High Times Greats: Interview With Marianne Faithfull

A candid conversation from the October, 1980 edition of High Times magazine.
HIgh Times/ Ebet Roberts

To celebrate Marianne Faithfull’s birthday December 29, we’re republishing a piece from October, 1980 in which she sat down with interviewer Ann Bardach to discuss a new album, a fresh sense of what she’d been through, and the balls to tell it like it really was.

Marianne Faithfull slouches in her hotel bed, nursing a sore throat while talking on the telephone. Though semiclad in the finest of lace and silk black minislips, her modesty is shielded by a quilted cover, secured in place beneath her chest by a tray precariously laden with a teapot, saucers of honey, plates of lemon and assorted teacups. Her impeccable diction is spoken through the huskiest tones heard since Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel. “Listen and understand that I intend to direct, yes, direct plays,” she explains emphatically into the receiver. “Then, you see, no one could call me another rock ‘n’ roll clone.”

The new Faithfull album takes its title and a lion’s share of its thematic concerns from the infamous, banned and highly esteemed 18th-century French novel, Les Liaisons dangereuses, by Choderlos de Lochs. Structured entirely around the letters written from one character to another, Les Liaisons remains a mesmerizing, sinister chronicle of the aristocracy’s peculiar penchant for intrigue and the amoral. (After Marie Antoinette literally lost her head, a copy of the not-for-ladies novel was found in her bedchamber, deceptively bound into a nondescript white book.) Published to a scandalized, but sufficiently titillated readership in 1782, Lachs’s novel gave new meaning to the word decadence. As opposed to de Sade’s romanticized cruelty, packaged in flypaper philosophy, Lochs stripped decadence of any lurking glitter, gloss or glory down to the bare bones of sterile self-degradation. It’s easy to see how such a novel would be of more than passing interest to one who attended and dropped out of both Catholic Convent School and the Rolling Stone Academy of Living Arts.

Marianne Faithfull was perhaps one of the few who wasn’t stunned senseless by the critical accolades and commercial bonanza of Broken English. Not long after the title track scurried up to the top of the charts, Faithfull and her backup assault troop were back home in London recording her next album. “This one is for art and me, not the critics,” Faithfull said firmly, while penning tunes in early April. “Fuck the critics.” Producer-maestro Mark Miller Mundy describes Broken English as “somewhat Gothic” in relation to what they were recording at press time, recalling that “someone we met in Germany compared listening to it with the same feeling he came away with after seeing Apocalypse Now.”

High Times: When you were 17, having made your first record, did you feel that you had an artistic impulse?

Faithfull: Oh no. I wanted to make some money. I was a cultural snob when I was 17. I suppose that I must have been extraordinary in the way that a 17-year-old girl is, from a convent in Reading. You have no idea if you are pretty or ugly or beautiful. There were no mirrors in my convent. I was probably amazing looking and I had this really extraordinary name. I’ve lost it all now of course.

High Times: While you were living with Mick Jagger you still had that attitude?

Faithfull: I didn’t live with Mick Jagger until three years after.

High Times: So that’s a myth.

Faithfull: Yes. Absolutely. You see, the myth is that I meet Mick Jagger, he writes “As Tears Go By,” I record it. That’s all shit. No—I met Andrew Oldham. He had an outtake, I recorded it. I only met Mick Jagger like “How do you do”—nothing. He was at the session and—I might not have known if I was pretty or beautiful, but I certainly knew I thought I was very special and I didn’t talk to people like that.

High Times: Because of the working-class thing or your own special beauty?

Faithfull: No, not the working class. No, no. Just because I was more special, and London at that time was, was all so cool.

High Times: Were you married to John Dunbar at that point?

Faithfull: No, no, no. No, I was just at school getting ready to go to university. John was at Cambridge. He was my boyfriend, he was my first boyfriend.

High Times: When do you meet again, live with Jagger?

Faithfull: That’s three years later. That’s 17, 18, 19. “As Tears Go By” was a hit in 1964. I immediately started to work like.. [Groans.] That really was the reason that I haven’t done anything. That’s what happens; I mean I’m not the only person that this has happened to.

High Times: You become a media phenomenon. But the role though was as this pretty, classy, mysterious girl.

Faithfull: I was so pure! I married John, I had Nicholas in 1966. I just worked very hard, and then when I was 19 and John was still not really doing anything, I was still going up to Manchester to do three clubs in one night, coming back with a thousand quid. I knew at that moment—it sounds so arrogant—but I could have done what I wanted and I decided to…

High Times: This is before the Stones?

Faithfull: Oh no, I’m married to John, I’ve had Nicholas and I’m now into my fourth hit. I got very sick of working so hard and I thought perhaps I should get with somebody with some money and then I wouldn’t have to work so hard. Because I was keeping the whole situation and I really got sick of it.

High Times: People associate your fame with Jagger and forget you were a star before you lived with him.

Faithfull: What really annoys me, the only thing that annoys me, is that it implies that I had to fuck Jagger before I got the record deal, which is bullshit! Nonsense! It so happened that Mick and Keith wrote “As Tears Go By.” That’s all they had to do with it.

High Times: When you did start living with Jagger, did you feel overshadowed?

Faithfull: Well I stopped making records.

High Times: How come you never got the credit on “Sister Morphine”?

Faithfull: Well, I suppose bad blood a lot.

High Times: But they acknowledge now that you wrote it, begrudgingly so.

Faithfull: No, what happened was Keith wrote to Allen Klein. This is what I’ve heard. I haven’t asked Keith because I haven’t seen him, but it’s possible because Keith does do these sudden fits of honor you know. He wrote to Allen Klein and said, “I don’t know whether you know this, but Marianne wrote the words to ‘Sister Morphine.’ Therefore she must get half the royalties.” Because that was something between me and Mick.

High Times: When was it written?

Faithfull: 1968. I guess when I did eventually live with Mick I just became very dazzled by it all. I’d been away from school by then for long enough to forget. My God, you know, how could I possibly compete against the Rolling Stones? Of course there was no need for me to compete, but I didn’t realize that.

High Times: It was also a time when women had limited roles in the rock world. You made a nice home for Mick to be creative in.

Faithfull: All this stuff, yeah. Yeah.

High Times: Which brings us to Tony Sanchez’s book, Up and Down with the Rolling Stones. Did you cooperate ?

Faithfull: He wasn’t a chauffeur, he was the dealer!

High Times: In Sanchez’s book, does he lie, does he distort, do you have another version? There is an incredible chapter with you, him and his girl friend, Madeline. The three of you go to bed and she overdoses and you come out of bed and you write a song about her…

Faithfull: Madeline. [Pause.] Obviously months went by in between.

High Times: You would say that in its own crude way it’s an honest book?

Faithfull: Sort of, yes.

High Times: It doesn’t bother you? The Rolling Stones are upset about this book.

Faithfull: But I mean—how can I be upset? I saved Tony’s fucking neck when Madeline died. I went to the inquest and did the whole thing for him. I knew Tony wasn’t going to slag me off in that book.

High Times: You’re very much the convent girl in it. Even during the Stones’ first bust, when you’re “the naked girl in the fur rug,” there is still a little halo over you.

Faithfull: Well, that’s nonsense!

High Times: Not “the naked girl in the fur rug” in the London bust?

Faithfull: Oh yes! Oh yes!

High Times: Is that in the police report?

Faithfull: I don’t know. I mean nobody would ever have known if I hadn’t said I was. We’d gone down to the country to get high on acid. It was the first acid, Owsley acid, we had ever had—any of us. I didn’t know the routine yet. I didn’t bring a change of clothes. We spent the day having a wonderful time in the woods and everything in the country. When we got back, I had a bath. I had nothing else to wear, but on the bed in the room was a beautiful—not really that beautiful but it looked beautiful at the time because I was very stoned—rug. So while my bath was running—you know, you can’t wait to get your clothes off because you’ve been sweating—I took all my clothes off and put the rug around me like you would a bath towel. Ran the bath, came down and sat down with my rug around me, at which point 25 policemen walked in. That’s all.

High Times: There wasn’t a panic that cops had run in on everybody’s first trip?

Faithfull: No, no, no. We were just quietly coming down by then, having a few joints. It only hit us like five hours later what had happened. It was really funny. There was nothing really there. I don’t know what they expected. I didn’t have anything on me anyway. I didn’t even have any clothes on. I just had a rug on. So there was nothing found in the pocket of my rug. Oh fuck! I didn’t know that they were so angry about that [Sanchez book]. I gathered that Keith thought and felt the same way about it almost that I did.

