MTV did a show in the late 1980″s Called Rock Wives Speak Out. The commercial for it was so melodramatic that every time we heard Jerry Hall announce the title in her infectious Texan drawl, we would burst into fits of laughter. Since I had only recently become a “rock wife,” Nick derived great pleasure in mimicking Jerry every time I’d walk into the room.

Jewels with Jerry Hall and her rock wife advice

Jewels with Jerry Hall and her rock wife advice

Many of you have asked when am I going to write a book about my past? Don’t hold your breath. Okay, okay – I know I talk a lot about my past in this blog, but I control the tone of it. Let a publisher or television producer get ahold of your story, and they’re going to want the dirt – something I’ve no intention of holding onto, or dishing out to the world. In fact, the last time I saw Jerry she moaned, “can you believe they made me give all the money back?” – referring to the 500K advance she’d been given to write her autobiography. “They said I’m not being nasty enough about Mick (Jagger), but I can’t do that to the father of my children!” I’m sure giving up all that money stung, but I admire and agree with her principles 100%, touché Jerry!

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You’re not marrying just a man, you’re marrying an institution

Marrying a rock star seems to be the modern day fairy tale for many women, hence the seemingly endless fascination with the subject. I’m not going to lie, marrying a charismatic, creative, and highly intelligent man you happen to be head over heals in love with is exciting, and there are many perks to the lifestyle.  There are also many harsh realities, so before you seethe with envy or decide to take the plunge yourself, I ask you to consider the other side of the coin. Being married to a rock star, or in my case a pop star, is considerably different than the marriage you probably grew up dreaming about. In fact marriage is a bit of an oxymoron in the world of rock-n-roll. You’re not marrying a man, you’re marrying an institution, and you will always have to take second place to music.

Nick 7 Julie Anne RhodesYou hit the road in an endless blur of airports, concert halls, and hotels with brown carpets

You don’t settle down, make babies, and live happily ever after – you hit the road in an endless blur of airports, concert halls, and hotels with brown carpets. Oh, did I mention you also put up with battalions of groupies throwing themselves at your husband, and record company executives pinching your a$$ until you are blue in the face – both of which are extremely disrespectful of the institution of marriage, but par for the course. BTW, before all you Duranies get upset with me, there is a distinct difference between fan and groupie. I once had a woman stare me in the eyes while she asked my husband to sign her backstage pass. The pass was in her crotch – that is the difference. Need I say more?

I longed for the white picket fence

I longed for the white picket fence

Then when you’re not on the road, you’re still a rock widow sitting at home waiting for the husband who only tears himself away from the recording studio long enough to sleep for a few hours, or you’re constantly missing your family and friends while you live in foreign countries as tax exiles. The only alternative is to leave your man to it, while you try to concentrate on your career, rather than your loneliness, a million miles away in your guilded cage. Jerry used to do the later, but she would tell me, “never leave your man alone in New York or Los Angeles” (meaning the groupies are out of control in those cities).  That is why more of us than not, eventually end up EX rock wives – we long for the normalcy of the white picket fence with our prince chartings (typo intended), and end up feeling more like we joined the circus.

Julie Anne & Tatjana Rhodes

Julie Anne & Tatjana Rhodes

Moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for – it may come true. Do I regret having married Nick? Absolutely not. First, I have the most amazing daughter any mother could ask for from that union, but I also have so many fabulous memories of our life together. Do I wish we were still married? No, our marriage was a bit like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead – when things were good, they were really, really good – but when they were bad – well, I refuse to dwell on that. I’m glad I got to experience the world through those dizzying heights of fame, but I’m a midwestern girl who prefers her feet firmly planted on the ground.

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  • April 23, 2013
    1:56 pm

    Whoa… brutally honest and brutally scary. Having seen some pretty whacky, rude and downright slapper-like behaviour on twitter I`ve said a few times we have no idea what a rock wife puts up with or goes through. Being ambushed in normal places like airports and recording studios and in your own neighbourhood… not for the faint of heart and I imagine it gets old pretty darn fast. My cousin`s husband is in a band that has had pretty decent coverage on the Canadian and US scene and I`ve seen some pretty ridiculous behaviour on the parts of groupies with her standing right there.

