I was sitting at the Whiskey Lounge when Mick Jagger spotted me from across the room. A throng of people separated us, but that didn’t stop him. He pushed his way through the crowd and, when he still couldn’t reach me, leapt onto my table.
You see, a few years back, I led a charming life in New York City â€“ black tie parties, fundraisers, galas galore. I was juggling a fairly new business venture and a hobby-like modeling career in the City that never sleeps, and neither did I. To put it simply, I was a party girl in the chic Manhattan party scene.
Making friends was easy. One early summer and before I headed out for a run-around European trip, I let a socialite-hob-knobber, â€“ who I never really got to know very well, stay in my midtown apartment because, well, that’s what we â€œcool-hipstersâ€ did at the time.
While I was cruising the streets of Europe, Socialite phoned me daily until I agreed to meet her in London for a 3-day music festival. The lineup was grand with every big name in rock and roll performing from Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, and even the Rolling Stones. Not that I was gung ho on going, but the persuasion was inexhaustible. So, in the end, I gave in to her grandiose plans to hook up at Heathrow and take over London from there on.
Upon my arrival, it was dark and stormy â€“ a typical gloomy London afternoon â€“ and, standing in the pouring rain, nothing was going right. I had the worst cold of the century and to top it off, Air France had lost my luggage. I had nothing to wear! It was not unusual that Air France was on strike, but I did not have the faintest clue if a commoner’s lost luggage would rank high on their to-do list. It made me edgy at best. Not that chaos was unusual in the three-ring circus I called my life, but with a runny nose and constant sneezing, it seemed to be the point of no return. Without wanting to deadhead back, I had Socialite swear that everything would be okay for the very fact that I was in London was to be blamed on her.
11 Cadogan Garden, a boutique hotel in the middle of London, unbeknownst to me, was famous for hosting rockers. Little did I know what was yet to come; much less did I care if the world caved in. After all, what else could go wrong?
We both headed to the hotel in one of those black taxicabs I always thought was a funeral car. I was accused of being cranky, which turned out to be a pittance compared to the roaring lion I transformed into my mind’s eye, â€“ holding off with meditative techniques â€“ when I stepped into our joint hotel room. Expecting a sanctuary with hot tea, various brands of aspirin and a long English bath with complete privacy, the place was smaller than my luggage Air France could not locate if they tried. They did not try. Equipped with a New Yorker’s fighting spirit, I declared complete independence and offered to pay for two hotel rooms as if this was my last wish, or if it cleared out my bank account. Then I called the airline and threatened them with everything I could expel in my ever-growing feverish spirit. My cold, which by now I was convinced was a terminal flu, made my voice lighter than the London fog despite my every effort to sound scary and authoritarian. But it was no competition for the French; they out-cursed me in less than a minute. And so went my $ 50,000 wardrobe-luggage.
Just as I was getting ready to give up on life in general, the phone rang. The voice on the other end was a man’s to-die-for British accent. â€œHi. Is Socialite there?â€ Unamused, I roared into the receiver â€œtellingâ€ him to get lost at once. However, in an attempt to honor my better Zen self, I asked who he might be (just to make sure I wasn’t eviscerating the nice boy downstairs who sorted out my room complaints). â€œIt’s Mick.â€ â€œMick, who?â€ I asked short-tempered to which he pronounced his full name while sounding a little surprised: â€œMick Jagger,â€ he said. It dawned on me that I might be out of my mind, or hallucinating explicitly, but in walked Socialite signaling with massive body language as my mind froze instantaneously. I stammered with a surprisingly high pitch into the phone three or more times, â€œOh, hi!â€ , desperately trying to find the next thing to say. â€œHâ€¦ Hâ€¦How are you, Mick?â€ I was in mid-stutter when Socialite took over unquestionably saving my life. She talked to him as if he was the boy next door while I stood there stupefied. We were going to dinner with Mick Jagger in less than an hour. Socialite handed me a dress, not anywhere close to my style, but not wanting to be a prima donna, I rolled over and avoided the mirror instead.
