Today I will be blogging about the legendary Babitz sister. First, Mirandi Babitz. Mirandi was Pamela Courson best friend all through college and up to the time Pamela opened up her own boutique Themis. Here’s an article written by By Dennis Nishi about Mirandi transitioning from clothing designer to therapist.
When Mirandi Babitz started playing the harpsichord, she knew she would never become a professional musician like her father, a classical violinist. She didn’t have the same talent, she says. Ms. Babitz did find her way into music eventually — as a concert promoter and the designer who outfitted Doors frontman Jim Morrison in his signature leather pants. After 18 years of rock ‘n’ roll, Ms. Babitz, now 62, hung up her fast life in music in favor of something quite different: family therapy. But, she says, her first act perfectly informs her second.
Ms. Babitz spent much of her childhood in Europe and returned to the U.S. after high school. In 1967, she met her first husband. He was a clothing designer and musician, and together they opened a clothing boutique on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood — right next door to the infamous Psychedelic Conspiracy shop. The two worked their connections in the local Los Angeles music scene to design one-of-a-kind garments for rock musicians like John Kay of Steppenwolf and Eric Clapton.
In 1974, Ms. Babitz and her husband divorced and she quit clothing design. But a singer friend convinced her to become a road manager, and Ms. Babitz discovered it was a job she was good at. Although Ms. Babitz had no experience, she used her connections from her design days to sign well-known bands. At one point she helped the labor leader Caesar Chavez put together a benefit concert for the United Farm Workers.
Ms. Babitz continued to produce concerts for the next eight years for top headliners including Jackson Browne, Little Feat, Bonnie Rait and Crosby Stills & Nash. But she also indulged in the dangerous lifestyle of a musician. By 1983, Ms. Babitz says she realized the alcohol and substance abuse she’d fallen into had spiraled out of control. “I was so miserable that I had to make a change before it killed me,” she says. So she entered a recovery program.
Ms. Babitz went back to concert promotion after rehab but says she had lost her passion for the work. Her closest friend, Laurie Pepper, wife of former jazz saxophonist Art Pepper, recalls the time. “The weather, the flaky acts, all of those responsibilities were too much,” she says. “The only thing that really kept her going for those last two years after sobriety was the law of inertia.”
Ms. Babitz quit the field altogether in 1985. She had no idea what she wanted to do next. Then, a psychologist friend suggested that Ms. Babitz should consider a mental-health career.
Ms. Babitz embraced the idea and enrolled in the clinical psychology program at Antioch University in 1987, where she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree. She interned for two years under an instructor and then started her own marriage and family counseling practice in Torrance, Calif.
Now, after 14 years as a therapist, Ms. Babitz says she is doing exactly what she was meant to do. She specializes in addiction and anxiety disorders and often works with artists and musicians. “I’ve found that my own story of how I got out [of addiction] is essential to reach somebody caught in addiction,” she says. “It puts patients at ease.”
Jim wearing some of Mirandi leather designs.
Source and credits:
All Text article by Dennis Nishi http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB122998382930027825
Photos and information by:
Jim Morrison photos from: