Mick looked beyond Bianca Star, princess, talented groupie caught his eye

July 14, 1993|By Christopher Andersen

James Taylor had had a long and highly publicized affair with folk singer Joni Mitchell, but he had a new love now and he wanted Mick Jagger to meet her. With hits like "That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be" (inspired by a run-in with a casting-couch producer in Nashville) and "Anticipation," Carly Simon was a major star in her own right.

She was involved with Warren Beatty when she met Taylor at a Carnegie Hall concert in late 1971. Now they seemed to Jagger to be very much in love -- reason enough for Mick to pursue her. Then there were her looks. Rangy, wild-maned and lush-lipped, Carly had those physical qualities he found most irresistible: She looked like Mick Jagger -- or an all-American version of Bianca.

When word of Jagger's affair with Simon reached Europe, Bianca threw a full-fledged tantrum. She went into Mick's closet and ripped all his shirts to shreds -- with her teeth. "There's a certain American female singer," she became fond of saying, "I'd like to tear to pieces."

On his return home to the South of France, Jagger found himself locked out of the house. Once he'd finally talked his way in, he wished he hadn't. Bianca, in a jealous frenzy, was brandishing a revolver. After a few tense moments, she settled for throwing Mick out of the house.

Bianca later confided to Andy Warhol that of all Mick's lovers the one who concerned her most was Carly Simon because, said Andy, "Carly Simon is intelligent and has the look Mick likes -- she looks like Mick and Bianca."

Princess Margaret, wearing a low-cut gown, beckoned Mick Jagger to her table. He walked over, leaving fuming super model Chrissie Shrimpton behind. Shrimpton watched Jagger and the Queen's younger sister cozying up to each other for nearly a half-hour before making her exit. When Mick spotted Chrissie leaving, he leapt to his feet, knocking over Princess Margaret's table. . . . "He came after me," said Chrissie "and we ran down the street together." It was the last time Jagger would choose Chrissie over his born-to-the-purple friends.

Meantime, gossip ran rampant about the unlikely pairing of Princess Margaret and Jagger. Since she was still years away from divorcing Lord Snowdon, the British press was scrupulously careful not to offend Buckingham Palace by implying that the princess and the scruffy rock star were anything more than good friends.

A royal attraction

Not everyone was convinced. "There was a flirtation going on there, definitely," said an observer of London's social scene. "Princess Margaret was only in her 30s at the time, and quite attractive. And, as everybody knows, she was attracted to younger men."

"They spoke on the phone constantly," said one London partygoer, "and Margaret invited him to social events. Like many other women she found him sexy and exciting. If you saw them laughing together, dancing, the way she'd put her hand on his knee and giggled at his stories like a schoolgirl, you'd have thought there was something going on."

Princess Margaret's feelings for Jagger were apparently not shared by her sister. "The queen could tolerate the Beatles because they were clean cut and sort of sweet -- at least that was their reputation at the time," said one palace-watcher. "But the Stones were an entirely different matter. Princess Margaret had always been a free spirit and caused more than her share of scandal. The last thing the Queen wanted was her sister running off with Mick Jagger!" Her majesty viewed the Rolling Stones as a bad influence on Britain's youth, and took personal offense at Jagger's remark in the press that she was England's "Chief Witch." She summoned Princess Margaret to the palace to tell her so.

The groupie who made it big

In late 1978 a newcomer to the ranks of Jagger groupies began hanging out in the Plaza Hotel lobby. She had dark hair, chewed gum non-stop. "This girl was obnoxious, but also very friendly," recalled one of the Rolling Stones groupies. "She'd walk up to you and say in a loud voice, 'I want to be a singer. I can sing anything. Wanna hear?' And then . . . she'd start singing and everybody would turn and stare. She was there a lot, and she called herself a Jagger groupie. He was the only Stone she was interested in -- and I got the feeling she thought he'd help her with her career."

Something about this irrepressible, 20-year-old newcomer appealed to Jagger. On more than one occasion he invited her to join him upstairs. "They slept together back then, " recalled the groupie. "She was wild, and that appealed to him." They would not meet again for years -- though it was unlikely he would ever forget her name: Madonna.

Years later when Madonna rolled into Wembley, all of Britain was Madonna-crazed, and Jagger was no exception. Mick had long since forgotten sleeping with the pushy New York groupie, and she was not about to remind him. At a party after the concert the first person they saw was Madonna's then-husband, the

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.