Vixen Of The Violin: The Anna Phoebe Column (No. 24)
This week, our intrepid violinist gets all awestruck by Marianne Faithfull, plays a gig with a Rubberman, tinkles around with Jon Lord – and gets all awestruck over Marianne Faithfull again. Check out all her columns here.
Just finished reading Marianne Faithfull’s Memories, Dreams And Reflections. There’s a quote on the front cover from the Independent On Sunday who quite rightly call her, ‘The ultimate rock-chick’. She’s ousted all my dream-dinner-dates to be in the top position of someone
I’d like to have around the dinner table. Preferably as close to me as possible, so I can suck up all her stories and rock aura through osmosis, and come away from the night a little wiser and a littler cooler. For now, reading the book will have to do.
Of course, I am not going to run off with my dog and violin to sit on a wall somewhere and shoot heroin for the next few years. That’s not really my thing, but hopefully her next book will be some sort of bible on how to get to being her, without the years of drug abuse and homelessness. Hmm. Apart from a sneaking suspicion that this is simply not possible, there is also the problem of me being born a few decades too late.
Just in case you live in a parallel universe and don’t know who she is, google her, then download her 1979 album Broken English from iTunes.
There are a FEW tips I can take away from the book – the main thing I come away with is a LONG and classic reading list. Marianne, (and I feel that after being seduced into her world I am entitled to call her Marianne, and not Faithfull), is a very well read woman – either that
or her ability to bluff her way through a who’s who of literature is phenomenal. Each page is littered with quotes and references to great writers from Burroughs to Brecht, to Eliot and Marlowe, Allen Ginsberg to Primo Levi.
Her introductory chapter ends with the perfectly chosen Oscar Wilde quote: “I can resist anything but temptation”, before inviting us in to read of her ‘wicked, wicked ways’. Luckily for me, there is an extensive index at the back of the book which lists every reference and every book. It reads like a rock ’n’ roll who’s who of anyone and everyone in music and literature. My ‘one-click’ order button on Amazon will be going into overdrive.
Marianne Faithfull aside, it has been an inspiring week! I went to see two fantastic shows – the play Becky Shaw at the Almeida Theatre, which has ultra-witty dialogue, and the hilarious one liners had the whole audience in stitches. It’s a modern comedy about a terrible blind date and its disastrous aftermath – the characters are fantastic. I HIGHLY recommend it.
I also saw La Soiree – the cabaret act at The Big Top. I was actually performing there for a private party; the family had hired the entire show for the night (glad to see the economic recession hasn’t hit everyone!). It features performers like The Incredible Rubberman, who forces his entire body through a tennis racket (!), rollerskating hula hoop girls and erotic acrobats, who take a bath while swinging from the ceiling. Perfect Valentine’s date - www.la-soiree.com
Most inspiring of all was my day with Jon Lord. We spent a good six hours in his music room, he at his grand piano and me with my violin. My musical soulmate! I came back to London absolutely buzzing. I’m really, really excited to be working with him and can’t wait for our next day together! Watch this space!
In the meantime, you can follow my daily tweets at www.twitter.com/annaphoebe
Inspiration Track For the Week:
Marianne Faithfull Broken English