High Times: With the image of all of you as junkies, what did—

Faithfull: I think Tony overdid it there. I’m sure. I was already out of it by then. I never went to the south of France. I was gone. I really don’t think it could have been that bad. See, I think the turning point is that tiny incident where Anita [Pallenberg] and Keith said they were going to give Tony back his dope and he waited outside till four o’clock in the morning and they never did. I’m not joking. It’s so typical. “I’m going to get them!” You know, Tony said things in that book that he really shouldn’t have said. It doesn’t matter, it’s not the point. It was just cruel. About Anita. I’m very fond of Anita. She’s one of my few friends in New York and I see her when I can. Everyone sort of hates her at the moment. Because Anita was at the Mudd Club when I performed, Mick wouldn’t come down.

High Times: He wanted to come see the show?

Faithfull: Well, I’m quite glad he didn’t come, because it wasn’t such a great show.

High Times: You would have felt bad disappointing him?

Faithfull: Yes, I would actually, because I think he’s proud of me at the moment. And I want him to be.

High Times: What was your great moment of truth, your deus ex machina? Was that Ned Kelly, the overdose on the set?

Faithfull: Oh yeah, the overdose. Already when I was doing Ophelia, I would get back from work and stare at the river, you know. I was hardly into junk then at all yet.

High Times: Not yet?

Faithfull: I only really got into junk because I wanted to know. He was always being busted for what—

High Times: For what you had?

Faithfull: Yeah. And it’s not on. And I knew what he wanted to really do. He wanted to be such, all that, you know—–

High Times: A superstar.

Faithfull: Yeah! And I would have held him back or something or I would have died. Probably I would have died. I’d been doing Ophelia. I’m not a real actress. The only way I can do something like that, is to become…

High Times: The part.

Faithfull: Yes, so it’s possible that I had a leftover thing—feeling from playing a suicide. It was all very quick.

High Times: Playing the suicide, wanting to be an addict and going to Australia?

Faithfull: No, no, no, no. Nothing to do with being an addict. Playing Ophelia, Brian dying, the whole Hyde Park thing and then going off to Australia. It had nothing to do with smack.

High Times: Was it to do with breaking up the relationship with Jagger?

Faithfull: He was amazing. I mean, he saved my life!! I don’t know how I did it. I still don’t know how I managed to take 150 Tuinals. That’s not funny!

High Times: Let’s jump a decade. When you chose to record Broken English, I understand that this book, Hitler’s Children, inspired you to write the title track.

Faithfull: Ben [her husband] bought that book. He wanted to write the RAF Love Song. But I’m a quicker reader.

High Times: The Luftwaffe Love Song—not the Royal Air Force?

Faithfull: Well no, the RAF is Red Army Faction, Baader-Meinhof symbol. I happened to read it quicker and I was fascinated with [Ulrike] Meinhof because while we were at the end of this sort of beginning of the ’70s, while we were fucking up ourselves with drugs, or a lot of people were, they were going out robbing banks in Germany for 50 million deutsche marks. And it was interesting because it was like one of those “there but for the grace of God go I.” Except that most people say that when they look at me. But I’m still alive and she’s dead with a hole in the back of her neck. Suicide I believe. Hah!

High Times: It’s a great political song. I mean we haven’t heard things like that since “Blowing in the Wind.”

Faithfull: I’m not really very political. It’s simply my sum-up of that situation. She was the one that I felt was the only one who was politically sound and pure. Her aims were true in some way. Not right, but pure. And so pointless really. As pointless as being a junkie, but she was trying. The German people are so flipped by that war, you know. They have the highest suicide rate in the world in Berlin.

High Times: Highest overdoses too.

Faithfull: But all those people, Meinhof and Gudrun Ensen and all of them, came from East Germany. Personally, I think that’s the most brilliant thing the Russians have ever done is build that wall and keep it there. Because all that happens is it manifests itself in some kind of glamorous terrorism. Which is a really stupid thing to say, but you know what I mean. Whereas without it, something else might happen. Much bigger.

High Times: Why did you choose Heathcote Williams’s poem “Why D’Ya Do It?” to record?

Faithfull: I was looking for material. They’d just done a movie, the video of The Abdication of Queen Elizabeth II. Heathcote would love in a way—one of his fantasies is to be a bit, is to be Mick Jagger. He never would be because he’s more interested in art. He turned to me and said, “Well, I really wanted Tina Turner to do it.” So, I said, “Well, that’s great—Tina Turner or Diana Ross. Come on, Heathcote, they’re not going to do it.”

High Times: So you weren’t coaxed into doing it?

Faithfull: Oh no!

High Times: Didn’t you feel a little embarrassed singing it at first, a woman’s jealousy song?

Faithfull: Well, that rage had been building up for years! It did have to come out one day and now, thank God, it’s gone! It makes it all sound very dramatic, yes. I did it in one take, the vocal. We all did. It’s so ooh, you know, that was what was such a drag about the Mudd Club, you couldn’t hear a word. I couldn’t get the real inflection that I wanted.

High Times: Did you worry that your mother was going to hear you singing those words?

Faithfull: My mother was a dancer with Max Reinhardt in Berlin, and she is not a prude on that level at all! She never minded what book I read when I was a child, growing up. She just wouldn’t like me to read bad books. I mean I could read the Marquis de Sade but I couldn’t read pornography. She’s a bit like that. I find I have to wait. I’m not very good at singing it in the morning—I still get embarrassed about it. I’ve got to loosen up a bit.

High Times: You never went through a period where you thought, “No one has ever done this. I haven’t done anything in ten years, and now I will do something that is truly a precedent. I could make a fool of myself.’

Faithfull: I couldn’t make a fool of myself if I stuck to the truth. The only point of doing it again was to make a record that was the truth. You’ve read Tony Sanchez’s version of the truth and then there is mine! [Laughs.] Fucking hell! I’ve had lots of people come up to me from musicians to record-company people saying we can release this as an underground version or something like that. People have said this or “Take it off the album.” We’ve lost a lot of sales in England because of it. You can’t sell it in WH Smith or Boots or Woolworth’s. EMI wouldn’t press it. Though I must say for Chris Blackwell [president of Island Records], he never did that. A lot of people have been very shocked. But it hasn’t really mattered to us because it’s the best thing on the album.

High Times: After a show, a woman went up to you and said, “You know, that record saved my life.” Her boyfriend had left her and I heard that she was playing it five times every morning to get herself out of bed because the rage propelled her.

Faithfull: You realize you can actually strike back.

High Times: When did you realize that?

Faithfull: Very, very recently. Our conditioning is that you’re a victim. All that really was never true anyway because you see… There is another thing I can talk about ’til I’m blue in the face but no one will ever believe it and I don’t want to hurt Mick because it’s important for his macho trip. He likes people to think I was left miserable and all that I don’t really care. But, in fact it was mutual. It wasn’t really mutual because I did go off to do something else, which was to be an addict [Laughs.]

High Times: Contrary to myth, not the victim…

Faithfull: Yeah, so I never felt that I’d been betrayed and lost and left really at all. Only when I met Ben and I found out he was having an affair with somebody. By then I was much older and not as beautiful and a bit more insecure about it all. And then I really felt—I never felt it before—that kind of jealousy. I had always shrugged my shoulders and said, “What the fuck, if you are going to have a scene with someone, I will.” But with this one I didn’t want him to do it. I didn’t want that to happen where it spirals off into how many scenes you can have, you know.

High Times: So the rage on “Why D’Ya Do It?” is more current than from your Jagger days?

Faithfull: Yes. But presumably, like everything else, it’s a conglomeration of everything. I mean, Mick obviously had loads of scenes while I was with him, but I’ll give him this, I didn’t know about them. I only found out afterwards. And I was pretty furious, I must say, but what could I do, because I was doing the same. It doesn’t matter.

High Times: Doing it openly?

Faithfull: I didn’t tell him, you didn’t talk, you know.

High Times: You didn’t talk in the cool days.

Faithfull: Nobody talked. I didn’t particularly hide anything but I never said anything either. You just didn’t talk. Perhaps it was all that hash.

High Times: All that chic. Do you feel proud that your record is a vindication of your previous image of victim-waif?

Faithfull: Oh yeah. Very. I’m very pleased that Mick’s proud of me because I realize people have been going up to him for a long time now and blaming him. “How could you do this to this lovely girl. You destroyed her,” and blah blah blah blah blah. And at last, it turns out in the end that the truth is I learned these tricks from him. I learned how to phrase, I learned all sorts of tricks. He taught me a lot.

High Times: How did your voice change so much?

Faithfull: I think it’s time in the widest possible sense, but on the other hand, it’s probably also cigarettes and whiskey and I don’t know. I mean I was 17 and now I’m 33. If I had that voice now it would be a joke.

High Times: Your whole album is rage. Your version of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” is chilling.

Faithfull: There’s a lot of rage in that, there is almost too much.

High Times: Where did you get all this class rage?

Faithfull: Well, because you see I’ve had it the other way around. Because I wasn’t working class, nobody would take me seriously. Because in the ’60s you had to be working class. You had to have had a very difficult life, you know.

High Times: Did you have a lot of guilt about that?

