I don’t know about you, but Mr. M&B and I have come to that point in life where some of the longtime couples we’ve known and love(d) are headed for the proverbial dumpster-dive of divorce. Frankly, with some of them we would look at each other and say, “oh thank GOD they’re finally splitting up ‘ because going out to dinner with them had become a migraine-inducing, miserable experience. Yes, believe it or not, Mr. M&B and I actually don’t find it all that entertaining to referee your latest crisis of ‘why is he such a useless, lazy fuckwad?’ and ‘why is she such a heartless, control-mongering bitch’ Besides, it’s not good dinner table etiquette and about a shade worse than accidentally catching your friends naked at your last pool party.
But I digress.
While many of these couples we know (three and counting) at this point and time can’t remember what it was about them that made them magic together, I certainly haven’t forgotten. I know there are plenty of ‘convenience marriages’ out there- people together for the sake of finances or the kids or just to not be alone anymore – but for some reason, those guys are all staying together and the ones who seemed to be held together by pixie dust and sex straps are the ones who have become ashes to ashes and dust to dust. What’s up with that? Is it that something so cosmically powerful couldn’t sustain the long-burn? Were those unions based mostly on sex and pheromones and their moons being in the 7th house or some crap like that which made them flash too brightly for too short a time?
When I think of chemistry and magic and all that makes my heart all a-flutter, there are certain iconic couples who come to mind, and they’ll all in rock-n-roll. Well, at least I’m a consistent kinda girl. For me, these couples perfectly encapsulate a utopic image which may not have been their reality, but it sure looked like heaven from way down here.
Some are still together, others not so much. But they are timeless. They are the original hot messes. They are postmodern-day Gods and Goddesses, and I worship at their feet…
10. Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard
Ok, I know I just semi-trashed Zooey’s album, but I do think she’s scrumptious and I have a sparkle of hope for her the next time around…and Jesus, Mary, and Josephine, I am completely in awe of Ben Gibbard’s (Death Cab for Cutie) talent. So while at present they are far from, like, the rock-n-roll couple of all time, I think they’re a nod towards the future. Albeit a vegan, gluten-intolerant, soy and dairy free future (see Top Chef Masters episode featuring Zooey to learn what I’m talking about). Besides, they just got married, so consider this placement a wedding gift…
9. Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks
Those of you who read me regularly understand my illogical obsession with Stevie Nicks. And while I sure as hell don’t see what Stevie sees in Lindsay, I sure as hell know what he sees in her. Ok, he’s talented and together they were kinetic stardust. They are an example of when all the drama and tsurrus (Yiddish for a lot of trouble) are somehow worth it. I pity those who had to work with these two – not only through the well-known Rumours album debacle – but through their years of being on-again, off-again. I’m exhausted just reading about it. But there’s no denying their heat.
8. Chris Robinson and Kate Hudson
Okay, by now it’s pretty obvious I have ANOTHER unhealthy obsession with all things from the movie, Almost Famous, because while Kate and Chris weren’t together all that long (although a lifetime in dog Hollywood years), they are so very rock-n-roll. She was and will always be Penny Lane for me, and he’s the epitome of grubby 70s-style guitar sex demi-God. Together, they were Beauty and the Beast in the most nasty, dirty porn way, and we were all repulsed and fascinated at the same time – the true test of a top rock-n-roll couple.
7. Tie between Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel/Linda and Paul McCartney
Nothing against either woman, but both represent the demarcation between when their men went from being artists to becoming entertainers of the Vegas variety. They lost an edge. Some artists can handle the happy; these two just drowned in it, like a fruit fly in a pool of syrupy Shirley Temple – producing such slop as “Uptown Girl” and “Jet.” Mr. M& B is a big Wings fan (and yeah I know what you’re thinking, “and she married him anyways?”). In spite of this heart-wrenching truth, I love my man, and I, at least, admire these relationships (well, at least until Billy was caught cheating. Yeah, I don’t get that one either).
6. Winona Ryder and, Well, Everyone with a Dick in Rock-n-Roll
Courtney Love once said, “You’re not nobody in rock-n-roll if you haven’t played [music] with me or slept with Winona Ryder.” While I def think the first part is an overstatement (and I’m being kind here), the latter is probably true. Here’s as best of an up-to-date list as I can give you of Winona’s bed fellows:
Did I miss anyone? Actually, I don’t care who she fucks. I’m just a lover of patterns and like to point them out. So there.
