Tag Archives: Keith Richards

In My Room

I try not to get on Instagram or check email until my morning is well under way, because you just never know what lies in wait for you online that could just fuck up your whole day. You don’t really want to wade into those dangerous waters until you’ve at least had coffee and meditated…

However, this morning, for some reason, it was about 5:30am, and I was barely even awake, let alone out of bed, and I started scrolling through Instagram and almost immediately found a post from Brian Wilson, where he was quoting something Keith Richards had said and it just sort of happily set the tone for my morning.

Keith was commenting about certain very early songs by the Beach Boys that Brian Wilson had of course written, and one of the songs Keith mentioned was “In My Room.”

I had forgotten all about that song and I used to just love it. It was a “B” side, never a bona fide “hit,” but it was included on the greatest hits double album, Endless Summer. And that’s where I first heard the song, at age 14.

Of course, I got right on YouTube and played “In My Room,” as I lay there in the dark, contemplating getting out of bed.

It is still such a sweet song and it made me realize just how much of my life has been spent in my room. (My various online businesses and blogs have either been called Marilyn’s Room, or referred to my room in some way, for that very reason — my whole entire life seems to happen in my room. Try as I have to always move my offices out of my various bedrooms over the years, it always moves back in. I love my room!)

It also made me think about Keith Richards, whom I seem to have loved my whole entire life, beginning at age 11, when I’d read the monumental Rolling Stone magazine interview with John Lennon (whom I had loved since I was about 9).  Lennon talked a lot about the Stones and Bob Dylan in that interview — and that’s how I really got introduced to the “real” Rolling Stones, not the “evil” ones that the media had perpetuated.

Anyway, from that interview with John Lennon, I managed to find the equally monumental interview Rolling Stone magazine had done with Keith Richards, at his infamous villa in the South of France, earlier in 1971.

Image result for keith richards 1971 south of france villa
Keith Richards, Villa Nellcote, South of France, 1971

You know, it was difficult enough to be 11 years old and try to truly understand John Lennon, a man I genuinely idolized; it was a whole other planet of astonishment being 11 years old and trying to understand Keith Richards, especially since I knew very little about the Stones at that point, and knew only a handful of their hit songs.

It is safe to say he made an overwhelming impression on me. I had to read the interview with a dictionary at hand, because some of the words he used I didn’t even know yet. (I remember that “decadent” was one of the words I had to look up, and it was used somehow in connection to Nazis and it took me a really long time — years — before I grasped what he was getting at there.) I also remember going to the library to find all the books & recordings I could on the Delta Blues singers. I knew most of the old rock & rollers and rockabilly guys by then, but the Delta Blues was new to me.

Anyway, it was cool to lay there in the dark this morning, listen to “In My Room” and think about Keith Richards and realize just how young he’d been when I was 11  (he was only 28!!) — he seemed ancient to me.  Like he’d been alive forever… (this song is actually quite appropriate, isn’t it??!!)

Okay, so here’s a photo of my room from when I was 12.

My room, circa 1972

I was actually taking a picture of my dog, Brindle. However, you can sort of see my room. You can see that great old Zenith radio!! That was the actual radio I listened to, even though it was probably 20 years old by then — a castoff from my parents. (I never had any sort of state-of-the-art hi-fi equipment, ever. Even my record player was a portable, battery-operated thing.)

I still have my stuffed animals on my bed — from my actual childhood. Not “new” stuffed animals. I seem to have been reading A Blues I Can Whistle, which I recall I had to read for 7th grade English class. (I also recall that I loved the book!! Here is the synopsis: A young man, institutionalized after attempting suicide, writes about what happened the summer after his first year of college.)

And there is my little 3-ring binder, too, not only with flowers on it (because, after all, I was a girl), but also photos of Alice Cooper and his band –photos that had come with the record School’s Out — are taped to the front of the binder. (A pair of paper panties also came with that album!) The binder holds all the songs I had written by then. (What I wouldn’t give to still have that binder and look at all those old songs.)

