It is impossible to forget the first time you saw Grace Jones. For many, that initial encounter with the Jamaican model was in this magazine in the early 1970’s. Old-school music fans still can’t get “Pull Up to the Bumper,” her disco classic, out of their heads. Fashionistas know the style icon for rocking Issey Miyake and Philip Treacy before these designers were in vogue. And who doesn’t remember Jones as Strangé in Boomerang?
Now 67, the Spanish Town native looks back at her colorful life in a no-holds-barred bio, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs (Gallery, $26.99). In the book, coauthored with Paul Morley, Jones talks about it all: sex, drugs, rock, soul and everything in between. “I’m not intending to correct any versions of me that exist out there,” she explains. “I don’t want to spoil any image people might have of me…. I can be a pain, but most of all, I can be a pleasure.”
Despite being raised in a strict, religious home (popular California-based pastor Bishop Noel Jones is her younger brother), Grace Beverly Jones defied and despised convention almost from birth.
A trek through her experiences—from her acid-dropping days in upstate New York to the sybaritic disco era to her distinctive roles in feature films (Conan the Destroyer and A View to a Kill)—reveals a truly adventurous spirit. Her legendary visual collaborations with artist Jean-Paul Goude (together they had a son, Paulo) have influenced performers from Annie Lennox to Lady Gaga to Rihanna. What remains solid about Jones is her determination to live an extraordinary life on her own terms.
And she shows no signs of slowing down.
“I didn’t appear here out of the blue on some magic cloud,” she writes. “I went through all this to get here.”
Grace Jones’s sizzling new memoir is in stores now.