TOO YOUNG TO DIE.
Another crushing blow to TNUC’s entire universe came last week with the sudden death of Vanity a.k.a. Denise Matthews, the former film star and musician who passed away from kidney failure at the far too young age of 57. In a short period of time Vanity created a string of pop music on her own and in Prince’s protégé girl group Vanity 6, some of which still gets played in clubs and on the radio. In the mid-eighties she ventured into film and television, starring in a handful of movies alongside greats like Carl Weathers, Sharon Stone, Jamie Lee Curtis, Roy Sheider, Gene Simmons and of course, John Stamos.
In her prime years before drugs began to take their toll, Vanity was the sultriest sex panther in cinema. Even those who had doubts on her acting abilities couldn’t help but gaze at the screen in awe. She had a presence that was unmatched. Apollonia who?
This weekend we urge everyone to carve out a little time to watch some Vanity movies. Here’s an easy start to your vanity-insanity weekend:
These three should keep you busy for a while, but if 2 a.m. rolls around and you’re thirsty for more, seek out her overlooked films like Tanya’s Island, 52 Pick-Up and Neon City. Then when the sun comes up, grab a bowl of French Toast Crunch and just start watching Never Too Young to Die repeatedly until your eyes ooze out of your skull. It’ll be worth it.
To celebrate Vanity’s contributions to pop culture, let’s dive into some music. We could listen to a steamy anthem like ‘Pretty Mess’ or the haunting ‘Samuelle’ (TNUC’s personal favorite)…or maybe ‘Nasty Girl’ from Vanity 6, which rose to #7 on the U.S. Billboard “Hot Black Singles” chart in 1982…
Nah. Instead, we’re choosing a song not even sung by the tantalizing temptress. Just press play and allow your trusty Uncle to explain.
Never Too Young to Die disciples should immediately rise up out of their seats like John Stamos under the seductive spell of Vanity when this song starts playing. The song is of course from the over the top scene in the movie involving Perrier water, an apple, a pair of white slacks, Stamos and our red hot vixen in her absolute prime. This track from the movie’s unreleased soundtrack will always remind me of her, even though the person cited in the credits is an artist named Dee Dee Bellson. The song also has extra special meaning around these parts because this particular scene was featured in the 1st post ever on this website. Enough teasing. It’s time to revisit.
Unfortunately our babe of power partied a bit too hard, as her drug problems have been well documented in the media over the past twenty years. She battled crack addition into the nineties and in 1992 told Joan Rivers she felt as though she’d been possessed by demons and that a friend had found her levitating three feet off her bed.
Although her raunchy relationships with high profile people like Prince, Billy Idol and Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe are no doubt stuff of legend (read Nikki Sixx’s “The Heroin Diaries”), hopefully we’ve persuaded some people to look past the dark times most will remember about Vanity.
Our flags will remain half mass throughout the season. The stone masons and sculptors are already hard at work on a marble statue of Vanity to be chiseled onto the front steps of Castle TNUC.
Rest in Power.