Flower Power

Catherine James @ age 15

I’ve pored through many memoirs, and I can say with certainty that I’ve never read one quite like “Dandelion.” Catherine James recounts a truly horrific childhood at the hands of a purely evil mother, who quite frankly makes Joan Crawford look like June Cleaver. She eventually escapes, first getting arrested and landing in a sort of child’s version of jail, before moving (with the help of a loving grandmother) to a community home. Everything looked bleak for her until what seemed like a chance meeting (at age 13) with Bob Dylan, which turned out to be just the first in a series of unexpected introductions {Denny Laine, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Andy Warhol}. When it appears she would be forced back into jail, she runs away from her broken life in California, (at age 15) and steadily toward her dream of going to New York City.

Very early in her life, she learned to trust that God would look out for her. As she trusted Him and stepped out in the direction of her dreams, He opened one extraordinary door after another – making a way for her through the benevolence of one kind soul after another. This is not to say that her own choices didn’t cause her considerable heartache along the way but incredibly she possessed the strength and fortitude to move on when she knew she needed to.

Catherine & Damian

After a long-standing relationship with Moody Blues guitarist, Denny Laine that produced their beautiful son, Damian, she had a series of short but sweet affairs with Jackson Browne, Mick Jagger and Jimmy Page. I thoroughly liked and can recommend “Dandelion,” a memoir which has at it’s heart and soul a real life heroine who displayed incredible strength of character to not only navigate a way out of her frightening circumstances but to come out on the other side as the kind, loving and forgiving woman she is today.

Catherine with Damian & grandson, John

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All photographs ©Catherine James

Catherine’s Website

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