Marvin Gaye, one of the greatest soul singers who graced our undeserving ears, is going to be the subject of a new biopic directed by Julien Temple. Hardly surprising that someone would want to make a film about him with the life he had!
Professionally speaking, Marvin Gaye went from being a great pop star to a socially aware, right-on soul preacherman. From the glorious two-minuters of ‘It Takes Two’ and ‘Heard It Through The Grapevine’, to the far-reaching LPs of ‘What’s Going On’ and ‘Let’s Get It On’, Gaye covered a lot of ground.
However, away from the microphone and piano stool, Gaye had a soap opera of a life which belied the control he had musically. While ‘Inner City Blues’ confidently went about changing people’s perceptions of what black music could offer the world, Gaye couldn’t hope for a stable private life.
Gaye’s relationship with other humans was complicated. He married twice, first hitching up with his boss’ – Berry Gordy, lord and master of Motown – sister, before the marriage imploded after Marvin began stepping out with (the very attractive) Janis Hunter. He promptly went about making his split from Gordy’s sister all the more problematic by making a sleazy disco LP called ‘I Want You’ about his relationship with Janis.
Of course, that marriage exploded within a year.
Gaye’s relationship with Tammi Terrell would also define him. The pair enjoyed great success as a duo, cut savagely short when Terrell collapsed on-stage in Gaye’s arms, brought on by a brain tumour that would eventually kill her. Let us not forget Gaye’s troubles with alcohol and drugs. Marvin had a coke-habit you could see from space.
But of course, the most defining relationship was the one Marvin had with his father.
Gaye had made a successful comeback with ‘Sexual Healing’, despite the fact his mental and physical condition was spiralling out of control. Isolating himself at his parents’ home in LA, groupies and dealers still continually tried to reach the singer, leaving Gaye trying to commit suicide on numerous occasions.
Then, on April Fool’s Day, 1984, Gaye’s father fatally shot him with a gun bought for him by his famous son, after a heated argument about money.
Phew and phew, eh? It’s hardly surprising that British director Julien Temple wants to make a film of Gaye’s life.
It isn’t clear how much ground the film will cover or who might take on the role of Marvin himself. One thing? is for certain, there’s enough personal turmoil in Gaye’s life to make a ripsnorting film.
More when we get it.