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.