So that’s one of my many rooms. As near as I can recall, I have had 19 bedrooms in my lifetime…

And for no reason at all, here I am at age 2, ten years earlier, at the first house in Cleveland. (I found it while trying to find photos of my room). A bag of Wise potato chips are in front of me, my favorite potato chips, ever.

Me in Cleveland in 1962

Okay. I’m gonna get back to work here. I hope you have a terrific Tuesday.

Oh, wait! Nick Cave sent out a Red Hand Files newsletter today that was extremely interesting and eloquent — a few words longer than last week’s. About shyness and his wife. You can read it here. (Interestingly enough, when I saw Nick Cave at Town Hall, his wife was sitting a few seats over from me, in the same row. And at one point, when he was talking about his wife being his Muse, he did a sort of impersonation of how nervous she was likely acting over being talked about publicly as his Muse, and she actually was doing that exact nervous thing right at that moment. And I mean, exactly. Sort of fluttery and stuff.)

Okay. So, thanks for visiting!! You know what I’m leaving you with today!! I love you guys, See ya.

“In My Room”

There’s a world where I can go and tell my secrets to
In my room, in my room
In this world I lock out all my worries and my fears
In my room, in my room

Do my dreaming and my scheming
Lie awake and pray
Do my crying and my sighing
Laugh at yesterday

Now it’s dark and I’m alone
But I won’t be afraid
In my room, in my room
In my room, in my room
In my room, in my room

c – 1963 Brian Wilson, Gary Usher

Mi mancano i bagagli!

Si! I am learning some very important things now in Italian!

“I am missing some luggage!” “I would like a dessert!” “She never walks in the park!” “There is a party here!” “The butterfly is beautiful!” “Can I help you?!” “At what time is lunch?!”

(Of course, the exclamation points are mine — added to just give you the feel of the overall excitement here.)

Actually, though, I am starting to learn things. Meaning, of course, not just phrases but also the dreaded grammar.  The Mondly app, honestly, is really fun. (I’m still thinking, though, that my extensive studies in French help enormously, plus I’ve also studied Spanish and Portuguese, so I’m not really sure what the app feels like if you have no exposure to a Romance language.)

I have not yet sprung any of my meager Italian on Peitor, though. Since he is fluent in Italian, he might go off on a spree and leave me sputtering in the dust. And even while it’s fun to actually be learning Italian after all these years (since I first studied it and gave up), I do really wish that my dearest friend, the fluent-in-Italian-Peitor, was coming to Perugia with me.

Not that I have ever been one who wants to stand behind some sort of wildly capable man and then simply follow; in this instance, I would be 100% okay with it!! You bet’cha!!

However, he has already assured me — in rather excellent English — that he is not coming to Perugia to simply hold my hand (and speak Italian for me) because he has to stay in Los Angeles sometimes and earn a living. (He is a record producer and a composer.) (But he does go to Italy about 6 times a year, so there is still that tiny hope that one of those times will be when I will be overseeing the Writer’s Retreat.) (Peitor organizes all the various retreats at Villa Monte Malbe, but he doesn’t attend them unless he’s, you know, on the payroll…)

(And even while I am certainly old enough to participate in some sort of Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, I’m not wealthy enough to pay for it.) (Sadly.) (Although if I could afford it, I would probably want to support an actual gigolo, and not my dearest friend…who would likely balk at many of the things I would be expecting if, you know, I were actually paying for it.)

In fact, I can hear it now:

ME: (asking him for any of the many things I would be expecting.)

HIM: “Marilyn, shut up and get your mind out of the gutter. ”

(Frankly, I can get that for free. In any language.)

So!! Gang. I have to say that my work on the revisions for Tell My Bones has just been really, really great this weekend. Yesterday made me so happy. This next segment I’m working on actually sort of “bleeds through” into two segments and it’s really opening up in my head — just filling up with life.  I’m really excited. And if I hadn’t already written this thing 17 hundred times, I probably wouldn’t be able to visually open it up like this. I feel like I’m seeing it in 360 degrees, and not just in a linear way, if that makes any sense.

Well, before I get back at it here today (yes, I slept in again!! You have no idea how lovely the mornings have been here — cool and sunny and so peaceful!), I only want to say a couple more things.

