BEBE Buell

From Publisher's Weekly:
 High-spirited teenager Bebe Buell didn't want to stay home in Virginia in the early 1970s; she knew she was destined for a faster paced life. After graduating from high school, she ran away to Virginia Beach to escape her father's strict military discipline. She returned home, but, with her mother's support, soon moved to New York and became a moderately successful Eileen Ford model.

However, even more appealing to Bebe was the world of rock music. She became a groupie of sorts hanging out with Todd Rundgren, Andy Warhol and Iggy Pop. (She's said to have provided some of the inspiration for Kate Hudson's character in Almost Famous.)

In addition to Bebe's sexual exploits with celebrities (the list is long; highlights include David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Rod Stewart), she served as a muse and actual wordsmith, recording with the Cars in 1980: "I was never on a quest for sex itself. In fact, to me, it's the hardest part of a relationship. I was always on a quest for rock 'n' roll."

As I love to read retro fabulous books about the rock generation I began reading this book for inspiration for future blog posts. Love biographies, especially from brilliant artistic women of history.

Of this genre my favorite book of all is "I know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou. A true story on Maya's life in poverty and eventual stardom in the arts. Maya knew why the cage bird sang.. Maya left her cage and I left mine behind too. Not an easy feat.

I picked up Bebe Buell's autobiography "Rebel Heart" to read Monday. I found this book very unnerving. On many different levels this book angered me. It is tough being a woman in business. This is where a strong belief in yourself and a good base in ethics is necessary.

After reading her book I felt that Ms Buell never quite figured out that she was stuck in a proverbial tar pit of poor choices. I wish she had met my wonderful therapist.


I really felt angry and wanting to scream at Bebe and then after sleeping on it I felt differently. I felt sadness for what seemed to me a rudderless existence. Closing the book I was left feeling that after all the drama, pain, tears and confusion described in detail, all that was left was a traumatized girl still looking for an unconditional love. Sadness inevitably followed.

It angered me that her ghost writer did not edit this book into something more self protective. Honest yes, painfully so. I cringed continually while reading it. Yes Bebe was a successful fashion model and I do give her credit for that work.

Not that my opinion matters. I felt sorry for her in that she never seemed to get the reality of what really matters... raising a well adjusted child. Her daughter was well cared for as stated in her book by her cousin Annie, Bebe's mother and Todd Rundgren. Bebe states she never missed a holiday.

As a single working mom I gave up my show biz job and settled down with a 8-5pm day job to give my daughter stability and a nice home life. I felt a combination of sympathy for Ms Buell and distaste for her actions if they are all true as written.
Over 150 reviews of this book on Amazon convey reader's opinions in more depth than I can share on this blog. I really was upset by this book and as such felt a need to work through it.
They say beauty can be a curse and this book absolutely confirms that...


Larry H Leitner said...

I always considered her one of the hotter Playboy Playmates when I was in High School. It did bother me that she let Rundgren pay support for a kid that wasn't his like that.

MJG196 said...

If you've read anything by Victor Bockris before (particularly his Lou Reed bio), you'd have known he really dwells on the tabloid aspects of Rock 'N' Rollers' lives. Plus, he definitely picks sides. Can't say I blame him for the tabloid-ish nature of his writing - it's what sells. And...I gotta admit that's the juicy stuff I wanna read!

However, I don't like it when Bockris wears his opinions on his sleeve.

Retro Kimmer said...

Thanks Michael for that explanation. Maybe he just left her twisting in the wind. You would think he would have protected her from this.

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