Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Of Peripheral Celebrity and Collateral Damage: The ballad of Suki Potier

Suki Potier: Collateral
Damage
You’ve read the news, oh boy: December 18, 1966, Tara Browne, the Guinness heir, plows his Lotus into a van on Redcliffe Gardens, South Kensington. Dead. He is 21. John Lennon hears about it and writes A Day in the Life…something about a lucky man who made the grade but blew his mind out in a car.

Browne’s passenger that day? Model and all-around It Girl Suki Potier.

If ever someone walked under a rain cloud through the rarefied world of 1960s popism, it was poor Suki.

What to make of peripheral celebrities who suffer collateral damage? They appear as secondary characters, necessary to turn the pages of history.

Brian Jones. Suki. Tara Browne.
Bad karma
It wasn’t long after Browne’s death that Potier surfaced in the arms of Rolling Stone Brian Jones. Given what we know now about Brian Jones and women, this wasn’t going to turn out well.

July 3, 1969: Potier leaves Jones’ country house just thirty minutes before he drowns. Not quite in the passenger seat this time, but close.


Jones/Potier: Blonde on Blonde
Then, after Jones’ death, she marries wealthy Hong Kong business man Robert Ho.

And it’s now that the rain cloud bursts. June 23, 1981: Suki and husband die in a car crash while on holiday in Portugal.

Fate can be cruel but rarely so personal.









Monday, October 15, 2018

Talitha Getty: Beautiful and Damned


 “Things are sweeter when they're lost. I know--because once I wanted something and got it. It was the only thing I ever wanted badly… and when I got it, it turned to dust in my hand.” 
-          F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned

Talitha: Through a grate darkly
I knew the youthfulness of the '60s: Talitha and Paul Getty lying on a starlit terrace in Marrakesh, beautiful and damned, and a whole generation assembled as if for eternity where the curtain of the past seemed to lift before an extraordinary future.

-         
Yves Saint Laurent

Last night Paul and Talitha Getty threw a New Year's Eve party at their palace in the medina. Paul McCartney and John Lennon were there, flat on their backs. They couldn't get off the floor let alone talk. I've never seen so many people out of control.
-          John Hopkins, 1968

[Talitha] arrived like a gust of wind, bringing a tornado with her when she married John Paul Getty Jr. She brought something new to that family and that whole world. She was a very beautiful woman who had never even thought about being dressed by a haute couture house, despite having the means to do so; she dressed a bit like a hippie. She was very touching, and she was very pretty. Yes, she was all of that. But, above all, she was a completely free character, and that, that was very important.
Party on...
-          Pierre Bergé, L’Officiel, 2016.

A ‘free character’? It didn’t work out that way…

In the late 1960s, the term ‘beautiful people’ came to be applied to a wealthy, indolent crowd of perpetual party-goers, most often found in exotic locations, who enjoyed a robust pursuit of alcohol, drugs and sexual liaisons. They differed from the ‘jet set’ in that they gravitated more toward counter-culture trends and fashions. And no one was more beautiful than Talitha Getty (1940-1971).

The photo on the Edge of Forever
Her wealth, her fame, her money, her films…all conspired to evoke a lifestyle that belonged more in celebrity fanzines than in a world of real-life consequences.

And why shouldn’t her boyfriend at one point be French aristocrat Count Jean De Breteuil, a dreadful man who seemed adept at using heroin to kill rock stars and other celebrities.

She held court in Morocco where a thin line etched in the cool sand of a midnight dune holds death at bay, but somehow the wind always breathes the lovely sweet-tang perfume of decay.

We leave Talitha Getty on that Marrakesh rooftop in blue aspic, her forever face both curious and fearful, with that thousand-yard stare held only by those who can hear darkness.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Pierre Trudeau: We just watched him

“[Pierre Trudeau] has certain animal leadership properties — as a zoologist, I’m tremendously impressed with Trudeau. He has an intellectual virility which is exceedingly important . . . His anatomy, his gestures, his facial expressions are animal qualities that set him apart and bring him to the top of the heap.” - Desmond Morris


Trudeau-mania kicks in
A handsome millionaire, bachelor, law professor. Pierre Trudeau was a godsend to Canada’s version of the Swingin’ 60s. He even had a sports car.

The electorate tend not to trust intellectual candidates, but somehow Trudeau, empowered by the cultural zeitgeist, slalomed through the sluice gates.
Pierre with Barbara Streisand

It was the first time any Canadian politician had inspired mania. Jolted by the success of Expo 67, the conservative people of this northern country voted him in as their 15th prime minister. He was Canada’s John F. Kennedy.

His shining moment came on October 13, 1970 (during the October Crisis) when a reporter asked how far he would go to shut down a terrorist group. “Just watch me,” he replied, and Canadians sat up in their seats. The arrogance. The confidence. Who was this guy?... And they certainly watched him.
Canada's JFK

They watched him date glamorous celebrities. They watched his marriage to a beautiful, younger woman... then watched her party with the Rolling Stones.

Trudeau was a wonderful anomaly - to paraphrase one of his adversaries – representing ‘not what we are, but who we could become.’

In the end, who wouldn’t mind that said about them.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Hunter S. Thompson: The Pain of Being a Man


No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun—for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax—This won’t hurt.

-       Hunter S. Thompson’s suicide note to himself, 2005

He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.

-        Dr. Johnson in the preface to Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, 1971

The buffoon
His buffoonery just barely contained a violent rage. That’s the key to Hunter S.Thompson. The guns, the drugs, the explosives, the destruction, were necessary to hold back despair.

And it’s the despair that makes his writing completely unique. There are no Tom Wolfe pyrotechnics; no Gay Talese in-depth profiles; no Ken Kesey hippy-dippy West Coast Zen trips. Not required.

Picture of the Artist as a Young Man
Thompson was overwhelmed by the absurdity of Life – for whatever reasons. The drugs dulled the pain and transmogrified fear and loathing into raucous phantasmagoria of politicians/police/ land developers and whomever else drifted by.

And when he could no longer move away from the absurdity – well, then he swung to face what he called The Big Fear. He decided to relax, act his age, and check out.

Relax—This won’t hurt
Hunter Thompson once told a friend, “I would feel trapped in this life if I didn't know I could commit suicide at any time.” That’s a serious existential commitment.

When the pain of being a man had made him ‘too bitchy’ and slow, he followed the warrior’s code and exploded the brilliant brain that always seemed so untethered.

His ashes were dynamited into the heavens, his spirit finally free to follow the dictum of his favorite song:

To dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Mamas & the Papas: It’s square to be hip


Harmony begins with dissonance
They were limousine hippies with wistful tunes about dreaming and having a bad (Mon) day.  It was hard to get them in focus.

The tall guy, John, tried damn hard to be cool, more like an aging beatnik fresh from a beer & bongo party than a tie-dyed, Haight-Asbury minstrel. The other Papa, Denny, was always bemused, pleasant-faced, perhaps recruited from a rural, Baptist choir. He sure wasn’t rebelling against anything or missing meals.

Cool was for the fool
Then the Mamas. Michelle: everything you ever wanted in a counter-culture chick. Slinky. Drop-dead-straight-part-in the-middle blonde hair. Slim as a stick. Beautiful face with wide-spaced eyes. Lolita pout. Cass, Mama # 2, was the polar opposite – a fact that, strangely, emphasized their unity. Read more.

Obviously, it couldn’t work. It should never, ever have worked.  No way… So they became international superstars. It didn’t last long – but it should never have lasted at all. The millisecond that producer Lou Adler heard them, he knew he had struck the Mother Lode.

The group didn’t make sense. There was something Monkee-ish about them. A pre-fab four feel. Yet they were the real thing.

Years later, someone realized it’s in fact square to be hip. Cool was for the fool. It was their very awkward alchemy that blended such glorious harmonies. Who knew? It's chic to be geek.

Anyway, nothing succeeds like surprise.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Raquel Welch: The Beauty of Defiance


Somewhere between Las Vegas and
Haight-Asbury, she found a fur bikini
This kitten had no whip, though each film seemed an act of defiance. It was her attitude to her face and body that set her apart, not the corporeal charms themselves. But we were all looking in the wrong/right places and didn’t see.

The most successful American 1960s sex symbol couldn’t act much and just sang and danced a little. 

Determination hardened her eyes but softened her curves. She wasn’t blonde. She wasn’t dumb. She wasn’t available.

