Jennifer Anderson, or Tiffany Tarantula as she named herself during the period when she reincarnated her band The Nuns after relocating from California to New York, died of breast and liver cancer age 54 on the 16th December 2011. She died, so I understand, alone and without treatment preferring instead to rely on herbal remedies and at the same time cut herself off from the world. A truly sad end for anyone and especially someone as beautiful and charismatic as Jennifer, yet given that Jennifer’s mental state was in many ways as fragile as her health I was not totally surprised when I heard this for she was very much, for good or bad, her own person.
I first met Jennifer online after a colleague who was dating a New York girl at the time mentioned that I’d really like this goth girl band he’d seen perform at New York’s Limelight club, the band were The Nuns, and he was right I loved their brand of trashy, gothy, bad girl, SM pop and decided there and then that Redemption Films had to make contact. At that time, I think 2000 or 2001, the nucleus of the Satanic Sluts as a concept was gelling in my mind and I was also looking at forming a record label, Triple Silence, so The Nuns just seemed perfect.
Jennifer in turn was extraordinarily fast in taking on a topic or an idea so that if one suggested something and she liked the idea then she was on it immediately, so when I had decided to take the plunge and release The Nuns album she agreed straight away. Then she was suddenly commissioning photoshoots, booking a top producer for a new song, White Slave’, and, most alarmingly of all, booking herself into hospital to have her breasts enlarged.
I should also say at this point that Jennifer had become fixated with me and talked constantly in her emails and on the phone, partly in fun and partly with a real sense of passion, of me. She had also read in an interview that I liked women with pale skin and large white blue-vained breasts which I do and therefore set about having hers suitably enhanced. At this time I hadn’t seen Jennifer in the flesh but I knew that she was at least six foot tall, with long white blond hair and an almost amazonian figure so I knew that any surgery was a pretty extreme course of action and started trying very hard to distant myself from Jennifer in the sense that I really had no interest in her as a potential girlfriend. It was on this weird basis that our relationship developed over the years and which meant that some of our encounters were often a bit strange, sometimes strained and occasionally bizarre.
I first met Jennifer in the flesh when I arranged for the Nuns to come over to London to perform at the private members club, Home House, for their Halloween party. The Nuns at this time consisted of Jennifer and her long term colleague guitarist Jeff Olener plus the 6′ 2″ beauty, Kris, a wild girl and erstwhile model, who wore very little and gyrated around stage like a fetishised, sado-masochistic nazi vampire. On this occasion there was one more ‘nun’ on stage, the lovely and petite Emily Booth who at that time worked for Redemption and had as a big favour agreed to be a novice nun, and wearing as little as was decent, gyrated around on the cramped stage with her big sisters and put on a great show.
The next day I took Jennifer with me to visit a friend who lived in the countryside as she very much wanted to see ‘olde’ England. My friend had a big house, a couple of cute children, a lovely wife and some dogs and as it happened a piano and at some time during the day Jennifer started playing on it, I don’t remember what piece it was but it was classical and very beautiful and to my untutored ear she played it very well. I mention this because this was a side of Jennifer that I had never seen before or saw again. Here for a moment was the Jennifer that could have been, the conventional, abet glamorous, wife in her nice home living another life, a life that Jennifer seemed to aspire to but would never have.
A few years later Jennifer came back to London with the Nuns again, this time to perform at the Marquee Club, and again for Halloween. She was also booked to play at Madame Jo Jo’s where my club Black Mass was launching the first issue of the revamped and redesigned satanic magazine Rule Satannia. This time Jennifer not only brought Jeff and Kris over but also the gorgeous Satanic Slut Darenzia, plus by this time, 2004, with the Satanic Sluts out in force there were numerous other standee ‘nuns’ willing to join in on stage.
Jennifer had also had her breasts enlarged again, this time to truly enormous proportions, on top of this she had had her breasts tattooed so that they resembled nothing less than two highly decorative gothic orbs. In fact when I first arrived at the Marquee and went back stage to say hello to Jennifer I was greeted with “Nigel, darlink do you like my new breasts?”. At Black Mass these ‘new’ breasts were out on display everywhere with Jennifer taking to the stage in nothing but a veil and covered in blood in what was to be one of The Nuns best ever shows. It also happened on the same night that a real black mass had been performed, one of the Satanic Sluts had almost died, the police and ambulance crews had been called with the film of the near death ‘incident’ confiscated as evidence. No wonder that by the time Jennifer flounced off stage that Madame Jo Jo’s had banned the Black Mass club for good.
That was the last time I saw Jennifer though we kept in touch and worked on the DVD release of her MTV and Osbournes inspired project New York Vampires in which Jennifer filmed herself, Jeff and Kris and numerous drunken and half naked goth girls behaving badly in and around New York. The DVD project also allowed us to include footage of The Nuns performance at the Marquee and Black Mass and for Jennifer to catalogue all the press clippings and paraphernalia that had characterised The Nuns chequered existence over the last twenty five years. The result was a DVD that is as shambolic as its subject but which is in a way a fitting record of Jennifer’s and The Nuns history.
Then, a few months after the DVDs release, news came through that Kris, Jennifer’s drug-addled sidekick for many years had been murdered in a sleazy hotel and although Kris had never been an active part of the Nuns musically her death seemed to herald the demise of The Nuns as an active creative force. After that Jennifer dabbled in various projects like her recent stage play “The Rock Star Ghost” which was performed by her in April 2011 and described in the flyers thus:
Yet for all the outrage and scandal of The Nuns Jennifer seemed destined to flirt with glimpses of success on the fringes of the Goth and fetish scene, forever seeing recognition in the distance. She dreamed, like so many, of being a star yet fantasied of a life in the English countryside. Though even this life was pushed into the realms of dreams as she talked of lords and castles and of rich aristocrats who would whisk her off to a life of enchantment and luxury. In the end she died aged just 54 and leaves the world a much duller place because for all of her nonsense and fantasies Jennifer was a real eccentric and in her own way a true star, indeed only a true star or a vampire could walk through the streets of New York and London clad in thigh length boots,a cape and nothing else.
Jennifer, if you’re reading this then I hope there’s a quiet corner up there with a piano for you to play…
Rest in Peace.