Marianne Faithfull

Stage Manager

"Am I on?" asks the figure on camera, who identifies herself as "Laura Lou." "This is like a testimony, isn't it?" She wipes her face nervously, explaining, "Jimmy says when I wear too much makeup it makes me look like a whore." Her story is about the beatings she used to take from her drunken husband; she tells it between sobs, tugging at her bangs as if to hide behind them. At one point she breaks down altogether. "I can't talk," she weeps. "This is really hard for me." But she assembles herself again and goes back to her sad tale. "One night," she says, "he got out the gun.

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Life in the Stone Age

Louis Menand: Checks, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.

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