Surrealism vs. Reality
Somewhere between Las Vegas and Haight-Asbury, she found a fur bikini and rocked the world.

Life itself is sexy
The former cocktail waitress never looked back and never once took it all off. She didn’t need to – not with such a ferocious spirit and the realization, known to only a chosen few: it's Life itself that's sexy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

All Yesterday's Parties: Anita Pallenberg and sweet milk of decadence


With Keef
She was a suitably dissolute member of the Royal Court of Rock. In through the backdoor with Fellini and Warhol. Then on the arm of ill-fated Brian Jones, and contiguously joined to junkie Keith Richards. Always stronger than the men, but without their discipline or guitars.

All yesterday's parties
And there were others. All through it she swayed like a wasted enchantress, leaves of the Black Forest commingled with trellises of blond hair all dusted with pixie powder.

Anita Pallenberg remains beautiful in a tableau of three-chord decadence, spun by late-night exhortations for flesh and sweat and blood, excesses amplified through Marshall stacks and road-house thunder beats.


(See the witch deep in the dark mountain’s den, dancing by a fire orgy, imprisoned and crazed, for she on honeydew hath fed and drunk sweet milk of decadence).

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Adam Diment: A Dandy in Aspic


 A kinky, cool mod flare that is outrageously entertaining….If you appreciate clever plotting, plenty of excitement, sex at its most uninhibited, a dollop or two of explicit sadism, Adam Diment is a name to remember. – Publishers’ Weekly, 1967

Adam heads for the sky
The author as book cover
Adam Diment’s greatest creation was himself. Whereas Ian Fleming liked to
pose with a firearm now and then, just for a bemused homage, Diment seemed to have fallen full-born from the pages of his own spy novels.

There he was, draped in scarfs, tall, long blonde hair, leaning against a sports car, with a detached attitude that suggested drug-based dissolution. The fact that it was confected and stage managed only added to his appeal.

The young women who appeared throughout his promotional photos were, one might conjecture, paid for their services, including cab fare. That too is immaterial.

Always the women
Adam D: Partius Maximus
His four spy novels, The Dolly Dolly Spy (1967), The Great Spy Race (1968), The Bang Bang Birds (1968), and Think, Inc. (1971), are in and out of print – mostly out. But like many things 60s, he’s coming back.

After his last novel, he vanished. Poof! Never to be seen again. “He’s in Zurich!” “He’s in London.” “He’s dead. “There was talk of criminal proceedings; that he changed his name; that he became bored with fame. Who was he?

Oddly, the story of Adam Diment has no protagonist, no hero, villain or love-interest. There’s no linear plot development or character exposition. No forward movement. Rather, with his billowing sleeves, satin vests, and bevy of hippy chicks, Time has left him unscathed. He’s a dandy in aspic. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Elvis Presley: 1968 Comeback Special. “I have no need for all this.”

It’s true, Elvis was never the same after he came back from the Army in 1960. There was a knowing in the famous lopsided smile, a restlessness fueled by something other than youth.
The Final Performance

The songs came and were forgettable; the films even worse. The hippies didn’t even wears shoes, let alone blue suedes.

Eight years passed by. He dyed his hair blue/black and became an eccentric relic, more a novelty than an entertainer.

For reasons known only to a Robert-Johnson-Cross-Roads shaman, the gods handed Elvis one last chance and he didn’t even know it.

A television special would have been unthinkable before. But this was not ‘before’. The producer noticed that Elvis liked to sit with his buddies and just play the old songs. So why not do some of that?

And it became the first unplugged segment in pop music.

It didn’t take long for Elvis to go off script. In a way, he was always off script, something all the others (Bobby This or Frankie That) never really got.

Off the grid. No auto-tune. Full bore.
Watch him. He slides off the grid and swings a trapeze up to his long dormant talent. Suddenly he has hold of an electric guitar with no strap. Doesn't stop him. Deep in his Memphis soul he must know this could be it, the Final Performance, no matter how long he lives.

Clad in black leather, with no vocal overdubbing and no auto-tune and no reverb and no backup singers, he becomes what he always was - among the best rock singers of the twentieth century, and one of a few genuine pop culture icons.