    I`m looking forward to your cookbook and a nice book tour!

    Reply
  • April 23, 2013
    2:17 pm

    Oh Julie Anne, I gotta tell you, my 19 yr old daughter’s boyfriend is in a local band that is making it’s way across the states. Connor’s band is teeny compared to Duran Duran but I’ve seen the posts to the band’s social media sites, etc. It IS disrespectful and you’re sitting there thinking “I know I did NOT just read/see/hear (Skype) that!”. My daughter bites her tongue but sometimes I hear the disgruntlement. I couldn’t marry a rock star if I’d wanted to (although I love being behind, behind the scenes taking photos and hanging as a fan, NEVER a groupie). I have to say though, my husband and I had a hard debate the other day and he was saying “groupies” don’t sleep around(mind you he was born/raised in Portland, OR, I on the other hand am from KC, MO. Brent’s version vs. my version of what the word “groupie” is completely boggles my mind, lol.) He said he had a couple of friends who were “groupies” because they used to follow Depeche Mode from state to state. I told him “No, a “groupie” is one who sleeps with select members of the whole band.” Then I proceded to point out certain members of society who’ve written books about their lifestyle as a “groupie”. I was like “No, I’m not a “groupie”.” I’ve followed DD around different states (12 concerts), but the closest I have ever gotten was jumping onstage to talk to Nick and making eye contact with Simon & touching his foot several times during the show, lol.

    Reply
  • April 23, 2013
    2:50 pm

    Wow. Be careful what you wish for indeed! Now I admit I was a duranie back in the day, but I am continually amazed at how ridiculous even grown women will act!

    Thank you for your honesty. You don’t hear it very often.

    Reply
  • April 23, 2013
    3:19 pm

    i heard a story about one band where a woman showed up at their dressing room door wearing just a fir coat .. some women are just unbelievable !! It seems that their self respect goes completely out the window … i keep wondering ‘why would these men leave their wives for YOU ‘ … and most times they will not .. but the bs you had to put up with is crazy … I admire your courage and honesty and yes I don’t blame you for not writing that book .. besides no matter what happened between and me and my hubby i would never badmouth my kids about their dad. You are classy all the way Julie-Anne :) !!

    Reply
  • April 24, 2013
    8:27 am

    “never leave your man alone in New York or Los Angeles” (meaning the groupies are out of control in those cities). That Jerry Hall comments made me think how´s Gela Nash-Taylor coping as his husband kinda lives in both cities…

    Reply
    • April 24, 2013
      8:40 am

      Are you kidding??? Granted, this is from the outside looking in, but John and Gela seem to have one of the happiest, strongest marriages I know.

      It needs to all be kept in perspective – groupies are highly unlikely to be a threat to any marriage – think about it – do you think a man would really want anything more than a one night stand (and most wouldn’t even want that) with a woman so promiscuous and shallow? I assure you I didn’t feel my marriage was threatened in the slightest by that groupie who wanted an autograph – I was just annoyed by her blatantly disrespectful behavior.

      Reply
      • April 24, 2013
        8:43 am

        PS. Nick was equally annoyed.

      • April 24, 2013
        9:30 am

        Enquiring minds want to know! What did he say to the groupie with the crotch pass? Nick always came across as it’s about the music period, not the groupies and drugs/partying. That’s what he portrays, very well put together in his music. You don’t see so much of that anymore with musicians.

      • April 24, 2013
        9:42 am

        Nick was ticked off as well, so he ignored her request and politely introduced her to Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols. Steve promptly grabbed her breast and shook it (as you would someone’s hand when introduced) to make her feel as awkward and insulted as she had done us – it was hilarious!

