I have been thinking alot lately about the greatest rock n'roll couples of all time. Yeah these are the things that go on in my tiny little brain. The only rule is that they both have to be awesome and they both have to have to be musicians in their own right.
So here goes, from great (10) to greatest (1)
10. John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Sure might be a boring predictable choice, but the reality is they were in mad love. He was without a doubt awesome, and she is pretty strange and wonderful herself. She seduces him enough to leave the Beatles and pursue his own music career, they wax poetic and get policital, make babies, take drugs and write weird poetry, he is tragically killed and she goes on as the most hated woman in America and makes a strange and controversial music career for herself. All the while Yoko has maintained the legacy of John Lennon with a cool and mysterious grace.
9. Lou Reed and Nico
They would without a doubt be higher on the list had it been more than a fling. Lou Reed, while one of the most pompous legends of Rock n'Roll is still intriguing to even the most hard assed music snob. He's seen it all and done it all. Metal Machine Music? seriously. Nico is without a doubt one of the most tragic figures in the history of Rock N'Roll. A stunning beauty with the world wrapped around her finger, who wants nothing more than to destroy herself.
8. Kurt and Courtney
Say what you will, another predictable and perhaps tired choice. But fuck you it's Kurt and Courtney. As if most of the people from my generation didn't idolize either one of them in the early nineties, or maybe even both. I believe they were madly in love. They really seemed meant for one another. After Kurts untimely suicide there were two schools of thought on Courtney. One, that she is a beligerent harpy that milked her husbands death in order to gain fame and success (some idiots even believe that she killed him), the other is that she is someone with a frightening determination to succeed, even the death of her one true love wouldn't get in the way of her dreams. I tend to lean towards the latter, until about 1998 anyway. The real tragedy left behind from this romance lies in past ten years. Courtney really lost it. She had to sell part of the Cobain legacy to pay legal bills and put food on the table. She went from being an intriguing and confusing Rock n'Roll icon to a total mess. She is without a doubt second to Yoko as the most hated widow in America and the past ten years she has done nothing but make it seem rightly so.
7. Patti Smith and Tom Verlane
It might have been brief as well but what a couple. Patti Smith the godmother of Punk and Tom Verlaine of Television. Patti Smith claimed she didn't mind being domestic for Tom Verlaine and washing his clothes. I can't imagine she says that about many men. Tom may have turned out gay, but they are still close friends and have collaborated musically together. Two great, amazing legends who shared intimacy and romance and remain friends. Pretty awesome.
6. Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood
Some say it happened some say it didn't. The fact is these two worked together extensively creating some of the greatest duets of all time. Lee saw in Nancy everything that she became and helped make her into a star. A star in his own right he continued to produce for her and they toured extensively together. They were said to be friends (and lovers?) until his death this past August.
5. Johnny Cash and June Carter
Maybe another boring choice? but fuck you. One of the most romantic long term relationships I can think of. She had a great voice and spirit, and he..well he is Johnny Cash. He, every mans man, a genius outsider, a true rebel... in black, begged for her hand in marriage and they stayed together until her death. He didn't last much longer without her and those closest to him claimed that he couldn't go on without her. Now that is love.
4. Ike and Tina.
Sure it may have gone sour, but they were without a doubt one of the most enigmatic and amazing couples of the 60's. She found him as a teenager and he helped her become a huge star. Yeah it got sour, but I dare you to go on youtube and look up Ike and Tina performing and not be blown away. These two were not only in mad love but made mad amazing songs together.
3. Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore
They have been married for over twenty years and have remained the quintessential couple for every disaffected, socially inept, genius art kid who knows who Sonic Youth are. They are so incredibly private about their romance it was hard to even find a picture of them together on google image search. I admire them both greatly for their contributions to art and music, and hope to one day have what I imagine they have with one another. A mutual respect and admiration for one anothers, and a true and devoted love. Rock Royalty. Prince and Princess to my number one.
2. Nick Cave and Polly Jean Harvey
The only couple (although short term) on this list who could pass for brother and sister, Nick and P.J remain one of the greatest Rock n'Roll romances of the nineties. And for me, an obsession. Both of them are indisputably two of the most critically acclaimed contemporary musicians in Rock today and they shared not only a tumultous romance, but several great collaborations. They are both incredibly private and mysterious, brooding and self involved. It didn't work because they both need someone to lighten them up. That being said, they are almost my favorite. Listen to Henry Lee and tell me they don't deserve the number 2 spot.
1. .............................................................................................................................................................................................................Lux Interior and Ivy Rorschach
My number one, without a doubt. In the late seventies Lux (Erick Purkhiser), the rebellious outsider (in black leather I imagine) picks up Ivy (Kristy Wallace) the busty nomad teenager on his motorbike and they ride off into the sunset together. Together they form the greatest rock n'roll band of all time, The Cramps. They still live together in some weird house in the California desert, full of taxidermy, guitars and plush sofas. For me it doesn't get much better than that.