“My mother, Eva, was the Baroness Erisso. She came from a long line of Austro-Hungarian aristocrats, the von Sacher-Masochs. Her great-uncle was Leopold Baron von Sacher-Masoch, whose novel Venus in Furs had given rise to the term masochism. During the war, Eva and my grandparents, Flora and Arthur, lived in the Hungarian Institute in Vienna, where they were more or less free from harassment by the Nazis. My grandmother was Jewish, and the family was in great danger throughout the war (and even greater danger after the Russians invaded Austria in 1945). Eva was raped by occupying Russians soldiers, got pregnant and had an abortion. She was worn out by the privations of the war, and then along came my father, Major Glynn Faithfull, who was working as a spy behind the lines with British Intelligence.” Into this world was born Marianne Faithfull, who was to become the angel of Swinging London. Her first single, “As Tears Go By,” was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and became an international hit. She settled into a love affair with Jagger, however her increasing passion for drugs would soon leave her a street junkie living among the remains of a wall bombed out during WWII. From these depths, she managed to reinvent herself artistically and take hold of her demons. Told with a survivor’s frankness, Faithfull’s tale is populated by the likes of Dylan, the Beatles, Kenneth Anger, Madonna, James Fox, Anita Pallenberg, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, and especially Mick Jagger. Roughly two-thirds of the book is devoted to her years in the Rolling Stones Women’s Auxiliary, however, this is, after all, the part of her tale which most readers will hunger for. While never appearing evasive or less than forthright, her descriptions of Mick are told with the class befitting a women of her breeding.
Publisher: Little, Brown
Paperback: 310 pages