October 21, 2018 at 9:12 am #74859
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Anita Pallenberg remembered by Marianne Faithfull
Talking about Anita is something I have to do. I don’t want who she really was to be forgotten. People think of her in one way – a 60s muse, all that shit – but she was so much more than that. A really talented artist, a great actor, intelligent, funny, thoughtful, fearless… she truly didn’t give a fuck what anybody thought of her. I was desolate when she died. Until she got very ill, we spoke on the phone most days. I don’t want to sound sentimental or sappy, she’s worth more than that. She was so important to me.
To be Keith’s moll was not necessarily her destiny at all. She was a really talented artist
I don’t think we’d ever have become friends if it wasn’t for Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards, who became Pallenberg’s boyfriend after she dated another Rolling Stone, Brian Jones]. We weren’t naturally meant for each other, really, but because the boys were so close at the time, and spent so much time in the studio, it threw me and Anita together. We also took a lot of drugs.
We had very different personalities. Anita was really sophisticated and elegant, all that, and she was very good for me on that level, as I was a bit hopeless. She would put me together, tell me what to wear, get me to look right. I’d give her books, and she’d like that. She was four years older than me – I was much more vulnerable than her. When I say she never cared what anyone said, thought or wrote about her, it wasn’t that she talked about it – it was almost if all that stuff didn’t exist. I was always so jealous of her being able to do that.Anita was really well educated. She spoke five languages, and was a really good artist in her own right. She could have done a lot of other things – to be Keith’s moll was not necessarily her destiny at all. Keith is a very old-fashioned macho guy, who when he’s in love with a woman, wants her to be completely focused on him. I’m not putting that down – it’s just how it is. Anita rebelled a bit, of course. She did Barbarella when he told her not to. She did Performance when he told her not to [laughs] – for obvious reasons! But I have to say that taking drugs does not help your work. Don’t get me wrong, we had some wonderful times – like I remember being with Anita, Mick and Keith, [rock photographer] Michael Cooper, [art dealer] Robert Fraser, going down to Stonehenge and taking lots of acid. That was wonderful. But drugs blocked her, as they did me.
Anita started doing all the things she could have done after stopping the drugs. This was many years later. She did a fashion degree [at Central Saint Martins, London, in the early 1990s]. She started to paint again and did some wonderful watercolours – I’ve got a lot here. She did botanical drawing classes, and she was a wonderful gardener. She liked nothing better than doing the gardens for her kids. And her children [with Keith Richards] are wonderful people – her son, Marlon, his wife, Lucy, and Angela. They were incredibly kind to me after she died, phoning me up, really making sure I felt like part of the family. Children of famous people aren’t always like that, I tell you. They had very difficult times. We all did – Anita could be a difficult woman, and I don’t want to idealise her. But once she got clean, things were so much better.
Her getting ill was terrible bad luck. She got diabetes first of all, and when she was diagnosed, her nose was in the air about it. “I’m going to cure myself with diet!” she said. If only I’d said, “Are you out of your fucking mind, you nitwit!” If you don’t treat diabetes with insulin, it goes to your whole nervous system. She’d get things her body should have been able to ward off. Then she had to give in, of course, and she found it hard to inject. To be clean and have to take a drug was tough for her.
I do wonder how her life would have been different, of course, but come on, she had a wonderful life. I miss calling her up about a lyric, and her always saying something brilliant. I miss her more than I can tell you. Every morning, when I wake up, I read a poem that makes me think about her, Sara Teasdale’s There Will Be Stars. It speaks to me so much about her [reads]: “There will be stars over the place forever, though the house we loved and the street we loved are lost… there will be stars forever, while we sleep.” That’s Anita to me.