5. Dave Navarro and A Mirror, Reflection in a Pond, Outline Image of Himself in Chalk, You Get The Idea…
In an industry so heavily saturated with egomaniacal characters and self-entitlement paralleling that of the Republican Party, Dave Navarro stands out as King of the Self-Absorbed Pricks. Yes, he can play guitar, and I absolutely adore Jane’s Addiction, but Jesus Motherfucker Christ can anyone be so completely self-obsessed as he? I wish I could have put him and Carmen Electra in this slot – I was really rooting for them – but after watching him prance and preen and pucker more than any girl I’ve ever encountered, I knew there was no hope for her or them.
4. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein
She was the luscious treat with the world-weary voice and sleepy-sex-stare and he was the co-founder and guitarist for Blondie – an East Village New York force catapulting New Wave to the mainstream. In a time when commitment was considered blaisé and monogamy laughable, Stein and Harry got it on whenever and wherever they could (even rumored to have fucked frequently in the bathroom stalls at CBGB’s, and if you ever saw them in their day, you know that’s not just devotion – that’s just insanity). After their 70s glory days began to dim, these two still stuck it out – with Harry nursing Stein through a particularly debilitating illness on and off through a chunk of the 80s. In fact, they were together up until the 1990s – when they finally split (they never married, but I’m sorry, you make it through key parties and cocaine and shoulder pads and come out the other side, then in my eyes you two were married, motherfuckers). They’re still great friends and make music together, which – even though they didn’t stay together romantically – elevates them in this little list o’ mine.
3. Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore
If I devoted myself for the rest of my life to be the coolest “me” I could be, my results would just shrivel and cringe next to even the mere shadow of Kim Gordon. And I’m pretty friggin’ cool, so that’s saying something.
I can’t say that I’ve always liked Sonic Youth, but I’ve always appreciated what they were trying to do. Like Talking Heads, they attempted to merge the art movement of their time with a post punk music aesthetic which certainly made for an interesting intellectual exercise, but wasn’t always something I could groove with easily. I’m veering off-track here, aren’t I?
Anyway, Gordon met Moore through mutual friends, and along with the formation of Sonic Youth – the band often coined as the birth parents of the alternative rock movement – a romance also began. They married in 1984, had a kid in 1994, and are still together, making art and music while living in Northampton, MA. They’ve worked, lived, parented, slept, and created together for more than twenty-five years with no fanfare, no headlines, no drama – frankly, very un-rock-n-roll. Good for them.
2. John Lennon and Yoko Ono
I know, I know…they’re on everyone’s list. But there’s a reason for that. They were both married to other people when they met, but the draw to be together was so strong I don’t think the laws of physics could have kept them apart. They were, simply, Kismet.
I don’t need to reiterate the rest…theirs is a well-known story. Recently, though, I was watching an interview with her on CNN. She was promoting her exhibit entitled, “John Lennon: The New York Years” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Annexin New York City. As she was going through the varying displays (the last one being the brown paper bag with his personal belongings from the hospital after his assassination), she stopped at one the videos playing John talking. Then, he waved on the film and she lit up and waved back and said, “Oh hi John” as if he had been standing there with her the whole time. It broke my heart. They’ve been parted by death for more than 25 years and no matter who she’s sleeping with at any time (let’s face it, she’s not dead) that’s still her husband. Period.
1. June and Johnny Cash
Alright, alright…they’re a country act. But their relationship was very rock-n-roll, with one big difference – a happy ending. They lived through being married to the wrong people, drug addiction, personal hardship to come out the other side (well, mostly) to find redemption, joy, love, and friendship. June died in May, 2003, and Johnny – never recovering from the grief of his loss – died a mere three months later. They were married 35 years. That’s fodder for eternal greatness, my friends. Think about that the next time you want to scream at your man for leaving his dirty socks on the floor.
PS: I know I’m gonna hear “hey where’s Sid and Nancy? And Kurt and Courtney?” I know I could have, maybe even should have, but damn it, I wanted to shake things up some – and while I actually think Love has talent, she recently flapped her big,. botoxed mouth about how all them “Jew lawyers and accountants” were taking all her money. Yeah, Courtney (half breed Jew that you are, remember pookie?) and it has nothing to do with you snorting and shooting a bankful of money up your nose and in your veins. Puhleeze…what’s even more annoying is that she practices the same sect of Buddhism that I do – so nam-myoho-renge-kyo this bitch and think before you talk…for just once.