Papa was a rolling stone

Rock stars' kids - they've got instant fame and cool credentials. Are they grateful? Not a bit of it, says Cayte Williams

IT'S BEEN a bumper summer for pop-star pregnancies. Posh Spice is expecting a Spicelet with Dave Beckham, Scary Spice is pregnant by the band's dancer Jimmy Gulzar, and All Saint Melanie Blatt is sporting a bump provided by Jamiroquai's bassist Stuart Zender.

These happy showbiz couples might be glowing at the prospect of issue, but what do their privileged little embryos have to look forward to? Going by the past antics of rock stars' children, not much. In spite of privileges and opportunities that most people would kill for, they've all turned into annoying moaning minnies.

Anita Pallenberg and Keith Richards could have been dream parents. Drugs on tap, pocket money that would keep Monaco afloat, staying up all night to watch telly - they were the Sixties baby's dream mum and dad. At one time Anita was one of the most beautiful women in the world, even upstaging the Vadim-made Jane Fonda in Barbarella. Keith made fags and booze glamorous and was always the least cringe-inducing Stone.

So what did their children do? Pallenberg's boy, Marlon (named after Brando) is a graphic designer in New York, while Dandelion (who pathetically changed her name to Angela) was brought up by Keith's parents in a modest semi-detached in Kent - and didn't make a fuss! She later went to work in a stable and got married earlier this month to a carpenter called Dominic. Angela is said to be "practically teetotal", while Marlon, who had his first cigarette when he was 18, has been known to describe his mother's past antics as "embarrassing." How ungrateful can you get?

And it's not just quiet kids who could get all ungrateful. Jade Jagger, daughter of Mick and Bianca, no doubt blames the king of pout and the queen of Studio 54 for all her woes. Jade has rarely avoided the camera's eye throughout her eventful life of drugs, expulsion from an expensive school and teenage motherhood.

At 26, she's had enough unearned, inherited money to dabble in any career she likes, to take off wherever and with whomever she fancies. She recently deserted her pounds 500,000 Notting Hill home (bought by daddy) for a modest cottage in Ibiza, taking her two children, Assisi and Amba, with her. Her careers as a painter, model and jewellery-maker have been usurped by a possible future in porn and her love affairs with scruffy artists have culminated with a relationship with Dan Macmillan, Harold Macmillan's great-grandson. No doubt, dad, who had a penchant for posh tarts in his youth, would approve of the blue blood if not the blue movies.

After years of being vaguely controversial (she was spotted squatting scruffily in a W11 doorway last year, with a little old lady offering her small change), Jade's gone for it big time. Rumour has it that she's fallen in with hot-to-shock clubbers Manumission, posing for explicit posters wearing nothing but a mask. As one of the organisers said, "If she wants to take part in a porn movie or the live sex shows that's up to her. Her dad wouldn't give a toss. Who's he, anyway, to moralise?" Which really is the point of being a rock star's child. Even if you do the most shocking, rebellious, utterly jaw-dropping thing, the likelihood is that your parents did it better twenty years before you.

Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Jagger has a hard act to follow. No doubt her mother Jerry Hall is already versing her darling child in the dos and don'ts of getting her man. After all, the Texan model once hired a helicopter to chase Mick around the Amazon when he was filming Fitzcarraldo. Elizabeth recently appeared with her mother on the Paris catwalk wearing a Thierry Mugler/Big Bird thing, and is already modelling for Vivienne Westwood. Just by looking at her un-formed, 14-year-old face, you just know she won't be in the same league as her mum. Chances are she'll be married off to a toff before you can say "polo", and then blame Jerry.

If there is one thing rock children do well, it's self-pity. In the super league of moaning minnies, Julian Lennon rules supreme. The man complains so much about his parentage, he should work for Barnardo's. Julian's problem is he's got the ambition of his father, but sadly lacks the talent or the looks to do anything with it. Most people would have given up by now and gone into charity work. Not Julian. He complains about being left by his father at five, about having childhood meetings with his father constantly postponed, and that he was just getting to know his father when he was killed (okay, we'll let him off that one). He also complains about how being the son of a pop god has left him cynical and tired.

"Being John Lennon's son has come close to destroying me," he blubbers. "I've been manipulated a lot, there's been a lack of respect towards me as an artist in my own right. I've always been promoted as "the son of". But what about me?"

Emma Townshend, daughter of The Who's Pete, is less of the "poor me" rock child, more of the "poor dad" type. Rather than feeling sorry for herself she transfers it on to her father. "He's never done an ordinary job in an ordinary office and been treated as an ordinary person," whines Emma. "That's quite a loss. He can't just go into a shop and listen to other people's conversations, he's never had a private glimpse into other people's worlds because he's been a rock star since he was 18."

Meanwhile, Bob Dylon's son Jakob is following in his father's footsteps (how masochistic can these rock children be?) He's managing quite nicely, picking up Grammys for his band, The Wallflowers. But it still doesn't stop him whingeing about his father's fans coming to shows and bellowing requests for the old man's songs.

Then there's the sanctimonious rock child, in the lovely shape of Liv Tyler, daughter of Aerosmith's Steve and supergroupie Bebe Buell. It can't be nice knowing that your mum has hopped into bed with Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger and Jimmy Page or that your dad looks like an extra from The Night of the Living Dead. This is especially difficult when you thought until the age of 11 that your dad was the comparatively healthy Todd Rundgren. "It was exciting," says Liv of her parental discovery. "I made him try on my beautiful grey stretch Helmut Lang suit, and he looked so cute in it." Is he a parent or a performing monkey? Come to think of it, she's a smart girl.

Liv has avoided the excesses of her father, who in his youth had cocaine lined up on the amplifiers to keep the show rolling. She doesn't drink, smoke or do anything bad to excess, and at every PR opportunity grabs her poor crumple-faced dad as if to say, "Look at the poor old bastard. Aren't I pretty?"

Still, there are those rock children to whom the phrase chin-up means more than "give us your best side". Paul and Linda McCartney are noted in famous circles for bringing up uncomplicated, chirpy kids (apart from Heather, who's the wierd offspring of the uberveggie's first marriage). All the baby Maccas shared a bedroom when they were little and they all went to a local comprehensive school.

In fact, Stella McCartney was so undaunted by her starry parents that she brought the naff pair to her Central St Martin's degree fashion show. Can you imagine the self-pitying rock child doing that? They would spend the entire three years wishing their dad was Yves Saint Laurent.

Who knows what lies in wait for Lourdes, daughter of Madonna, or Heavenly, daughter of Paula? But if the mums want an easy life, they'd better fit anti-self-pitying classes in between the baby gym and the power-learning. Or they'll be sorry.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Sport
football
News
Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
people
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

    Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

    Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

    Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

    £15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

    Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us