October 22, 2018 at 9:35 am #74878October 22, 2018 at 9:46 am #74881
- This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by Marianita.
nobody focuses better on mick’s cock than mick, unless it’s keith focusing on it in his memoirs…October 22, 2018 at 10:03 am #74883
ha ha the Stones have always been a very sexual focused band? but no one dares to mention Charlie’s cockOctober 22, 2018 at 10:04 am #74884
quite true! in fact, do we even know for a fact that Charlie even has one? we know Bill does…October 22, 2018 at 10:14 am #74885
ha ha ha Bill is an animal, wonder why they havent played cocksucker blues live, it was rehearsed in 78 i think, wouldnt it be fun to hear that song played on stageOctober 22, 2018 at 10:25 am #74887
how about chuck’s my ding-a-ling? it’s a berry cover they haven’t done yet…could be a fitting tribute…a good crowd singalong too and if they won’t sing, they must be playing with their own ding-a-ling…so there’s that for audience participation options….October 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm #74889October 22, 2018 at 2:10 pm #74890
Ididn’t know his name or anything, but he was standing along side of me. You know, we were both watching Mick Jagger, and a Hell’s Angel, the fat one. I don’t know his name or anything, he reached over — he didn’t like us being so close or something, you know, we were seeing Mick Jagger too well, or something. He was just being uptight. He reached over and grabbed the guy beside me by the ear and hair, and yanked on it, thinking it was funny, you know, kind of laughing. And so, this guy shook loose; he yanked away from him.
Now this guy that you’re talking about, is this the black guy that got killed?
Yeah, right. He shook loose, and the Hell’s Angel hit him in the mouth and he fell back into the crowd and he jumped off stage and jumped at him. And he tried to scramble, you know, through the crowd, to run from the Hell’s Angel, and four other Hell’s Angels jumped on him. They started mugging him and.
This is when they claim he had the gun?
No, no, he didn’t pull out the gun yet. See, and they started, they were mugging him, and then he started running . . . and he was running straight into the crowd, you know, pushing people away, you know, to run from the Hell’s Angels.
What was this guy’s condition? Had he been smoking, had he been drinking, or do you know?
He was really straight, he was really . . . Feeling really weird about being pushed around and stuff, but he was really pretty straight.
When the cat started grabbing him, what did he say? What did this black guy say?
He just gave him a weird look, kind of a mean look, and yanked away. He didn’t give him any verbal provocation or anything. So they’re chasing through the crowd. And they hitting him and one Hell’s Angel pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the back.
What kind of knife?
I couldn’t tell. I just saw the flash of the blade. Everything was happening too fast. And he hit him in the back and he pulled out a gun and held it up in the air you know . . . like that was kind of his last resort, you know . . . and . . .
Could you tell what kind of a gun?
It was a long . . . long barrel, really long. Looked like a six shooter or something . . . I’ve never seen . . . it was really . . . like the barrel was about six inches or so . . .
Like a service revolver or something?
Yeah . . . it was really a fancy gun . . . really shiny . . . He had it in the air, and he was still running, and people were telling him — I remember this chick screaming “Don’t shoot anyone.” And he was too scared to shoot because he could have shot anyone in the crowd or anything. So he didn’t shoot. And one of the Hell’s Angels grabbed the gun from him . . . and then stabbed him again in the back
They grabbed the gun from him, and then stabbed him again in the back?
What did the cat who stabbed him look like?
I think there was two people that stabbed him. One had his hair straight. It was straight and thick, and it was straight back, combed straight back. The front of his . . . you know . . . he combed it back so much that the front of his head was kind of bald . . . getting thin. I know what he looks like but, I can’t describe him.
But you’d know him if you saw him, right?
Yeah, yeah. I’ve seen him before.
Would you be willing to testify?
No. I don’t want to get killed.
They hit him . . . I couldn’t tell whether it was a knife or not . . . but on the side of the head. And then he kind of stumbled and he fell down on his knees. He came running toward me. I grabbed onto the scaffold, held onto the scaffold, you know, and then he came running kind of toward me and then he fell down on his knees, and then the Hell’s Angel, the same one I was talking about, grabbed onto both of his shoulders and started kicking him in the face about five times or so and then he fell down on his face, you know. He let go and he fell down on his face. And then one of them kicked him on the side and he rolled over, and he muttered some words. He said “I wasn’t going to shoot you.” That was the last words he muttered.
