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Bebe Buell (2009)

Written by Randy Patterson

October, 2009

bebeguitarBebe Buell.  To those of you who know who she is, the name conjures up several images.  Highly successful model.  The girlfriend and wife of rock stars.  For those of you who were only reading the articles, you wouldn’t have noticed that she was Playboy’s November, 1974, Playmate.  Best selling author. She’s also the mother of world-renown actress, Liv Tyler. 

Bebe is also a very successful recording artist and, while she has promised Boomerocity a follow-up interview to discuss her life and views on things of interest to Baby Boomers, it is about her latest project, “Sugar”, that we recently chatted about by phone.

Bebe is a very warm and engaging person to talk to.  You instantly get the feeling that you’re sitting across the table from her, enjoying a great cup of coffee along with the intriguing conversation.  I’m not a master linguist but, if I were to play one on TV, I would say that you could easily pick up her Northeastern accent layered on the foundation of her Portsmouth, Virginia, roots. 

I first asked Ms. Buell why it took so darn long for her to come out with “Sugar” since her last album, 2000’s four song disc, “Free To Rock”.

“Well, you know, life is just something that happens while you’re busy making other plans.  The last record I made was 10 years ago and I wrote my autobiography with Victor Bockris and then 9/11 happened.  And it sort of changed the face of everything, even artistically. 

“For those of us who lived in NY, it was horrifying.  So, I returned to Portland, Maine, bought a house up there and thought that’s what I really wanted.  But it just started to dawn on me that I was miserable when I wasn’t creating music because, what people don’t seem to realize is that I’ve been making music and fronting bands and involved in this (rock) world for much longer than anything else that some people like to remember me for. 

“Playboy takes very little time of your life and it’s really only one appearance.  Once it’s done, it’s done.  My modeling career only lasted a few years and I think that these are natural progressions when you’re a young girl and you’re in NYC -  to try a few different things but I think that I was very committed to get into a band and starting to write songs.

“So, at the age of 26, that was what I finally did.  So, I guess you could say that was a late start to some people.  I’m not sure.  But it’s just who I am, basically.  I’ve been doing this a long time.  Thirty years.  More.  More, when you think about all the touring I’ve

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