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Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: MisterDDDD ()
Date: January 19, 2021 19:29

So great that she survived this.. wish her nothing but the best.

An icon, in her own right, love her.

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Date: January 19, 2021 19:34

Indeed. Ugly and ignorant sexist crap. She's made some seriously great albums, that's beyond argument. As for'WorriedAboutYou' what has he ever done but breathe in, breathe out, defecate? Better to keep it all in, if that's what he comes out with.

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Elmo Lewis ()
Date: January 19, 2021 23:34

Is the "broken English" line in "So Young" about Marianne?

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: crawdaddy ()
Date: January 20, 2021 00:36

Quote
MisterDDDD
So great that she survived this.. wish her nothing but the best.

An icon, in her own right, love her.

Love this pic of Keith and Marianne, and I bet they had a great chat about days gone by many years ago, as well as what the future may hold for them. thumbs up

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: January 20, 2021 02:30

Love this pic of Keith and Marianne,

Four Seasons Hotel - Paris 2017



ROCKMAN

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: January 20, 2021 08:41

It is a rather nice photo. What is that Keith is drinking? Rosé?

Marianne looks quite the English lady.

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: February 26, 2021 23:08

Marianne Faithfull with Warren Ellis - She Walks in Beauty (lyric video)




Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: April 4, 2021 22:08

Has Marianne Faithfull Finally Conquered Her Demons? Vogue Catches Up With The Rock ’N’ Roll Survivor

By Louis Wise
2 APRIL 2021

Marianne Faithfull is back – making new music, inspiring a biopic and beating Covid-19.


[www.vogue.co.uk]

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Beast ()
Date: April 5, 2021 01:38

Thanks as ever, Cristiano!

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: April 5, 2021 03:29

Quote
Beast
Thanks as ever, Cristiano!

My pleasure, Beast! smiling smiley

Marianne Faithfull new album interview
Posted by: dmay ()
Date: April 2, 2021 17:38

A short read. The album sounds interesting in concept.

[www.anothermag.com]

Re: Marianne Faithfull new album interview
Posted by: maumau ()
Date: April 2, 2021 19:10

thanks

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: sarahunwin ()
Date: April 5, 2021 17:46

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
liddas
Thanks to this thread I was pushed to listen to explore some Marianne music.

First time I did (save her song on Circus) and what a surprise!

Listening to No Exit right now. Very interesting!

For the Englishmen here, what kind of accent does she have?


C

Broken English (sorry, couldn't resist grinning smiley ).


Posh!!!!
I'm not English, but I believe she's from Hampstead, London.

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: stargroover ()
Date: April 6, 2021 01:29

A child’s adventure is great

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Bliss ()
Date: April 7, 2021 14:59

Marianne is the only one of the Stones' long-term exes who seemed to have moved on emotionally after their Stones r'ships ended. She was married and has been with her French partner a long time. Bianca, Jo and Anita remained alone.

I never liked her music, but find her intelligent, articulate and an incredible survivor - drug addiction, breast cancer, a heart attack, hepatitis-c, and now Covid.

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Bjorn ()
Date: April 8, 2021 00:16

A child´s adventure is really great. A great record for the spring.

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Beast ()
Date: April 8, 2021 01:24

Ex-French partner for several years now, though he's still her manager.

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Mariuana ()
Date: April 11, 2021 18:43

Quote
Bliss
Marianne is the only one of the Stones' long-term exes who seemed to have moved on emotionally after their Stones r'ships ended. She was married and has been with her French partner a long time. Bianca, Jo and Anita remained alone.

I never liked her music, but find her intelligent, articulate and an incredible survivor - drug addiction, breast cancer, a heart attack, hepatitis-c, and now Covid.

From her own words, I have that feeling that she actually NEVER moved on. Yes she was married and had some other relationships but emotionally and verbally she always comes back to her years with the Stones. I recall Anita said the same about Marianne in one of her rare interviews.

