In the tradition of Girls Like Us, a group biography of the extraordinary women at the center of the Rolling Stones’ world.
Marianne Faithfull, Marsha Hunt, Bianca Jagger, Anita Pallenberg, and the Women Behind the Rolling Stones
by Elizabeth Winder
Hachette US, September 2021
The Rolling Stones have long been considered one of the greatest rock-and-roll bands of all time. At the forefront of the British Invasion and heading up the counterculture movement of the 1960s, the Stones’ innovative music and iconic performances defined a generation, and fifty years later, they’re still performing to sold-out stadiums around the globe. Yet, as the saying goes, behind every great man is a greater woman, and behind these larger-than-life rockstars were four incredible women whose stories have yet to be fully unpacked. . . until now.
In PARACHUTE WOMEN, Elizabeth Winder introduces us to the four women who inspired, styled, wrote for, remixed, and ultimately helped create the legend of the Rolling Stones. Marianne Faithfull, Marsha Hunt, Bianca Jagger, and Anita Pallenberg put the glimmer in the Glimmer Twins and taught a group of straight-laced boys to be bad. They opened the doors to subterranean art and alternative lifestyles, turned them on to Russian literature, occult practices, and LSD. They connected them to cutting edge directors and writers, won them roles in art house films that renewed their appeal. They often acted as unpaid stylists, providing provocative looks from their personal wardrobes. They remixed tracks for chart-topping albums, and sometimes even wrote the actual songs. More hip to the times than the rockers themselves, they consciously (and unconsciously) kept the band current—and confident—with that mythic lasting power they still have today.
Lush in detail and insight, and long overdue, PARACHUTE WOMEN is a group portrait of the four audacious women who transformed the Stones into international stars, but who were themselves marginalized by the male-dominated rock world of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Written in the tradition of Sheila Weller’s Girls Like Us, it’s a story of lust and rivalries, friendships and betrayals, hope and degradation, and the birth of rock and roll.
Elizabeth Winder is the author of Marilyn in Manhattan: Her Year of Joy, and Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Antioch Review, American Letters, and other publications. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, and earned an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University.