How close were you to all of this?
About three feet away.
You kept right up with them. You could have gotten hurt.
I just stayed as close . . . like, I wanted to jump into it but I couldn’t so I stayed close so that as soon as they were done mugging him I could help him.
That’s a real question there: why 300,000 – well 299,900 – people would allow themselves to be dominated by a hundred Angels?
Yeah, well I couldn’t see it either. If some other people had jumped in I would have jumped in. But nobody jumped in and after he said “I wasn’t going to shoot you,” one of the Hell’s Angels said, “Why did you have a gun?” He didn’t give him time to say anything. He grabbed one of those garbage cans, you know, one of those cardboard garbage cans with the metal rimming, and he smashed him over the head with it, and then he kicked the garbage can out of the way and started kicking his head in. Five of them started kicking his head in. Kicked him all over the place. And then the guy that started the whole thing, the fat guy, stood on his head for a minute or so and then walked off. And then the ones I was talking about, described to you, he wouldn’t let us touch him for about two or three minutes. Like, “Don’t touch him, he’s going to die anyway, let him die, he’s going to die.”
So what did everybody do? Did anybody say anything?
Chicks were just screaming. It was all confusion. I jumped down anyway to grab him and some other dude jumped down and grabbed him, and then the Hell’s Angel just stood over him for a little bit and then walked away. We turned him over and ripped off his shirt.
You turned him over so he was face up?
No, so he was face down.
So you could see his back?
We rubbed his back up and down to get the blood off so we could see, and there was a big hole on his spine and a big hole on the side and there was a big hole in his temple. A big open slice. You could see all the way in. You could see inside. You could see at least an inch down and stuff, you know. And then there was a big hole right where there’s no ribs on his back…and then the side of his head was just sliced open . . . you couldn’t see so far in . . . it was bleeding quite heavy . . . but his back wasn’t bleeding too heavy after that . . . there . . . all of us were drenched in blood.
Did you stick with him after that?
Yeah. I picked up his legs and someone else . . . this guy said he was a doctor or something . . . I don’t know who he was . . . he picked up his arms and he said, “Got to get him some help because he’s going to die. We’ve got 15 or 20 minutes, if we can get him some help . . .” And so we tried to carry him on the stage. Tell Mick Jagger to stop playing so we could get him on the stage and get some attention for him.
Who told Jagger that?
No one told Jagger that, but someone was trying to tell him to stop and he kept leaning over and looking out at the crowd like he was paying attention and trying to figure out what was happening.
This is while he’s singing?
Yeah. He kept leaning over with his ear trying to hear what somebody was telling him, but he couldn’t hear. So they kept on playing and the Hell’s Angels wouldn’t let us through . . . get on the stage . . . They kept blocking us saying go around . . . go through some other way. They wouldn’t let us through. They knew he was going to die in a matter of minutes. They wanted him to die probably so he wouldn’t talk or something, you know. And so we carried . . . we turned around and went the other way. It took about 15 minutes to get him behind the stage. We went around that whole thing and got behind where there was a Red Cross truck . . . something like that. And someone brought out a metal stretcher and laid him on that. Well first we laid him on the ground. And then we felt his pulse and it was just barely doing it . . .
Real slow or real fast or what?
Real slow and real weak. His whole mouth and stuff is bashed up into his nose and stuff and he couldn’t breathe out of his nose. He was trying to breathe out of his mouth. There really wasn’t anything you could do. We carried him over to some station wagon and then whoever owned the car hopped in and some other people hopped in and I stayed there. I went over and they had this thing of coffee and I had it . . . poured it all over to wipe off all the blood.
Yeah, because there was nothing else. Then I walked away feeling, wanting to do something, wanting to tell somebody what happened so they could get the Hell’s Angels. It scared me so much I couldn’t do anything . . . it really put me on such a big bummer . . . really, for days. For the last couple of days I’ve been really brought down about it.
