Sunday, June 19, 2016

It Was 20 Years Ago Today

I was 21 when I married Fred in 1996. For reasons completely unknown, we had a big fancy wedding. I wore a crown. He wore a morning suit. Oy. Marrying Fred was the best decision of my life; the wedding, however, was not the best day of my life. Yesterday was. We had a big party celebrating 20 years, surrounded by the love and warmth of friends and family at home. Maybe what they say is true? 40 is the new 20. A connubial toast to my best half:

Remember when Jim and Cindy Walsh celebrated THEIR 20th anniversary on 90210? Brenda’s smarmy boyfriend Stuart Carson highjacked the party by proposing with that tacky diamond ring? Of course Fred does. Because he indulged me for god knows how many years of watching multi-episode per day reruns of one of my favorite shows - Beverly Hills 90210. You can have your Breaking Bad. You can have your Game of Thrones.; your Orange is the New Black. We had Donna, David, Dylan, Brenda, Brandon, Kelly, Steve, Andrea Zuckerman, and the owner of the Peach Pit Nat. I think this is one of the mysteries people ask about when they wonder how we are still together after all these years. I get a little annoyed when it's said that the key to a long term relationship is compromise. What a horrible downer of a word. I feel deflated just saying it. I rather think of successfully sharing a life with someone as a series of indulgences between each other. Sometimes they are serious. Sometimes they are Aaron Spelling.

When I met Fred - and even after I married him in 1996 - I kept my Madonna fandom/obsession on the down low. He didn’t need to know that on our wedding day, I chose Russian Red lips not because it’s the perfect blue-based red, but rather because MAC custom developed the color for her. Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone Penn Richie. He knew I was a fan but i don’t think he knew how intensely I adored and connected to her. This secret worship was instantly revealed on a quiet day in 1997 when Fred indulged me with a three hour plus afternoon at the movies to see Evita. This truly was an indulgence because those are three hours he could never get back.  He could have been on the floor of our shoebox apartment on Beacon Street in Boston with headphones on listening to the new live Rush CD his bandmate Dave gifted him with. And I would have let him because I know marriage is a two way street. I tried to hold it together and act all cool but as soon as the Evita credits rolled, when Fred looked at me and asked what I thought, I burst into tears. Big, wet sloppy tears. It was embarrassing but I honestly could not help it - the parallels between Madonna’s life and Evita’s were not unfounded on me and they struck a seriously emotional nerve. How lucky I was to have found a man that I could share this with.

From one feminist icon to another, in her incredible novel Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte penned the perfect summation of my feelings for Fred. Heathcliff said of Cathy: “I cannot live without my life. I cannot live without my soul.” That sums it up best. I couldn’t live without you. You are my life, you are my soul, and as our girl Madonna said of Sean in the liner notes of True Blue: YOU ARE THE COOLEST GUY IN THE UNIVERSE.  

*dress by Zara, boots Zadig & Voltaire, bee pin in hair Joan Rivers for QVC

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fool Me Once...

I started hearing about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar last year. Initially I thought, “Ooh Ravi Shankar who played with - and inspired - George Harrison. Didn’t he die? Why are people suddenly talking about him?” But I was mistakenly referring to SRI Ravi Shankar, not SRI SRI Ravi. This guy has a double Sri for some reason. He’s in the yogi “guru” world; does not play a sitar; and is apparently alive and well as he tours around the world, espousing goodness everywhere. I think it’s confusing, likening it to being a female pop star and stage naming yourself LADY LADY GAGA. Too close for close if you ask me.

Recently, Sri Sri announced that he reached out to ISIS to peacefully talk things out. Any question of the size of this man’s balls after naming himself after an honorary Beatle was immediately eradicated after I read this. Not even the Dalai Lama - or Gandhi’s ghost - has attempted this utterly bizarre act of “good” trying to trounce “evil.” Talk about an olive branch. Clearly, ISIS have bigger bombs on their minds as they immediately sent Sri Sri a response in the form of graphic photograph of a decapitated head. Sri Sri then announced, this evil is too big for him and that “military response” must be utilized.

Sometimes, as much as we want to walk the path and live our yoga fully, we have to remember that not everyone is on that same aforementioned path. Unfortunately, making amends, embracing forgiveness, and uplifting one another is not a prime motivating factor for all. It’s dangerous to confuse personal mindfulness for universal awareness. Sri Dharma Mittra once announced in class: “Wouldn’t it be boring if we all had the same karma?” Boring, yes. A little less heartbreaking, NO.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Kool As Kim Gordon

Even though I grew up in the age of 120 Minutes and the heyday of alternative college radio, I never really got Sonic Youth. Sure, I bought Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star when it came out because "Bull In The Heather" was intriguing. However, I had to agree with Ellen Page when she threw down with the devilish Jason Bateman in JUNO proclaiming SY to just be "a bunch of noise."