Faithfull: No, because I was a charity boarder at school and my mother brought me up on nine pounds a week maintenance from my father and we were really poor. The fact that she was an Austro-Hungarian baroness before the First World War when there was an emperor, which is so long ago that it doesn’t mean anything.

High Times: Only in England.

Faithfull: It doesn’t mean anything anywhere. They made a lot out of that, you see. Then for years, because of that, they always thought—I’m getting into “us and them,” aren’t I?—the people who give out the jobs thought I had a private income and I’d just done all this just for fun. Some young debutante wanting to, they really did. And this didn’t look so funny when I was starving in 1973 with my mother and Nicholas. It really became a big drag. I’d never even heard “Working Class Hero” because it wasn’t on the Imagine album in London, in England. I heard it on a jukebox in Wales, and although in some ways I still feel it is a very naive song, it’s the best class song I’ve ever heard and this process he describes, that crushing number he describes, “as soon as you’re born,” and it happens to everybody, it happens to middle-class people.

High Times: On your next album will you record more songs like “Why D’Ya Do It?”

Faithfull: I just don’t think it could happen again. I mean, there was the actual incident that sparked it off with Ben and this dumb broad.

High Times: Not from hurt with Jagger?

Faithfull: I am sure I drew on all that to get to that level. In some ways I am very pleased because it is like Mason Hoffenberg telling me, “It’s like a monkey off your back.” All that sort of fury. And I don’t think anyone will ever see me as a victim again, which is very important. Because it always pissed me off so much. One of the reasons I talked to Scaduto was —it may not even be true—but I heard that Mick was going around saying, like, somebody would say, “How is Marianne?” and he would say, “It’s so sad, she’s gone mad. She is just crazy now.” I was so angry about it.

High Times: Do you think he had to believe this to sustain his ego?

Faithfull: Looking back on it now—and now that it is all over and I have got it out of my system—it must have looked to him that I was insane because he thinks that people who would want to lead the life… To Mick the whole idea of—he doesn’t have that sort of obsession with…

High Times: Obsession with what?

Faithfull: Oh, you know, that life where all you think of is scoring. And I must say, I grew out of it eventually too.

High Times: When junk had become your life, did you know you were going to survive?

Faithfull: I didn’t give a damn. Unfortunately.

High Times: Did you always think you were a survivor?

Faithfull: I hate that word. I am very strong physically.

High Times: And you knew it then.

Faithfull: I always—well, it must be. My mother must have looked after herself when she was pregnant. I had a healthy background, upbringing. No money but lots of all the right food and everything. A lot of love.

High Times: And you were raised knowing you were a pretty girl.

Faithfull: My mother adored me. She got out of the war. It obviously was the most awful thing. And then she got me.

High Times: She got what?

Faithfull: She married my father and came to England and then I turned up. And then she lost three more children and then they broke up. That was it. There was only me.

High Times: What about the rumor about your son, that it was Mick Jagger’s child, not John Dunbar’s.

Faithfull: What, Nicholas? Well you see, it all goes back to this business that I met Mick Jagger and immediately went for him. They think we must have immediately gone off and had a scene and I got pregnant. I got a baby by John. Then I did get pregnant again. I lost it. That was Mick’s and that was one of the things—that is when things started to fuck up badly with me.

High Times: Were you using junk then?

Faithfull: I wasn’t actually using junk while I was pregnant. But I was taking Mandrax and all. I was trying very hard to come to myself. I miscarried, yes. I thought at the time that it was probably my lifestyle. Then after Australia [Ned Kelly location], it was quite clear I was very sick. My mother came to Australia and Mick had to go on working. I went to Switzerland with my mother and Nicholas. And I went to see this doctor, who I told about the miscarriage. She checked me out and found out that when I had had Nicholas they hadn’t gotten my muscles back together. So when the baby got to seven months I lost it. And that was that. Well, it was dreadful because I felt very guilty about it, you see.

High Times: Not taking care of yourself.

Faithfull: Yeah. I thought I had done it. In fact we had found this isn’t true. And when I have another baby—which I think I will, probably—they tie you off with something.

High Times: Do you think drugs serve a function?

Faithfull: Drugs… I think they do actually. Obviously we all blew it because—I don’t know why, but—though I had read De Quincey [Confessions of an English Opium-Eater], I do remember that everybody seemed to think, perhaps they always do, that they had discovered something completely new and nobody had ever turned on ever. Which, of course, is nonsense. Now I think some drugs do serve a purpose. I don’t think that very heavy narcotics do, actually. Cocaine is too expensive. And heroin. You just can’t do anything ever.