Today, it is impossible to hear him sing ‘Trying to Get to You’ and not notice how careful superbowl-style pop music has become. This is the mother-lode. The high-water mark. Pre-punk. The gold standard. 

Whatever rock was supposed to be, it doesn't get better. Rock critic Greil Marcus watched the show that night with a friend, who at one point turned to him and said, shocked, "He's doing all this with just three chords? Impossible."

And then, he leaves the stage forever. Just like that. Resigned to bedazzled white jumpsuits and ill-health, going through karate-kid motions and praying for an early release.
Savage. Mindless. Real.

Later, he writes a note to himself (to what he was, what he is to become) not to be shared, but discovered after his death:

-          “I feel so alone sometimes. The night is quiet for me. I'd love to be able to sleep. I'll probably not rest. I have no need for all this. Help me, Lord.”

Friday, March 3, 2017

William F. Buckley Jr.: Strategically Disheveled

Buckley. Vidal. Let's get it on.
He enjoyed being hated by liberals. They served to validate his beliefs. “There is an inverse relationship between reliance on the state and self-reliance,” he suggested.

William F. Buckley Jr. was often the smartest guy in the room, but he usually chose the room.
Entertainer/Entrepreneur

Bill was the go-to telegenic conservative public intellectual for much of the 60s. He was everywhere. Even ran for mayor of New York City – likely for the platform, not the position.

They called his accent ‘mid-Atlantic’. It gave him a natural, privileged aura. He often appeared strategically disheveled.

Of the Vietnam War he said, “The pity is that we are saving our tactical nuclear weapons for melodramatic use.” Near the end of his life, looking back, he surmised Vietnam was a mistake. Also reversed himself on Civil Rights. Flip-flops…but he had the guts to flop.

His TV show, Firing Line, was on the air for thirty-three years. He met his match with guest Noam Chomsky and purposely avoided him from thereon.

The writer Gore Vidal believed “[Buckley] was a very stupid guy, who never read any of those books he referred to, and Americans, being such hicks, thought he was a great nobleman and a real gentleman.”
Bardot. Buckley. Let's get it on.

He wrote a series of spy novels.

Buckley wasn’t really an intellectual, academic, capitalist or provocateur. He was an entertainer/entrepreneur. He once said it was a tough way to make a buck.

Someone with his learning, brains, and vocabulary wouldn’t last thirty minutes on today’s airwaves.

His career? ...Commenting on his convictions.

Love him or leave him, William Buckley had a very rare talent for a TV host. He made people... think.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Jean de Breiteuil: The Jet-Setting Angel of Death

“Jean wаѕ a horrible guy, ѕоmеоnе who had crawled out from under a stone. Sоmеhоw I ended uр with him…it wаѕ аll аbоut drugs аnd sex.” – Marianne Faithful

“The devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape.” - Shakespeare

Jean de Breiteuil. As a drug dealer/addict, he was in the right business. He just wasn’t good at it. Jim Morrison. Jimi Hendrix. Brian Jones. Janis Joplin. Talitha Getty. Pam Courson. Keith Richards. All clients, all dead – except for Keith Richards – for as we all know, what doesn’t destroy Keith only makes him
Jean de Breiteuil: Jet-setting
stronger.

Maybe along the way, Jean’s self-loathing somehow metastasized into homicidal fantasies. Likely he didn’t care. Perhaps his spirit was cast at Altamont. He himself overdosed at the age of twenty-two. 1972.

Devil assumes a pleasing shape

The devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape.One could argue that taking out Morrison and Joplin changed the course of rock music, however subtly. His involvement with Hendrix and Jones was more tangential.
.
His family owned French-language newspapers in North Africa. On the death of his father, he inherited the title of 'Count de Breteuil'. A debauched aristocrat if ever there was. Became a Eurotrash, drug-addled playboy. A rock n’ roll celebrity  drug enabler.

A few of his customers
What to make of it? ‘Heroin Dealer to the Stars’ isn’t a typical career choice. Who knows his passions. But when so many of your customers become young corpses, one may question a professional aptitude.


