Having It All. Ain’t Worth Much.


            L’Wren Scott, Mick Jagger’s sweetheart

of 10 years killed herself today.  

          I regret such a limited time on Earth for her, just 49 years.   I never paid much attention to L’Wren except to notice Mick dating a 6’3” brunette fashion designer. I adore his second wife Jerry Hall who’s got a lot of character; various kids….Jade and Georgia who are interesting.

      In the reports on L’Wren’s death, she was millions in debt, business failing. She’d spent Christmas on the island of Mustique with Mick and friends. She lived in a NYC apartment worth 5 or 6 million. And most of her friends, like Mick, Ellen Barkin, models, designers…worth hundreds of millions. L’Wren lived large.

      We see the glittering, fascinating photos of the A-listers, celebrities, global citizens, in rock, movies, sports, banking, politics,   music worlds   and it’s all set up to produce drool and envy.  Meanwhile in the real and actual lives of this big bunch, they are in and out of rehab,   murder their friends,                                  kill themselves with cars or drugs, leap off tall buildings, steal, lie, injure and ignore their children, punch photographers, and (mostly) show limited talent for which they are paid enormous sums so they can do all of the above and live the hallucinating lives of potentates. They don’t appear to actually do much, and they sure don’t seem to feel much either. 

      The public, us peons, imitate hairstyles and save up to buy their overpriced endorsements.      More than one magazine article tells us how to be just like so and so, with Botox, bikini waxes and wigs. They’re all so scuzzy!  I wouldn’t want half inside my home. There aren’t more than one handful of actors today I’d pay to see, or musicians to perform, or whose antics are worth following.    It’s not a very good crop. And show business must be a hell of pain and torture. Shakespeare wrote it out for mankind’s instruction, but lived as long as he could…..

“…Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury.

Signifying nothing.”

       Years ago when movie star magazines did unobtrusive 3 or 4 photos withstories on the stars, I read a wonderful article about Burt Lancaster with a picture of him stretched out on a simple couch in a very simple home, studying a (likely powerful) script.   None of them were highly paid, very few millionaires. The houses of the stars of the ’50’s and 60’s still look modest, if they haven’t been  torn down. I never minded that Brando bought a Tahitian island because he was most often   

a life-altering experience to watch on stage or film. And the actors were admired and loved for what they could express, tell the theatre audiences through their skill, move us. Yes, just that. The main job of stars was to inspire the public, teach about human nature, take us to untried territory, explain this life we’re all in.

         Now, the more expensive the life style, the cheaper the behavior. Go figure. Women in show biz haven’t moved an inch toward better roles, depicting whole or interesting people. Indeed they’re all busy out doing prostitutes, and I feel bad for the prostitutes. Where do they go from here? I expect the next trend to be selfies of vaginas.     But interestingly enough, except for the occasional porn star or politician (like NY’s Carlos Danger), not penises.   But I may be underestimating Brad Pitt or George Clooney.     Not DiCaprio. Lives signifying nothing.

         When there’s enough license to mostly skirt the law, buy small countries, hire a personal army, make up rules, live as large as emperors and gangsters…and still want to die, maybe that ‘everything’ needs some scrutiny: 

We’re left to ask what it is that really counts in our own lives, not someone else’s idea of a good time. 

There’s a sizeable difference between what we’re told is pleasure and what pleasure actually feels like to sentient human life. The ones who DO have what we get drummed at us is happiness don’t appear to have much after all. Unless the goal is ending up dead. With a beautiful corpse. How good did L’Wren look when she hanged herself, when she really had it all and lost it all and was too embarrassed to ask for help and expose the trouble she was in, for all to see that she didn’t have it all anymore.

                     Who else in the public eye hates their questionably fabulous life?  Who’s next?  Well, let’s take the measure of ourselves and what we’re up to anyway, and not imitate the insanity.

                                           Not be next.



It’s not quite accurate to say The Stones are back in the news as they’ve never left sight of us or us of them. But they’re off and rolling big time. The once and always rock and rollers. Years ago in l972 I worked on the mammoth New York Times Square billboard. A city block long marquee, since torn down. It was my first billboard gig, I did the MADE IN THE SHADE cover that was the first of a series to be added to the turbo eagle’s talons. Welcome back, boys.


For four years in the 1970’s I was the world’s only female scaffold-climbing/pulling billboard painter. Oh what a life I (still) lead!

Billboard Painter, 25 Stories Above 42nd Street

Most of the jobs were hanging 10 to 25 stories up, swinging in the breeze above Times Square, New York City’s 42nd Street mecca. We did cigarettes and booze and Broadway openings. John Belushi’s “1944” , The Wiz with young Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones 1973 World Tour. A bottle of Dewars sinking into the Manhattan skyline sunset. You had to work fast, we mixed all our colors on the scaffold, pots of pigment, Japan drier, linseed oil and benzine. Eyes were painted with four inch brushes. The standard billboards were 30 X 60 feet. Big. Sweet.

Rolling Stones 1973 World Tour
Made In The Shade (David Bowie in Drag)

Sparhawk painted the album cover, about 20 – 4X8 sheets of masonite. Huge. The remarkable Paul Chan painted the turbo eagle.

I worked for ArtKraft-Strauss and Villepigue. The companies never wanted women in the business but I was good at faces and they hired me. I’d get fired every 30 days, then brought back in, kept me ineligible for the union. The last job was 25 stories up. The street temp was 18 degrees and it was a windy November and I decided they weren’t paying me enough for all that and quit. During those years, I moonlighted weekends tending bar in a stinky little artist and biker haunt called The Barnabus Rex on old West Broadway before it turned into SoHo. While all the patrons were filling out grant forms for Guggenheims I was spending 40 hours a week with a brush in my hand mastering paint and having a ball. I was snobbed for selling out, to Advertising! Lucky me.