Thursday, December 4, 2008

Off Topic: Denise Matthews aka Vanity Writes a Book

The last time I saw Vanity....I mean Denise Matthews, was late at night one one of the Bible channels. She was sitting in an armchair being "interviewed" by a couple a Jim and Tammy Faye clones. Actually, I take that back. The guy was a Jim Bakker clone but the big haired woman beside him probably wasn't worthy enough to carry Tammy Faye's mascara wand. Anyway, I put interviewed in quotes because Vanity/Denise was maybe asked one question the entire segment before she started rambling, sometimes incoherently, about Jesus, her love for Jesus, more Jesus, the light and another heavy coating of Jesus. She didn't sound like a normal person talking about her faith, she sounded like a junkie. Even the hosts looked a little scared. It made me wonder if she was one of those people who trade one addiction. It made me worry about her.

When I was a kid, I loved Vanity. The woman was just beautiful and she got to wear underwear wherever she went which seemed like a big time saver. Could she sing? Not really. When I listen to her old albums now it seems obvious that she could have benefittted from Pro tools during her career. That didn't really matter to me. For one, she appeared on the best episode ever of "Friday the 13th: The Series" as a rock star with an obsessive fan and was in "The Last Dragon" with the man I thought I would marry, Taimak (I had big dreams back then.)

The fact that Vanity has a autobiography coming out this month should be cause for celebration but after going to the book's website and reading the description, the book doesn't sound like it will be much of a fun read. I like my biographies juicy, one of the benefits of getting older is that tell-all books from people I'm actually interested in are starting to trickle into bookstores. Believe me, when "Blanket Jackson: My View from the Balcony" comes out, I will be pre-ordering that shit on Amazon.

Here is my fantasy chapter listing for Vanity's book "Blame it On Vanity"

Introduction: Foreword by Taimak
Chapter 1: My Messed Up Childhood
Chapter 2: Meeting Prince
Chapter 3: But I Can't Sing!
Chapter 4: Shopping for Lingerie
Chapter 5: What Was Up with the Blonde Chick in Vanity 6 Anyway?
Chapter 6: Appolonia Who? Why Wasn't I Invited to Rehearsal?
Chapter 7: Life After Prince
Chapter 8: Sex, Drugs and Motley Crue
Chapter 9: Rock Bottom
Chapter 10: Meeting Jesus
Chapter 11: Why I Married That Dude After Knowing Him 1 Month
Chapter 12: Farewell My Kidneys
Chapter 13: Doing Just Fine, Thank You
Bonus Chapter: What Is Up With Prince?

Wouldn't you want to read that too?

No chapter list on the book website but there is this unfortunately written description:

All I had become was thus painted on my face-vanity-and what i had thus spoken from my vile tongue spewed forth from my juvenile breast of disdain.But this was just the beginning of my surrealistic journey, my make believe “i am the new hoopla” squeezed appropriately, sufficiently, distended in your black box, televising all my oddities up close and effectual. With each new, methodical, despicable movement of my being, i closed my fists around a wretched lie which sought to eradicate my life at an impromptu time and i had built no stomach for the fight. With each new bitterness dispelled formulated by this cruel cold world of which i had become its strange kind, i shut my eyes and with deep complaint muttered words of death and despair, while the hot flames seeped, boiled and burned ablaze under my bottle. I was molding to the likes of mediocrity, vulnerability, having had all the experience of a trained seal, being pushed to the brink of hopelessness,and helpless to perpetuate a flawless, ruinous end.

I know, right? Not quite the beach read I had in mind. To add insult to injury, she's charging $45 per copy AND $12 shipping and handling. Has she not heard of "media mail?"

I should add that I don't care what religion Denise/Vanity is practicing as long as she's not on that hate juice. If she's found peace and happiness with her Christianity more power to her, it's just that I was hoping for a lot more from her autobiography than this stream of consciousness dreck.

