Anita Pallenberg – Sasha Selavie pays tribute to the polysexyal princess of 60s pop culture

Anita Pallenberg

Do gay boys ever spunk up over women? You bet! Just turn to the opening chapters of Rupert Everett’s simply marvellous Vanishing Years, his second memoir, and he’s beating off to Anita Pallenberg’s image in the movie Performance! It’s an irresistible invitation to any enthralled reader’s imagination and, although I’ve no actual experience whatsoever of Rupert’s cock – which I envisage as an achingly beautiful, Greek column – any female capable of detonating Rupert’s stormingly gay spunk was lust personified!


So please, instantly dismiss thoughts of any rival female gay icons, like the remarkably conventional Princess Di, the patron saint of twin-set trannies worldwide. Sure, Di personified a certain, perversely provincial eroticism that drew breathless, cusp-of-orgasm gasps from besotted closet cases imagining themselves being screwed by Prince Charles, but hardcore queens, obviously, preferred the witchy, bitchy, high priestesses of Cunt Rock!

And frankly, no gay-friendly female ever – from Mae West to Liza Minelli at her most deliriously, prescription-med demented – comes close to Anita Pallenberg. Anita – who sadly died in June – was the unchallenged Lady Gaga of the Swinging sixties, the absolute epitome of drug-fucked, rock ‘n’ roll extremity. A pan-european, half-German and Italian prodigy, dripping five impeccably fluent languages with sultry panache, Anita effortlessly seduced three Rolling Stones like helpless fairground prizes.


And please, don’t pull any disgusted sneers of disapproval; we are, of course, not referencing the gnarly old cunts with drooping nutbags the Stones are now! Instead, back in the shining, deeply psychedelic mid sixties, the Stones were pouting, supersexual panthers, predatory spunk personified!

So it’s beyond tragic that Anita’s witchy peak – often dressed in nothing but fur, leather and outrage – merely endures in a handful of movies.

Ah, but then again, one of those movies – Rupert Everett’s adored Performance– is a still-unmatched, Mount Everest peak of English cinematic decadence. Never seen Performance? Please do – it’s a total, lifestyle revelation, and completely shell-shocked Warner Brothers’ distribution executives in 1968, who immediately shelved the movie for two years.

Why? What could possibly freak out corporate clowns who’d experienced the mass drug explosion, unrestrained free love and shocking, public figure assassinations of the era? Well, try unrestrained relish, darlings, the casual, train-wreck aplomb of Performances wall-to-wall perversions. Where else would the then most famous rock star on the planet – Mick Jagger – publicly indulge in omnisexual ménage a trois couplings and blatant, criminally actionable drug abuse? Sure, today – when even a casual sauna visit can involve frantic cluster-fucks of queens on GHB – Performance might seem tame, but in 1970, it effectively destroyed cinematic restraint.

Tautly braiding two incredibly volatile plot strands – gangster mayhem and rock ‘n’ roll excess – Performance still shocks today with vicious scenes of sizzlingly erotic, gangster S&M. Psychotic hitman Chas – brilliantly played against type by public-school classical actor, James Fox – double-crosses his boss, hides out with and is seduced by Jagger’s bohemian, pansexual entourage and excess. And arguably, no other movie ever shot still creates such a tangible, immediate and thoroughly intoxicating texture of physical and psychic corruption. Even watched on a poxy, unflattering phone screen, there’s an overwhelming tsunami of spattered spunk, pussy juice and shockingly potent weed.

Still, fuck Jagger and James Fox – it’s Pallenberg, unquestionably, who steals the entire movie. Effortlessly slashing mediocre, mainstream morality to brain-dead shreds, she’s as lethally slim and commanding as the finest, Lucrezia Borgia dagger! Arguably, it’s her gorgeously sordid masterpiece, even beating her turn as the predatory lesbian, eye-patched queen in sci-fi flick Barbarella, erotically out-classing co-star Jane Fonda with laughable ease!

Okay, compared to many, more screamingly obvious gay icons, Anita had an anorexically slim number of indelible screen performances, but darlings, surely it’s intensity that counts, not flat-line quantity? And what other high-profile fascinatrix, way beyond her immediate notoriety, had a fan – Scott Cantrall – fatally shoot himself in her bed? It’s a bizarrely twisted testament to Anita’s perversely bewitching panache, a magic that even drew pumping pearls of worship from Miss Everett’s adoring dick!