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: maumau ()
Date: April 11, 2021 19:41

About Marianne talking about her years with the Stones

1) Hard to avoid since interviewers fovus so much on them and ask her about them
2) Not strange as it was a fundamental period of her life for the good (the spotlight, the beginning of a career) and the bad (the spotlight, the beginning of a deep addiction and more..)

about moving on: many of her records from strange weather and broken english on, the great before the poison etc, and her artistic liveliness speak for her about how much she moved on. in the past 30 years she showed much more artistic engagement if compared to the stones

one can like her music or not but that's, imo, a fact

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Mariuana ()
Date: April 11, 2021 21:46

Maumau you keep on saying she suprassed the Stones artistically - it's quite debatable but if you're Marianne's big fan, that's up to you to think so. But she still cherishes the years she spent with Mick - that's obvious for anyone who have ever paid attention to what she says and thinks - even when she was rather bitter, she still maintains her status as "the Stones muse", no matter if the interviewer asks her that or nah. Then again, that's Anita's quote from somewhere in the 90s: "It took Marianne DECADES to get over Mick and she's still struggling sometimes".

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: maumau ()
Date: April 11, 2021 22:54

I agree with you Mariuana, and of course, as i said, you can like her music or not, that's an opinion and my opinion is that marianne output is overall really good in the past 20 years

here I was talking of her "artistic engagement" as a measure of her as a single artist. english is not my mother language so maybe it does not make sense. maybe these lists are more clear

Studio albums of Marianne since 2004
2004 - Before the Poison
2008 - Easy Come, Easy Go
2011 - Horses and High Heels
2014 - Give My Love to London
2018 - Negative Capability

Studio albums of my favourite band since 2004
2005 – A Bigger Bang
2016 – Blue & Lonesome

of course Marianne is basically an interpreter, a singer, she picks the songs someone else write for her, and picks producer and musicians that work for her. so that's a whole different story
but then, again, of the two studio albums the stones put out in 2 decades one is exactly an album of songs by someone else..

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: April 22, 2021 00:59

"The iconic Marianne Faithfull selects the tracks for this week's All Queens Playlist."

[www.bbc.co.uk]

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: April 22, 2021 01:04

Quote
Witness
Quote
WorriedAboutYou
She's lucky to have been so attractive in the 60s and bagged a Stone. She wouldn't have a career in music if she looked like Mama Cass back then. No one on here would give her awful records a second glance without the Jagger connection.

Your prejudiced view does not apply to everyone.

I became aware of the song " Broken English" by hearing it on the radio. It made me glad to be aware by whom. Then I bought the album BROKEN ENGLISH in much the same way that I in its time bought a double compilation with Buddy Saint Marie, not because of Marianne's Stones related past. I was delighted by BROKEN ENGLISH, most of all by the song " Ballad of Lucy Jordan". One after another I then bought her three following albums. I also attended one concert with her.

All in all, I am pleased by the fact that Marianne Faithfull has had a career in her own right.

Broken English was top shelf. I liked the follow-up as well though not as much Dangerous Acquaintances.

Haven't really followed her more recent material though I also bought a live album several years ago.

Ballad of Lucy Jordan is a fabulous tune.

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: MisterDDDD ()
Date: April 22, 2021 19:21

She’s Marianne Faithfull, Damn It. And She’s (Thankfully) Still Here.
The British musician has had several brushes with death in her 74 years. But Covid-19 and its long-haul symptoms didn’t derail her latest project: a spoken-word tribute to the Romantic poets.

You don’t want to get this, darling,” Marianne Faithfull said of Covid-19. “Really.”Credit...Danny Kasirye for The New York Times

Several times in her 74 years of life, Marianne Faithfull has boomeranged from the brink of death.

