Behind the Scenes: Original Influencers

Behind the Scenes: Original Influencers

John Donne wrote that no man is an island.  I mean, it seems ridiculously obvious but the enormous influence we all have on each other often seems to be invisible. For better or worse, we cannot avoid being shaped by our surroundings, our society and other seemingly invisible influences.   Creativity too, is a powerful force that transcends boundaries, bringing together people and ideas in ways that can lead to new and original outcomes. And it’s so fascinating how one person's influence can act as a catalyst, propelling another individual to stardom. In this blog post, we'll look briefly at three individuals whose spark of inspiration helped ignite their peers to fame and fortune.

 Anita Lane was an early collaborator, friend/girlfriend and artistic soul mate to Nick Cave and his band, The Birthday Party, co-writing their tracks ‘A Dead Song’, ‘Dead Joe’ and ‘Kiss Me Black’. She went on to co-write iconic Bad Seeds songs ‘From Her To Eternity’ and ‘Stranger Than Kindness’.  She had a huge talent of her own and also recorded songs and albums, Dirt Pearl and Sex O’ Clock, and numerous singles, one of which is ‘The world's a girl’.  Nick Cave writes about her on the Red Handed Files “Everyone wanted to work with her but it was like trying to trap lightning in a bottle. Mick Harvey managed to coral her into the recording studio, but these precious offerings are a fraction of what she was. She was the smartest and most talented of all of us, by far.”  And yet, she didn’t achieve the superstardom of Nick Cave.  Which doesn’t mean she couldn’t have…maybe she didn’t want that.  Maybe she was too quirky.  Who knows…the factors that contribute to a person's commercial success, including achieving fame, are complex, and personality traits and luck no doubt play significant roles.  And we also know there is a huge difference between commercial and critical acclaim.

 Angie Bowie was David Bowie’s first wife and has also been credited for taking David Bowie from a talented longhaired hippyish guy to Ziggy Stardust. “David and Angie were English rock’s quirky royal couple, looking and dressing alike in bright red mullets and silk kimonos, and shocking the music world with tales of drugs, cross-dressing, threesomes and bisexual trysts.”  Angie was very extroverted, loud even, who introduced Bowie to a lot of people in the music scene and other creative types who would also influence him.  She encouraged his androgynous side and helped create and make the costumes for Ziggy Stardust and other shows.  She herself was multi-talented but it seems that her real skill was spotting it in others and having the knowhow and contacts to put it all together.  Who knows where David Bowie might have been without her.

 And finally, Anita Pallenburg.  She was in some ways the 5th Rolling Stone, or maybe the 6th…one of them!  She was married to Keith Richards and earlier had a relationship with Brian Jones.  She was German, intellectually inclined, bohemian and of course a style icon.  She had a huge stylistic impact on the Stones, from the way they dressed to even the music they made.   Apparently it was Pallenberg who’d heard an owl in the trees at home in Sussex that became the woo-woo to Sympathy for the Devil, 

 It’s said that it takes a village to raise a child and maybe it takes a group of creative and talented friends and others to produce a superstar!

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