Saturday, July 30, 2011


Mary "Maureen" Cox was born August 4th 1946, the only daughter of a Liverpudlian shipworker and his wife. She left Catholic convent school at age 14 to work as a beautician, going by the name Maureen and, to her friends, Mo. As a teen in Liverpool, it was common to hang about the Cavern Club, as she was doing at age 15 when she saw the Beatles perform. She, along with queues of other fans, grew a crush on the drummer, Ringo Starr (who was 6 years her senior). But unlike other fans, she began to date him. She gained new, jealous enemies, many of whom threatened her at work, and one even scratched her face. She had to quit her job, but didn't see much of Ringo in the next months as he and the Beatles traveled. Once he fell ill with tonsillitis, though, they became close again because of her frequent visits. Mo found she was pregnant in January 1965, and they married in February. Up to this point, and well after, too, Maureen would refuse to give interviews by herself, despite the novelty and fame that came with becoming the second Beatle wife. Mo's best friends became the other Beatle girls: Pattie Boyd (Harrison), Cynthia Lennon, and Jane Asher (though less so). She was different than the other girls; she was a Beatles fan first, younger than the others, and ever so much more Liverpudlian, using phrases like "bloody hell!" "sodden hellfire!" and "It's breakin' me brain." Her life revolved around family; after Zak was born in 1965, she and Ringo had two more children, Jason in 1967 and Lee in 1970. She always had a meal ready for Ringo (or as she called him, "Ritchie") when he came home from recording, and answered his fan mail. In 1968, as a gift to Maureen for her 22nd birthday, Ringo had Frank Sinatra record a personalized version of "The Lady is a Tramp", "Maureen is a Champ". Unfortunately, their good times were not to last forever: with the breakup of the Beatles in 1970 came the breaking up of their marriage. Ringo's infidelities and drug use shot up, and a conflicted Maureen began an affair with George Harrison (to Pattie's absolute horror). George even confronted Ringo, saying "You know, Ringo, I'm in love with your wife," to which Ringo replied, "Better you than someone we don't know." They officially divorced in 1975, and Mo reacted by unsuccessfully attempting suicide via a motorcycle crash (though she liked how the reconstructive surgery changed her face). She wasn't down for long; by 1976 she was living with new love and Hard Rock Cafe founder Isaac Tigrett. After her long legal battle with Ringo during their divorce, one of Mo's catchphrases became "Just give me furs, jewels, and property, thank you." Isaac often introduced her as his "most authentic piece of rock and roll memorabilia." She remained on good terms with all of her friends from the Beatles days, and was even with Cynthia Lennon when they heard the sad news of John Lennon's death in 1980. In 1987, Maureen and Isaac had a daughter, Augusta. Maureen and Isaac married in 1989, after being together 13 years. Maureen passed away at home in 1994 after battling leukemia, surrounded by her husband, ex-husband, and children. Paul McCartney's "Little Willow" is dedicated to her memory.

Sunny Heights, Mo and Ringo's first home

(Photos: scans from 16 Magazine, Beatles Anthology, The Beatles: 50 Fabulous Years, John Lennon: Life In Pictures, The Beatles Illustrated Biography, Miss O'Dell. All others from Maureen Starr Tribute.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The "Cher Look"

I was thrilled to find this article in the November 1965 issue 16 Magazine, featuring the gorgeous young Cher. Back in the early days of Sonny & Cher, she had this great California hippie kind of thing goin' for her, and I thought you guys would like to see what she had to say about how to get her look.

"As you can see, somewhere up under those long bangs of mine are my eyes, with gangs of eye makeup. I use dark, liquid eyeliner (this requires using a brush with very steady hands), lots of mascara and -sometimes- false eyelashes. Personally, I think every girl has to sit down in front of her mirror and experiment over and over again until she finds the exactly right eye makeup for her coloring and shape of face. Whatever you do, don't allow your eye makeup to cheapen your good looks.
"On my face, I use a medicated lotion prescribed especially for me by my doctor. If I use a regular pancake or foundation and powder, I break out in awful pimples. So that means you will have to do a little research to find out what "covering" is best for your face. Maybe you don't need anything at all.
"For my lips, I use a great new lipstick I just found. It is called Coty Moonlight Frost, and you can get it at the five and dime store (hope Coty is grateful for this free plug!). If this particular lipstick doesn't look right on you, then -once again- you will have to shop around until you come up with just the thing for your lips.
"As for my hair, I wash it every other days because it is oily. I always use Head & Shoulders shampoo (now we should get a nice thanks from Proctor & Gamble!). It is a great shampoo and the only one that makes my hair come out shining and spotlessly clean. I sometimes use a cream rinse, as my hair is thick and this makes it easier to comb out. When my hair is half dry, I gently brush the tangles out, then I comb it straight down. I used to tease it on the crown, but now I don't do that as I think that "bump on the top of the head" look is not appealing.
"Another part of the 'Cher look' is earrings. My ears are pierced, and I usually wear large loops in them. Slacks are the most important part of my wardrobe. In fact, I don't own a dress. I have about 50 pairs of slacks, and most of them are slightly bell-bottomed. I have oodles of little knitted tops (like tank suit tops). They are usually plain, no fringe, and in plain colors, not prints.
"For shoes, I mostly wear sandals, and all of these have at lease a one-inch high heel. I have very long feet, and the heel makes my tootsies look a lot shorter. As for colors, I never wear black, brown, or gray (but these colors would not look right in the California sun). My favorite hues are red and yellow. Rings are definitely a part of the 'Cher look,' and I have many. My favorite is the emerald and diamond one I wear on my right index finger, which my husband, Sonny, gave me for my last birthday."

This is just the article - a post on 60s Cher is soon to come!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Pattie said of her antiques stall, which was open from 1968-69: "Jenny and I took a stall in the antiques market in the King's Road, and specialized in art nouveau. We called it Juniper -because of "Jennifer Juniper"- and ran it for about a year. Jenny looked after the stall and I did the buying. I drove all over the country finding objects d'art, including a set of Fabergé menu holders, paintings, and knickknacks of the period. John Jesse, who was married to Mick Fleetwood's sister, introduced me to art nouveau at a time when few people prized it and I could buy it quite cheaply; the jewelry was recognizable and we knew that if it had a signature it was more valuable. Our stall was next door to an antiquarian bookseller. We didn't make much money because we didn't charge enough. I was always so pleased when someone liked what I had bought that I would almost give it away."

I have a feeling these photos are kinda rare, and they all seem to be from the same occasion. I wish I could find more! One cool thing I did notice is the poster on the back wall, Alphonse Mucha's Bières de la Meuse. Here it is in glorious color and high quality:

(Store photos from the wonderful Yahoo group, Something About Pattie Boyd, submitted by Lynn Mayes.)