I have long had a secret love for the musician Amanda Lear. Her zodiac sign is unclear – she’s previously identified as both Gemini and Scorpio – because her birth year is disputed. 1950? 1939? 1948? But one thing is certain: the woman is super-Neptunian.
She occupies a kind of liminal celebrity space, fading in and out of ‘cool’ status but permeating popular culture. Lear was most visible in the 70s, when she had peak erotic currency and her albums sold in the millions, but has glided around like the phantom of the discotheque for decades.
A not-really-invested model – “modelling is stupid and immoral” – for iconic 60s designer labels like Paco Rabanne and Mary Quant, she came to popular attention via a Roxy Music album cover featuring her and a sedated panther.
She dated a string of It-Boys and had a particularly dramatic affair with David Bowie. FYI: Her C.V. partly inspired Patsy Stone of Absolutely Fabulous. But whereas Joanna Lumley’s character stayed hilariously pickled in the past to a large extent, Lear became a performer.
Seventies era stars didn’t ‘build brands’ – they cast glamors and conjured dreams. In the video (below) for Follow Me, Lear inhabits the high-sheen disco gloss like she’s an ethereal entity and it’s an aura. Fine, maybe it’s cocaine but still;
She looks like Syd Brak airbrush art and the lyrics – which she wrote – are pure Neptune: ‘trading hope‘…’I should be difficult to find so follow me,’ and – my fave – ‘I am the key to your problem.’
Critics say she can’t sing or dance, that she sponged off Salvador Dali – refreshingly, Lear says he was her Muse – and that the confusion surrounding her background is suss – but could it just be hostility toward such an outstanding eccentric?
Accused of being born as ‘Alain Tapp’ and having had ‘a sex change in Casablanca’, she’d respond by citing Simone de Beauvoir or Nietzche and – definitively – posing in Playboy ‘to settle the question.’
The most likely birthdate is June 18 1939 and it feels astrologically apt: Lear would be a Gemini, of course. “I hate to spread rumours,” she once said, “but what else are you supposed to do with them?
This date also gives her Gemini Sun + Venus trine Mars and Lilith in Aquarius. That’s a fab combo for detached charisma and iconoclastic ideas sparking. She would have Pluto at Zero Leo and Neptune squaring her Sun + Venus. Neptune squares glamorize, enchant and complicate – every romantic, creative or assertive impulse would be both spiritualized and potentially misinterpreted or subverted.
This date would also this year her Uranus Return – a transit that occurs to everyone at about the age of 84 and which can contribute to fabulous reinvention.
Andreja Pejic is playing Amanda Lear in an upcoming Dali biopic, not that Lear herself is co-operating with the production. These days Lear mostly refuses interviews and is happy living with her 12 cats, creating. But could the portrayal introduce her to an entirely new audience?
Tuberose*, her most recent album, was written during the pandemic and features tracks like La Melancholie and Have I Stayed Too Long At The Fairground?
It’s understandably a more introspective and thoughtful creation but I would love it if her Uranus Return somehow sprung a full-nu-disco revival of a big-production club banger like Total Eclipse of the Heart. Or even…Rasputin?
*Tuberose is Lear’s favourite fragrance and she wears a similar-to-Fracas scent called Jungle Gardenia. It is discontinued but she has presumably stockpiled it.
Below: Follow Me, as referenced above and her brilliantly ‘fuq it’ version of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. The back-up boys in this one are brilliant.