Valerie: Felix put our
love in a song

by PETER FEARON
NEW YORK POST, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 1983

One of the last songs written by slain rock star Felix Pappalardi was dedicated to his attractive 27-year-old blonde lover Valerie Merians - the woman prosecutors claimed drove Gail Pappalardi to kill.

It is one of the last enduring relics of a hectic 11-month love affair, she told The Post last night.

Miss Merians, who was slated to appear as a prosecution witness but was never called, was branded a pest, hanger-on, groupie sicko and flake in trial testimony.

In an exclusive interview, the singer-songwriter spoke of Pappalardi and as she did so she fingeredtwo other love tokens - a wedding band engraved "Je t'aime - Felix" and a gold watch engraved "I love you - Felix". The song, recorded in France by popular French-Algerian singer Enrico Marcias, is also called "Je t'aime - I love you."

"Felix wrote the song for me one night in my apartment, playing my piano," Valerie said. "The words were, "Je t'aime, Valerie. He had been worried about a trip to Paris to produce Enrico's album and nervous about whether he would like the material."

"We were very much in love and we had talked of marrying. We talked of getting an apartment together - even of going to Australia together."

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Slain rocker's wife
'proud of gun': friend

by Frank Faso

The wife of slain rock star Felix Pappalardi was "quite proud" of a derringer her husband gave her and once pulled it on a friend whom she found sitting in a car with her husband, the friend testified yesterday.

Frances Laing, 35, wife of Lawrence (Corky) Laing, a member of the rock group Mountain, said the gun was similar to the one used to kill the 41 year old Pappalardi last April 18*. Pappalardi had played bass and keyboard for Mountain.

His wife, Gail, 43, is charged with second-degree murder in the slaying.

Laing, a schoolteacher and friend of the Pappalardis for 15 years, said she had seen Mrs. Pappalardi with a gun on more than one occasion.She said Mrs. Pappalardi drew the gun during an August 1975 incident at the Chicken Box restraunt in Nantucket, Mass. where she and the Pappalardis owned homes.

She said that both Gail and Felix Pappalardi carried guns, and that the two couples had fired target practice together.

"When Felix got that gun for Gail she was quite proud of it," she added.

*Webmaster's note:
The actual date of the Slaying was April 17.

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Jury Deliberating Rock Star's Slaying

By Frank Faso

A Manhattam Supreme Court jury began deliberations yesterday in the murder trial of Gail Collins Pappalardi, who is charged with shooting her rock-star husband to death in their East Side apartment.

Before beginning their discussions shortly after 3 p.m., the panel of six men and six women was advised by Justice James Leff that they could reject the second-degree murder charge against Mrs. Pappalardi and still find her guilty of the lesser charges of manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide.

The murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. The lesser counts could result in terms ranging from probation to 15 years.

Pappalardi, 41, producer for the rock group Cream and organizer and bass guitarist of the highly successful band Mountain, was fatally shot in the throat in the Waterside Plaza apartment he shared with his wife.

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