Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sigmund Freud vs. Britney Spears

WHEN i heard that a biographer had gone into therapy impersonating britney spears (that's the way it was teed up to me), i thought, this guy must be very cynical, or have really bad taste in music. or maybe both.

but the young biographer i met at a cafe in venice beach was an engaging, earnest lad from a small town in yorkshire who had made unorthodox use of a therapist to gain insight into the mind of the pop princess who had denied him the more traditional kind of access. (and steve dennis, who makes his living as a ghostwriter, ends up being a fan of singer songwriters like bon iver and david gray.)

does this method work? that's the question i put to a small panel of experts. dennis himself points out that meryl streep never met julia child, but was still able to render her with sympathy in "julie and julia."

here is my story from the LATimes. my favorite moment is when dennis called his british publisher, explaining his idea of therapy-by-proxy, and got a strange silence on the line. then: "you really have been in L.A. too long. forget the herbalist and soy lattes -- this is a step too far."

Photo by Max Halberstadt

1 comment:

Carmela said...

I thought it was an weird idea until I read the book. At times, I felt the shrink's view was helpful and at others...

Ultimately it was Steve's research in Kentwood (wasn't the revelation on Lynne's marriage to Jamie a douzy? So much for Britney fleeing to Vegas to marry for 24 hours)and not so much the shrink that helped me to gain insight and have compassion for Britney, not the shrink.

I am surprised your sum conclusion rests on the inclusion of a shrink and/or trying to understand Britney's mind or what might have happened.

I do disagree with him about so much reliance on touring and performance as identity necessitating any continued conservatorship post this tour.

See my interview with him here.