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.