Monday, March 7, 2011

"He Likes It Like That": Famous Guys Tell What They Fancy, From The Sublime To The Ridiculous

There's no accounting for tastes, especially if they belong to Iggy Pop. So let's at least BEGIN with the sublime: Dante Alighieri,the stupendous Italian poet who wrote all of his life about a girl he met exactly twice.

DANTE (13th century creator of the DIVINE COMEDY) first set eyes on his Beatrice when they were children at a May Day party, both bedecked in flowers. He thought about her every single day after that, until he saw her for another brief moment when they were teenagers. The gorgeous maiden, wrapped in a golden haze of honey-colored hair, was with friends, and greeted him by name. This flooded him with a joy so ecstatic, so paralyzing, that he thought he might die. In response he acted like an idiot, and scurried away from her immediately so that he could obsess about her quietly, in private. He never saw her again, but wrote about her until the day he died. This is completely typical of the way writers behave.

BOB DYLAN, musician, ran into his early love SUZE ROTOLO when he was still a scruffy, crazy-haired, penniless kid scrambling for gigs at coffee houses in Greenwich Village. He was 21, she was 17. "I couldn't take my eyes off her," he wrote forty five years later in his autobiography. "She was the most erotic thing I'd ever seen. The air was filled with banana leaves. She had a smile that could light up a street full of people. She was extremely lively, had a kind of voluptuousness." And Rotolo was not only a hottie, she was cultured. Dylan absorbed knowledge about books and classical music and political causes from her like a starving wild child meeting civilization for the first time. In the end he married someone else, and so did she. But they never forgot each other.

We can't avoid Iggy Pop (musician) forever, so let's just get this over with.

IGGY POP: (Talking about anything female wearing low-cut jeans) "They are trying to show they're ready to breed, that they're alive in that sector. If somebody has a nice butt I am always interested to take a look at it--that's the monkey in me. I'm there, you know what I mean?"

(Sigh.) I'm afraid we do, Mister Iggy.

Next we have a startling quote from JAVIER BARDEM. As an actor he's definitely on the Sublime side (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, BIUTIFUL), and as a person he's a raving heterosexual. His wife is Penelope Cruz, now glowingly pregnant. But he's also a very cool, very fearless European, and had this to say about Brad Pitt: "I had a great opportunity to meet Brad Pitt a couple of times, what a beauty! He is beautiful and his physicality is so amazing to see. But the beauty comes from different places, the way he talks, the way he's interested in what you're saying. And that body of his is like--WOW! It's amazing, no? He really made me feel very, like...I could fall in love with him! Like a teenager girl getting crazy and going--" At this point in the interview Javier screamed loudly.

I can't imagine a straight American actor being brave enough to do that, can you?

Next we have a comment from TERRENCE HOWARD, actor (HUSTLE AND FLOW, THE BRAVE ONE)that strikes me as a little, I don't know, weird. But maybe it's just me.

The ELLE interviewer asked, "What one item could you find in a woman's house that would prove you weren't compatible?"
TERRENCE HOWARD: "Toilet paper--and no baby wipes--in her bathroom."
Interviewer: "Wait. I don't understand."
TERRENCE HOWARD: "If they're using dry paper, they aren't washing all of themselves. It's just unclean. I explain this, and if she doesn't make the adjustment to baby wipes, I'll know she's not dainty. We have no future. "

Hmmm. Let's cleanse the palate with a refreshingly brainy quote from a great religious writer.

C.S. LEWIS (THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE) was a brilliant English scholar who married his Joyce late in life. She was a feisty, Brooklyn-bred Communist writer, and none of his University friends could stand her. But when he lost her--far too soon, to cancer--he never recovered. "She had a mind as supple and muscular as a panther," he said. He missed everything about her, but above all he missed his companion of the mind.

KEITH RICHARDS (guitarist, pharmaceutical marvel and indestructable old guy) has never known despair for long. He was quite the love man in his younger days, but after marrying Patti Hansen settled into monogamy with a sort of exhausted relief. And this is what he wrote in his notebook a few days after he met her:

"Incredibly I've found a woman. A miracle! I've had (sex) at the snap of a finger, but now I've met a WOMAN! Unbelievably she is the most beautiful (physically) speciman in the WORLD. But that ain't it! It certainly helps but it's her mind, her joy of life and (wonders) she thinks this battered junkie is the guy she loves. I'm over the moon... She loves soul music and reggae, in fact everything. I make her tapes of music which is almost as good as being with her. I send them like love letters. I'm kicking forty and besotted."

