Sunday, March 24, 2013

Marianne Faithfull: Green Are Your Eyes

In his recent The Joy of Essex, says Adam Sweeting, Jonathan Meades:
rattled off a list of cult-like startups which had flourished briefly - New Harmony, the Village Society, the Redemption Society - and detoured to the sinister-sounding Q Camp at Hawkspur Green, where the homeless and the drug-addicted experienced "tough love". They may even have been subjected to the libido-liberating Frigidity Machine, created by Theodore Faithfull, grandfather of dowager-chantoosie Marianne.
And there is more to Marianne Faithfull's background than that. In an article for PsyArt Dianne Hunter says:
Marianne’s mother, Eva Hermine von Sacher-Masoch, Baroness Erisso, had been a dancer in Max Reinhardt's company, an actress, and then a World War II refugee who, thanks to Major Robert Glynn Faithfull, escaped from occupied Vienna to England thinking she would live in a secure British conventional marriage. Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Marianne Faithfull’s great-great uncle and the author of Venus in Furs (1870), gave us the term "masochism.” 
Her paternal grandfather, Theodore Faithfull, a sexologist who invented a “Frigidity Machine,” sought to liberate British libido. Marianne Faithfull’s father, a member of the British external Secret Intelligence Service MI6, devoted himself after World War II to Oxfordshire hippie-style communal living, much to the disappointment of his deracinated and declassed wife, who longed during Marianne’s childhood for a more stable and traditional home.
But what is the importance of Marianne herself? explains:
When "Swinging London" was the center of the European music universe in the mid-to-late '60s, Marianne Faithfull was the unofficial queen of the scene. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were the biggest bands in the world, but the Beatles' wives and girlfriends didn't caught in a drug bust naked (except for a rug) in a roomful of naughty men from the music scene. Marianne Faithfull did. That incident, the infamous 1967 Redlands bust at Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards' house, caused a scandalous sensation that will forever be mentioned in association with Marianne Faithfull. 
Marianne was one of the goddesses of the music scene's full-fledged plunge in the sexual revolution. Her beauty and talent were admired and envied by many. Marianne left her first husband, John Dunbar, for Mick Jagger, and Marianne and Mick's relationship was considered the epitome of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. 
Her lifestyle was a far cry from the angelic image she portrayed when she recorded her first big pop hit, "When Tears Go By," written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. After all, Marianne went to school in a convent; she came from a well-to-do, educated background. If ever there was a case of a "good girl gone bad," this was it.
Green are Your Eyes is taken from her 1966 LP North Country Maid. AllMusic says it is:
very close to a pure folk album, with a bit of influence from pop, rock, blues, and jazz. Largely overlooked even by Faithfull fans, it's actually a quite respectable effort, and probably her best LP ... from the time when her voice was still on the high side.

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