Jean de Breiteuil. The soundtrack of his life should include The Pusher, People Are Strange, and for this jet-setting junkie, Hank Williams’ Angel of Death. “The Angel of Death/ Will come from the sky/ And claim up your soul/ When the time comes to die.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Keith Moon: Little Drummer Boy as Charlie Chaplin

‘...that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
with gravity
to start her death-defying leap
And he
a little charleychaplin man
who may or may not catch
her fair eternal form
spread-eagled in the empty air
of existence’
-          Lawrence Ferlinghetti 

If you look closely, the jester is always sad, even when setting the table on a roar. Maybe it’s the quizzical eyebrows, or the saucer eyes themselves that speak beyond the trashed hotels and Berserker pandemonium.

The eternal boy, the jeering Trickster.

In full flight
The laugh was spring-loaded and greased with alcohol and a sparkling menagerie of drugs. Somehow the pain was transmuted into his hands and feet and out across taught drum skins, right into radios of the nation. Nobody had ever heard anything like Keith Moon. They never would again. He was a one-off.

To estimate his importance to one of the most successful rock acts in history, look at what The Who accomplished after Moon’s vanishing act. Enough said.

Rarely does a drummer have such influence. If ever a man was born to an extremely specific profession – in this case a drummer for a world-famous rock band – it was Keith Moon. It’s not possible to envisage him selling shoes or anything else.

“I love to see people laugh, “he said, “and I love it more if I can make them laugh.”
He loved his work


The 24/7 performer. An Emmet Kelly sprinkling cymbals crashes like pixie dust across the swaying heads of a whole generation. “I’ve always enjoyed myself,” he stated. “Unhappy periods for me last about twenty minutes.” (Until the drugs kicked in).


The Little Drummer Boy as Charley Chaplin. He left us but remains – because he never drummed from his heart – it had an off-beat… He drummed from somewhere else, very private and alone.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Edie Sedgwick: Holly Golightly Becomes a Superstar

“Loneliness is such a sad affair
And I can hardly wait
Andy lights Edie
To sleep with you again”

-           - ‘Superstar’ (Leon Russell/ Bonnie Bramlett)


It’s been said that Andy Warhol attracted damaged people – those who drifted into his orbit had shredded their own spiritual gravity - and so there they floated, like silver clouds, through his warehouse, termed – for good reason – ‘The Factory’.

The Youthquaker
Edie Sedgwick came from a family in which the veins of lineage coursed with blue blood, and bank accounts sagged under bullion. That gave her entre but not character – and mascara, thinness, long legs and a wide smile could never make her more than a cultural oddity, never a star.

Ciao Edie
Try watching her in Poor Little Rich Girl. The silence is noisy with ennui, and the deep loneliness of privilege is captured like a breathless, beautiful moth.

On being told by a palm reader that she had a very short life line, Edie replied, “It's okay — I know.” (She managed to avoid The 27 Club by a year).


Maybe fatalism is just predestination with a bad attitude, but Edie, often said to be so fragile, got tough and danced over with lipstick in hand, holly-go-lightlying across a Manhattan skyline to say a final “Ciao”, becoming - that which she was once so flippantly promised and so strangely desired - a Superstar.

No heavy makeup. No need.
"Long ago and oh so far away
I fell in love with you before the second show
Your guitar, it sounds so sweet and clear
But you're not really here
It's just the radio"

        - Superstar


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Brian Wilson: Tin Pan Became Beach Sand


In the beginning...
Given the phosphoric nature of his creativity, it couldn’t last beyond the next riptide.

He had no John Paul George or Ringo for that matter. Not even a George Martin.

In the middle...
So he lived without irony, which is to live unprotected, and alone offered up lazy-daisy melodies, two-minute paens of teenage angst, deep from within dark studios and collapsed dungeons of an exhausted mind.

Somehow the California sky birthed those sounds, glazed in light beams and downy floss. Tin Pan became beach sand. And the warm blue Pacific curled down the coast and sailed him in a glass-bottom dream.

So it was that ironic and that irony shoved him from a wave’s crest and he fell like an Icarus into the arms of startled sea nymphs. Then Charles Manson came around for coffee. Bad vibrations. Flat harmony.

In the end...
He remains a frozen-faced sentinel, Buddha in exile, now resting on a piano stool, the center of attention, while dancers shimmy and shake to those long-ago melodies raised by a young man (a nod to Yeats) tossing on his bed, rhyming in love’s despair.

