MARIANNE Faithfull - at the age of 30 - is coming back.
From a singing career which took a nosedive in the late '60s, from drugs, from emotional ups and downs, Marianne Faithfull's struggle is a professional as well as personal one.
It began in 1964. She remembers standing alone at a party in London when a man came up and said, "How would you like to make a record." She paused, lit a cigarette and said "Sure."
The man was Andrew Oldham, producer for the Rolling Stones. The song was "As Tears Go By" written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richard. And the girl - just 17 years old - was a smashing blonde with a sultry voice.
By the time the song hit number one on the charts, Marianne Faithfull had left convent school to move in with Jagger - a relationship which lasted five frenzied years. There were other hits ("Summer Nights," "This Little Bird" and "Come Stay with me") and one film ("The Girl on the Motorcycle") with Alain Delon.
Those were the days . . . Marianne and Mick/Mick and Marianne. In 1966, reports of a miscarriage made the London papers after Jagger said she was expecting his baby. "Here Comes Your 19th Nervous Breakdown" and "Let's Spend the Night Together" . . . drug busts, breakdowns and breakups - BB days (Before Bianca).
Rolling Stone Mick Jagger and his girl friend Marianne Faithfull today were released on bail of $126 each on charges of possessing marijuana. (May 30, 1969) . . . British pop star Marianne Faithfull entered a private psychiatric hospital today is still under intensive care. (July 1, 1969) . . . Marianne Faithfull left the Australia hospital where she has been since she collapsed, apparently from a drug overdose, a month ago. She says she feels "wonderful." (August 7, 1969) . . . Lord Rossmore of Ireland said he planned to marry pop singer Marianne Faithfull, the 23-year-old girl-friend of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger. (June 26, 1970) . . . Marianne Faithfull was arrested on a charge of trying to smuggle a mink coat into Britain. (June 29, 1970) . . . British actress and pop singer Marianne Faithfull is convalescing after treatment for heroin addiction. (Sept. 30, 1972)
"I'm glad I went through it," she said in a telephone interview last week from London.
She's singing again, and writing songs. A new group, including members of Joe Cocker's old "Grease Band" has been formed. An album, the first in years, has been recorded and will be released in January. A tour is scheduled for Europe and, perphaps, America. But that's not all.
There is talk of a new Russ Meyer "punck rock" movie, in which Faithfull will play the mother of Sid Viscious, member of the "Sex Pistols." The part calls for Faithfull to become impregnated by her son.
"I haven't told them yet, but I don't think I'll do it. All this *!* publicity. It got on my nerves," Faithfull says angrily.
Her agent, Patrick Meehan of NEMS Records (Brian Epstein's old company) says the film "is still in the works," but Russ Meyer says the project has been shelved. "We had a good script, too," said the director, whose "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" is one of Faithfull's favorite films.
"I like punk rock," she says, "it's better than the early Rolling Stones. It's not quite so hedonistic."
What about Jagger? "The breakup was difficult. We lasted a long time. Actually, it was a good thing we broke up - it was not my scene. I hardly ever see him anymore, we move in completely different circles. I'm not a jet setter."
She never married Lord Rossmore. "I'd never marry anyone," she says quickly. "I can never go through with it."
The solution? "I don't get engaged anymore."
Faithfull - unlike Hendrix and Joplin - won the battle with drugs. "I'm glad I went through it on a small level," she remembers. "If I'd had more money, I'd never have gotten off drugs." She won't talk about the breakdown. "I can't remember it. I don't think about it."
Marianne Faithfull says she's currently living with a man ("nobody you'd know") and looking for a flat. And what would she be doing now, had she missed being discovered that night?" Oh something awfully boring. Something frightful," she laughs, " I certainly wouldn't be touring at the ripe old age of 30."