We kicked off the day with nostalgia. Should we keep it going?
Lenny Kravitz has a memoir out called Let Love Rule which… obviously. That album, and the follow-up, Mama Said, ruled my life at the end of high school and through university. Still now, when I hear the first bars of “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over” I feel like crying.
Lenny’s telling the story of his early years – not really focusing on big fame but on his influences, his childhood, being biracial, and yes, he touches on his relationship with Lisa Bonet. The gloriousness of this couple, MY GOD. We’ll come back to that in a minute. Let’s start with his identity. Lenny writes that he feels "deeply two-sided", deeply in the double: his mother was Black and Christian. In a new interview with USA Today, Lenny talks about when he first realised that even though it was normal for him at home and in his community, it would not feel that way once he stepped out of that environment:
“Growing up, I remember seeing all these different-looking people. My family went to church, we went to temple, we celebrated both (Christmas and Hanukkah), and ate cuisine from both sides. Life was full of color and different traditions, and it was never discussed. So when I went to first grade and this boy found it odd that my parents did not match, I was a bit taken aback. I didn't understand where he was coming from. That's when the deeper conversations began, with my mother explaining to me why this boy called us out.”
Mariah Carey has also addressed her experience, feeling like she was of two worlds but not one world, that she never knew where she belonged. Obviously she and Lenny, since they’re different people, have had different experiences, but like many biracial people, they are sharing they unique perspective of what it feels like to be shaped by multiple cultures.
As for Lenny’s relationship with his father, he says it took him a long time to unpack and get real about their complicated history and how it informed his own personal history, specifically related to infidelity. Lenny recounts in the book the time his parents talked to him about his father’s cheating. And in that moment, what his father told him was, “You’ll do it too”. This, when I read it, was a gut-punch – because that’s what it was for him:
“I didn't understand the severity of that statement, and that's not the answer my mother expected to come out of his mouth. She was passing the ball to my father, and that would have been his cue to say, "You know, son, I was wrong. I hope you learn from this, etc., etc." But he said what he said, and wow, that was really hardcore.
I look at it now after writing the book and think he was just speaking from his truth. He went through the same experience with his father, which is one of the reasons he left home young and went to the military. This was a monkey on his back that he'd been trying to get off, only to repeat his father's history. He just figured this was a generational problem that I, too, would repeat. It's quite deep – it's like something out of a play. And I didn't realize its power until I got older, and I had to really work on it and understand it and conquer it. That's taken (all) my energy and effort throughout my lifetime.”
Not your typical celebrity memoir revelation, right? Which brings us to Lisa Bonet, the celebrity romance of our lifetime. For one of them. I haven’t read the book yet so I don’t know that he goes into why their marriage ended – but no matter the reason, they did not let it affect their relationship. As we’ve seen, they continue to adore each other, support each other, they are as close as ever.
But how did it start? Lenny says he was obsessed with her, even though he was engaged to someone else. He first saw her on the cover of a magazine and told a friend, “I’m going to marry that girl”. Then they met up for real at a New Edition concert (!!!!!) and he dorkily told her (via Page Six), “I like your hair”. So Lenny Kravitz, the coolest cat ever, couldn’t find any flow in the presence of Lisa Bonet. That’s the power of Lisa Bonet!
“It was a lame line, a stupid line, one of the worst lines in the history of bad lines” is how he describes it in the book. I mean, I think he’s being too hard on himself. If Lenny Kravitz told me he liked my hair, I’d take it away as one of the best lines in the history of best lines. Then again, I’m not Lisa Bonet.
They started off as friends. He was going to marry someone else. But his fiancée, Mitzi, could feel that, well, his heart and soul and everything was with Lisa. And then one night Lenny and Lisa were in a recording studio and she tripped, into his arms, and well… legend.
“In a moment, everything changed,” he recalls. “We started kissing … That night I moved into Lisa’s bedroom. Destiny had led us here. With every passing hour, our love blossomed. Premonition turned to prophecy. Prophecy turned to ecstasy.”
Honestly? If I’m reading that coming from anyone else, I’m choking on the cheese. But when Lenny Kravitz is saying this about his love with Lisa Bonet? It’s all I ever want to eat.
He goes on to say that they conceived Zoe on a beach in the Bahamas.
“We didn’t need a thing. We didn’t need clothes. We bathed in the ocean. We made love.”
I was about to say that I need to this to be a movie. But how could a movie possibly live up to the real?