A Look at the Life of an Underground Legend
Anita Pallenberg, former girlfriend of Keith Richards, recently passed away at the age of 73, and Rolling Stone Magazine has an eulogy to the underground and counterculture icon on their website. Pallenberg, by all accounts a person of rare charm and striking style, is credited for helping Keith Richards and Mick Jagger make the fashion decisions that give the band such a distinct and memorable look and, by many accounts, helped give them the attitude and swagger that came to be associated with the act.
When Pallenberg first met the band in the early 1960’s, she intimidated them because she spoke several languages and had a bold and upfront personality, whereas the Stones themselves were at the time relatively withdrawn and socially conservative. Pallenberg had lived in New York City and had been part of performance artist Andy Warhol’s scene before she was involved with the Rolling Stones, and this made her seem glamorous to the English musicians.
Pallenberg was actually first involved romantically with Stones guitarist Brian Jones, but when that relationship went sour she took up with Richards. From there, she was a crucial part of the Stones scene through their heyday in the late 1960s and 1970s, and even contributed vocals to the song “Sympathy for the Devil.” She didn’t break up with Keith until 1981, and by that time she was almost as much of a rock and roll legend as he was.
Although Pallenberg struggled with drugs and addiction, she went on to sober up and acted in films after her time around the Rolling Stones. She will be missed by those who followed the band closely during some of its most active years and by those who appreciated her as an actress and talent in her own right.