Where to begin with Ms. Lear?Â How about her modeling career in ’60s France?Â How about her years-long romance with surrealist Salvador Dali?Â How about her relationships with Bryan Ferry and David Bowie?
How about the (unconfirmed) fact that she began life as Mister Lear?
While several of her contemporaries remember Amanda back when she was Alain, Lear has never publicly admitted she’s had a sex change.Â That’s okay, though, because plenty of her (former?) friends are more than willing to come forward to tell their tranny tales.Â In either case, Lear became a rock star accessory by the ’70s, hanging on the arms of the aforementioned Ferry and Bowie.Â That’s her on the cover of Roxy Music’s For Your Pleasure and she acted as emcee for Bowie’s 1980 Floor Show TV special, aired here in the States as an episode of NBC’s The Midnight Special.Â There’s a bootleg of outtakes from that special that makes the rounds (*cough*torrent*cough*), and it’s hysterical.Â Here Bowie and Lear try to get through an impenetrable exchange while futzing up over and over (skip to about the 1:00 mark):
I don’t wish to imply there was a lot of nose candy on that set, but yeesh, I think I can hear Stevie Nicks’ teeth grinding from here.
With all her rock & roll connections, it was only natural that Lear would try her man-hand at a music career.Â In late 1976, she released I Am A Photograph, a nearly unlistenable blend of tepid Euro-disco and monotone “singing,” with Lear’s booming baritone barely bloating anything remotely resembling a melody.Â Of course, it’s so campy, it’s irresistible.Â Lead single “Blood And Honey” (download) pretty much encapsulates the whole train-wrecky mess.
While America recoiled in horror, Europe ate it up, giving Lear a Top Ten hit and a 30+ year career that has yet to stop.Â She continues to record, host television programs, write books (My Life With Dali), paint, and deny she was once a dude.
“Blood And Honey” did not chart.
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