Icons & Idols, part 3

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson, this pretty brunette dyed her hair blonde, slicked on some red lipstick and a screen legend and icon was born.

Marilyn Monroe

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Her story is one of the most well known in the world.  Her fame, the stuff of legend.  Her dresses, letters, autographs and other personal effects still sell for millions. The world is still obsessed with Marilyn. She is the epitome of the perfect woman, the poster girl for anti size zero, the ultimate sex symbol.  And yet…..there were times when she wasn’t a very nice person.  Times when she was unhappy, lonely, and ill.  The worst of times was when she was described as being unprofessional and difficult to work with.

What is it about Marilyn that endures year after year? Her connection with the Kennedy’s? Her trademark blonde bombshell look? The mysterious circumstances that surround her death? We’ll never really know, or have all the answers about Marilyn and how she died….and lived.  But one thing is certain; no Hollywood actress has ever come close to rivaling her star status and I don’t think anyone ever will.

You can read in depth about Marilyn and her life, love and works ► here. But, here are some quotes I love, and these are a large part of the reason why I consider her one of my idols.

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Elton John was bang on the money with his Candle in the wind song.  Here are the lyrics and below that, my favourite Marilyn picture.

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Our Marilyn…..
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Icons & Idols, part 2

For the second installment of this feature, I have decided to showcase someone who was born into a world that wasn’t quite ready for him yet.

Someone who was a poet first, and then a music star. Someone who was probably far too intelligent for their own good – their keen understanding of the world they lived in, the system and the restrictions of life driving them to drink and drugs.  And boy, was this guy a mean drunk!

Jim Morrison

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To me, Jim is a character who was fiercely intelligent, shy, creative and sensitive but a little flaky with a mean streak a mile wide.  Sadly, he was gone before I was even born but his work lives on and the world is still fascinated with him. I came to discover him through The Doors music, but soon went onto his poetry – although I love both.

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So what it is about Jim Morrison that endures?
Firstly, his works in music, film and his writings.
Then, he’s a member of the J27 club (a club you really don’t want to be in).
His death was mysterious and there are those who would say that Mr Mojo Risin’ simply changed his looks, faked his death and walked away from it all to live a quieter life.
There was trouble wherever he went – court cases, airplane incidents, arrests…
The fact that he was beautiful didn’t hurt.
And there were the women in his life : if you were female and unlucky enough to get involved with him, you’ d better have been prepared to fight it out with his other women! And there were plenty of them.

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Left to right : Long time live in love Pamela Courson, Janet Irwin (the infamous ‘Tiffany’ from the book Strange Days), Patricia Kennealy (Jim’s ‘wife’),  Pamela Des Barres (professional groupie). Yes, he had a type….pretty redheads!

Here’s the wikipedia low-down on The Lizard King:

James Douglas “Jim” Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer-songwriter and poet, best remembered as the lead singer of Los Angeles rock band The Doors. From a young age, Morrison became infatuated with the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Rimbaud and Jack Kerouac, emphasising his high intellect and ability to incorporate their work into his lyrics, making him one of the most artistic and influential singer-songwriters of all time, along with his songwriting partner in The Doors, Robby Krieger. Unfortunately, in his later life, Morrison developed an alcohol dependency which led to his death at the age of 27 in Paris. He is alleged to have died of a heroin overdose, but as no autopsy was performed, the exact cause of his death is still disputed.

Morrison was well known for often improvising spoken word poetry passages while the band played live. Due to his wild personality and performances, he is regarded by critics and fans as one of the most iconic, charismatic, and pioneering frontmen in rock music history. Morrison was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”, and number 22 on Classic Rock Magazine’s “50 Greatest Singers In Rock”.  Morrison was known as the self-proclaimed “King of Orgasmic Rock”

I think his life is one worthy of reading about, and I have read many books by people who knew him very well, to people who wrote mostly fictional accounts of their life with him.  The fact that the (living) ladies he was involved with still fight over him today is testament to what it must have been to have known and loved Jim and have him touch their lives.

For some awesome information about where he lived, click here.

To view the changing state of Jim’s grave in Paris, click here. Following vandalism, graffiti etc the grave is now protected by security but you can still visit and pay your respects.  The photos in the link are a fantastic visual of the way the grave site has changed since the 70s.  Wherever he is now, I hope he is at peace with the world.

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Recommended reading

I’m recommending these books to give you a broad scope of the many different accounts of Jim available out there.  Each book paints a different picture of Jim, but somewhere in among all of these books, accounts, recollections and interviews the real man emerges and you can form your own opinion about who this enigmatic person really was.

Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison – Patricia Kennealy-Morrison

Your Ballroom days are over, baby – Janet M Erwin (free online magazine)

No One Here Gets Out Alive: The Biography of Jim Morrison – Jerry Hopkins

Light my fire : my life with The Doors – Ray Mazarek

Riders on the storm : my life with Jim Morrison – John Densmore

Wonderland Avenue : Danny Sugerman

I’m with the band – Pamela De Barres

Angels dance and angels die – Patricia Butler

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Icons & idols, part 1

I was just thinking about one of my favourite ever TV shows, which starred one of my all time idols. This is someone that I admire as a person, for what they do, what they stand for, what they create  and for their general attitude in life. This person is an actress, business woman, mother, wife and style icon.

Sarah Jessica Parker

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So, what’s to love about this woman and her career?

Sex and the City. This includes the tv show and both movies. I’m a huge fan; always have been, always will be and I hope the rumours about a third movie are true. Carrie Bradshaw is one of the most iconic characters in popular culture; everyone wanted to be her and everyone wanted their own name necklace to go with their very own Mr Big.  If only!

Her fabulous fragrance collection. I own three of her perfumes and they are all gorgeous, sophisticated, feminine scents but without the ridiculous designer price tag. Lovely is an absolutely classic fragrance, whereas SJP NYC is a lighter, more fun carefree perfume.  I personally love wearing both.

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Her enduring relationship with Matthew Broderick – Married in 1997, they’ll celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary on May 19th. They keep their personal life quiet but are frequently pictured out and about together because they are very much together and still in love. Our Sarah certainly  isn’t fickle!
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Her movie & television career – She was in some of the coolest things ever – Footloose, Hocus Pocus, LA Story, Glee, Ed Wood….and have we mentioned Sex and the City? 😉

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She’s a style icon – maybe she had help from Pat Field (SaTC & The Devil wears Prada costume designer), but the fact is, SJP has taste and style enough of her own by the bucketload. She very rarely makes a bad choice – strange at times, yes but not bad.  Of course she has a team of stylists for red carpet events who help her and suggest dresses etc, but who dresses her when she’s just out in the streets of NY? That’s right…..she does 😉

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She’s a busy working mum, just like the rest of us – Sarah & Matthew have 3 children; James (11) and twins Marion & Tabitha (4). Juggling 3 kids, her own business and a movie career may well have inspired the movie Sarah starred in called I don’t know how she does it. I’m sure she has help – family, nannies, cleaners etc but she just gets on with the minimum amount of fuss and is never spotted with an entourage, but can instead be regularly seen out with the kids in NYC by herself or with the hubby.

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So that sums up in a nutshell why I think this woman is a total legend!  Keep watching for more style icons, idols & inspirations coming soon.