There we were, the four of us, ordering dinner. I hadn’t a clue about much, how things were going to proceed, or who was going to show up next, yet it was intoxicating. I was sitting at the table with Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, sneezing all over him! As clueless as I was back then, I never put the music and the face together. I know I am the only one in the Universe who didn’t associate Mick with, well, MICK. I knew Mick Jagger was a big rocker or â€œsomething like that,â€ as I heard his name all over the place, but I simply did not know he WAS the Rolling Stones! Yet, the ignorance oozing from my pores seemed to be attractive to him. He was intrigued by the fact that I didn’t know the first thing about his life; I even asked him what city in the USA he was from. This killed the rest of the people around us. D’oh! You see, I was more of a movie enthusiast. I would have probably recognized Robert Redford or Kevin Costner, but that would have exhausted my horizon.
(Weeks after my once-in-a-lifetime dinner with the biggest rock star in the history of Mankind my friend picked me up in her car and the Rolling Stones’ music was on the radio. She screamed out: â€œHey, it is your boyfriend!â€ â€œWhat boyfriend?â€ I asked. â€œThis is Mick Jagger!â€ she yelled. â€œOh, my God! This is the guy???â€ I roared out mortified. I realized in that moment that I must have been born an alien and then forgot to convert into a civilized being.)
Back in the restaurant, Mick and I had a very enchanting and lovely conversation. It turned out that we were both economists. As the evening passed, Mick surprised me with his sweet, kind, and engaging personality. All those sensational articles on how he stares at women’s boobs and other creative inventions are just hogwash. He is an intelligent, sharp, courteous, old-fashioned and classy guy who is extremely polite. He is down-to-earth yet charismatic; sort of a kindred spirit. There was something humble about him. And I couldn’t help but notice the old shirt he was wearing, which looked to be laundered more times than the number of breaths I took since my birth.
We all headed back to the hotel and me, being my silly self, still fuzzy about everything, said good night, hung the â€œDo Not Disturbâ€ sign on the door and passed out. The next day, Socialite looked at me as if I had Mad Cow Disease: â€œAre you out of your mind? Mick was knocking on your door the whole night!â€ â€œOh.â€ I said, â€œI had gone to sleep.â€ Is that not what you do when the hottest guy on the planet wants to spend time with you?
On my way back to New York, the airline lost my reservation. In the midst of my personal milieu, I noticed the airport was adorned in the most extravagant decoration. It turned out to be a tribute to Princess Diana’s birthday. Sharing a birthday with such a royal icon is nothing less than the most honorable coincidence. Having had a big mouth since kindergarten, I made sure the airport people were clear on the fact that I, too, was having my birthday, and this special day did not seem to go well with the lost ticket scenario at all. I needed my seat! My vivid display worked out quite well, as they put me in first class and overdosed me on chocolate and champagne until I was drunk enough to fall asleep. Life was once more a celebration! Although this was American Airlines, God bless them, I almost forgave the French by the time I landed at Kennedy Airport. Almost.
Once back in New York, I only had a day to get my things together for a flight to Los Angeles. Upon checking into the ChÃ¢teau Marmont, I met a British producer who invited me to the Whiskey Lounge. It was only years later that I found out he had dated Elizabeth Hurley. Well, blowing him off may not have been the smartest choice I’ve ever made, not because she dated him, but because he was cute, handsome and entertaining. As we chatted at the Whisky Lounge, in walks Don Johnson heading over to a table whereâ€¦wait a minuteâ€¦sits Mick Jagger? I walked close enough to rule out hallucination. Mick noticed me, interrupts his conversation with Don and walks on top of the table to get to me? After his acrobatic move, I asked him if he was stalking me. Amused by my dire question, he told me he was staying at the Sunset Marquis. â€œNo, no, noâ€¦ You must stay at the ChÃ¢teau Marmont! It’s much better!â€ The truth bursts out spontaneously. And, from that moment on, there was a whole new chapter that started in my life. The Chateau Marmont became my second home for the most fantastic summer one can ever hope to have (provided that one has a certain degree of risk-taking ability and is fond of frequent adrenaline rushes! Oh, and, believes the unbelievable!)
And, if that sounds as if jet-setting rock â€˜n’ roll icon Mike Jagger and I were more than friends, nuh-uh. Never happened. But, this part is to be continued, as there were all kinds of â€œit cannot be trueâ€ , â€œare you kiddin’?â€ type of life and death adventures to be had. Harry Cohn, founder of Columbia Studios once said, â€œIf you MUST get into trouble, do it at the ChÃ¢teau Marmont.â€ He was right!
In closing: Mick Jagger has not changed a bit in the past 20 years.
God Bless His Soul!