One: Marlon Richards turned 50 fucking years old yesterday, and if you think that doesn’t make me feel indescribably old, you are just out to lunch; what can I say? I don’t mind being 59, but how can he possibly be 50??!! He’s just a little boy, one that Keith and (the now deceased) Anita are always toting around…

Image result for keith richards and marlon as a baby
Yes, that wee bonny lad turned 50 yesterday… How old does that make YOU??!! (Stop looking at Anita’s sizable things there, and just look at the wee bonny lad!!)

And for no reason at all, here is my very favorite photo of Keith. I have had it stuck to my wall for years.

Keith in Los Angeles, in 1969. (Robert Altman)

The other thing is that it does seem like the thing in Melbourne — Nick Cave and Warren Ellis and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra — was incredible. Gosh, I wish I could have been there. (And they even sort of speak English in Australia so I wouldn’t have needed a Mondly app!!)

All righty! I gotta scoot. Thanks for visiting, gang. As unlikely as it may seem, I will leave you with my breakfast-listening music from this morning!! Make of it what you will on this glorious Sunday. I love you guys. See ya!

“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.

Songwriters: LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN / FRED BOCK / REV. HENRY VAN DYKE

Buona giornata!

It was another one of those incredibly beautiful mornings around here, gang.

I awoke at 5am to that mighty chorus of Muskingum County birds!  All the windows were open, a warm breeze was filling the house. My bed was so incredibly comfortable, and I was, like, totally aroused. Like, for real.

I’m not gonna complain or anything. Because I’d rather spring from the depths of sleep totally ready to make love, than, you know, wake up and think, oh crap, it’s another day.

Still. I’m just not sure where that’s coming from and it’s happening a lot lately.  And it wasn’t because of my dream. I  remembered my dream and it was interesting & complex, but it certainly wasn’t anything that could be considered even remotely erotic.

So who knows. But it’s a wonderful way to wake up. And it’s happening a lot now.

It was a great day yesterday. I made good progress with Chapter 22 of Blessed By Light.  Made good progress in both the Italian lessons and learning the new guitar material, too.

Oh, and I stopped in at the hardware store in town and bought a small pair of wire cutters.  I guess I’m committed to becoming the Queen of Guitar String-Changers in Muskingum County now…

So it was just a really good day.

I guess loyal readers of this lofty blog know that I’m on Instagram. I actually joined Instagram when it very first launched, but I hate social media, so I never did anything with it. Until Sandra forced me to get active on Instagram for the sole reason that she didn’t want to.

She hates social media worse than I do.  But since I write for her and, in some ways, work for her,  I agreed to do it.  Mostly to promote her projects.  But once I really got on Instagram, I started to just love it.

So I’m on it a lot. But 95% of the people I’m following – I have no clue who they are. Not even the tiniest clue. I mostly follow painters, photographers, and musicians from all over the world.  And a lot of the people I follow are extremely famous, and yet I still have no clue who they are. I can tell by their photos that a heck of a lot of people in the world do know who they are, but not me.  But I still enjoy looking at their photos. Each photo is a little life story unto itself.

And when it comes to the 4% of people that I follow on Instagram who are famous and I do know who they are, well, as you know already, I get totally pulled in to their photos.  And some of those photos make me seriously ponder. Some times it’s what they’re not saying that just astounds me. And so I ponder.

I’m a top-notch ponderer.

Dana Petty (Tom’s widow) doesn’t post very often and when she does it’s usually short videos of butterflies in her garden or something like that. But this past week, she’s been posting more personal stuff about Tom and the past and the loss. And posting at weird times – like at 3am. And I could tell she was grieving. Plus she was having a birthday.

Yesterday, she posted a photo of herself and her immediate family, out to dinner in LA, celebrating her birthday. And she looked positively ethereal. Really just ageless and just so pretty.  All that long, straight  blonde hair. And she never seems to wear much make-up. She’s just this genuinely pretty woman, who looked about 17 on her birthday. Honestly.  So I wrote something to her about that.

And what she wrote back really gave me pause, you know?  It is so clear that none of this is easy for her, at all. That she’s trying really, really hard to just keep on “keeping on”.