I personally encountered Thurston Moore twice. At an early screening of The Virgin Suicides at a women's film festival in Boston 15 (maybe 16?) years ago, I spotted a scrappy uber tall male in the lobby of the theater. Even though I was there with my own scrappy uber tall husband, my heart went a touch aflutter. When I sat down two rows behind him and a perfectly undone blonde, I realized instantly who it was. Sofia Coppola introduced the movie and thanked her "friend" Kim Gordon for giving her the Jeffrey Eugenides book upon which it was based. You go girls.

Two years later, Fred and I were sipping chais during a cold wintry New York City day at the Dean & Deluca on Broadway and Prince. It was a communal counter where you stood and ate or drank or ate AND drank. There was Mr. tall and scrappy once more quietly eating a sandwich right next to us. It was one of those excited moments where you think "We know who you are! Let's strike up a convo!" And then you quickly realize what a dumb idea that is. So we all just stood there and then our moment of kool was over.

After recently reading Gordon's absorbing bio Girl In A Band I am now a forever fan. Of hers. Sorry Thurston, Kim's searing account of how you obliterated your relationship is not something this feminist can easily digest. And speaking of feminism, Gordon gives the reader a plethora of lessons in how it's done. My favorite example had to be her accurate portrayal of what a pathetic example artists like Lana del Rey are to the female cause. "Equal pay and equal rights would be nice." Exactly! She also gloriously recounts her past encounters with stalwarts such as Neil Young, Kurt Cobain, and my personal favorite because she's so batshit crazy - Courtney Love. She confidently describes Love as possessing "tarantula L.A. glamour."  Tarantula. L.A. Glamour. Talk about a literary quote of gold. Again, you go girl (wink...smiley face...heart heart heart).

Behold the goddess at work:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Loving A Music Man Ain't Always What It's Supposed To Be

When I first caught a glimpse on my feed of fashion stylist L'Wren Scott's death a few weeks back, I felt a mixed tinge of sadness and guilt. Sad because anytime anyone young and vibrant dies it's well, sad, but guilt because I felt extremely jealous of Ms. Scott. A lot.

Jealousy is one of the many issues I try and work through on my yoga mat. It's a constant struggle. I want that big house. Why does Kate Moss get that body? Surely Gwyneth and Chris are happier in their new $14 million Malibu manse than I am in my 1965 ranch home. If my life was more like that of the uber glamorous L'Wren Scott, I'd have more access to my samadhi. Or so I thought.

Scott was a fashion stylist and designer who worked with Hollywood's elite. Nicole Kidman was her client. Gorgeousness abound. And she dated Mick Jagger. Red lipped, over six feet tall (I'm only 5'5" - WHY????), and always impeccably dressed, she seemed to create the path that rock wives such as myself could only dream of aspiring to. I saw an interview with her a few years ago where she talked about one of her hobbies: buying vintage jewels! I knew she wasn't talking about the plastic crap my mother hauled out of bubbe's dresser. This was Sotheby's, Christie's, and other dealers-of-antique-carats-so-exclusive-I-don't-have-a-clue-as-to-what-their-name-is personally delivering the goods to wherever Scott and Jagger were currently residing: London, Paris, NYC. It didn't matter. I salivated at the thought and hated that it was somebody's truth and not my own.

None of us will ever know what Scott's complete truth, or satya, was. As we all know now, she hung herself with an Hermes scarf. When I read that horrifying detail of her death, the guilt of jealousy morphed into a spine tingling empathy.

Speculations abound: her business was going under! Mick was leaving her! The other Stones didn't want her on the tour! Whatever.

Here's what can drive one to the brink of hanging off a door handle from an Hermes scarf: Intimacy. It takes on a whole new meaning when you share your life with someone who shares his life so intensely and personally with so many different people. I have no idea what it's like to build a life with someone on the level of a Mick Jagger. But I do know what it's like to share a life with a working musician who builds immediate and intense bonds with everyone he works with in the studio making a record; on the bus traveling the world; on the stage sharing with fellow musicians every night; and of course, with an audience. Take that and multiply it by millions and we might get a glimpse of comprehending how much artists such as Jagger give of themselves. For some of us, its too much to handle. I know sometimes I feel like it is for me.

But I knew what I was getting into when I went on my first date with a certain drummer almost 20 years ago. And Scott surely knew what she was getting into dating a certain frontman named Mick. Following our path, or dharma, must be a somewhat conscious decision. We need to recognize the balance or union - or YOGA - to make it thrive.