First there was the summer of 1969, when she overdosed on Tuinal sleeping pills in the Sydney hotel room she was sharing with her then-boyfriend, Mick Jagger; as she slipped under, she had a long conversation with his recently deceased bandmate, Brian Jones, who had drowned in a swimming pool about a week prior. At the end of their spirited talk, Jones beckoned her to hop off a cliff and join him in the beyond. Faithfull declined, and woke up from a six-day coma.

That was before she became addicted to heroin in the early 1970s: “At that point I entered one of the outer levels of hell,” she writes in her 1994 autobiography “Faithfull.” It took more than a decade to finally get clean. Since then she’s survived breast cancer, hepatitis C and an infection resulting from a broken hip. But, as Faithfull told me on the phone from her London home one afternoon in February, her recent bout with Covid-19 and its lingering long-term aftereffects has been the hardest battle she’s fought in her entire life.

“You don’t want to get this, darling,” she said. “Really.”

She said it, of course, in That Voice, coated with ash but flickering with lively defiance underneath. As it’s matured — cracked and ripened like a well-journeyed face — Faithfull’s voice has come to possess a transfixing magic. It’s a voice that sounds like it has come back from somewhere, and found a way to collapse present and past. She can find the Weimar Berlin decadence in Dylan, or breathe William Blake’s macabre into a Metallica song.

Right before she contracted the virus in March 2020, Faithfull was working on an album she’d dreamed of making for more than half a century: “She Walks in Beauty,” a spoken-word tribute to the Romantic poets, who had first inflamed her imagination as a teenager. In the mid-1960s, the demands of Faithfull’s burgeoning pop career pulled her out of her beloved Mrs. Simpson’s English literature course, “but I went on reading the books,” Faithfull said. And through the ups and downs of her life, those poems stayed with her like well-worn talismans: “If you’ve ever read ‘Ode to a Nightingale,’ ‘The Lady of Shallot’ — you’re not going to forget it, are you?

Faithfull had recorded recitations of seven Romantic poems, from Byron (“She Walks in Beauty”), Shelley (“Ozymandias”) and Keats (“Ode to a Nightingale”). After she was hospitalized with Covid-19 and fell into a coma, her manager sent the recordings to Faithfull’s friend and frequent collaborator Warren Ellis, to see if he would compose music to accompany them. Neither was sure Faithfull would live to hear the finished product.

Ellis was told, “‘It’s not looking good,’” he recalled, on a video call from his Paris home. “‘This might be it.’”

But — ever the Lady Lazarus — Faithfull pulled through. Only once she began to recover did her son, Nicholas, tell her what they’d written on the chart at the foot of her bed: “Palliative care only.”

“They thought I was going to croak!” Faithful said, likely for not the first time in her life.

“But,” she added with a wizened chuckle, “I didn’t.”

MARIANNE’S FATHER, Glynn Faithfull — yes, that improbably perfect surname is real — was a British spy in World War II, and the son of a sexologist who invented something called “the Frigidity Machine.” Her mother, just as improbably, was the Austrian Baroness Eva von Sacher-Masoch — the great-niece of the man who wrote the sensationally scandalous novella “Venus in Furs” and from whose name we are blessed with the word masochism. Put all those things together and you get their only child, born a year after the armistice.

Her parents split when she was 6, and at 7, her mother sent her to boarding school at a Reading convent. (“Glynn begged her not to,” she writes in “Faithfull.” “I remember him saying, ‘This will give her a problem with sex for the rest of her life.’”) When she visited her father, who was living and teaching in a commune, she got a glimpse of the polar opposite end of the spectrum. At 18, she married the writer John Dunbar and gave birth to Nicholas shortly after.

“I wanted to go to Oxford and read English literature, philosophy, and comparative religion. That was my plan,” she said. “Anyway, it didn’t happen. I went to a party and got discovered by bloody old Andrew Loog Oldham.”

Oldham, the Rolling Stones’ first manager, hadn’t heard Faithfull sing a note; he just took a long look at her and decided this striking young blonde was destined to be a pop star. He had Mick Jagger and Keith Richards write a song for her, the melancholy ballad “As Tears Go By.” It was, in her words, “a commercial fantasy” that pushed “all the right buttons.”

