BY Job Brother
March 27 2009 12:00 AM ET
Marianne Faithfull is
one of those rare entertainers whose life story is
more intriguing, juicy, and dramatic than any role she has
played for cinema or stage, and more full of woe and redemption
than any song she's sung.
In 1964, at age 17 --
so the famous story goes -- Faithfull was spotted at a party by
the Rolling Stones' manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, who described
her as "an angel with big tits." Before long she had
her own singing career which, while successful, was eclipsed by
her notoriously swinging relationship with Mick Jagger. The
excesses of the '60s sent Faithfull into a downward spiral
of drug addiction, a suicide attempt, and alienation from her
circle of famous friends.
After years of living
as an anonymous junkie on the streets of SoHo, Faithfull
slowly, but brilliantly, rose from the depths to create one
landmark album after another, each one securing the talents of
music industry greats, many of whom cite Marianne as an
influence and muse.
Her latest album,
Easy Come, Easy Go
, is yet another triumph. Contributors to the project include
Cat Power, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Antony Hegarty, Keith
Richards, and Jarvis Cocker, among others.
Advocate.com:Iwas listening to your new album and the song "The
Phoenix" [by Judee Sill] began playing, and I gave an
excited, audible yelp that startled my poor boyfriend. Can you
tell me what drew you to record this song?Marianne Faithfull:
There was a connection, you know -- [Judee Sill] became a
junkie and died in a hole somewhere, but she wrote all these
wonderful songs. And I think people need to turn back. I think
if my record can help with that -- that people will listen to
Bessie Smith or Judee Sill, even Billie Holiday -- all this is
a great help. Judee Sill really needs to be found again.