When he looked at Bianca, Mick saw himself

July 13, 1993|By Christopher Andersen | Christopher Andersen,Los Angeles Times Syndicate.

For months Donald Cammell, an expatriate American painter, an accomplished womanizer in his own right, had been pestered by one young female acquaintance who wanted desperately to meet his famous friend. He finally relented, escorting her to the Olympia concert and to the party af- terward. As soon as Mick Jagger entered the room, Cammell cornered him.

"Mick, this is Bianca," he said, noticing for the first time thstriking resemblance between them. "You two are going to have a great romance," Cammell declared. "You were made for each other."

Blanca (she changed her first name as a teen-ager) Perez Morena de Macias was Nicaraguan by birth but reeked of Paris chic. She was one of the most exotically beautiful women Jagger had ever met: Dark, sleek, dangerous-looking, she exuded a faint air of disdain to match his own.She spoke several languages in a sultry purr, and obviously possessed a keen intelligence.

Most important, Jagger found in Bianca something he could find nowhere else -- an uncanny reflection of himself. "There wasn't ever any doubt that Mick would fall for Bianca," said one of Jagger's on-again, off-again lovers. "Mick looked into Bianca's face and saw -- Mick. It was as close as he could get to making love to himself."

Said a male friend of Mick's: "Both are moody, sullen and secretive. They were fantastic together right from the start."

Bianca later claimed she was swept up in "the romance of the moment. For me fantasy is so much more important than reality," she said. "My dream -- I am so romantic that for me the greatest thing will always be a book by Saint-Exupery called 'The Little Prince.' I shouldn't say it -- because he is so arrogant -- but when I met Mick he became for me the Little Prince and the rest was part of reality, but with him it was all fantasy."

After marrying Jagger, all her time was spent --ing from screenings to parties and back again in a dazzling series of see-through dresses, satin capes and glittering turbans. Bianca soon secured her reputation as her generation's style-setter. This was only incidental to convincing producers, directors and studio executives that she had the makings of a movie queen.

"I want to act now," she told them, "because I want to do something of quality, not just be a star. But the press turned me into something I was not. They wouldn't accept the fact that Mick had married a foreigner. So from that moment on I was a bitch."

Bianca also set tongues wagging when she showed up at nearly every function on the arm of Helmut Berger, then breathlessly described by the European press as "the world's most beautiful man."

Whatever they did during daylight hours -- in Mick's case, often little else but sleep -- the Jaggers and their vampiric crowd came alive after midnight in the surreal environs of a place called Studio 54.

Truman Capote, who went several nights a week, called it "the nightclub of the future. It's very democratic. Boys with boys, girls with girls, girls with boys, black and whites, capitalists and Marxists, Chinese, and everything else -- all in one big

mix!" Journalists reached for superlatives to describe the atmosphere -- "the ultimate in decadence," "a temple of hedonism," "a throbbing, swirling orgy of light and sound." The New York Times simply proclaimed it "the new Oz."

Studio 54 did at times seem like the center of the celebrity universe -- despite the fact that the club celebrated drugs with impunity. Several times each night a cocaine-snorting neon man-in-the-moon would swing down from the ceiling; its eye would then flash red to the approving roar of the crowd.

Over this particular hive Bianca reigned as "Queen Bee" -- a sobriquet bestowed on her by writer Bob Colacello. He also invented nicknames for the rest of Bianca's pack: Halston was "His Highness," Capote "the Count" and Warhol "the Pope."

Murmurs swept through the crowd whenever Mick slipped in through the back door and made his way to the VIPs-only basement. But Mrs. Jagger held court at Studio 54 on a near-nightly basis, surveying her pulsating domain from an iron catwalk that swayed over the dance floor.

Bianca was careful to stake out her territory not long after the club's opening. At a party thrown in her honor the birthday girl rode around the dance floor astride a white stallion led by a large black man covered only in gold glitter.

During the last half of the 1970s, there was really no place else to be. Before leaving for Studio 54, Bianca often dropped in at Halston's black glass-sheathed townhouse on East 63rd Street off Park Avenue. The designer, then at the peak of his career, would dress his Latin American friend in satins and feathers before they hopped into a limousine for the ride across town.

One night, during a party for Elizabeth Taylor, Jagger and his entourage entered through one entrance, Bianca and her coterie of friends through another. Snaking their way through wall-to-wall bodies, the two warring factions passed one another without ever connecting.

"There was definite competition between Bianca and Mick," said a mutual friend. "She was definitely the queen at Studio 54, and Mick resented being upstaged."

It was evident to everyone who knew the Jaggers that theirs was a marriage in name only.

Next: Mick's famous girlfriends

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