8/20/10

The New Generation of Groupies


In the 60s the GTOs were the groupies that every musician wanted to meet. But in the early 70s, a new breed of groupies emerged onto the Sunset Strip. They were called 'The Baby Groupies'. The baby part coming from the fact that theses girls were between the ages of 12 and 16. They would hang out at places like The Whiskey A Go Go, Rainbow Bar & Grill, and the epicenter teenage groupies Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco. They wore lamรจ hotshort, six inch platform shoes, sequin halter tops, and satin pants. 

These girls first came to the attention of rock stars through the now cult teen magazine, Star Magazine, which focused on the live and night life of these young girls. They would dress their teenage models in seductive clothing and cake on makeup to make the girls look anything but precious. It covered the new glam rock scene in Los Angeles. It only lasted a few issues but has become a cult classic.
Karen Umphrey on the cover at age 14




Sable Starr
Sable Starr came to be known as the 'Uncrowned queen of the baby groupies'. She got her start by sleeping with Iggy Pop when she was only 13. Iggy wrote the song "Look Away" about her.
In the 70s she was the great groupie that all the musicians wanted to meet. Her and her best friend Lori Maddox would teeter around the sunset strip hanging with much older musicians. 
But in 1973 she met Johhny Thunders, guitarist of The New York Dolls, when they came to L.A. while on tour. Sable and her friends bought the band gifts and greeted them at the airport. Sable made sure she gave hers to Johnny. The two fell in love and Sable put her groupie days behind her to be with Johnny. Moving to New York to live with him at the age of 15, he just turning 21.
They moved in together to start their life together, with Johnny buying her a red setter puppy for christmas. "We were planning on getting married." says Sable. But the relationship didn't last, with Johnny's jealousy issues and growing dependency on heroin, Sable became increasingly unhappy. 
Battling with still being in love with Johnny and her need to be happy, Sable cut her wrists, being found just in time by New York Dolls guitarist Syl Sylvain and taken to a hospital. She was given the option to either go to the psychiatric wing of the hospital or go home to her parents, she went home. Her and Johnny's relationship finally ending in 1974.
Living between Los Angeles and New York she started dating Johnny's bandmate in The Heartbreakers,  Richard Hell in 1975. 
After breaking up with Hell, she moved back home to California to start her life over in a normal way, she was 17.


Lori Maddox
Lori Maddox or Lori Lightning got her start in the groupie world by reportedly losing her virginity to David Bowie at the age of 13.
She was often pictured in Star Magazine, being one of their teen models.


When she was 14 she met Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. After seeing her picture in Star, he was determined to meet her. After several failed attempts, he finally had Led Zeppelin's tour manager "kidnap" her and take her to the Continental Hyatt where the band was staying. That night their love affair began.
They had to keep their relationship a secret, Lori being under age and Jimmy fearing being arrested. But Lori has stated that their were really in love. Page would allow her to listen in on his calls to his girlfriend back home and would keep her under lock and key in his hotel room.
Their love affair ended in 1974 when Page left her for fellow groupie Bebe Buell. Lori was devastated and continuously tried to get back together with him but Page wasnt into it. At the Swan Song soiree, after taking a quaalude and looking dazed, she jumped out from behind a statue as Page and Buell were leaving and yell "Why are you doing this to me?!", Page ignored her and got in his limo. The next morning she showed up at the Riot Hyatt and pounded on Jimmy's door, when Bebe answered the door Lori went crazy, punching and pulling Bebe's hair trying to get her out of the room. Page just sat there looking amused.
After being heartbroken by Jimmy she did the groupie thing for a little longer having relations with musicians such as Mick Jagger, Syl Sylvain and Mick Ralphs, before walking away from the groupie scene all together.


Queenie Glam
Queenie or Queenie Glam was another L.A. teenage groupie. She was good friends with Sable Starr, Lori Maddox and Shray Mecham.
She has been linked to Jimmy Page, David Bowie, David Johansen, Dee Ramone, Iggy Pop, Jerry Nolan, Marc Bolan, Richard Lloyd, Ron Asheton, Alice Cooper and Rod Stewart.

Not all Star Magazine models were groupies, here are some the magazine's main models:
Karen Umphrey

Patti Clarke

Shray Mecham

They all became the stars on the scene, all before hitting the legal age.

45 comments:

  1. This is pathetically sick, but in the context of today only to be expected. I don't know why the press concentrated on the "Drugs and sex" aspect of these peoples' lives while totally oblivious to the fact that they were banging children.

    Here is to hoping these serial child molesters -- because let's not mince words, that's what they were -- get what's coming to them. I don't give a fuck if they're 80 years old, they need to spend the rest of their unnatural lives in the slammer.

    If that insane child abuser -- sorry, infant abuser -- Ian Watkins of some obscure yet somewhat successful band Lostprophets, can go to prison for 35 years for his numerous, insane crimes, then these fuckers, Bowie at the head of the line, should also get slammed. He is an egregiously abusive prick and there is no excuse for allowing for him to be free.

    Why don't the press go hassle him now about these abuses, proven beyond a shadow of a doubt? And Jimmy Page? Why stop with that miserable turd Gary Glitter? He's only the tip of the iceberg.

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    1. I do not disagree with you at all, but the problem of pervasiveness is a hard one to get over. I think Charles Manson would be the only musician of the time who would avoid the pedophile charges, and that includes bands and artists who sphere of fame didn't reach out past their (USA) state (or equivalent over seas).

      We would be bring potentially hundreds of people, mostly men but also women, into the courts on these charges, in a case that could potentially last as long as 20 years or more.

      All of them, I hate to say it... every single last one. You name a band or artists from the 60's, 70's and 80's, and I'll show you a pedophile or group of pedophiles. And it was *accepted*. It wasn't just that they were all doing it... it was culturally *acceptable*.

      Bringing that case would be a nightmare that I doubt any lawyer would want to navigate, unfortunately.

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    2. This is Susan, not Bill and I was one of those 13 year olds who slept with 30 yr old musicians, None so famous,BUT< what was weird, is that it was a socail model. As if the oppression of sex and women stemming from the Victorian age and before, finally, with the onset of Birth Control, allowed women to become sexually active. THE MISSING piece was that we were not women, we were children and speaking for myself, if these guys would have been willing to hang out with me, like they did with men, I would have been just as happy, The sex was the only way they were willikng to connect with me, I'm not sure if this is a legal matter as much as a social one. I'd LOVE to be able to talk to the very famous men, and ask, with no threat of legal action, how they feel about that behaviour today. Are they regretful....I have actuallhy spoken to one of the men I slept with, who will remain anonymous, but he was well known in the late 60s and his band is remembered will today. He was charmig and apologetic and asked if I was (at now 50) ok? He admitted it was the times and though not justifying the behaviour, he could see that we was swept up in it and never questioned the long term effect it might have on us young girls. I hope this helps give some insight in to the experience....I am ok, REALLY ok, but I did have to do some real therapy and self exploration, Some self forgiveness that I didn't take better care of me, even at the age of 13 and some serious forgivemess to my mom, for allowing me to run the streets at such a young age......

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    3. This is Susan, not Bill and I was one of those 13 year olds who slept with 30 yr old musicians, None so famous,BUT< what was weird, is that it was a socail model. As if the oppression of sex and women stemming from the Victorian age and before, finally, with the onset of Birth Control, allowed women to become sexually active. THE MISSING piece was that we were not women, we were children and speaking for myself, if these guys would have been willing to hang out with me, like they did with men, I would have been just as happy, The sex was the only way they were willikng to connect with me, I'm not sure if this is a legal matter as much as a social one. I'd LOVE to be able to talk to the very famous men, and ask, with no threat of legal action, how they feel about that behaviour today. Are they regretful....I have actuallhy spoken to one of the men I slept with, who will remain anonymous, but he was well known in the late 60s and his band is remembered will today. He was charmig and apologetic and asked if I was (at now 50) ok? He admitted it was the times and though not justifying the behaviour, he could see that we was swept up in it and never questioned the long term effect it might have on us young girls. I hope this helps give some insight in to the experience....I am ok, REALLY ok, but I did have to do some real therapy and self exploration, Some self forgiveness that I didn't take better care of me, even at the age of 13 and some serious forgivemess to my mom, for allowing me to run the streets at such a young age......