High Times: An unsociable and selfish drug.

Faithfull: Yes. And also very expensive. [Laughs.] Even more expensive. I found speed very useful, I must say. Well, I do.

High Times: You, Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons. Will people use more drugs in the ’80s?

Faithfull: Yes. It is very natural. Because there is going to be more leisure time.

High Times: Why is that?

Faithfull: Because of computers, robots and all the rest of it. The people’s way of finding something to do with themselves. The working day is getting shorter and shorter. And you can only watch so much television.

High Times: And so you have to put your own cassette in your mind—a drug.

Faithfull: Well, that is one answer.

High Times: How long have you been performing “Sister Morphine”?

Faithfull: Since I started singing again, which is about three years ago.

High Times: When did you write that?

Faithfull: It is very hard to remember really. I can remember everything very well, up to when I started living with Jagger. Then things run into each other very much and I can’t really remember dates. It must have been before Australia [1969]. Yes. Yes it was, quite a bit before.

High Times: Did you write it with Mick and Keith or just with Mick?

Faithfull: No, just with Mick. It was just a tune he had. You know they get a tune, they played it for months and I got so sick of it I said, “I think we should finish this song and go on to another one.” And he said, “So why don’t you write the words?” So I did. So it was quite easy, really, because I had the structure already. Because when I was doing gigs in England and Europe before we made the record, basically people were coming to see the girl who did this “As Tears Go By” tune. And what they actually got was ‘‘Sister Morphine,” “Broken English” and “Why D’Ya Do It?” And it was really funny watching that. I enjoyed it. [Chris] Blackwell likes breaking a bit of new ground. I must say I am very pissed off at Blackwell at the moment. All these numbers we have been through.

High Times: How old is your son, Nicholas?

Faithfull: Fourteen.

High Times: Where is he now, in London?

Faithfull: Yes. With John. He lives with John all the time.

High Times: Do you feel close to him?

Faithfull: To Nicholas? Yes, I do really. It has been a long time now.

High Times: How often do you get to see him?

Faithfull: Oh, I see him at least once a week or twice a week but only with John there. Or if I take him to the pictures, they make sure he comes with his cousin, or a friend, or a this or a that. It might be him. Perhaps he is scared of me. I don’t know. He might be scared of me. He lived with me until he was seven. I mean this is one of the problems of being a junkie. You think you are responsible only to yourself, and the only person you can hurt is you. This is nonsense. Because I hurt my mother, I must have hurt him. I hurt my friends.

High Times: Do you still feel drugs are something that you have to fight?

Faithfull: You always have to watch it. I have to be careful.

High Times: Do you feel that you are out of jeopardy?

Faithfull: I am way out of jeopardy in fact. But I am sure you have to be careful.

High Times: What do you think killed Brian Jones?

Faithfull: Himself. Lots of reasons. Takeover. He was my first…

High Times: Did you live with him first?

Faithfull: No. Anita did. Then Keith got Anita. That didn’t help; I shouldn’t think that did much for Brian. But I mean, they couldn’t help that. That was a true romance. A great love, et cetera. At least that is what it looked like at the time.

High Times: What will happen to her now?

Faithfull: Anita? She has been writing. I didn’t realize that, but she has been writing for years. She showed it to me the other day. Some of it is so good. Poetry. She needs to do a lot more work on it. Like everyone does.

High Times: Do you think she will continue to write?

Faithfull: Somebody has to care, you see. I mean, I wouldn’t get anything together if I hadn’t met Ben, because he cared. He did not care that I was famous or rich. He cared that I did something.

High Times: How old is he?

Faithfull: Twenty-nine.

High Times: Everybody is older now. Rock was originally an adolescent impulse and now you’re all pushing 35.

Faithfull: That is quite normal.

High Times: Do you still use your old fan club?

Faithfull: No I don’t. I sort of dropped the whole idea really. Times have changed.

High Times: Debbie Harry has a fan club.

Faithfull: Yes, but there is a difference! I mean I am a bit different. It is a lot of work too. Not for me, but for the person doing it. They get nothing for it. The last fan club I had was fascinating. Because all the letters I got were from people who were in prison. And they are only allowed to write one letter a week or a month.

High Times: I asked to interview Mick Jagger for Playboy.

Faithfull: Did he want to do it?

High Times: He wanted to do the interview, but for Penthouse because he made a deal for free ads. Do you believe it?

Faithfull: Of course I believe it. Do you want some Scotch?

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