FM TO WEB - Ava Gardner μια γυναίκα που αγαπήθηκε με όλους τους τρόπους

Διαβάστηκε
Απο έναν άντρα. Τον Frank Sinatra. Κάποια πράγματα, κάποια μοναδικά και σπάνια, δεν έχουν στ'αλήθεια ούτε αρχή ούτε και τέλος. Κάποιες ιστορίες δηλαδή που εμπεριέχουν τόσο πολύ μα και τόσο απόλυτα τους πρωταγωνιστές, δεν υπακούουν τελικά στην έννοια του χρόνου. Με τίποτα. Έχουν άλλον χρόνο. Μυστικό. Δικό τους. Η ιστορία του Frank Sinatra και της Ava Gardner κράτησε στην ουσία ένα χρόνο κι ας ολοκληρώθηκε το τυπικό μέρος το ΄57, μερικά χρόνια αργότερα. Ότι ήταν να γίνει είχε ήδη γίνει.

'It's an extraordinary life of an extraordinary woman. She swore like a navvy, slept with anything that moved, drove Frank Sinatra to such heights of passion and torment that he attempted suicide, and entirely failed to care what anybody thought of her.

Ava Gardner was the great iconic beauty of her day. Her success and status made it possible for her to make the kind of choices - and mistakes - that other women couldn't. She was, in essence, a liberated woman, a good two decades before women's liberation was invented. She married three times - to Mickey Rooney, the musician Artie Shaw and finally and most tumultuously to Frank Sinatra. She lured him away from his wife, sinking his career in the process, married him, divorced him, but never got over him. Nor he her. It was a life-long relationship between two people who loved each other but couldn't be together. Their rows, she said, 'started on the way to the bidet'.'


Είμαι με τον αδερφό μου στο αυτοκίνητο στο δρόμο για το live του Scott McLoud...'Μισό λεπτό και γιατί όταν ήταν μαζί της ευτυχισμένος δεν έγραψε αυτά τα αριστουργηματικά άλμπουμ και το έκανε όταν χώρισαν;' με ρωτάει ο Γιώργος. 'Τα έγραψε. Μέσα στο σώμα της τότε. Της τα έδωσε όλα αυτά, όλα αυτά τα συναισθήματα, εκείνες τις νύχτες. Όταν ήταν μαζί. Δεν γράφεις τέτοια ΄αλμπουμ - αριστουργήματα όταν είσαι ευτυχισμένος. Ζεις.' του λέω και ετοιμάζομαστε να παρκάρουμε. 'Απο την στιγμή που έγραψε αυτά τα άλμπουμ,η ιστορία είχε τελειώσει... Όταν βιώνεις όλα αυτα τα πράγματα απο την ανάποδη πία, με όλη αυτή την αίσθηση της απώλειας με κάθε προσωπικό πόνο ανάμεσα, όταν αυτά δηλαδή γίνουν στέρεα, πάρουν μορφή σαν δημιουργικό αποτέλεσμα, η ερωτική ιστορία έχει τελειώσει σε ρεαλιστικό χρόνο. Γίνεται πια κάτι άλλο. Κάπως έτσι.Κοίτα... αυτά τα άλμπουμ, τα έγραψαν μαζί να ξέρεις...Εννοώ,είναι μισό -μισό. Αν δεν υπήρχε η Ava, o Frank δεν θα είχε βρει ποτέ τον δρόμο για αυτά...'

'But the central love in Ava's life was, of course, her "romance of the century" with Frank Sinatra. He famously left his wife and three children for her, and made at least one genuine suicide attempt because of their topsy-turvy relationship. Madly in love, both were jealous, independent and hot-tempered - they could go from passionate closeness to fury in a matter of seconds. Long after the two were divorced, each continued to carry a torch for the other.This was clear to me.I had known Sinatra for a while and had almost made a film with him, so I brought his name up. The look in her eyes became distant and sad, very similar to the way Sinatra's eyes turned at the mention of her.

Lucia Graves, the writer's youngest daughter,was 12 when she met Ava, and she told me that whenever she visited Ava's London apartment, Gardner was always playing Sinatra records. Ava Gardner was so beautiful, no wonder Sinatra fell in love with her. That relationship really done a number on him, it taught him how to sing a torch song for sure.Frank had it all but he lost Ava and carried that torch forever.Sinatra in his years had a voice that was so pure and clear that it transcended anyone else's voice, then or now,and his phrasing was above reproach. Ava was bewitchingly beautiful, no wondered Frank was heartbroken. Franks Sinatra's signature in his songs was his phrasing. Its his phrasing,"Impossible" to follow his timing exactly.
This is One Class Act.'