      • April 24, 2013
        10:36 am

        This reminds me of a concert I went to in the early 90s… it was outdoors and we were on the grass at the very back… had a ball but when we were leaving, there were two or three chicks standing around with a backstage pass sticker on their hip. This was a middle of the afternoon, hot in July concert OUTDOORS. They looked they were going to a club in what a John Hughes movie viewed in the late 80s. We snicked and my friend (who was not known for his quiet tone) said “Ohhhh THEY must be the after show” and the group around us laughed. Total lack of respect for themselves, sadly and really, lack of respect for their idol if they think that they haven’t seen that a million times before and that they’d lower themselves to that level. Sad

      • April 24, 2013
        11:35 am

        I´ve had the priviledge to meet John twice,and he seems to be very down-to-earth,genuine kind of a guy.I meant in my comment that it takes a strong kind of a woman to deal with these pains in the butt also known as groupies.Because they´re always there.It must be hard to be in a limelight and try to keep your marriage together.Not because of the tarts, but because of the constant travelling and being apart.All respect to you,Jerry and Gela.

  • April 24, 2013
    9:16 am

    You do have your little picket fence in L.A.! I think one of the hardest parts of your past life would have been all the traveling. I love to travel, but I always long to come home at the end of it all. Taji is such a terrific woman, you have done a stellar job with her, even being so far away. Hope you are well! :)

    Reply
    • April 24, 2013
      9:46 am

      Wish I could see more of you Laura (without having to get my passport out and drive).

      Reply
  • April 24, 2013
    12:11 pm

    i adore your blogs Jewels… I can attest I am a fan and I love hearing your stories from the “good ol days” but i really do not want to pry any further than you are willing to offer up. It is not my business… nor anyone else’s. I’m very appreciative of what you do choose to share with us. I’m always amused, pause for the thought or simply regard you as so much stronger than i perceived as an envious teenager. Thank you for sharing your private thoughts and moments which we would not have otherwise. You are so wonderfully beautiful and wise!!!

    Reply
  • April 25, 2013
    5:00 am

    Dear Jules,

    Every morning I arrive at work and check in to see your newest blog. You never cease to put a smile on my face. As a 39 year old wife, step mom, middle school teacher, and former duranie (my heart still skips a beat when I hear any DD song on the radio), your blog brings me eternal joy and comfort.
    Thank you for sharing your cooking tips, motherly advice, and being such a class act in general. You make it cool to be a responsible and fun loving woman. You are a fabulous mom, chef, and woman who has blossomed perfectly into her true self and have discovered your life’s purpose..
    Tati is beautiful. I wish you both much blessings, good health, and continued prosperity!
    Your friend,
    Barbara

    Reply
  • April 25, 2013
    10:43 pm

    I was never lucky enough to go to any of the concerts growing up…Finally saw DD last year…Meeting Nick at the airport last year was an amazing experience. After shaking his hand I was like “oh man I cant never wash my hand now!” : D
    I could not even move or breathe when seeing a star that i adore not mention to do anything beyond that. It takes a “special” kind of person to act out this groupie kind of behavior I think…
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us, I really loved it!

    Reply
  • June 3, 2013
    9:00 pm

    Julie Anne,

    You are an extremely talented writer. I do love reading about your experiences and the whirlwind lifestyle you and Nick led. When I was 12 I was convinced I would marry Nick and that you’d “come between us”. I just made myself **Laugh Out Loud**. Now it seems SO ridiculous! My perspectives are, of course, different now and when I read your comments regarding your memories of marriage to Nick, I could relate with my own (now dead and buried) marriage to my daughter’s father. We were SO young when we married and my daughter came into the world and so were you and Nick! What do ANY of us truly know about relationships when we are in our early 20′s? My daughter’s father and I are actually friends now, something I thought would never happen, but it took 20 years of maturing to get there. Honestly, it’s most apparent to me that both you and Nick are wonderful people, you were just very young. To top off the “Odds Were Against You” cake (with one heckuva big cherry), you both had to deal with his fame. From what I understand, it can be a blessing and a curse. I’m sure you know that better than most. I really love your blog, and I have tried some of your recipes, even though I am a HORRIBLE COOK! I keep promising my poor husband I will get better, but I just don’t think it’s in me to be a “Domestic Goddess”. :-) I so wish I had the culinary passion that you have! I want more than anything to make my family’s taste buds rejoice and be excited about the food I make for them but, it’s just not happening. LOL. Take care, Lisa

    Reply

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