Which is to say she didn’t take this accidental pop career of hers that seriously, not at first. On her debut tour, she always seemed to have her nose buried in a book, “poring over my reading list for English literature as if I were going back to school.”

But that wasn’t happening. In swinging, psychedelic London, Faithfull was a beautiful girl suddenly in the eye of a cultural hurricane. She met everybody. She left her husband and child behind, dabbling in everything the men did without apology. She and Richards dropped acid and went looking for the Holy Grail. She wrote in her autobiography that Bob Dylan tried to seduce her by playing her his latest album, “Bringing It All Back Home,” and explaining in detail what each track meant. (It didn’t work. “I just found him so … daunting,” she wrote. “As if some god had come down from Olympus and started to come onto me.”)

Jagger had more luck, and for a few seemingly glamorous years they were a generational It Couple. But there were tensions from the start, and Faithfull wasn’t sure she was cut out for the wifely muse role that, even in such bohemian circles, she was expected to play. Then there was the Redlands drug bust.

Tipped off by a sanctimonious British tabloid in February 1967, the police raided Richards’s Sussex home during a small party, and found a modest amount of drugs. Faithfull had just taken a bath when the cops arrived, and the only clothes she brought were dirty, so without thinking too much about it she flung a rug over herself.

Jagger and Richards’s subsequent drug trial is now generally seen as a pivot in mainstream acceptance of certain countercultural behaviors. But Faithfull bore the brunt of the backlash. One headline blared in all caps: Naked Girl at Stones Party. “I was slandered as the wanton woman in the fur rug,” Faithfull wrote, “while Mick was the noble rock star on trial.” It certainly wouldn’t be the last rage-inducing double standard she’d endure.

A FEW YEARS ago, over a Christmas dinner, Faithfull gave Ellis’s teenage children a long, anecdote-filled talk about why they should stay away from drugs. She spoke about the infamy at Redlands as though it was something they would be familiar with.

“My kids had no idea what she was talking about,” Ellis said. “But when I drove her home, my son just looked at me and goes, ‘[Expletive], she’s awesome.’”

Ellis — who Faithfull affectionately described to me as “a sexy old thing” — conducted his interview from a low-lit, brick-walled room that looked like it may or may not be a dungeon. This is where he was holed up for long hours last spring, listening to the voice of his dear friend, who may or may not have been dying, read him Romantic poetry.

He said he found the poems “so incredibly beautiful and uplifting, a total balm for all this turmoil and sadness that was going on in the world.” This was new: When he read them as a schoolboy in Melbourne, Ellis had found the Romantics mostly “impenetrable.” But listening to a masterful interpreter like Faithfull intone them, he said, “suddenly they felt ageless. They felt freed of the page. Because of this authority and absolute belief in them. She believes what she’s reading.”

In composing the tracks, Ellis wanted to shy away from the expected “lutes and harpsichords” approach. Instead he studied some of the records he thought most successfully blended spoken-word and music, like Gil Scott-Heron’s “I’m New Here,” Sir John Betjeman’s “Late-Flowering Love” and Lou Reed and Metallica’s “Lulu.” Like Faithful’s fiery readings, Ellis’s meditative compositions — featuring contributions from Nick Cave and Brian Eno — accentuate the poets’ enduring modernity. (The Romantics might not have yet lived to see rock ’n’ roll, but they certainly knew a thing or two about sex and drugs.)

Before Ellis was finished, he got the news that Faithfull had woken up from her coma, left the hospital — and, in time, recorded four more poems. “She survived Covid, came out, and recorded ‘Lady of Shallot,’” Ellis said shaking his head, referring to the 12-minute Tennyson epic. “She’s just the best, Marianne.”