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    4. Susan, that is one of the most honest things I've ever read about that period (a period I grew up in since I'm now in my 50's too). While I still love a lot of the music of those times I also have a different perspective on the whole baby groupie scene (I remember reading Star magazine when I was 15 in Ohio....thinking how glamorous their lives were). But I was a musician myself so I didn't have to fuck all the musicians I hung out with because there was mutual admiration on a artistic level (yes, there was sex too, not going to be a hypocrite). But I was 18 not 13. I've always wondered what these rock stars felt when their daughters reached 13....pang of conscience or not. We'll never know. Glad to hear you're doing fine!

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    5. I really wish I could have read STAR back when it was in print, but that's not possible, since one issue is really rare, let alone all five. So I have to stick with the online version.
      I'm 17, and ever since I started listening to classic rock after it literally saved my life during a really bad case of depression, I have gotten more into the whole groupie scene, especially with Lori. I don't know why, but I admire her so much for going out there, saying "I'm gonna do this." And then doing it. I don't know anyone who would be able to do something like that and succeed. I mean, I know that what she was doing was not right, especially that the guys she slept with were perverts (sorry, Jimmy!) but just the way that these girls dedicated themselves to that job so early on is absolutely mind blowing to me.

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    6. Emma, Lori Maddox went out there and got fucked by some pedophiles. Nothing to look up to and not all that hard. Of course a pedophile is going to eventually have a go at you if you follow him around and make it known that you're just a undercooked piece of meat willing to have sex with a rock star. Just saying, aren't there better, actually difficult and useful things to aspire to?

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    7. They were not pedophiles. Know what a pedophile is before posting. These girls were groupies, and there were lots of them. These rock musicians didn't go around and card them. Stop twisting what happened then by trying to shoehorn them into modern sensibilities. It is dishonest.

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    8. @ Susan AKA Bill Lucky, thank you for sharing such a brave story. There are so many crazy urban legends about rock antics out there, I always take these stories with a grain of salt, but reading your personal account really moved me. I'm happy for you that you've been able to work through your earlier experiences and enjoy your life.

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    9. @ Emma, I would have worded my response differently than Christian, you certainly don't deserve to be cursed at and talked down to, but I do share his opinion and wanted to respond to what you wrote.

      I feel I have some understanding of your perspective. I have dealt with depression, I'm a music lover (glam and classic rock included), and I've and engaged in my fair share of risky behavior. I'm also 15 years older than you, and, as much as I would have HATED and tuned out anyone saying what I'm about to say when I was a teenager, I think I benefit from a certain amount of hindsight and perspective that you just don't gain until you've aged and lived a little.

      There is NOTHING cool or empowering about being a groupie. It's misogynistic objectification of women with pretty, glam rock, free love window dressing. In Susan's own account (see comment above yours), she says she truly believes that offering/agreeing to sex was the only way to get to hang out with these cool rock stars they idolized. How many men do you think had to do that?

      I'm very happy for you that music has helped to pull you out of a bad place emotionally, but please don't idealize any of this Star magazine/teenage groupie stuff. By any other name, it would still stink. It just looks cool and is presented as something slightly more acceptable because of the superficial trappings around it.

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    10. @ OTE Admin, Did you take the time to read the actual blog post? Because this is a direct quote: "They were called 'The Baby Groupies'. The baby part coming from the fact that theses girls were between the ages of 12 and 16." Boom.

