“Never apologize, never explain!” Pictures of Marianne Faithfull

'I am a Fabulous Beast, and as such, I should only be glimpsed very rarely, through the forest, running away for dear life.' - Marianne Faithfull


At home in Reading with Sara Bingley, the family Dalmatian. October, 1964 (Photo by John Pratt)

The worn-out old maxim goes: ‘If you can remember the Sixties you weren’t really there’ – Marianne Faithfull, who ingested more drugs and drink than most at the time, disagrees:

I know everybody who wasn’t there is jealous – well, tough! It’s not overrated. It was great. I can remember it, and I really was there.

During the latter part of the 1960s Marianne Faithful, together with boyfriend Mick Jagger were possibly the coolest and most fabulous couple on the planet.  Not long after Jagger’s erstwhile band-member Brian Jones died in 1969, however, she ended up in a six day coma in a Sydney hospital. Jagger waited at her bedside until she woke when she said, ‘Wild Horses wouldn’t drag me away’. It was the beginning of the end of their relationship and addiction took over. It wasn’t long before she was living on the streets in Soho addicted to heroin and relying on handouts of methadone from the NHS. She later said,

I abandoned Mick and then I abandoned me. I left me lying in the road, anorexic and shooting up heroin. Heroin does make you lose interest in food but it was more than that. I wanted to disappear completely, get smaller and smaller and go down the plughole.

Marianne Evelyn Gabriel Faithfull was born 29 December 1946 in Hampstead, London. Her father, Major Robert Glynn Faithfull left the family home when she was five and she was raised by her mother. Although she spent some of her early life at the commune at Braziers Park, Oxfordshire, formed by Dr John Norman Glaister, where her father also lived and participated. Her mother was a Viennese Baroness and a descendent of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch whose erotic novel, Venus in Furs, spawned the word ‘Masochism’. Marianne later wrote that her mother raised her ‘like one of her cats’. Her paternal grandfather had been a sexologist and inventor of a device called the ‘frigidity machine’ designed to give women orgasms which he tried out on his son’s wife, Marianne’s mother. There wasn’t a chance in hell that Marianne would turn out ordinary and conventional. And she didn’t.


Marianne began her singing career in 1964, after attending a Rolling Stones launch party with artist John Dunbar where she met Andrew ‘Loog’ Oldham, the Rolling Stones’ manager and who who famously gasped: “I have seen an angel – an angel with big tits.” Her first major release, As Tears Go By was written and composed by Jagger, Keith Richards, and Oldham, and became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

The song was actually one of the first written by Jagger and Richards. It is said that Rolling Stones manager Oldham locked Jagger and Richards in a kitchen in order to force them to write a song together, even suggesting what type of song he wanted: “I want a song with brick walls all around it, high windows and no sex.” Originally entitled “As Time Goes By”. It was Oldham who replaced “Time” with “Tears”. Keith Richards in his autobiography wrote,

We thought, what a terrible piece of tripe. We came out and played it to Andrew [Oldham], and he said ‘It’s a hit.’ We actually sold this stuff, and it actually made money. Mick and I were thinking, this is money for old rope!

Marianne subsequently released a series of successful singles, including This Little Bird, Summer Nights, and Come and Stay With Me. After marrying John Dunbar on 6 May 1965 the couple lived in a flat at 29 Lennox Gardens in Belgravia. On 10 November 1965, she gave birth to their son, Nicholas. She left her Dunbar shortly after to live with Mick Jagger. Marianne later said about marriage:

For some people, marriage may be very groovy,” she says. “For me, it really isn’t. I don’t think it really is for most people anyway. Most people are not very happy.

During the 1970s, most of it drug-addled, Marianne brought out two albums, including a country album called Dreamin’ My Dreams. However in 1979 she released Broken English to huge success. Her voice, roughened up by cigarettes, drink and drugs, was now a completely different instrument – evocative and captivating.

Marianne celebrated the 50th anniversary of her musical career with the 2014 release of Give My Love to London, which included more collaborations with Brian Eno and Roger Waters. In 2006, Faithfull learned that she had breast cancer. The disease was caught during the early stages and she made a full recovery. The following year, she revealed that she had previously battled hepatitis C over the previous decade.

