Chan Marshall

By: Jen Collins
January 21, 2014

chan marshall

Seems like musician CHAN MARSHALL (born 1972) has spent most of her life so far in and out of recovery. The woman who once posed for Richard Avedon drunk with her pubes showing doesn’t seem like the same one who attended fashion shows on Karl Lagerfeld’s arm, the pair wearing matching Chanel motorcycle gloves. Gorgeous, she can project an almost Lohanian charm. See the video for “Lived In Bars,” from The Greatest (2006), in which she struts and smooches her way through a bar, throwing down funny Kiedis-esque arm gestures before passing out. “There’s nothing like living in a bottle, and nothing like ending it for all the world,” she sings; shortly after she made that record, she was hospitalized — booze, coke, depression, exhaustion, thoughts of suicide. (She warned us.) Her voice, so weary and resigned, even when joyful — it’s always been easy to imagine her giving up, especially when she melts down onstage, or Instagrams photo after photo of her hospital dinners and swollen body parts. But these days, Marshall’s Instagram reveals an intense (ALL-CAPS) connection to the world via her friends, her fans, and her French bulldogs. Coolly, she explains “Real Life” like this (from her latest record, Sun): “Sometimes you don’t wanna live, Sometimes you gotta do what you don’t want to do, to get away with an unordinary life.” She seems to be saying that she wants to stick around. Let’s hope she does.


On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Benny Hill.

READ MORE about members of the Reconstructionist Generation (1964–1973).


HiLo Heroes, Music