Περπατάμε για το live. 'Καταλαβαίνω τι λές' μου λέει...'Και ξέρεις,το 2003 όταν είχα βρεθεί στο Λονδίνο, έμενα μισό λεπτό απόσταση απο το σπίτι της, στον ίδιο δρόμο. Απο σύμπτωση. Αν το ήξερα, θα άφηνα ένα τριαντάφυλλο μπροστά στην πόρτα, στη μνήμη της. Το παρατήρησα χθες που είδα τη φωτογραφία του σπιτιού. Εκπληκτικό. Θα το κάνω την επόμενη φορά, αν ο δρόμος μου με βγάλει ξανά στο Λονδίνο.' του λέω και μπαίνουμε στο κλάμπ.

'When Sinatra went to shoot a movie in Escorial and Ava stayed 25 miles away in Madrid, he called her one night while a group of friends were having a nightcap in his room. Over the phone, Sinatra crooned to Ava for almost an hour. After he was finished, there was a knock at the door and in swept Ava, wearing only a mink coat with a negligee beneath. As soon as Frank had started singing, she had grabbed a taxi and driven through the night to be with him.'' says Kitty Kelley: "No one ever loved a woman the way Frank loved Ava Gardner. She was his female counterpart-mercurial, volcanic, jealous. They just couldn't live with it. After his breakup from Ava Gardner, an emotionally raw Frank Sinatra recorded his third concept album and his first long-player, a melancholy, introspective collection of ballads arranged by Nelson Riddle called In the Wee Small Hours, named after the album's most devastating song, and one that would forever be closely identified with Sinatra. Here was a bruised and battered Sinatra, his mellifluous voice seasoned, almost tattered, worn and wizened,that which does not kill you.... And for all his vulnerability on display on the song, Sinatra does indeed seem stronger for it all,he has loved, lost, and survived, and is moving on, but not before recording this reflective song and this collection of material as blue as its sleeve.'

Στην επιστροφή για το σπίτι, ώρες μετά, υπάρχει μια... όμορφη σιωπή στο αυτοκίνητο. 'Πάμε για ακόμη ένα ποτό αλλού; Τι λες' λέω στον Γιώργο...'Το ίδιο θα σου έλεγα. Έχει ωραία βραδιά... Φοβερή ιστορία πάντως..' 'Ναι..' του απαντάω..'Και ξέρεις στο τέλος την αγάπησε με τον πιο όμορφο τρόπο, ίσως τον μόνο αληθινό, αυτόν που δεν έχει πια την επιθυμία. Την αγάπησε για αυτό που ήταν. Φοβερή ιστορία όντως..'

'Shortly afterwards, I started visiting Ava at her flat in Knightsbridge, London, and then fielding regular calls at 3am, when she couldn't sleep.The first time she phoned, a slow Sinatra number was playing in the background - a sure sign, I was to learn, that Ava was feeling low.'I tried to be a good wife. The plain fact is, I just wasn't meant to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.'
However, she was still in touch with Sinatra. He was a sentimental man, she said. Ava herself, however, never called him. When I asked why, she said: 'He's a married man, honey.'

This seemed a bit rich, given that he'd also been married when he and Ava started a tumultuous affair in the late Forties.They fell violently in love. But the year in which they waited for his divorce to come through was, she said, 'a nightmare time.

Our affair, the collapse of his marriage, Nancy was taking him for practically every penny he had.'In the meantime, Ava said, she and Frank were 'fighting and, breaking up, getting together again. I dated other guys just to punish him. Frank was doing his share, too.'Within a year, said Ava, she was already trying to break free. 'I knew I just couldn't live with Frank any more. I still loved him - Jesus, I loved him.'I heard her sigh. 'All my f***ing ghosts,' she muttered. The trouble was, she said, that she and Sinatra were just too alike.She was still in love with him when they divorced.

'Practically every song Frank recorded,' she told me, 'has a memory for me. I'm A Fool To Want You - that's one that stands out. He wrote some of the lyrics himself; they were very personal.'

She lowered her voice to a murmur: 'I'm a fool to want you / To want a love that can't be true / A love that's there for others, too . . .'


