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The VERY posh Sixties pop starlet who said no to drugs... and to Mick Jagger: The extraordinary life of Twinkle, who was banned by the BBC at 16, fought over by the Stones and married the Milk Tray Man

The VERY posh Sixties pop starlet who said no to drugs... and to Mick Jagger: The extraordinary life of Twinkle, who was banned by the BBC at 16, fought over by the Stones and married the Milk Tray Man
  • Pop starlet Lynn 'Twinkle' Ripley died this week aged 66 after cancer battle
  • She was banned from appearing on BBC following uproar about first single
  • Mick Jagger tried to steal her from Rolling Stones bandmate Brian Jones
  • She married and had two children with Graham Rogers, the Milk Tray Man

The Sixties pop starlet Twinkle – who died this week – was the poshest teenage rebel of them all.

She was a schoolfriend of the future Duchess of Cornwall, her career began with a good-luck card from prime minister Alec Douglas-Home, and her family lived in a 20-room Surrey mansion.

But she outdid the Sex Pistols aged just 16 when she was banned from appearing on the BBC following uproar about her first single.

The 1964 hit Terry, a lament for a boyfriend who died in a motorcycle crash, was denounced in Parliament as a 'death record', condemned for encouraging young Teddy Boys to ride their motorbikes recklessly: one Labour peer declared it was 'sick, dangerous drivel'.

Sixties pop starlet Lynn 'Twinkle' Ripley (pictured) died this week aged 66 after a five-year cancer battle

Sixties pop starlet Lynn 'Twinkle' Ripley (pictured) died this week aged 66 after a five-year cancer battle

Even punk rocker Johnny Rotten would have to wait till he was 20 to be banned by the Beeb. But Lynn 'Twinkle' Ripley, who died on Thursday aged 66 after a five-year battle with cancer, was no punk. 

Her father Sydney, who gave her the pet name Twinkle, was deputy chairman of London County Council. 

Her godfather was a Tory ex-Cabinet minister, and she attended Knightsbridge's exclusive Queen's Gate girls' school; pupils included not only a girl then called Camilla Shand, but future theatre star Lynn Redgrave.

Twinkle was expected to be a society girl, forbidden to date boys who didn't go to Harrow or Eton. But a fleeting encounter aged 14 changed her life. As she rode in her father's Bentley, a posse of leather-clad bikers roared past.

Alderman Ripley harrumphed: 'Look at those people. Ton-up boys!'

Twinkle was smitten. She wanted to be swept up in a doomed romance with a ton-up boy.

The singer dated Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones and turned down his bandmate Mick Jagger (pictured together front)

The singer dated Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones and turned down his bandmate Mick Jagger (pictured together front)

She was a schoolfriend of the future Duchess of Cornwall and her career began with a good-luck card from prime minister Alec Douglas-Home
She was a schoolfriend of the future Duchess of Cornwall and her career began with a good-luck card from prime minister Alec Douglas-Home

She was a schoolfriend of the future Duchess of Cornwall and her career began with a good-luck card from prime minister Alec Douglas-Home

That night she wrote a love-sick dirge about her fantasy rocker, a greaser called Terry: 'We had a quarrel, I was untrue/ On the night he died… He rode into the night/ Accelerated his motorbike/ I cried to him in fright/ Don't do it!'

She sang with a flat, nasal, estuary accent – but the final line of the chorus was undeniably catchy: 'Please wait at the gate of heaven for me, Terry.'

Her father played the song to anyone who would listen and she recorded it at studio in Denmark Street.

Future Beatles engineer Glyn Johns handled the recording session, and her musicians included Jimmy Page, later of Led Zeppelin. It wasn't only the BBC that reacted with disgust. 

As Terry entered the charts at No 30 in December 1964, presenter Keith Fordyce on ITV's Ready, Steady, Go, told the audience: 'You have not heard that record on this programme, and you won't be hearing it, either!'

The ban had its predictable effect. Terry rocketed to No 4 and spent 15 weeks in the charts, selling more than 250,000 copies.

But the money didn't matter. As she told this paper, her parents had already bought her everything a girl could want – including leather catsuits, a pair of silver lamé boots and a maroon bubble-car.

She was banned from appearing on the BBC aged just 16 following uproar about her first single, pictured (second left) at the 1965 NME awards with Cilla Black, Jimmy Savile and Dusty Springfield

She was banned from appearing on the BBC aged just 16 following uproar about her first single, pictured (second left) at the 1965 NME awards with Cilla Black, Jimmy Savile and Dusty Springfield

Male pop stars fought to go out with her.

She was linked to Beatle George Harrison, Eric Burdon of the Animals, and Rolling Stone Brian Jones.

During a Stones tour, Mick Jagger ordered Jones to hand over his girl. 'Brian said he thought that was up to me to decide,' Twinkle recalled, 'and I stayed put. Mick gave him a glare and flounced off. But I didn't bother with sex – and I never touched drugs.'

What she wanted was fame. Yet lasting fame eluded her, with next single Golden Lights a flop. In desperation, she conspired with her fan club's president to rig the 1965 NME poll. She got to the NME party but never had another hit single.

In 1972 she wed Graham Rogers, the TV model famous as the Milk Tray Man. They had two children, Michael and Amber, and lived on a farm in Oxshott, Surrey. Twinkle devoted her later life to animal-rights campaigning.

It was a typically Sixties retirement for the quintessential Sixties one-hit wonder.

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