View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
6 September 2019updated 02 Sep 2021 5:14pm

Girls keep it together in front of their rock’n’roll idols. It’s men who turn into gibbering wrecks

Middle aged men are complete emotional wrecks verging on hysteria a lot of the time.

By Suzanne Moore

Fandom is an odd thing, attributed mostly to silly young girls. Having been one myself I don’t think young girls are daft at all. Middle-aged men, though, are complete emotional wrecks verging on hysteria a lot of the time. Sure, their predilections are catalogued and alphabetised away, but that’s just a defence mechanism to stop them going doolally.

I realised this at a do years ago in the mid-Nineties. I’d gone to Dublin to interview Marianne Faithfull, who had just written an autobiography. She lived in Maynooth in the grounds of an estate. There was no set length on the interview as there so often is these days. We spent a long, relaxed day together as she showed me round, ordered in food and beguiled me with a magical mixture of down-and-dirty gossip and her own fragility. A lot of the then It girls like Kate Moss had sought her out, as she’d been the original rock chick. Jagger had, of course, come on to Naomi Campbell, who had said, “I just can’t go out with another Leo.” Everyone knows the issue with Jagger is his star sign.

Marianne cackled away and we had a lot of fun. She remembered the best night she ever had. With Keith Richards. Another time in bed with Jagger, he, too, had admitted his lust for Keith. Sometimes she and Anita Pallenberg fooled around in front of the boys to try to make them jealous, but everyone always came back to Keith. Of course.

I eventually told her that I had indeed met her before – when she used to be off her head at Vibrators gigs upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s – but she wouldn’t remember.

A few days later the phone rang. When it’s Marianne Faithfull on the phone, you know from the purr. She wanted me to come to her do.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

It was some party all right. The woman has had a life. Alex Higgins was there, with whom she had some kind of flingette, as were assorted rock stars, musicians and theatre people and anyone who was anyone in the Sixties.

I was standing there taking it all in with Nick Hornby, the late, great Gordon Burn and Damien Hirst. I had no time for Hirst in those days as he was forever getting his willy out.

Suddenly they all went still.

“Oh my God, it’s him. It’s HIM!”

I glanced over and saw a stout man with a very tall girlfriend.

“I just want to go and tell him what he means to me,” said Gordon.

“Suzanne, you do it! Make him talk to us.”

They were frozen now. Hardly able to speak. Except Hirst, who swore a lot.

The room was packed with many celebs but everyone, it seemed, had been reduced to adolescent awe by this grumpy-looking bloke.

Marianne swept over, all husky charm and knowing looks. “I’m so delighted Van could make it. Aren’t you?”

Content from our partners
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health
How can we deliver better rail journeys for customers?

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU