Behind every rock superstars is a legendary groupie who controlled not only the bedroom but the music scene as well.
Look no farther than the top successful bands of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s to discover the most notable groupies of those decades. By necessity, all of the famous names in music have a significant following, but the Groupie Phenomenon represents much deeper, and is responsible in part for a new link involving sex and rock and roll. Below are the 12 Wildest Things Happening Behind The Rock n’ Roll Groupie Lifestyle”
Groupies saw themselves as Muses to Rockstars
Groupies filled a variety of responsibilities. Many were sex partners, others looked after the health of rock stars, while yet others provided clothing as well as other necessities. Some, however, were muses. Chris O’Dell was the topic of several tunes, and the presence of other ladies aided in the creative process of several of rock ‘n’ roll’s most renowned performers. Pamela Des Barres characterized herself as a muse to bands such as Keith Moon in an interview with The Guardian:
I was Keith’s LA girl, and there was no doubt about it. I knew that whenever he came to town, he’d call no one but me. He was such a needy soul… I was a stabilizing thing for him. When he’d wake up screaming… I could calm him. It was my duty as a muse to take care of this brilliant genius who inspired so many.
Substance abuse was widespread
In the 1970s music scene, notably around the Rolling Stones, drugs and alcohol were unavoidable. Keith Richards was pleased by Chris O’Dell’s talent and desire to accept drugs, saying she could keep up “just like a guy,” but her substance use had become a severe problem, leading to a “rock bottom” incident after traveling with the Stones.
It started with the Stones tour and then it just kind of kept on going. The tour was over, but I kept on going, and I kept on going by basically trying to find the perfect high, trying to find the perfect balance. So it would be, you know, do a line of coke or a couple lines of coke, and then that would be too edgy so it would be OK have a Quaalude or a Seconal, something that kind of pulled me down or pushed me down. Then I’d get too down so I’d have to do something more and then by the evening I was using alcohol to also take the edge off.
So it was always looking for that perfect balance, but never finding it.
The Limit Among Employee And Groupie Was Difficult To Draw
Chris O’Dell dislikes being labeled as a groupie, despite the fact that some consider her to be the personification of one. She saw herself as an essential element of the music industry. Derek Taylor, the Beatles’ press manager, asked her to come from Los Angeles to London in 1968 for a career working at Apple’s HQ.
I needed to do something different, and I loved music. But it was totally by accident that I ended up working at a record company and met Derek Taylor, who was The Beatles’ press agent. [He] was going back to London at Apple, and we became friends, and he said “Why don’t you come over?”[…] Paul came in, and I could hear his voice through a wall, and it was like “Oh my gosh.” I walked out of the door, and there were John and Yoko sitting there, and it was the most fabulous day because they went from being like these magazine photos and these people I’d seen on TV to being real live people.
Many ex-groupies consider their relationships to be mutually beneficial
When questioned concerning #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, Pamela Des Barres informed WWD that she believes there is a significant contrast between both the power dynamic in Hollywood and the climate of the music industry in which she was involved:
You could name many, many people who you could wonder, “Wow, what did they get up to?” but you know, the girls, a whole lot of the women, most of them, who were involved in rock ’n’ roll and considered groupies, put themselves there. They wanted to be with these guys. These guys, unlike these directors or producers, even actors coming under scrutiny now, these girls wanted to, they tried to meet [the musicians], wanted to be with them, wanted to be backstage. They didn’t have to fight anyone off; it was quite the opposite! So, it’s quite different. And yes, there have been younger girls [who were groupies], a long time ago, not so much now at all, but way back when, when things like that were seen as permissible in a certain part of society. But these girls were very happy about the fun they had with these guys. It’s very memorable. It’s a very wild and extreme experience. It’s very unforgettable when you hang out with these people, especially when it’s the way I did, a very high level – on stage with the band, traveling with them, things like that.
Groupies Were at the Front Row of Music History
Chris O’Dell’s status as both an assistant and a good friend of music luminaries such as The Beatles ensured she was around for several of rock history’s biggest pivotal moments. She was present when George Harrison admitted to Ringo Starr that he loved Ringo’s wife.
When George finally told Ringo that he was in love with Maureen, Ringo’s response was, “Well, better you than someone else.” And you know, I think that sort of … it’s like OK at least it’s not somebody that we don’t know.[…] It’s all in the family. And I think that’s kind of the way it was at that point.
Jimmy Page Requested Consent From One Groupie’s Mother To Date Her
Sex was a significant part of the music scene, however, some people were looking for closer ties as well. Lori Mattix claims that her affair with Jimmy Page, the leader of Led Zeppelin, would be more than simply a fling:
I was underage and couldn’t travel with him. So I would stay in the room and wait for Jimmy. At that point, I was 15 and totally in love with this man. I put him on a pedestal. It became so serious that Jimmy asked my mom for permission to be with me.
On At Least One Instance, A Groupie Was Able To Save A Rockstar
Bebe Buell, Liv Tyler’s mother, paired up with Steven Tyler after he contacted her from a motel where he couldn’t get out. Buell already was an acquaintance, so she was delighted to assist him.
[Steven Tyler] was in New York for some basketball game, and I was at my friend Liz Derringer’s apartment. She was married to Rick Derringer, and I used to sleep there when Todd [Rundgren] was on the road. At 3 o’clock in the morning, Steven calls and says, “Bebe, come get me. I’m at the Pierre hotel, and I can’t walk. And I’m the only white person in the room.” I said, “You can handle that.” He said, “No, you don’t understand, they can do a lot more drugs than I can.” So I went up there, knocked on the door, and it was a room full of seven-foot-tall men. Steven really could not walk, and I had just taken this fireman training class, because Todd was worried if we ever had a fire how I would get out of our townhouse. I threw Steven over my shoulder and took him to Liz’s, and we threw him in the bathtub. Finally, he woke up and Liz said, ‘go sleep in our room.’ I always joke that I think my daughter was conceived in Liz and Rick’s bed.
It’s Not Always A Party With The Bands
It’s not always easy to be among prominent rock artists. Most of those performers Chris O’Dell met while working as a personal assistant and tour organizer were unkind to each other and the numerous folks who hung out backstage.
When sober, Eric Clapton, in an instance, was a difficult guy, and O’Dell described him as “very lonely and very empty.” She had far more knowledge of the Fab Four:
I think there was [a nasty side] to all four of them. Some of it was that Liverpool way, that sarcasm, and part of it was that they discovered that they could say anything they damn well wanted and they could get away with it. And people didn’t know how to respond.
Even though it wasn’t their task, women were expected to sleep with musicians
Groupies, either hired or merely fans, were required to look after the needs of the artists they supported. Chris O’Dell, who worked with the Rolling Stones, claimed the agreement should have “included a [provision] that went something like this: ‘Sleep with Mick whenever he asks.'”
While on tour, the girls did a variety of side jobs
As a tour manager for big bands was half celebration, part labor. Although Chris O’Dell loved partying while working as a manager for the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, she was indeed an employee and member of the tour staff. That means she had to be available for everything from putting buttons onto Bob Dylan’s shirt to delivering harmonicas via chopper.
Bob Dylan forgot his harmonicas, and so we kind of went oh, ‘OK.’ We got his harmonicas, and then George called back, who was staying with Bob at the Isle of Wight, and said, “Well, just take a helicopter down.” So we went from going to catch the train like regular people to flying in a helicopter with Bob Dylan’s harmonicas to a farmhouse. And landing basically in the backyard. And as we were coming down in the helicopter, there’s Bob sticking his head out the bedroom window upstairs kind of watching us, and I thought, this is a reverse.
It was difficult to break away from the drug-abuse pattern
Pursuing the “ideal high,” as per Chris O’Dell, imprisoned her in a deadly loop. O’Dell has little recollection of the years 1979 to 1983 because she was heavily involved with drugs during this time. In her novel, she alludes to these fragmentary recollections as her “lost years,” and she detailed her darkest period in an interview with ABC News:
I was supposed to go see my hypnotherapist, who I was seeing for who knows what actually. It should have been drugs, but it wasn’t. And I couldn’t get to the car. I couldn’t get down the stairs of my apartment. I had taken enough Quaaludes that, well, I couldn’t manage the stairs.
Sexism and double standards reigned supreme in the music industry
The term “groupie” is a loaded one; it indicates that women who hung out with musicians did so for sexual pleasure and intimacy with celebrities instead of for the love of the music. Women such as Chris O’Dell and Pamela Des Barres took part in the very same events as the males praised as favorite musicians, but were derided as tie-downs instead of colleagues.
There was definitely a misogynistic attitude. Look at their women – so afraid of other women because they thought they were going to take their man away. The feminist movement hadn’t hit then. I don’t think that women today would put up with it.