Instagram can be just so revelatory in that way.

I follow his daughters, too.  From a distance. It makes me feel kind of creepy to do that. To “follow” people’s children.  I mean, they’re grown women, both artists, and both so much like they’re dad as far as they’re temperaments, and their politics. They’re outspoken and sort of iconoclastic.

But I try to stay clear of people’s kids. And famous people’s kids are all over Instagram. But something about it just strikes me as so strange. Inherited fame, I mean. And being on Instagram because of that.

One famous kid of a famous person that I absolutely adore is Theodora Richards. I truly adore her, but I still won’t follow her because I think it’s creepy. I follow her dad, of course, because I’ve been in love with Keith since I was 12 years old.

But Theodora is just like Keith. Like, seriously. She’s really pretty, but looks more like Keith than like Patti, and has this awesome mind of her own. She doesn’t seem to give much of a fuck about what anybody thinks about anything. Plus, she does stuff. Actual stuff. She doesn’t just “model” – Keith has a seriously huge contingent of models in his sphere.  Successful models. Super models, even.

I have nothing against models, you know. But they just don’t interest me.  I was a professional model in my late teens, before moving to New York, so I know that it’s hard work and hard to be a really good model.  You have to figure out how to become a complete blank so that whatever you’re wearing takes over you, and not the other way around. Designers don’t want your personality; they want their designs or their ideas to become your personality.

So if you have a lot of thoughts in your head that are of interest to you, you might not want to become a model.

This is an actual conversation I had with my agent – my last conversation with him – when I was a professional model. I was 19:

HIM (matter-of-factly): “No one gives a fuck what you think. You’re not being paid to think. You’re a piece of meat, and if that bothers you, then you’re in the wrong business and you better get out.”

ME: (Said nothing. Turned around. Left. Got out.)

The entire agency tried to apologize for him, and kept calling, wanting me to come back. But, honestly, I was a writer.  It just wasn’t for me.

Theodora Richards is not a good model, because her attitude and unruly personality take over everything in the picture. Even though all she’s doing is just standing there.  Her attitude is larger than life and it’s all you can see in the shot, and that’s definitely not what a designer wants. I’ve noticed, though, that when she does do some modeling, she’s always almost entirely naked, which I think is a really good indicator that she doesn’t give a fuck what other people might want her to wear.

Anyway, I love her! But I refuse to follow her on Instagram. She bleeds over sometimes into Keith’s feed, but that’s as far as I go.

Okay!! I leave you with 2 things today. Some of what I wrote yesterday in Blessed By Light. And then what I was listening to at breakfast today,  Good Good Day, by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

So have a good, good day, wherever you are in the world! Thanks for visiting. I love you, guys! See ya.

[Excerpted from Chapter 22, Blessed By Light.  He's just survived a heart attack, his best friend has been killed, he's been forced to quit smoking after nearly 60 years of being a smoker, and now the press has found out who his new girlfriend is and where he's living. He's trying to stop taking it out on her and just make love.]

I love you, okay?

Let’s just start there. And then build on it, go places with it. Find a rhythm with our bodies that puts us in sync with ourselves and with everything that we call sacred in this world, this life, and what we’ve come to know about each other. And let’s make love.

It’s so fragile, honey; all of it. In a heartbeat, a gunshot, or a darting stray cat on the road, it’s all over.

And, yes, there’s the Light. And, yes, it blesses us, all of us, ultimately. I know this for sure. But here we are for now. Still among the living. Staking our claim in it, together. In life and in love.

Come here. Right now.

Lie on top of me. 

You look so beautiful when you’re naked.

✽✽✽

Who are we now? When I hold you in my arms like this, who are we? We were once naked strangers together, remember that, honey? It wasn’t so long ago, either.

Now I know every curve of you, every round or flat or secret place, and every sound you make that goes along with it, with touching you there.

I thank God that we are never again gonna be strangers to each other. We are eternally connected now. Here or in the hereafter, honey, there is always gonna be a part of you that belongs to me. You’re my girl.

