Ahhh yes, groupies. The willing, wanton, and wonderful women who inspired some of the greatest musicians of all time. Here's just a few facts about these ladies.
Yeah, the chick from the Bible. While NO ONE in their right mind would believe that Mary Magdalene was a groupie, Pamela Des Barres (who will reoccurr in this topic many, many times) thinks that this woman was a groupie...for Jesus. Either Pamela is trying to justify the important role of groupies in our society, or she just really, really digs Jesus.
Eh, let's just go with both.
Tura Satana began her career as a burlesque dancer and even starred in some forgettable, b-movies (her most famous being Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! which Quentin Tarantino plans on remaking. Why? Because he's Quentin Tarantino and he does shit like that). Besides having a kick-ass last name, Tura is best known for teaching Elvis a few tricks back before his career took off. You read that right. This burlesque-dancing, b-movie-starring-babe instructed a young Elvis in some of the more exciting ways of love making. This makes Tura one of the earliest groupies in rock and roll history. And totally awesome.
Pamela Des Barres
Now, what would a cracked.com topic on Groupies be without the lovely Miss Pamela? NOTHING, I say! NOTHING! While being regarded as the most-famous groupie of them all, Pamela spends her time trying to convince the world that without groupies, it would suck a whole lot more. She's probably right.
Pamela Ann Des Barres spent her teen years in Los Angeles during the mid to late sixties among all of the other groovy cats of the time. She and her friends became the proteges of Frank Zappa and were set on becoming famous rock stars. The group of friends were named the GTO's (Girls Together Outrageously) and soon became famous on the L.A. scene.
Above: GTO's, not to be confused with...
The GTO's enjoyed their time on the scene, but never made it to the fame and fortune they were hoping for. It's not that they were bad musicians, it's just that...okay yeah, they were bad musicians. Pamela soon found her niche as a care-taker (GROUPIE) for rockstars. She was well-known by all for her good looks, charming personality, and willingness to love any rockstar no matter what. Pamela bedded the likes of Jimmy Page, Gram Parsons, Mick Jagger, and Keith Moon, just to name a few.
Once the craziness of the classic rock era died down, Pamela somewhat "retired", got married (to Michael Des Barres), had a kid, became a minister, and then got divorced. During that time Pamela fulfilled her true passion: writing. Pamela Des Barres has written three successful tell-all memoirs, including the acclaimed I'm with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie. I'm with the Band became a best-seller because let's face it: we all want to know how our favorite rockers were in the sack.
Oh dear God. Wow. Just WOW. This chick is probably the most whacked groupie of them all. She would do anything, ANYTHING to get backstage. Roadies were no problem for Sweet Connie, in fact, she believed that they needed lovin', too!
Connie is from Little Rock, Arkansas, but is by no means a down home, country girl. Her wild and somewhat obscene acts landed her a spot in Grand Funk Railroad's song We're and American Band. The lyric goes "Out on the road for 40 days/ Last night in Little Rock put me in a haze/ Sweet, sweet Connie, doin' her act/ She had the whole show and that's a natural fact." Well done, Connie!
A few of Connie's sexual conquests include members of Led Zeppelin, The Who (there's a story that involves herself, Keith Moon, and a phallus-shaped fruit, but we won't go into that), Bad Company, ZZ Top, and even Neil Diamond. Yeah, Neil Diamond! Connie also claims Bill Clinton shamelessly hit on her one time back in the 80's when he was the governor of Arkansas. Although the story may not be true, it really isn't that surprizing. I mean, it's Bill Clinton! C'mon!
Connie's escapades have been detailed in magazines like Cosmopolitan and Penthouse. Connie even wrote a book! ...too bad it's out of print.
While other groupies of her time have slowed down, Connie is still going strong. Now in her 50's, Connie can still be found backstage at gigs in Little Rock. Whether or not anyone wants to touch her is unknown.
What began as a college art assignment and then blossomed into a way to meet musicians is what made Cynthia Plaster-Caster famous. What did she makes casts of? Members of band members.
The plaster-casting phenomenon began when an art teacher assigned the students to make a plaster cast of "something solid that could retain its shape." Nice one, Cynthia.
Cynthia and her assistants soon became famous on the rock and roll scene and made plenty of casts of the junk of different rockers. Her biggest (interpret that anyway you want) achievement was Jimi Hendrix.
Nowadays Cynthia lives in her hometown of Chicago and is still an avid "artist."
Here are some other groupies who were lucky enough to make the cut:
Known for: Being the inspiration for the songs "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight" and ultimately breaking a Beatle's heart...bitch
Conquests include: Patti wasn't exactly a groupie, but was linked to a fair amount of rockstars. Her lovers include: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, John Lennon, and Ronnie Wood.
Known for: Being Liv Tyler's mom and for being really, really self-centered.
But honestly, can you blame her?
Conquests include: Jimmy Page, Todd Rundgren, Steven Tyler, David Bowie, Iggy Pop
Known for: Being the leader of the groupie click The L.A. Queens
Conquests include: she was a favorite of Led Zeppelin. She's also proof that John Paul Jones got ass, too.
Known for: "Dating" Jimmy Page when she was HALF HIS AGE.
Left: Sleazy 28-year old Right:TODDLER
Conquests include: Jimmy Page (who somehow didn't end up getting deported), David Bowie
Side note: Lyric from Led Zeppelin's song, "Sick Again"
"From the window of your rented limousine, I saw your pretty blue eyes/
One day soon you're gonna reach sixteen, Painted lady in the city of lies."
Why did they behave like that? Because they're Led-fucking-Zeppelin and the rules don't apply to them.
Above: KNOWS NO RULES
Released in 2000, Almost Famous is the semi-autobiographical tale created by Cameron Crowe which follows the story of 15 year-old Rolling Stone writer, William Miller, as he tours with a rock band in 1973.
Kate Hudson plays the charming groupie known as "Penny Lane" who watches over the young William during the tour. She also is romantically linked to the guitarist of the fictional band "Stillwater". Penny Lane is well-known and well-loved by many rockstars.
Above: Well-known and well-loved by many rockstars
At age 15, Cameron Crowe really did write for Rolling Stone magazine and really did tour with the likes of Led Zeppelin and The Who.
Above: Jimmy Page and an awkward 15 year old Cameron Crowe
If there's so much truth to this fictional movie, then who is the character Penny Lane based on?
Oh yeah, that Pamela Des Barres chick.
Kate Hudson also claims that she researched Des Barres and read her books to prepare herself for the role. Kate Hudson went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of
Pamela Des Barres Penny Lane, which is pretty damn impressive.
Hmm, looks like Pamela proved her point that groupies are kind of relevant.
Here are just a few books penned by groupies-turned-authors (who will be remembered as groupies, not authors):
As mentioned earlier in this topic, this is a great read for those of you interested in what the life of a groupie was like.
This book is a compilation of many different stories from many different groupies, and it was all organized by Pamela Des Barres. Along with many of the groupies previously mentioned, this book includes confessions from: Patti D'Arbanville, Michele Overman, Audrey Hamilton, and a bunch of other people no one has ever heard of. Still, this book has got some great stories.
This is a look into the wild and downright friggin' bizarre world of teenage runaway Catherine James. It tells the tale of life with her psychotic mother, her transsexual father, and her grandmother (who seemed to be the only sane relative she had). This memoir is also a great look into the rock and roll lifestyle of the 60's and 70's.
The actual diaries of Morgana Welch from when she was a teenager. This book chronicles her early days on the scene and rise to become the leader of the L.A. Queens. Again, it's proof that John Paul Jones got just as much ass as the others.