Marianne Faithfull Thanks Medical Team for ‘Saving My Life’

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Marianne Faithfull, in a photo posted on her Facebook page on May 20, 2020

Marianne Faithfull is publicly thanking the medical team for saving her life during her recent Covid-19-related hospital stay. On May 20, one month after being discharged from a London hospital, Faithfull posted a recent photo to her Facebook page, writing, “I want to thank the doctors and nurses who… basically saved my life.” The legendary English singer-songwriter and actress was released from the hospital on April 22, three weeks after she had been admitted with symptoms of the Covid-19 virus. At the time, a representative for Faithfull said “she will continue to recuperate in London.”

In the May 20 statement, the grateful performer wrote, “I would like to say to all the people who cared for me and thought of me, who sent me love, people I know, people I have never met, thank you for helping me to get better.

“I want to thank the doctors and nurses who were so good and basically saved my life!

“Thank you all again for all your care, love, thoughts, prayers and wishes.”

Marianne Faithfull in the 1968 film The Girl on a Motorcycle

The earlier, April 22 statement noted: “Marianne thanks you all for your kind messages of concern which have meant a great deal through what is a such a difficult time for so many. She is also very grateful to all the [medical] staff who cared for her at the hospital and, without doubt, saved her life.”

In a statement on April 4 when the news of her illness was first reported, her manager François Ravard said Faithfull, who had tested positive for the virus, was “stable and responding to treatment.” Faithfull turned 73 last December 29.

Earlier that day, on a Facebook post on April 4, a friend of Faithfull, the performance artist, Susana Ventura, who goes by the name Penny Arcade, wrote, “Marianne Faithfull is in hospital in London having tested positive for Covid 19. She went in this past Tuesday [March 31]. Please pray for her!

“She has withstood and survived so much in her life – including being Marianne Faithfull – that to be taken down by a virus would be such a tragedy. I spoke to her last week and she was hiding out from the virus but she has caregivers and someone brought in to her.

“I wrote to her much-loved ex-husband, John Dunbar… He said
‘So far so good.” But also that she can barely speak and no visitors.”

Many fellow recording artists commented on Arcade’s post, offering encouragement to the legend.

Watch Faithfull entertain the audience at one of Penny Arcade’s performance events.

Born in Hampstead, U.K. on December 29, 1946 to a former British Army spy and a ballerina, Faithfull moved to Reading where, by her early teens, she could be found in coffee bars singing folk songs. Her repertoire included “House of the Rising Sun” and Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind,” both of which she would eventually record.

After immersing herself in London’s party scene, she befriended Andrew Loog Oldham, who upon realizing that she could sing, quickly signed her.

She made a significant impact with her bittersweet 1964 version of the Mick Jagger/Keith Richards composition “As Tears Go By” (co-written with their manager Andrew Loog Oldham who changed the title from “As Time Goes By”), a #9 U.K. hit (and #22 in the U.S.).

Watch the lyric video for “As Tears Go By”

Soon came such U.K. and U.S. hits as “Come and Stay With Me,” “This Little Bird,” “Summer Nights” and “Yesterday.”

The cover of a 2018 compilation on ABKCO

Her subsequent romance with Jagger from the mid-1960s until the end of the decade would become a national obsession. The couple was viewed as emblematic figures of the era, the media fixation obscuring and ultimately hurting her own career.

She recorded the original chilling 1969 rendition of the dark song, she co-wrote with Jagger and Richards, “Sister Morphine.” It was later remodeled by the Rolling Stones on their classic 1971 album Sticky Fingers.

Watch Faithfull’s stunning performance on The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus from 1968

During the ’70s, Faithfull’s life took a downturn as she became engulfed in personal struggles. Although she kept recording, her style evolving all along, most fans lost track of her. When she re-emerged in 1979 with a new album called Broken English, few recognized her as the same woman who’d had the hit with “As Tears Ago By” nearly 15 years earlier. Her voice was now scratchy, deeper and raw, and her songs were often brutal in content.

For years, Faithfull had distanced herself from that 1964 hit. Best Classic Bands’ editor Jeff Tamarkin asked her about it.

“Oh, I got over that years ago,” she said. “It was a very interesting thing to do at the time [reworking the song]. I now play the first [hit] version. I don’t even mention their names [Jagger and Richards]. I just say, ‘This is my first song. It’s over for me. Those people are written out of my picture.”

Related: Read our interview with Faithfull

Best Classic Bands Staff

4 Comments so far

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  1. Mick
    #1 Mick 5 April, 2020, 12:58

    Written many years ago for Marianne when in Hospital in Sydney, Australia

    Childhood living is easy to do

    The things you wanted I bought them for you

    Graceless lady you know who I am

    You know I can’t let you slide through my hands

    Wild horses couldn’t drag me away

    Wild, wild horses couldn’t drag me away

    I watched you suffer a dull aching pain

    Now you’ve decided to show me the same

    No sweeping exit or offstage lines

    Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind

    Wild horses couldn’t drag me away

    Wild, wild horses couldn’t drag me away

    I know I’ve dreamed you a sin and a lie

    I have my freedom but I don’t have much time

    Faith has been broken tears must be cried

    Let’s do some living after we die

    Wild horses couldn’t drag me away

    Wild, wild horses we’ll ride them some day

    Wild horses couldn’t drag me away

    Wild, wild horses we’ll ride them some day

    Reply this comment
    • Willow
      Willow 24 April, 2020, 17:47

      That would have been about the coolest article and response ever, had it been Jagger responding.

      Reply this comment
  2. Get well soon
    #2 Get well soon 30 April, 2020, 22:43

    Talented lady. I hope she gets well soon and shares her musical gifts with the world again.,

    Reply this comment
  3. mex
    #3 mex 21 May, 2020, 11:53

    …the ignorance of these young boys is devastating leaving so many people behind them,stranded in chaos! never equalled broken English but what a story…glad she’s o.k…good reading this….mr jagger & richards deserve a good slapping

    Reply this comment

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