The remarkable — and even fittingly spooky — thing about the record is that you cannot tell which poems Faithfull recorded before or after her brush with death. Perhaps only Faithfull herself can hear the difference. “I was quite fragile, but I didn’t start to do it until I was better,” she said. “And I liked it very much, because I sound more vulnerable — which is kind of nice, for the Romantics.”

Faithfull has fashioned sticking around into a prolonged show of defiance — a radical act, for a woman. She did not come into her own musically until her mid-30s, with the release of her punky, scorched-earth 1979 masterpiece “Broken English.” In the subsequent decades, her artistry has only deepened, and she has gradually, grudgingly earned her respect (“I’m not just seen as a chick and a sexy piece anymore — though I should think not, I’m 74!”). Her anger about the industry and the media subsided a great deal in the time between her 1994 and 2007 memoirs. What happened?

“Just time, you know. From everything I know about life in general — which is probably not much — is that you have to get over those things, or they eat you up,” she said. “And I’m not going to let that happen. So I let it go. I don’t hold resentment anymore about the press.” She laughed, genially. “But of course I don’t let them near me, really!”

She has a lighter attitude, but Faithfull has not made it out of her latest battle without some lingering scars. She lost her dear friend and collaborator Hal Willner to the virus. And after initially feeling better, a few months ago she started feeling worse. She has since been experiencing the stubborn symptoms of long-haul Covid, which for her include fatigue, memory fog and lung problems.

She has been working diligently on her breathing; a close friend comes by weekly with a guitar to lead her in singing practice — her own version of the opera therapy that has shown promising results in long Covid patients. She’s been spending quality time with her son and grandson, reading (Miles Davis’s autobiography, among other things), and counting the days until she can once again go to the movies, the opera, the ballet. When she first got out of the hospital — après Covid, as she likes to call it — it seemed like Faithfull may never sing again. Now, she is looking forward to writing new songs, and envisioning what a return to the stage might look like.

“I’m focusing on getting better, really better — and I’m beginning to,” she said. “I’ll certainly never be able to work as hard as I was, and long tours are not going to be possible. But I do hope to do maybe five shows. Not very long — 40 minutes perhaps.” Still, she admitted, “It’s a long way away.”

Ellis said, “If anyone can do it, it’s Marianne, because she just doesn’t give up. She constantly surprises you.”

Sometimes she even surprises herself. Earlier in our conversation, Faithfull had let me know, in her admirably no-nonsense way, that she hadn’t called me up to chat for fun, but because she had an album to promote. But she ultimately admitted to finding it vivifying to talk about her life, her art, her past and future. “It’s good for me to remember who I really am, not just an old sick person,” she said.

“Of course,” I replied. “You’re Marianne Faithfull, damn it!”

She mulled it over for a long moment. “It’s true, I am.” Then, with an unexpected surge of strength, like a hammer’s blow, she added, “Damn it.”
[www.nytimes.com]

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: April 24, 2021 21:20

Quote
MisterDDDD
She’s Marianne Faithfull, Damn It. And She’s (Thankfully) Still Here.
The British musician has had several brushes with death in her 74 years. But Covid-19 and its long-haul symptoms didn’t derail her latest project: a spoken-word tribute to the Romantic poets.

[www.nytimes.com]

Very good article and interview. Thanks for posting, MisterDDDD!

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: April 25, 2021 00:38

"The cover of today’s Telegraph Review section featuring Marianne Faithfull:"



[twitter.com]

Marianne Faithfull: ‘I may never sing again

How the great rock’n’roll survivor beat cancer, heroin, homelessness, heartbreak – and now Covid (but only just)

By Neil McCormick, Music Critic
24 April 2021

[www.telegraph.co.uk]

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: crawdaddy ()
Date: April 25, 2021 02:22

Lovely interview with Marianne and only just seen it.

Will take it all in on Sunday and she's looking good.
No wonder she is the female icon of the 60's ...........as The Stones, The Who, The Kinks, The Beatles and many more bands and female artists were back then.
Onwards and Upwards Marianne for the future. smileys with beer

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: MisterDDDD ()
Date: April 25, 2021 03:35

Quote
Cristiano Radtke
Very good article and interview. Thanks for posting, MisterDDDD!