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    11. I am sorry Emma, but these girls didn't have sex with these men, they were raped. I too love classic rock, I love the music, I love the "fuck the man" attitude, the nonconformity, the sex and drugs, it's great, but everything has a dark side and those girls were lured in by the same things you and I might find appealing and they were used by men that saw them as sexual props and even sexual property, they were very young and inexperienced and they took advantage of that, just think about it, they weren't their girlfriends, they had no say about when or how they had sex, they had no power in that dynamic, the men had all the power and took all the decisions, including when to dump them, can you imagine the psychological toll of having your virginity taken because it's what's expected of you? or idolizing these men, thinking you are in love with them and that they love you back, because you are too young to know any better, and then being dumped and replaced in a second, because they got bored with you? can you imagine what that does to a young woman's self worth? many of these girls were passed around like a bong, they were exposed to hard drugs and alcohol, and they were told that their only purpose was to pleasure and entertain these jaded, damaged artists who didn't give a damn about them. Like I said, I love classic rock and I think some of these musicians were artistic genius, but that doesn't excuse rape, that's just the myth they tried to create and a lot of people bought into it, the idea that someone can be so talented or special or powerful that they are above right and wrong, that they can do anything, and they might have been music gods, but we stopped feeding our virgins to gods a long time ago. So you can like classic rock and admire certain aspects of these men, but you don't have to justify the horrible things they did to girls younger then yourself just because you feel a connection with their music and I really feel the need to say this to you, you don't owe sex to anyone, no one has the right to pressure you into anything, we live in a culture that hypersexualizes young girls and tells women that we need to cater to men's needs and desires, and that is just not true, remember that for many men that prey on young women the appeal lies not only on how young and pretty they are, but in the fact that they are less experienced and can be coerced into doing things they don't really want to do, that's why even if an underage girl gives consent to have sex, it's still considered rape, because although young women are sexual beings and have the right to express their sexuality, because there is an unbalance in power in the dynamic, older people are seen as authority figures, they have more experience and power, in other words, they are in charge of the sexual dynamic and sex should be an act of love or lust or both, but definitely and no one should be taking advantage of the other person. Please don't idolize these girls, they were victims, they loved these musicians and they in turn took advantage of their adoration in every way possible, they treated them like they were less then themselves, like they were only someone when they were pleasing them, that is disgusting and no one should be treated like that.

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    12. @ OTE Admin there is a special kind of sadness when a woman has internalized sexual violence, to the point of making excuses for rapist and child molesters. These men perhaps don't fit in the traditional definition of pedophile, but they had sex with underage girls, they didn't need to card them, they knew they were underage and fucked them because they thought they could do whatever they wanted, and there is no excuse, I don't care if the were throwing themselves at them, that is victim blaming and the only reason they were throwing themselves at them in the first place was because they knew that was they way they could get into their world, these were not grown women that knew what they were getting into, these were girls, young enough to not be able to separate reality from the rock and glam fantasy these musicians created, and these men took advantage of their innocence, vulnerability and need to belong to something. am sorry, that our "modern sensitivities" regarding raping children and exploiting women offend you, perhaps you could build a time machine and go back to a time were abusing children and women was socially aceptable, maybe that's what you would like, to be some powerful man's sex slave and have no power over your situation and no one to help you, because women and children are just property, I on the other hand think that we need more of this "modern sensitivity" so no one is ever made to feel like they owe someone sex or that they don't have a choice in their sexual encounters.

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    13. Hey they're still alive, (except Sable who died in her fifties of a brain tumor) they have no regrets, and they had fun. Stop being such a prude. It was a different time back then. There was no such thing as aids, birth control was fairly new and girls were exploring their sexuality. Remember, too, those guys were in their twenties so they were young as well.

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  2. The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.

    Hunter S Thompson

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  3. The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.

    Hunter S Thompson

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  4. The Royal Commission has sentenced child molesters without heed to when it occurred, just that it did . Let the same judgement be made here. THEY ARE CRIMINALS.

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    2. @ OTE admin, whoever you are (how brave of you to show your face in your profile pic), you appear to championing the cause of child molestation, and quite angrily and passionately at that. Perhaps there's a different blog or forum for you where you'd feel a little bit more at home?

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  5. Seriously? I have no respect at all for these men. If you know a girl is 14 years old, don't sleep with her. Easy.
    Even if she wants that. Have some control instead of have sex with a lost teenager.

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    1. At that time it was a norm. Something society said was ok or even glorified. A long time ago in america and a whole lot of other countries as soon as a girl had a period she was married so she wouldn't have a baby before she married. All I can say is don't judge someone who lived in a century or a culture that you didn't because a long time ago weather you want to accept it or not you would be marrying and having sex with a 10 to 12 year old or you would be that 10 to 12 year old being married and having to have sex with a man you did not know and who was normally than 30 to 35.

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    2. I'll just copy what I wrote on Facebook as a response to you:

      Adults should not be having sex with children.
      This is not hard. This is not mystifying. This is not something that should even be up for debate.
      Adults should not be having sex with children.
      It was wrong in the 1st century, it was wrong in the 1800s, it was wrong in the 1950s, it was wrong in the 1960s, it was wrong in the 1970s, and it's wrong now.

      Adults should not be having sex with children.

      Also also... societies can be wrong. Cultures can be wrong.

      If a society/culture says it's okay to own slaves, that society/culture is wrong. If a society/culture says that women are not people, that society/culture is wrong. If a society/culture says that black lives do not matter, that society/culture is wrong.