Do you intend to go to any more of these mass concerts?
If there’s no Hell’s Angels there. No violence. I don’t know, I enjoyed it until that happened. I did get bummed out . . . I got a little depressed about . . . the way I was feeling from being pushed around and stuff by the crowd. But the Hell’s Angels were responsible. They’re really the whole thing.October 22, 2018 at 2:14 pm #74891
A woman carries a child through the massive audience at the Altamont Speedway prior to the free concert headlined by the Rolling Stones. (Photo by William L. Rukeyser/Getty Images)October 23, 2018 at 5:48 pm #74935
The seduction of Cantrell took place at Frog Hollow, the two-story home that the rock ’n’ roll couple rented in South Salem, NY, in Westchester County. The 19th-century manse was one of several residences they had around the world. They decamped there in 1977 with their then-8-year-old son, Marlon, after Richards’ drug bust. Victor Bockris, author of the book “Keith Richards: The Biography,” went there to interview Richards that year. “There were five of Frank Sinatra’s bodyguards at Frog Hollow — they were Italian meatballs in Hawaiian shirts who looked completely out of place,” he said. The muscle had been hired by the Stones’ management company to make sure Richards stayed off heroin. “[He and Pallenberg] had lost control of their lives.”
By the summer of 1979, Cantrell, who lived with his father in Norwalk, Conn., was working at Frog Hollow as a groundskeeper. Richards was rarely around. For all intents and purposes, the guitarist had moved on; he even reportedly had a new girlfriend, Swedish model Lil Wenglass Green.
In light of that, said Bockris, “Anita flaunted Cantrell. But he was a nasty kid. He used to tell Marlon that he was going to shoot Keith. Yet there he was, a 17-year-old boy with a woman out of shape and raggedy-looking. He thought it was cool to be with Keith Richards’ wife. She referred to him as her boyfriend.
“But, by that point, [Anita] was immobilized by drugs. [By then,] Keith had taken the black-box cure: Wires attached to each ear sent electronic pulses that reduced the pain of withdrawal.”
On the night of July 20, Cantrell and Pallenberg were hanging out in a second-floor bedroom at Frog Hollow, and he was messing around with Richards’ .38-caliber Smith & Wesson. As Pallenberg puttered around, tidying up and watching TV, Cantrell shot himself in the head.
Bockris believes that Cantrell was playing Russian roulette and lost. “He was aping ‘The Deer Hunter,’ ” said the author, referring to the 1978 movie in which characters portrayed by Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken play the deadly game. “There was blood all over the place. [For Pallenberg] to let a kid lie next to her in the bed and fool around with guns is pretty weird. She had authority over him. She could have told him to put it down, and she didn’t do that. It shows how out of it she was.”
A family friend whisked away Pallenberg and Richards’ son Marlon, who was almost 10 at the time and had been downstairs when the shooting happened. Police brought in Pallenberg for questioning. But any charges considered against her were destined to go nowhere. “Keith says he was determined that Anita not go to jail, which means that he put his lawyers and money on it,” said Bockris. “The [Cantrell] family tried to sue, but the case got quashed.”
Multiple parties had reason to make the killing go away and, as Pallenberg related to Bockris in his book, Richards showed little sympathy for the dead boy: “[Richards] didn’t say anything about the guy. He just got annoyed with my negligence, being so sloppy and flopped out. He just said, ‘Oh, you managed to lose a piece, didn’t you?’ I thought that was very hard, because it was a not a life, just a gun that had gone with the police that he was concerned about.”
The incident pretty much marked the end of Richards’ and Pallenberg’s already-tarnished romance. But the couple did have one final fling in a New York City hotel. “I was really overweight,” she told Bockris, “and I really didn’t think he liked me, but I guess he loved me because he wanted to make love to me. But I didn’t feel worth it for him. I said, ‘You bring out the worst in me.’ ”October 23, 2018 at 5:55 pm #74936October 24, 2018 at 4:46 pm #74963
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