Την επόμενη μέρα μιλάω με την Suzanne Vega στο διαδύκτιο για το σπουδαίο τραγούδι της 'Frank & Ava'. Υπέροχο, όπως υπέροχη κι αυτή. Παίρνω το CD (μαζί με άλλα, σχετικά με τον Frank) μαζί μου,΄ισως το βάλω στην εκπομπή σήμερα' σκέφτομαι ,'μπορεί'. Ανάβω τσιγάρο κι ετοιμάζομαι να μπω στο στουντιο, λίγο μετά. Ο Νίκος παίζει Frank Sinatra και αναφέρεται στο νέο άλμπουμ του Dylan, με τη νέα χρονιά, ένα άλμπουμ γεμάτο διασκευές. Τελειώνει και τα λέμε λίγο πριν ξεκινήσω εγώ. 'Πως και δεν έχει κάνει ένα φιλμ το Hollywood για τον Frank και την Ava ρε Νίκο...' του λέω...'Και ποιός θα παίξει τον Frank Sinatra ρε Δημήτρη...' μου απαντάει και σκοράρει.

Ava Gardner was one of the greatest female Hollywood stars of her day, and the most beautiful, she tells author Peter Evans about her most famous relationship of all with Frank. As usual, her phone call came in the middle of the night. 'Did I wake you, honey?' she asked softly, without preamble.
No one else in the world sounded like Ava Gardner.'I miss Frank,' she said after a small silence. 'He was a bastard. But Jesus I miss him.'Alarmed at her use of the past tense, I asked if he'd just died.

'Not as far as I know, honey. Bastards are always the best survivors.'We chatted for a long time, as we always did when Ava - then aged 65 - called me at 3am. We talked about her lovers, the films she'd made, her mistakes and missed opportunities. Peter Viertel, the scriptwriter husband of the actress Deborah Kerr, told me 'Let me tell you something,' he added. 'Nobody handles Ava Gardner. Sinatra, the poor bastard, never stood a chance, and he loved her probably most of all. He was too possessive of her; that was the problem - no one's ever going to possess Ava.'

Deborah Kerr, who'd starred with her in The Night Of The Iguana, chipped in with a wan smile: 'I think what Pete's trying to tell you is that Ava's a man-eater.' 'He was insane about that woman'. She was not faithful, especially when she was away working.'Ava couldn't be alone,' said a­production man on another of her film sets, 'which is why she had so many affairs. Ava Gardner knew how to pose for the camera. She'd slit her eyes, throw her head at an angle, and the photographer would somehow catch something about her - not elegance or grace, exactly, but something that was strong, sexual, and almost animal. This girl had a devilish look in her eye, was clearly bad news, could drink you under the table, and could steal every man in sight. But oh my actual god was she beautiful. Sinatra and Gardner loved each other in a passionate, intense way... yet in the end they couldn't live with the other. I have concluded that they both were mirror images of each other.He dallied with actress Lana Turner before Ava, and told her he would leave his wife.

But he didn't. Not for her.The love affair between Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra was a legendary tsunami. It seems to be, the intense emotion and utter infatuation was the essence of this great love,but as many of these great romances will prove, "'It's better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all."In her later life, Ava, who had always been a tedious smoker, suffered from multiple health complications - emphysema left her bed ridden and two eventual strokes partially paralyzed the once luminous star. Her medical expenses were great, and Frank insisted on paying for all of them. Despite the high level of medical attention, Ava passed away in 1990. Upon hearing the news of her death, Frank was found slumped in his room, unable to speak and crying uncontrollably."They developed a great friendship," Grayson says. "They helped each other.''One night in 1948 Sinatra stood on the terrace of his ­Hollywood bachelor penthouse with his best friend, the songwriter Sammy Cahn, looking down over Sunset Strip.'Do you know that Ava Gardner lives down there?' said Cahn, pointing to a little house nestled into the trees.

Cupping his hands to his mouth, he yelled 'Ava. Ava Gardner!' his big voice carrying far into the quiet evening. 'We know you're down there. Hello, Ava.'
The two men roared with laughter. Down below, a curtain was drawn, a window opened and Ava stuck her head out. She knew exactly who it was. Sinatra's voice was unmistakable. She grinned and waved.Then ­Sinatra's friend Peter Lawford brought her to one of his parties. Dark haired with a white fur stole on her wide ­shoulders, he noticed how she prowled with the easy grace of a tigress. So began one of Hollywood's legendary pairings of alpha male and female.


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