Very welcome.. was great to stumble across it (even tho I subscribe to the NYT) on Twitter.
Followed a link posted by none other than " bloody old Andrew Loog Oldham" oddly enough winking smiley
[twitter.com]

Posted the article in full as they have a paywall for some, the article you posted does as well which I was unable to access, but assuming a similar article.

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: April 25, 2021 05:59

Quote
MisterDDDD
Quote
Cristiano Radtke
Very good article and interview. Thanks for posting, MisterDDDD!

Very welcome.. was great to stumble across it (even tho I subscribe to the NYT) on Twitter.
Followed a link posted by none other than " bloody old Andrew Loog Oldham" oddly enough winking smiley
[twitter.com]

Posted the article in full as they have a paywall for some, the article you posted does as well which I was unable to access, but assuming a similar article.

Oops, sorry my fault. smiling bouncing smiley
Here it is:

Marianne Faithfull: ‘I may never sing again’

How the great rock’n’roll survivor beat cancer, heroin, homelessness, heartbreak – and now Covid (but only just)

Covid-19 almost killed Marianne Faithfull. “I really did get close to croaking,” she tells me. “As close as I’ve ever been.” This time last year, Faithfull spent 22 days in hospital and was “in a very, very dark place”. Even now, speaking by phone from her London home, her famously raspy voice is wheezy and low; she is still suffering from long Covid which, for her, means “three things, all awful: my lungs are bad and breathing is very hard; there’s constant fatigue; and my memory is flaky, which is driving me crazy. So you can imagine! I think it’s actually the worst time in my life.”

That’s quite an admission from a 74-year-old recovered heroin addict, who has suffered from hepatitis C, liver disease and breast cancer and, in 1969, spent six days in a coma after a suicide attempt during the break-up of her four-year relationship with Mick Jagger. A celebrated singer and actress of the 1960s who descended into a narcotic nightmare, becoming impoverished and homeless before reconstituting herself with a shattered voice as a great musical interpreter, Faithfull has led one of the most dramatic lives in pop. But now, she admits, there are times when she wishes it were over.

“If I wake up with a very negative attitude, I think the worst: ‘Oh God, why didn’t I die?’” When I express sympathy, she laughs a warm, wheezy laugh. “Don’t worry, darling. I am strong. Doctors have told me that in six months it might get better, so I’m holding on to that. I’ve got to be brave and positive. What else can we do? And I have got this beautiful record, which I do want people to hear.”

Her new album, She Walks in Beauty, is a blend of poetry and music, recorded with Warren Ellis, the composer and multi-instrumentalist best known for his collaborations with Nick Cave. Faithfull’s tender and nuanced readings of 19th-century British Romantic poetry are set to Ellis’s opaque yet mesmeric soundscapes.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time,” says Faithfull, whose passion for the Romantics was fostered by an English teacher, Mrs Simpson, at St Joseph’s Convent School in Reading. “She really helped me to understand them deeply when I was a teenager, and they’ve stayed with me all my life.” Faithfull quotes a telling line from Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale”: “I have been half in love with easeful death,” then adds, “I know that feeling! I will always love these poems. They are a mixture of dark and light, so much wisdom and beauty. Ah, man, you know, I would have loved to be a poet myself. There are rock and roll poets, like Bob Dylan and Nick Cave – but not me.”

Faithfull left school at 16, after being talent spotted by the Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who notoriously described her as “an angel with big tits”. At the time, she was singing folk songs and acting in student theatre. “I never imagined myself as a pop singer,” she says. “I was very grand, and pop seemed a bit low to me. I wanted to go to university or drama school, which would have been good for me. It would have given me time to grow up.” But her first single, As Tears Go By, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in 1964, made her a star at 17, and changed the course of her life. “I was much too young,” says Faithfull now. “I was singing songs of experience, and I didn’t have any.”

