, where she beelined for self-proclaimed front man, Brian Jones. She became part of the Stones' inner circle, along with Marianne Faithfull, who Mick Jagger started dating in 1966. She and Marianne became close friends, and still are today. Brian became increasingly unstable and abusive due to drugs and, after a vacation in Morocco in 1967, Anita left him for Stones guitarist Keith Richards. She inspired many songs by Keith: "You Got The Silver," "Coming Down Again," "Angie," "Beast of a Burden," "All About You, " "Wild Horses," and "Gimme Shelter." While the Stones got more and more famous, she kept on appearing in movies (much to Keith's irritation). Anita and Mick supposedly had an affair during the filming of Performance, though she denies it. Also, she began using hard, addictive drugs along with Keith. Despite that, they had two surviving kids: Marlon, Dandelion (now Angela), and one son who died as a baby, Tara. Anita also supposedly practiced "black magic" - Stones associate Tony Sanchez said: "She was obsessed with black magic and began to carry a string of garlic with her everywhere — even to bed — to ward off vampires. She also had a strange mysterious old shaker for holy water which she used for some of her rituals. Her ceremonies became increasingly secret, and she warned me never to interrupt her when she was working on a spell." This added to what Marianne has called her "evil glamour" - she was intimidatingly beautiful, and yes, a touch evil. You can especially see this in her role as the Black Queen in Barbarella. After spending time with the Stones and their families in France on tax exile, she was busted for drugs in Toronto along with Keith. They went into rehab, which worked for him, but not for Anita. Deeming her unfit for parenting, Keith's mother took Angela while Marlon had an unconventional childhood with his parents. Anita and Keith split up after a strange incident where their 17-year-old groundskeeper killed himself in Anita's bed. She was initially suspected for the death, but it was ruled a suicide. Anita claims that the lawyers made she and Keith split as she was a bad influence. After the split, he even said that he loved her and saw her as much as he had before they separated. However, Anita's life became somewhat of a nightmare - she continued her drug use and became isolated. She was finally saved when her sister got her into rehab in 1986, and after that she went back to college for four years to become a fashion designer. She now resides in London and makes sporadic acting appearances.

Anita Pallenberg: The Bomb of Cannes
She isn't nice. And she sometimes lies. She is neglected, too. And she whistles at elegance. But Anita Pallenberg, 23, is on the way to the stardom. The Cannes film festival has proved it.

Thus a world star of new wave looks; battered slouch-hat, grubby blouse, washed out jeans and stamped-out boots, Anita Pallenberg (here in front of the five-star hotel "Majestic") became, in Riviera, the "bomb of Cannes."

(Photos from Diet Coke and Sympathy. Title from "Sister Morphine" by Marianne Faithfull.)

No comments: