Elliott Murphy’s ‘Marilyn’

From the 1973 album, Aquashow, by singer-songwriter Elliott Murphy – video here

“I guess you’d say she had what it took
To make most of us take a second look
She stole our eyes but not our hearts
And all the time it tore her apart
Don’t you know she died for our sins
Marilyn Monroe died for us

What a body to make us dream
Our thoughts were dirty though she was clean
On screen we’d watch her tantalize
And with our own we would fantasize
Don’t you know she died for our sins
Marilyn Monroe died for us

Marilyn, Marilyn, I didn’t mean to do you in
Marilyn, Marilyn, now its too late to start again
Don’t you know she died for our sins
Marilyn Monroe died for us”

Eve Arnold’s Marilyn: Portrait of a Misfit

“This photograph, shot in Reno, Nevada in 1960 has an incredible sense of place and of Monroe’s vulnerability. She and Arnold first worked together on a shoot for Esquire magazine in 1952 and, as Arnold says: ‘She trusted me, and the bond between us was photography … It’s rather a wonderful picture I think because of the desert sky, the desert itself … and Marilyn absolutely oblivious to the rest of us around her.’ Magnum had sent nine photographers to cover the making of The Misfits, surely the most ever, but it was Arnold’s work that really stood out. This was a looser, more intimate look than Hollywood had ever shown before in its publicity stills.”

Photographer Eamonn McCabe chooses this striking shot by Eve Arnold as one of the ten best photographic portraits in today’s Observer.

Warhol Museum Curator on Marilyn

Eric Shiner, curator at Pittsburgh’s Warhol Museum, has spoken about the current Marilyn: Life as a Legend exhibition.

“‘She had so many layers under that facade of beauty, that facade of fame and celebrity,’ said Eric Shiner, a curator at the Warhol. ‘And it’s great that these things are finally coming to light. It’s great to see who she was as a real person.’

Aside from Warhol, Marilyn Monroe: Life as a Legend features work by such top-drawer luminaries as photographer Richard Avedon, Sgt. Pepper album-cover designer Peter Blake, abstract expressionist painter Willem De Kooning and photographer and filmmaker Bert Stern. De Kooning is represented through ‘Marilyn Monroe,’ a swirling, colorful interpretation of the former Norma Jean Baker that rarely escapes from the Neuberger Museum of Art in upstate New York.

Perhaps the works that prompt the most comment are Stern’s nude images of Monroe that were taken about six weeks before she died of an overdose of prescription medicine in August 1962. It’s possible to look at them and think that she appears a little careworn, a little forlorn. ‘That’s our human compulsion to do that,’ Shiner pointed out.

‘You want to read into what you’re seeing and want to find justification there. And every time I’ve taken groups through the show, standing in front of these pictures, almost everyone tries to read into her eyes. There’s sadness there, there’s some sort of hint of what’s to come.’

Warhol identified with Monroe, Shiner added, not only because of her celebrity, a perennial obsession with him, but also with her vulnerability and the turmoil in her private life. Newspaper clippings on her death pulled from Warhol’s collection are in the exhibit, as are his silkscreen prints of Monroe, which are among his most famous works.”

Observer Reporter


Zolotow’s Marilyn: Past Imperfect

Larry Barbier, 1951

The latest extract from Maurice Zolotow’s 1960 biography covers Marilyn’s life and career in 1951 and early ’52. While her career was soaring, Marilyn endured further public scrutiny when it was revealed that she was not an orphan, and that her mother Gladys an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital.