Anita Pallenberg led the kind of extraordinary life that the average person can only dream of having. She was a style icon. A film star. A model. An international socialite. Most notable of all, she was the creative spark for one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all-time, the Rolling Stones. Sadly, her once-in-a-generation story came to a close on June 13, 2017. She was 73 years old.
Keith Richards, a man who she loved and spent 13 years of her life with between 1967 and 1980 once described her in his autobiography Life as, “One of the prime women in the world.” Adding that, “If there was a genealogical tree, a tree of genesis of London’s hip scene, the one that it was known for in those days, Anita…would be at the top.” She described herself as, “A vagabond. An adventurer. I am not a person with one specific talent.”
Anita Pallenberg was born in Rome in 1944 during the most violent stages of World War II. In her youth, she bounced around the Western World, spending time in Germany, Paris and New York City, where she hung with Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd before ultimately settling in London. She quickly entered the art world before meeting Brian Jones of the Stones in 1965 and beginning a two year long relationship that was marked with passion, but also a good deal of abuse. The romance came to a close after a final physical assault in Morocco, and Pallenberg quickly took up with the band’s other guitar player Keith Richards who’d long pined for her.