And I’ll never forget that night when you were astride me, my arms full of you; your breasts pressing against my chest, and my cock all the way up in you. George was with us. But, for a change, he was the one sitting it out. He was right next to us on the bed, though.

But in that moment, you were all mine and I was all yours and you looked down into my face, your hair hanging loose, falling so soft all over me. Candle light dancing in the room.

And you said to me, so quietly that I almost didn’t hear you at first, “You’re mine,” you said. “Mine.”

And I could see in your eyes where you were speaking from – that fully aroused place.  I couldn’t have filled you up fuller if I tried. You were right down on me, taking every inch of me up inside you, which is usually not easy for you to do.

I was overwhelmed by you that night.

Your arms at either side of my head. You were completely surrounding me, and you kept whispering it right in my face. “Mine,” you said. “You’re mine.”

I didn’t know if George heard you. It didn’t matter. He probably did. But what I really heard, and maybe what he really heard, too, since he knew me so well for so long, was that you knew by then that, except for that wife I had loved more than life itself, there had been way too many girls.

All those years of me living my life without you in it.

Until that first night I saw you, when my heart was pulled right up into you from out of nowhere.

Honestly, I did not know I was gonna stay. I was taking each day as it came. I thought you were, too, but I really didn’t know and didn’t ask.

And then you said: Mine.

And I surrendered to you. Right then. To that word. I became yours. Although you didn’t know it for sure because I didn’t say it. But my heart surrendered to that sound: Mine.

And I thought to myself, Okay, baby. Forever, and always, and only.

You don’t ever talk about getting married. I don’t think you want that. I don’t know if I wanna take that road anymore, either. But I belong to you. I know that for sure.

And I know for sure that it’s what I want.

Move over, come on.

Lie back.

I wanna get on top of you, and get all the way in.

Honey, do that thing you do with your legs up over my shoulders.

I wanna listen to those cries you make, those tiny whimpering sounds that make you sound like such a grown up girl. I need to hear that right up close to my ear, honey. Right now.

Oh fuck.

I love it when you make that sound.

Hold on to me. This is where the rhythm comes in for real.

And I have never missed a beat.


Jesus Christ. Who the hell is at the front door?

✽✽✽

It’s my girls.

What are they doing here at this hour? Why the hell didn’t they call first? Or at least send me one of those angry-daughter texts that they’re both getting so damn good at.

Crap.

You just stay here. Let me find out what’s going on. The two of them together. It can’t be good. They’ve definitely come loaded for bear.

© - 2019 Marilyn Jaye Lewis

See the little cloud up in the sky
It’s a good good day today
See the little cloud pass on by
It’s a good good day today
Mary comes now, let Mary be
Can you see her down on the street?
Mary’s laughing ’cause Mary sees
That she’s a-wearin’ that dress for me

There can be times
Yeah… When all things come together
Yeah… Under a clear sky and you can believe
Yeah… You hold your breath for this moment
Yeah… But do not breathe for this day I know
Is a good day, yes I know
It’s a good day, yeah I know
Today…
Hear her feet skipping up the stairs
It’s a good good day today
She is the answer to all of my prayers
It’s a good good day today
Mary comes now, she don’t knock
‘Cause she’s runnin’ on her own little clock
Mary’s laughing ’cause Mary knows
That this day was made for us
And any fool knows… yeah
And any fool sees
That the future… yeah
Is a-down on its knees
But let ’em all cry, let ’em weep
Let those tears roll down their cheeks

‘Cause I can believe in the one
That is standing in front of me
Oh this day, don’t you know
Is a good day, yes I know
It’s a good day, I told you so
Today…
See her breasts how they rise and fall
It’s a good good day today
And she knows I’ve used that line before
It’s a good good day today
Mary’s laughing, she don’t mind
‘Cause she knows she’s one of a kind
Mary’s happy just to be
Standing next to me
And any fool knows
Yeah…
That the wind always blows
Something to someone
Yeah…
Once in a while, so let it rain, let it fall
Let the wind howl through your door
‘Cause right now for this moment
I’ll forever be
Standing next to her
On this day, which I know
Is a good day, yeah I know
Oh, it’s a good day, I told you so
Today…

c- Nick Cave