But she adds: “Eventually I always end up where I was meant to be. I now have life experience. Life and near-death experience. Many times! Not just once.”

At this point, 15 minutes into our conversation, Faithfull asks if we can take a break. “I’m really sorry, darling. I’m finding it hard to breathe.”

The first time I met Faithfull was in a rehearsal room in east London in 2009. She was sitting on a bar stool, golden hair swept back, right hand tucked into the waistband of her black leather trousers, left hand holding a lit cigarette. As her band struck up a familiar chord sequence, she sang As Tears Go By, her smoky voice imbuing her teenage hit with a weathered sensuality that left you in no doubt that you were listening to a woman who had shed more than her fair share of tears.

The American producer Hal Willner was at the sound desk that day, looking on with rapture. “Oh my God,” sighs Faithfull, when I remind her. “I wonder sometimes how I live on the planet without Hal.” Willner produced four albums for her, from the late 1980s onwards, and was instrumental in guiding her late career renaissance as a dramatic interpreter of other artists’ songs. She had frequently discussed her poetry project with Willner, but while she was in hospital with Covid last April, he caught the virus and died. “He was my best friend, really. It’s so painful,” says Faithfull. “But, of course, a lot of people have lost loved ones to Covid. I’m not alone.”

Later, when I speak to Ellis via Zoom from his home studio, he tells me: “Hal contacted me the day before he died, because he was so worried about Marianne. I knew he had Covid, and I asked, ‘How are you?’ He said, ‘Well, I think I’m through the worst of it.’ The next day I got a message: ‘Hal’s dead.’ It was so confusing. Such a shock.”

She Walks in Beauty is dedicated to Willner, who was instrumental in bringing Ellis and Faithfull together when Cave, Ellis and other members of the Bad Seeds performed as the backing band on her brilliant 2004 album Before the Poison. Faithfull and Ellis went on to become good friends and, before the pandemic, Ellis would drop in for “a cup of tea and lemon drizzle cake on a regular basis”.

The subject of Romantic poetry came up when Ellis was working on the soundtrack for a French radio documentary about Shelley, in 2018. “His poems fell really heavily for me, I just found them impenetrable,” he recalls. “So I turned up at Marianne’s with a book one day. She was in bed watching TV, and I was like, ‘Marianne, I don’t f------ get this stuff.’ She just picked up the book and started reading aloud, and instantly it came to life. I said, ‘How do you do that?’ And she replied, ‘It’s just a bloody song, Warren!’”Although she has written some fantastic songs of her own over the years, Faithfull is better known for reinventing other people’s works. “Watching her do a vocal in a studio is one of the most extraordinary things I’ve seen; she has literally reduced six grown men to a blubbering mess with one take,” says Ellis. “And then she’ll kind of look incredulous and ask, ‘Was that all right?’”

Faithfull finally started work on her poetry album in March 2020, recording some of her favourite poems in a studio set up in a spare bedroom. Then Covid-19 struck her down. At the time, Ellis was living in Paris with his French wife and their two children and, he recalls, Faithfull’s manager François Ravard “sent me seven poems without any music, and I honestly didn’t know if there was going to be any more.”

The original plan had been to record with a band of musicians but, instead, Ellis wound up working alone in his home studio. “I approached it more like a film score than a song. The text is so vivid, and full of awe and wonder, and Marianne’s delivery is so timeless – the freedom I felt was extraordinary. I would put it on, eight hours a day, over and over and over, chopping together different sounds, almost like musique concrète, and get lost in this recitation.” Nick Cave asked to play on the album, so Ellis sent him loops to which Cave added piano, and the great ambient producer Brian Eno also contributed.

For Ellis, the whole experience is now inextricably tied up with those uncertain early days of the pandemic. “What was happening was so out of my hands and making this became a meditative experience,” he says. “The poems were really like mantras… It was just so good for the soul in the strangest of times.”

