Anita Pallenberg remembered by Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull recalls her friend and fellow 60s survivor, who styled the Stones, made her own art and was afraid of nobody

Talking about Anita is something I have to do. I dont 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 didnt 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 dont want to sound sentimental or sappy, shes worth more than that. She was so important to me.

I dont think wed ever have become friends if it wasnt for Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards, who became Pallenbergs boyfriend after she dated another Rolling Stone, Brian Jones]. We werent 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. Id give her books, and shed 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 wasnt that she talked about it it was almost if all that stuff didnt exist. I was always so jealous of her being able to do that.

Keith
Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg, with their newborn son Marlon, London, 1969. Photograph: Alamy

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 Keiths moll was not necessarily her destiny at all. Keith is a very old-fashioned macho guy, who when hes in love with a woman, wants her to be completely focused on him. Im not putting that down its just how it is. Anita rebelled a bit, of course. She did Barbarella when he told her not to. She did Performancewhen he told her not to [laughs] for obvious reasons! But I have to say that taking drugs does not help your work. Dont 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
Anita Pallenberg and Marianne Faithful, London, 2002. Photograph: Richard Young/Rex Features

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 Ive 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 arent always like that, I tell you. They had very difficult times. We all did Anita could be a difficult woman, and I dont 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. Im going to cure myself with diet! she said. If only Id said, Are you out of your fucking mind, you nitwit! If you dont treat diabetes with insulin, it goes to your whole nervous system. Shed 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 Teasdales 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. Thats Anita to me.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/dec/17/anita-pallenberg-remembered-by-marianne-faithfull-obituary-2017

Destroy Diabetes?

The NEW Diabetes Herbal Therapy

The $0.67 LIFE-SAVER That Your Doctors NEVER Tell You About!

banner03

Click Here To Learn More