I hope Scott is now shining her light. Godspeed dear woman. Godspeed.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Beautiful Darling

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when my obsession with Warhol muse Candy Darling began. It must have been sometime in the mid nineties when college graduation was on the horizon and the crisis of my twenties set in (okay, not so difficult to pinpoint after all). Finding myself became more and more of a nightmarish prospect so I threw myself into the art history throes of Warhol and all his glory. Darling was A GEM in my eyes. A drag queen so beautiful, no one could believe "she" was a "he." Hand me the check - where could I pay this bill?

When I actually did start to find myself, working as a struggling, albeit up-and-coming, pop culture journalist in Boston, Massachusetts, I fervently inhaled newly released books with the finger crossed intention of interviewing every author. When former New York club kid (and Geraldo guest - remember the awesomeness of pre Fox News Geraldo?) James St. James released his sex, drugs, and murderous memoir DISCO BLOODBATH, I faxed my request for a press copy faster than you could say: CLUB U.S.A. 

The book, which later became the subject of the cult classic Macauley Culkin/Seth Green movie PARTY MONSTER, was delicious. I read the whole damn thing in two sittings and could not WAIT to interview St. James. It was a "phoner" (industry speak for interviewing someone on the phone - I know, I was in the "inner circle") and St. James and I hit it up like two club kids on a mutual quest for Ecstasy. Of course, I finagled the convo towards Warhol and his factory crowd and without missing a beat, St. James schooled me in not so subtly implying that they were all "a mess." I nervously laughed and told myself he was probably right but I didn't want to fully admit that because, well, the illusion of Ms. Darling, whom I had coined my pen name after - I was Lulu Darling, her illegitimate daughter - was so beautiful, she couldn't possibly have any flaws.

Or could she?

I remember seeing clips a few years ago of a documentary called BEAUTIFUL DARLING. "Finally!," I thought. "Candy is getting her due." Then I put it in the back of my mind file with all of the books/films/documentaries/Carl Sagan articles that I would get to some day. This happens when a woman finally finds herself. She doesn't have one god damn free minute to catch up culturally!

As luck would find me, BEAUTIFUL DARLING recently became available on the Netflix stream. After an epic fight with my better half, I decided to hunker down and learn from this beyond beautiful creature. All I can say is, St. James was kind. "Mess" is a gentle term to describe what went down with Candy and all of her shenanigans in Union Square and at Max's Kansas City.  It left me feeling empty and a little depressed. Depressed mostly for her but also, for all that time I wasted on a complete and utter fantasy of a world in my head. Good thing I kind of found myself. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Crossfire Hurricane

Dharma: an individual's duty fulfilled by observance of custom or law.

Seeing as my moniker is track 17 from Exile on Main Street,  I couldn't let HBO's recent broadcast of Crossfire Hurricane go by without an opinion (or three). 

Obviously, I am a huge Rolling Stones fan. I don't think there is a playlist on my ipod without at least one of their stellar tracks. Moonlight Mile seems to always work alongside a downward facing dog. 

So how can anyone go wrong with 50 years of the Glimmer Twins and co.? Well, the biggest - and in my opinion - lethal error of CH was apparently at the insistence of the boys themselves:  that the interviews solely be conducted in an audio fashion. Maybe it was the British accents; maybe it was Jagger's insistence that "bad behavior" led to them "behaving badly" (I'm paraphrasing); the audio lent an uncomfortably Spinal Tap quality to the full two hours. HOWEVER, a little Nigel Tufnel never hurt anyone and I did pretty much feel CH was awesome.

Charlie Watts was the biggest revelation of the night. Talk about following the path.  He could not give even one fig about the glamours or the celebrity, but hey, why the hell should he? He's playing in the greatest rock and roll band EVER. And let's face it, they were great even in their infant stages. The early footage is eerie, it's so good. He also had crazy cool hair (yes...I love a drummer with long locks and no ego).

Watts is a revelation but it's Richards who steals the show. After his and Mick's wacked out arrest and jail sentencing for drug possession, he took the whole outlaw persona and ran with it. Again, following the path. Meticulously cultivating it, spurred on by one too many pairs of handcuffs. There is truly no one greater. And no one truer. Watch this clip and revel in all their greatness:

Friday, June 8, 2012

Please Don't Put Your Life in the Hands of a Rock and Roll Band

After frying my brain cells on E.L. James' shameless comedic gold of Fifty Shades of Grey, I decided to give Pattie Boyd's Wonderful Tonight a whirl. A fellow rock widow friend highly recommended it to me a few months back,  and man-oh-man, was she right. EVERY person with a history of seeing/dating/marrying/cohabitating/concubining with a musician must read this book. I inhaled every word and cannot stop thinking about it. Boyd is a gifted writer with a tale (or three hundred) to tell and boy, does she. Kindle up my friends. Wonderful Tonight is a winner.