Sigh. I wonder if the women from Klymaxx are planning a tell-all anytime soon...

Have you read anything good lately?

Pics: scriptgirl, Couturierdiva,


Project Christopher said...

forgive the acronyms, but I have 2.

Her description sounds as if she wrote it in her own voice, then hit "Thesaurus All" and it substituted an inane S.A.T. word in its place.
"...vile tongue spewed forth from my juvenile breast of disdain"
the $45 is to help her pay for her ghost writer if she had one.

I heard there's a foreword by Prince that says
"I really don't know this bitch"

Anonymous said...

Okay, so $45 is a bit steep. I have 2 words for you: library card! No messy refunds involved. The cover is hot. It looks like what I would expect from her 20 years ago. I wanted to read Diahann Carol's book too, but I've read that it's not so juicy either. It totally seems like she may have traded addictions. The irony is that, as Denise Matthews, she can always claim it was a change for the better. After all, vanity is one of the 7 deadly sins...

Invisible Woman said...

I agree with Christopher--those were the two phrases I used after reading that paragraph and the price.

Sounds like somebody still needs to lay hands on her...

Shell said...

Does Denise forget how the economy is? Way to expensive for her book.
I like your Chapter headings much more than the actual paragraph from her book. I read that book.
Tell all from Klymaxx.. that is funny.

Ajuna-Ariel said...

lol @ project christopher

She should have hired a ghostwriter to write it for her. Everyone is doing it these days; from Paris Hilton, to Lauren Conrad, to one of the Bush daughters, to you name it.

Also, I haven't heard any buzz surrounding her or the book. That might hurt her book sales. Also, the fact that she doesn't appear to be relevant these days might also hurt.

It seems like she is milking Prince for book sales. Someone forgot to tell her that Prince isn't as fascinating these days as he use to be. Well, that is if you are interested in tight-pants wearing and outrageous-make-up-applying JehoVah Witness converts who oppose Gay marriage ( silly me for thinking Prince was gay all my life. Silly me)

lapetitediva said...

I loved Vanity. I wanted to be her at one point. "Wild Animal", "Vibrator", and "Pretty Mess" are my favorite so-bad-they're-hilariously-good songs. But "Skin On Skin" and "Under The Influence" are rather good, considering her, um, vocal limitations.

"Tanya's Island", one of her earliest films, is available from Amazon. I think my dad still has a few VCRs lying around, so perhaps I should order it. Reading the description and the reviews, I know that I would love it.

ohnochriso said...

If Klymaxx put out a tell-all bio I would constantly be hearing the "voice" of the book as the speak-singing voice from "Meeting in the Ladies Room". Which would actually be a hilariously awesome way to read a book.

Brigitte said...


That's hysterical. She would HAVE to do the audiobook version.

@anon: "Okay, so $45 is a bit steep. I have 2 words for you: library card!"

I'm a big supporter of the library but I doubt very seriously that mine would buy this book.

Anonymous said...

The book she is releasing is not a paperback but a quality coffee table book. If you need some inspiration, $45 is a small price to pay.

BTW, Denise has personally sung Happy BIrthday to me and I can tell you she has a beautiful voice.

Brigitte said...

@The book she is releasing is not a paperback but a quality coffee table book. If you need some inspiration, $45 is a small price to pay.

There's nothing in that description that says it's a coffee table book and I personally prefer that my inspiration be coherent but if it's on your Xmas wishlist, I hope all your holiday dreams come true. As for her voice well, I guess that's subjective.

Kwana said...

I adore your fantasy chapters! I'm so with you on this post. 45 dollars is just crazy. What does she think she's putting out? Prince's coffee table book and video? As for books I've read lately I've started to keep a running list keep a running list on my blog mostly romances. I love them and I just finished Twilight. So much fun.

dalia said...

remember that character that damon wayans played in living color? where he would use big words that rhymed to elucidate and profilgate his tirumvirate to make himsself sound edumacated--even if it meant his sentences were completely nonsensical?

i think he and denise studied at the same uni.

and i too, thought i was going to marry taimak, but as i grew older and watched last dragon a few more times, i think that the only person taimak might have been interested in bruce leroy...

