Recently, the ageless Grace Jones, (who is now 67), just penned down her autobiography. In case you haven’t known Grace Jones, she is that NY/Jamaican songstress who broke through to the heights of modelling, (we are talking about the likes of Yves St.Laurent and the cover of Vogue amongst others), and to the scenes of acting, (with industry elites such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Eddie Murphy), and also as a Record Producer. Need I mention she has been a Grammy nominee? For me, I wasn’t lucky enough to meet Grace Jones on time, but thanks to a top model contestant, Xiomara Frans, who embodied her in the America’s Next Top Model (ANTM cycle 2) photo shoot, that it made me want to look her up. Now look what I found again of Grace Jones. Ta-da!
Exclusive Extract Summary of Grace Jones Autobiography:
Who is Grace Jones?
“I come from the underground. I am never comfortable in the middle of the stream, flowing in the same direction as everyone else.” This was a compelling start for the exclusive extract of Grace Jones autobiography. She got on, and on, “But my instinct is always to resist the pull of the obvious. It’s not easy.” It was a kick off that meant, she wasn’t a copycat, she stood alone in her art, as you can see.
Grace is uncomfortable with the Dorises
“With this one, who I will call Doris, I thought she was trying on other people’s outfits: she’s a baby in a closet full of other people’s clothes, a little girl playing dress-up, putting on shoes that don’t fit. I could see what she wanted to be when I watched her doing something when she started out that was starker and purer.” Jones was referring to those acts who have come after her, whose acts have been watered down, who have lost a sense of who they were in the beginning. I thought so.
She also pointed out the setbacks of the Dorises, “The problem with the Dorises and the Nicki Minajes and Mileys…” was the struggle to stand out, and the new trends that could topple them. She believes there would have been no need for these setbacks if these celebs had a long term goal or vision in the first place. “…they reach their goal very quickly.” she continued, “there will always be a replacement coming along very soon – a newer version, a crazier version, a louder version. So if you haven’t got a long-term plan, then you are merely a passing phase, the latest trend, yesterday’s event.” She also challenges them to challenge the status quo. “They dress up as though they are challenging the status quo, but by now, wearing those clothes, pulling those faces…singing to those fractured, spastic, melting beats – that is the status quo. You are not off the beaten track, pushing through the thorny undergrowth, finding treasure no one has come across before. You are in the middle of the road. You are really in Vegas wearing the sparkly full-length gown singing to people who are paying to see you but are not really paying attention. If that is what you want, fine, but it’s a road to nowhere.”
Grace is not a diva
“Kate Moss often says to me that I am the only performer around at the moment who deserves to be called a diva…I hate that word diva. It’s been so abused…Where’s the exclusivity? It’s so commercial now. For me, a diva is like the great opera singer, the great film star – out of reach, in their own world, with a real gift for invention, attention-demanding performance artists with a flamboyant, compelling sense of their own importance, so special and inimitable it verges on the alien. So, Kate, I am not a diva. I am a Jones!”
Grace Jones’ Last Words
This is what I would say to my pupil: you have become only your fame, and left behind most of who you were. How are you going to deal with that? Will you lose that person forever? Have you become someone else, without really knowing it? Do you always have to stay in character for people to like you? Do you know that you are in character?
Doris, I would say fame is all well and good if you want to take it to another level. If you have some greater purpose. Me, I am just a singer, on one sort of stage or another, who likes to have an audience, but not all the time. Listen to my advice; I have some experience. In a way, it is me being a teacher, which is what I wanted to be. I still feel I could go into teaching. What is teaching but passing on your knowledge to those who are at the beginning? Some people are born with that gift. With me, the teaching side morphed into the performing side. It’s in there. And these are my pupils – Gaga, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Katty Perry, Rihanna, Miley, Kanye West, FKA Twigs and… Doris.
Sigh! Grace Jones left me like… What do you think about Grace Jones memoir? Lemme know in the comments box.
Look out for the Gracee Jones Autobiography coming to the bookshops ‘I’ll Never Write My Memoirs’ by Grace Jones and Paul Morley published by Simon and Schuster