Faithfull: An Autobiography (1994)

Faithfull: An Autobiography

A searing autobiography by one of rock 'n' roll's most tragic and romantic figures. A descendant of Austrian novelist Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the beautiful Faithfull was discovered by Rolling Stones manager Andrew Oldham in 1964 and became an instant pop celebrity with her recording of the brooding "As Tears Go By,'' a song Oldham asked Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to write for her. In a short time, Faithfull had become an internationally famous music and movie star, but she had little control over her image or artistic output. With the aid of rock biographer Dalton (Mr. Mojo Risin': Jim Morrison, the Last Holy Fool, 1991, etc.), she describes her struggle against the passive ``Angel Doll'' persona foisted on her by the press and her relationship to the Stones, especially Jagger, for whom she left husband John Dunbar in 1966. A dark romanticism -- what she calls a "Walter Pater aestheticism,'' replete with flashes of everything from astrology to black magic -- pervades the narrative, which is chock-full of encounters with pop legends (John Lennon is "amusingly cruel''; Allen Ginsberg "has never been hip''). Faithfull, who's had her own share of same-sex dalliances, suggests it was sexual tensions among the highly repressed Stones that gave them their manic energy: ``Who was the great love of [Jagger's] life? Actually, I think it was Keith.'' The tone is both compelling and pathetic as Faithfull details two decades of drug abuse and numerous lonely attempts to escape her addiction. From watching a lover commit suicide to recent singing and acting successes on her own terms, Faithfull has lived enough for three or four people--yet she is only 47.

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Faithfull: An Autobiography


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