Paris, 1965. Photo by Roger Kasparian

‘My Face and I’ interview  by Georgina Howell, Guardian 1967.

Marianne Faithfull outside Cardas

With Alain Delon and Mick Jagger 1968

Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull 1968

Marianne Faithfull at rehearsals for Chekhov’s ‘Three Sisters’ Marianne Faithfull, Avril Elgar and Glenda Jackson

Marianne Faithfull by Doreen Spooner, London 1965

Marianne Faithfull by Jean-Marie Perier

Paris | 1964 | Photographed by Roger Kasparian

Brushing her hair | c. 1964 | Photographed by Jim Simpson

1965. Paris


Alain Delon and Marianne Faithfull in The Girl on a Motorcycle directed by Jack Cardiff,

At The Flea Market In Paris. . March 30, 1966. Photo by Jean-Claude Deutsch

Opening fanmail backstage at San Remo Song Festival, January 1967


Marianne Faithfull – Girl on a Motorcycle

Decca Studios London 1967. Photo- Gered Mankowitz

Backstage in Doncaster, 1964. Photo by Paul Berriff

On the set of Lucifer Rising directed by Kenneth Anger, 1971

Photographed by Giancarlo Botti In Paris, France, in March 1966

06 Jan 1964, Paris, France — on the banks of the Seine river in Paris. — Image by Pierre Fournier

At her London flat in 1964, by Doreen Spooner.

Christine Keeler attends a party in Chelsea 11/9 to launch “Swingin’ Sixties”. David Bailey Penelope Tree Marianne Faithfull

By Terence Donovan for Selfridges Campaign, 1966

Going to court in style ▹ 1970 ▹ Photographed by Ray Brigden

Photograph by  John Kelly, 1967

by David Bailey, bromide print, 1964

Actress Marianne Faithfull backstage with her boyfriend Mick Jagger after her first night performance as Irina in Chekov’s ‘The Three Sisters’ at the Royal Court theatre in London, 24th April 1967.

backstage in 1966 by David Redfern

1965 by David Redfern


6th July 1969: Singer Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones at London Airport. (Photo by William Lovelace)

Marianne Faithfull, 1976 Photo Robert Mapplethorpe

Marianne Faithfull posing in a black lace bodystocking,1966. (Photo by Terry O’Neill)

John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins, Marianne Faithfull with Kitten, London (1965)

Marianne Faithfull at the NFT in 1966 by Frank Hudson

Marianne Recording, 1964, Decca West Hampstead Gered Mankowitz

Ian Wright – Marianne Faithfull, Yorkshire Dales, England 1965,

Gene Pitney and Marianne Faithfull, Stockton on Tees, England 1964

Gered Mankowitz, Marianne Faithfull, The Salisbury Pub, Saint Martin’s Lane, London, 1964

Marianne Faithfull The English singer and actress in the backseat of a car, taken by Kevin Cummins in November 1981, in Manchester.

Mick Jagger, lead singer of the Rolling Stones, and actress Marianne Faithfull, on their way to Marlborough Street Court on a charge of possessing cannabis. Date: 29/05/1969[/caption]

5th July 1969: Marianne Faithfull and her young son Nicholas attend a Rolling Stones concert in London's Hyde Park. She is currently divorcing her husband John Dunbar to be with her boyfriend, singer Mick Jagger. (Photo by Ian Showell/Keystone/Getty Images)

5th July 1969: Marianne Faithfull and her young son Nicholas attend a Rolling Stones concert in London’s Hyde Park. She is currently divorcing her husband John Dunbar to be with her boyfriend, singer Mick Jagger. (Photo by Ian Showell/Keystone/Getty Images)

Birds of Britain Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull from ‘Birds of Britain’ by John d Green in 1966

A new look for Anton Chekov’s play, ‘The Three Sisters’, which is being revived at the Royal Court Theatre. The actresses are Marianne Faithfull, Glenda Jackson (centre) and Avril Elgar (right).

Detail of Marianne Faithfull 1971 by Bill Rowntree

Britt Ekland (left) and Marianne Faithfull, 14th April 1971.

Marianne Faithfull performing in New York City | ca. 1982

Marianne recording in 1982.

Marianne Faithfull by David Bailey, 1999

Keith Richards and Marianne 2017


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