LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE.
The desperate, all-consuming, ‘I can’t breathe when you’re not here’, split-apart-souls-finding-each-other kind of love. I’m sure we’ve all felt it at one time or another, perhaps even right now, but none of us are anywhere near interesting enough to warrant an entire piece on Le Blow, therefore I must cast my eyes into the world of celebrity.
The sheer intensity of some famous couples who have lived out their romance in the public eye can be fascinating. It’s a cliché, but the phrase ‘art imitating life’ seems to turn completely around until their lives imitate the art we associate them with, making the idea of them ever more aspirational.
In honour of Saint Valentine, I’m going to look at two such couples who I feel represent the very idea of life imitating their art. I bet you thought I’d write something about how much I hate this money spinning sop-fest and give it a nice big sarcastic kick up the arse eh?
Well I’m sorry. I’m a ho-ro. (Hopeless Romantic. That’s how the kids say it now, right?)
Lindsey Buckingham // Stevie Nicks
I decided to have a listen to my old MP3 player the other day, hadn’t used it in ages.
Once charged I pressed play, and the song I’d been listening to before the battery breathed it’s last was Thrown Down by Fleetwood Mac.
There are a lot of reasons why I love this song. I’m a huge fan of the band themselves, and it’s a very good tune, but the main draw for this one is the subject matter.
Stevie Nicks wrote the song, and it’s about a time when she and Buckingham had started to grow close to each other once more.
He fell for her again…she watched it happen…
Unfortunately (for Nicks), Buckingham’s then girlfriend announced she was pregnant and he did the honourable thing. But the pain of her loss for a second time is evident in the lyrics.
You say you’re sorry, now you should walk away…but it’s so overwhelming, you have nothing left to say.
Thus ended, for a second time, probably the most intense relationship in music history.
Nicks and Buckingham had met in the 1960’s, formed a band together called Fritz, and as time went on became a couple. The relationship was always a tumultuous one, with two ambitious and passionate musicians involved, it couldn’t be anything else.
They joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975, revitalising the line-up and helping them to become one of the most successful acts of the 70’s and 80’s. But band pressures, and the passionate nature of the Nicks/Buckingham relationship caused their romance to unravel, an event captured in the lyrics of certain ‘Rumours’ tracks. Easily spotted, so I won’t ruin it for you, you can make a game of it one afternoon when you’re bored.
Another song written by Nicks during the recording of Rumours entitled ‘Silver Springs’ didn’t make it on to the album, but gives great insight into her view of the relationship at that time.
Time casts a spell on you, but you won’t forget me…I know I could have loved you, but you would not let me.
At the height of their romance, the couple lived together for six years, with Nicks remarking it was the closest thing to being married she’d ever experienced. Nicks married once, but is divorced.
Buckingham is married with three children, but that means nothing to me. As far as I’m concerned they are star-crossed lovers, souls intertwined, thank you very much, goodnight, THE END.
You know, when Lindsey and I go back and forth on the songs that were written between the two of us, for that moment, we are back in love again.
~ Stevie Nicks, BAM Magazine, August 22, 1997
Richard Burton // Elizabeth Taylor
The beautiful Elizabeth Taylor was buried with the last ever love letter Richard Burton had sent to her. Supposedly in it, he had asked for another chance, saying he was at his happiest with Elizabeth.
Everyone knows the Burton-Taylor romance was an intense one. Describing his first sight of a 19-year-old Elizabeth, Burton said, ‘she was so extraordinarily beautiful, I wanted to laugh out loud.’
Fate and marriages to others conspired to keep the two apart, but when they met again during the filming of the epic film ‘Cleopatra’ in 1961, nothing was going to stop them. Even the fact that they were both married during this time seemed of little consequence, their rampant lovemaking during filming breaks was renowned.
But the greatest passions are always stormy. We know Burton and Taylor got married twice, but until fairly recently we weren’t really aware of how this great love storm was documented in a series of letters sent between the two throughout their romance. Burton’s feelings for Taylor are clear, as well as his deeply poetic nature:
Well, first of all, you must realise that I worship you. Second of all, at the expense of seeming repetitive, I love you. Thirdly, and here I go again with my enormous command of language, I can’t live without you. And I am afraid. Afeared. In terms of my life, scared. Lost. Alone. Dull. Dumb.
Is it not enough that they are both incredibly attractive, talented, rich? They also get to have a love like this? A love so strong and passionate that it ends up destroying and rediscovering itself twice? Burton and Taylor are the kind of celebrity romance I aspire to… though it had more ups and downs than a trampoline, I bet the ups made them feel more alive than most ever feel. The pain and longing of the downs would be exsquisite.
My opinion may be slightly rose-tinted and WEIRD, I admit, but I’ve always been of the belief that it’s better to live life at your maximum speed than just trundle along in the bus lane criticising other drivers. This is never truer than when in reference to love.
Don’t be scared to make a move if there’s someone you like. They may be your Buckingham, your Taylor, the other half that you’ve been quietly waiting for. If you do find them, every single day will be the most romantic one of your life and you’ll no longer have need of Saint Valentine.
I am forever punished by the gods for being given the fire and trying to put it out. The fire, of course, is you…
Although… who wouldn’t want a card on the 14th with THAT written inside?
Love letter excerpts from ‘Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton, The Marriage of the Century’.