Brian never made it out, but his songs race with summer children, forever kicking the sunset waves at Malibu, cheering storm clouds, knowing you can only see real fun fun fun in the rear-view mirror, hanging off the cracked windshield of a Little GTO.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Owsley Stanley: The Acid King, The Blood Bedazzler


A typical LSD-related scenario
He was there, you just couldn’t see him. They felt him in their heads, behind their eyes, how you saw the face of God on a grapefruit, the way her hair became a whirling rainbow as you ran together on MountTamalpais...

Owsley Stanley (born Augustus Owsley Stanley III) was a magician of sorts, part alchemist, an enabler, proffering the keys to the Kingdom of Psychedelia.

Sometime around 1965, within the walls of his own San Franciscan lab, he began producing LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide). It didn’t take long for Owsley Acid to be extolled as the gold standard among the West Coast counter culture

Pals: Owsley and Jerry
He wasn’t a one-hit wonder. In fact, Owsley supported brand extension, developing hallucinogens with names like STP, White Lightning, Monterey Purple and Blue Cheer.

It is estimated that he produced one-million doses of LSD between 1965 and 1967.

He became a sound engineer with the Grateful Dead and, likely, their embedded pharmacist.
The Acid King in His Prime


His lab was raided and he spent a few years in jail. Then it was off to Australia to avoid the coming Ice Age – which he did by dying in a car accident.

A Merlin figure, watching the newly crowned Kings and Queens dance the Fug at the Court of Fillmore West, bedazzling their blood with cosmic karma.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pauline Boty: Blonde on Blonde

“'Friendly, glowing, bronzed, curious, eager, impulsive: the world was all before her, and she knew it” – Margaret Drabble

Boty in motion
She looked the part. Resembled Brigitte Bardot.  A beauty. Was in the film Alfie. Flew above the great unwashed through an exertion of willpower and talent.

Pauline Boty brought Bob Dylan to England. Picked him up at Heathrow and he crashed at her pad.(That alone should get you into Wikipedia).

She looked the part. The mother lode.
Painted Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and Jean-Paul Belmondo. Did collages of magazine cut-ups. Was in a Ken Russell film. Acted on the stage.

Died young so that her unborn baby would live. A dyed-blond hero.

Forgotten, hibernating, then rediscovered.

The Only Blonde in the World. 1963
A cranked-up combustion furnace of 60s pop culture who could do the Mashed Potato 'til dawn and have enough left over to mix the paint. The pure strain. The Mother Lode.

And for a brief, brush stroke of time, she really was the Only Blonde in the World.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Bob Dylan: The Bard of Branding

“Bob is not authentic at all. He’s a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake. Everything about Bob is a deception.”

-         -  Joni Mitchell

Bob...before he became 'Dylan', man
The irony was apparent to those who chose to see the rickety, stove-piped legs that supported the façade. Here was a middle-class mid-western Baby Boomer folky transmuting Woody Guthrie Depression-era socialism into 1960s societal angst. Anti-government. Anti-corporation. Anti-status quo.

However, few entertainers ever had such an intuitive gasp of personal branding as Bob Dylan. In this pursuit, he is a genius. The untamed hair, the defiantly off-key singing, the poison pen lyrics, the confrontational attitude, the up-all-night pallor – Dylan created a powerful, pliable persona that was as original as Old Glory itself, and just as American.

He made it ok for teenagers to be thoughtful, intellectual, and skeptical. Goodbye Frankie and Annette, hello Mr. Jones and our Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.
Pre-lingerie commercial

When he tried to shift his brand - he lost exposure. Finally, he stopped trying. If he couldn’t grow outward, then inward it would be. The angry teen became a millionaire hobo, the squatter’s camp fire now a cluster of stage lights, the rail car a stretch limo with women he would immortalize and forget.

He did a lingerie commercial as it would strengthen, with back-handed condescension, his personal brand. He was right.

We never knew Bob because Bob  didn't exist. The most talented poseur of them all – laconic, jaded, detached, trailing in the wake of his own myth with no direction home, like a rolling stone.
The Bard of Branding

In the end a beautiful trickster, the Tambourine Man, one who sang the spell as a generation danced around him thrice and drank the milk of paradise.