And then Faithfull recovered. “The amazing thing is she pulled through and she wasn’t happy with some of her readings, and said she could do better,” Ellis says. “So she went back and did some more, and read the bloody ‘Lady of Shallot’ [by Tennyson], this 15-minute epic that we put at the end of the album. That was inspiring.”

Another of the additional tracks she recorded was Byron’s “So We’ll Go No More a Roving”. When Faithfull calls me back, having recovered some of her strength, she tells me that her original plan had been to sing the words to the same melody that Joan Baez used in 1964. “But I couldn’t do it. I may never sing again. This thing with my lungs has been very bad.”

Recently, Faithfull was quoted complaining that the impact of Covid on live performances had left her with serious financial problems. “Oh, I don’t want to talk about that,” she says brusquely. “Me and my big mouth. We’ve all suffered, let’s just say that.”

One of the joys of talking to Faithfull over the years is that she is naturally outspoken and uncensored, but she seems to be making a belated effort to rein herself in. She admits to being irritated by the persistent image of her as a muse for the genius of Jagger. “I really don’t like that. But at the same time, it could be worse. To be a muse for the Rolling Stones is not that bad. Anita Pallenberg really liked that job, she loved it. For me, it was a bit of a put-down. But so what? I don’t want to complain because, you know, I’ve had a wonderful life. And yes, Mick broke my heart, but he also taught me so much about music and writing songs. I learned how to make records with Mick and Keith. I wouldn’t be who I am without that. Is sexism that important? Not to me!”

Her descent into heroin addiction in the 1970s left her angelic image in tatters and her voice both lower and rougher, a transformation that she employed to devastating effect on her masterful 1979 comeback album, Broken English. At the time, she says, “I really thought I was going to die young. I thought, ‘Right, just for once, and maybe for the last time, I’m going to reveal who I really am.’ Then I didn’t croak, and I realised I wasn’t going to croak, possibly for a long time. So I just had to get on with it.”

In the four decades since, Faithfull has produced a fantastic body of work: 13 adventurous albums of complex songs in which she brings to bear the poles of her experience, from “incredibly pure to incredibly wicked”, and accepts the contradictions within her personality. “I am very extreme. It’s one or the other: death or glory. That’s it.”

At 74, she says she is coming to terms with the fading of her once-magnetic sexual allure. “To a lot of men, if you’re not in any kind of sexual category, you don’t exist. Although I had some wonderful sexual experiences when I was young, it is a relief now that I don’t have to worry about that. Although I do worry about it,” she adds, referring to the fact that she insisted that this interview be conducted by phone rather than video call, “because I won’t let you see me!”

She reserves the use of Zoom for the weekly group sessions she attends for recovering addicts. “At first I didn’t like it, but now it’s fascinating,” she says. “You can go to a meeting in America, or anywhere in the world, any time. It’s a great help. What would we all do during this pandemic, those of us who have had problems with drugs and alcohol, if we couldn’t go to meetings on Zoom? We’d all be blind drunk! But obviously we can’t really talk about that, because it’s anonymous!” Again she laughs her croaky, wheezing laugh.

“Don’t worry, darling. I’m not having a good day with my breathing, but it’s OK. I didn’t expect to live this long. Now, I not only don’t do drugs and don’t drink, I don’t smoke either. Damage has been done, but I am very stoic. I’ve made a beautiful album with Warren and I want people to know about it and to hear it. As for the future, well, I’m not going to worry about that now.”

She Walks in Beauty, by Marianne Faithfull with Warren Ellis, will be released by BMG next Friday

Re: Good news from Marianne Faithful
Posted by: MisterDDDD ()
Date: April 25, 2021 06:48

Thank you kindly, Cristiano.

So great to see her getting some great interviews and press, a true icon and warrior.
Love that she attends zoom recovery meetings.. good on her. smileys with beer

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