Now he is kicking seventy and still besotted with Patti, as she is with him; and that's the happiest possible way to end this post.


  1. OMG, Lord preserve us from germ freaks, now you are sending me out to prominently place baby-wipes (for show purposes only) by my loo, lest anyone think me unclean! What an odd little man..

    Iggy? He's just sad.

    I'm pleasantly surprised by Keith, who wouldda' thunk it?

    Perhaps Dante had the right idea, his love remained perfect, unblemished by reality!

  2. Certainly a motley crew of talent. Iggy rules. Though he's fashion sense creeps me out.

  3. Dante and Dylan know exactly where it was at - spot on observation about writers as well.

  4. Strange how different people react isn't it?

    Iggy? I am surprised that he is aware that others exist! :-)

  5. Shrinky--I'm afraid Terrence Howard will never be happy until he lives in Europe, the land of the bidet. Sad!
    I agree with you about Keef Richards--guess there's some sweetness and faithfulness deep inside that grand ruin of a man.

    Copyboy--Yes, Iggy's honesty is sort of fun, even if his clothes repel.

    Jhon Baker--What a glorious torch Dante carried, all his life. And I was struck by Dylan's honesty and generosity about Suze Rotolo so many years after the event.

    Rock Chef--"Each to his own" I guess. For Dante it was all about the soul, for Iggy--well, he doesn't leave much to the imagination! :^)

  6. This group would give the crew of the "Millennium Falcon" a run for their money in terms of diversity!
    How can Keith Richards even still be alive, muchless "active?"

  7. This was really interesting and well written, Margaret. That's very sad regarding CS Lewis, but you ended on such a heartwarming note with Keith and Patti. Definitely, the happiest possible way to end this post.

  8. Pat--I know what you mean about Keith Richards, it is definitely a miracle that he's still kicking. Somewhere in his autobiography he says, "Don't try to do what I've done. I come from a very sturdy tribe." Must be the truth.

    Robyn--Yes, I loved that those two found each other. Those old Stones guys are interesting material in general. Charlie Watts is notable (and Keith considers him "a perfect man") because he has had exactly one, always-faithful love affair: with his wife, whom he married when they were kids. Pretty amazing for a rock star!

  9. This was fascinating to read. I fall in love with women I don't know, all the time. Usually, they are from another era, like Susan Glaspell, in the 1920s. (Gush!) I also had a mad crush on Lydia Mendoza, a Mexican folk-singer of the forties. And then, there is Mireille Mathieu. I am in love with her every time I listen to her sing.

    Did you know Suze Rotolo died last month? How sad. Aside from being one of Dylan's crushes, she was an outspoken activist on human rights in her time.

    Take it easy on Javier. I am a guy. I love women. I spit on my shoes to shine them. It is so interesting how women can gush over one another, but if men do, they are suspect. Men are too homophobic. I've seen girls arm in arm or holding hands...and it is about the sisterhood. Have you ever watched men hug? It is very awkward.

    Thanks for this food for thought, Margaret.

  10. Mytholopis--it sounds as though you fall in love with women who have the queen-bee-artist gene--which makes a lot of sense! By the way, I listened to Mirelle Mathieu on your blog. She is such a master.

    I admire Javier in every way--his strength and honesty. I completely agree with you that men (and women) are too homophobic in general; and that straight men and women are ridiculously afraid of appearing "gay" when they're just showing simple human warmth. I think Europeans are better at this--in Italy I often saw men walking with their arms on each other's shoulders, old ladies talking with their friends while in a comfortable hug. This seems so much more natural and in tune with friendship.

  11. OK, so yes, Iggy was a bit of a Neanderthal and probably p...ed off a lot of women, understandably. But, nevertheless, Lust for Life was amazing, Real Wild Child, ditto. If there is a Punk Hall of Fame, surely he's been inducted by now.

  12. mythopolis--Absolutely! The Iggy deserves to be in the Punk Hall of Fame. But where women are concerned, nobody could have put it better than he did himself: there's a monkey in him. I suppose we could admire him for saying so openly.

  13. Most guys have a monkey in them, even if they don't admit it.... : )