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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.