NaySue said...

I couldn't have come up with better chapter titles myself. Unfortunately, you need one more for Berry Gordy's Last Dragon--or did that one meet the editing room floor?

NaySue said...

Wait a minute, wait a minute, I didn't read this:
"To add insult to injury, she's charging $45 per copy AND $12 shipping and handling." That's just plain ignorant! Like artists selling CDs on television for $19+. Let's be serious.

But honestly, Toni Morrison could get over by charging $45 a book.

Brigitte said...


You are right, TLD really needs it's own chapter :)

Anonymous said...

I'll read it for free at the book store or go to a discount store when they get theirs. "Don't it feel good to pay less?!" I liked her stage persona, but it has been years ago when she was hot. Now to read an autobiography so late in the game and then charge $45 dollars for it is asking too much. I will bide my time and when it is at the Library or at the local book store here in NYC...I will flip through it and read what she has to say. I doubt if it will be revealing since she is a "saint" and all.(yawns) I just want to know who got her started with the drugs...I heard it was Morris Day and Nikki Sixx and Billie Idol....I hope there is a lot of candid pics that I have not seen before. I have seen many of her vids and pics for years before ytube and Imeem. Now I have mostly all of them. Interviews with all the late night hosts and live performances. I want to know why she chose to be who she was. Who was her inspiration...and on and on. I doubt if it will be in the book. She is a good artist. I have seen many of her works(paintings). Prince has a coffee table book that sucks. I hope hers fairs better.

citygirl said...

God, I am so glad I'm not the only one who remembers Friday the 13th: The Series! And? The Vanity episode is the only one I remember with any detail...It was GOOD.

Noelani said...

I always thought Vanity was beautiful and that she had a sort of offbeat sensual persona, but I was thinking the exact same thing about the passage I read on the website. It was a bit too heavy-handed.

If she wrote it herself, a ghost writer would've been better, if she used a ghost writer ... I hope she never use that person again.

I don't know if I'll get the book, but maybe one say I'll get my hands on a copy and check it out.

I'd just rather the raw truth in plain speak.

Anonymous said...

She is my aunt's friend. Truthfully, she frightens me. I am not religious. My family is insanely religious. They have known V (now Denise) for many years now. I found your blog because I want to obtain a copy of her book. I know she will not speak of her Vanity days too much in it but that's what I want to know about. I was a kid back then and allot was hidden from me. I do remember when she was going to get married to Nikki & her and my aunt were discussing wedding invitations and how they were going to get the friends and family to Egypt, where they were to get married. When we all met Nikki, he was a sweet man and treated her like a queen in front of us and bought her this gorgeous antique engagement ring and they were both so crazy about eachother. Behind our backs, both of them were physically abusing eachother, doing drugs and honestly, I don't know how they put up with eachother. She had bruises on her legs and cheekbones and she'd threaten him all the time that she'd have him arrested for beating her up when she provoked him. V would be calling my family to ask us to lie and say we "witnessed" the fights.

Crazy times.

Good blog, anyway.


script said...

Love your writing. You're funny.

I ordered Vanity's book a while ago; I hope I get it and get to speak with her.

I can relate to the "slut to saint" transition:
From Slut to Saint

Arty Caboodle said...

Actually I heard that this autobiography is a picture book and that the pull quote from the website is the total of text for the entire book. I guess the photographs are accompanied with phrases from this passage on the website. In any case, I adore Vanity/Denise Matthews; I find her to be a great woman with an incredible life story worth telling. Any words that she musters up I would be interested in reading because she is Vanity/Vanity 6/Denise Matthews!
Regardless of "approvable" qulaity I would find reading it revealing and a fair exchange of communication from a mega-star in my book.