      And if a society/culture says that it's okay for adults to have sex with children, that society/culture is just fucking wrong. I don't care what time period we're talking about.

      They. Are. Wrong.

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    3. Your right and everybody is wrong....yea you know it ALL...

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    4. Nathan is correct. Totally disgusting behaviour

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    5. Nathan is correct. Totally disgusting behaviour

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    6. I am sorry Olivia, but this didn't happen hundreds of years ago, this happened not even half a century ago, when there were laws against having sex with children, when consent age existed and all of these things were created to protect children and because as a society we decided that marrying young girls without their consent was wrong. I don't know if it makes more sad or sick to hear a young woman trying to normalize rape, and using historic context doesn't help, because the whole point of history is to learn from our past, in this case, that girls and women have been sexually exploited for thousands of years, women and girls like you Olive, and us as a society have a choice, we can look upon women and girls as mere sex objects, only here to fulfill male fantasies or we can acknowledge that, that is wrong because it dehumanizes us, we have the choice to be better and to do better for all children and women everywhere.

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    8. @Unknown...

      Yes, I AM in fact right and everybody else IS in fact wrong.

      Adults should not be having sex with children. That has ALWAYS been true, and it will always BE true.

      Now, I don't know everything. In fact, there's a heck of a lot I don't know. And I am wrong very, very often.

      But I don't care how arrogant I sound... this is NOT one of those times. This is one of those RARE times when I am 100%, completely and utterly correct.

      Get over it.

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    10. nathan is a pedophile; he has been charged with expoliting children and make videos of them taking showers. He is sick.

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    11. I believe that's called "libel". I could sue you for that, I think...

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  6. The actual correct term is hebephilia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebephilia

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    1. thanks. and then ephenbophlia for older teens. "but hey it's all pedophlia, and all pedophalia is violant infantophlia"

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  7. Please these "men" were in their 20's....that is a kid in the book of men...

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    1. Exactly what i was thinking. The men were not that old, or mature themselves. And the stardom only made the scene a playground to them. Especially for them. And, as said, the times were different and that culture as it was does not exist in modern day. There really is no comparison.

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    2. and these girls were in their early teens, that is a kid in the book of everyone. Stop trying to make excuses, it wasn't the drugs, the culture was not so different from our current culture, and they might have been young, but they were men and those girls were children, they used them, they abused them and then just tossed them aside when they were done.

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    3. Nope. Sorry. Not how it works. 18 (16 in some cases) is the age of consent. 20+ is very much legally considered "adult".

      They were MEN. They may have been immature, but that doesn't change the fact that they were MEN who had sex with CHILDREN.

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    4. I am 34. I would never ever date a man whose age is twentysomething. Sorry to say but most of them are really very immature.
      No woman in their right mind calls boys under 25 "men". That is ridiculous.

      And please tell me how you can compare those "haydays" and modern day? Nowadays it's all NO! NO, you can't do it. NO you can't do that. Back then even recreational use of drugs (such as qualuudes) was somewhat socially accepted. And today? NOOOOOOOOO, HELL NO.

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    5. And those girls, now women, seen to have very warm memories of that time, so who are we, outsiders living in completely different time, to judge? Tell me.

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    6. I don't care how old you are or who you would or wouldn't date. That is apropos of nothing.

      And I get that SOME of these women look back on that time fondly (some of them, however, don't). That is also, however, apropos of nothing.

      And who am I to judge? I'm someone who does not believe that adults (I don't care if *you* call men who are under 25 "boys", but LEGALLY [which, by the way, is all that matters in this case], they are ADULTS) should not be having sex with children.

      And I will judge the shit out of any society, no matter what time period it's from, that sanctions that bullshit.

      Also, I will judge the shit out of quaaludes, too, since people like Bill Cosby used shit like that to rape dozens upon dozens of women...

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    7. I cant help but wonder why your parents were letting you hang out with 30 year old men and why they didnt rear you with better values or teach you to respect yourself.

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  8. I worked in the rock music industry for 10 years from age 18 and had sex with famous 'rock stars'. I don't remember them fondly. I regret what I learned ankut men and sex and fame. The times were not so very different in the sense that grown men (and men in their 20s did consider themselves grown) knew sex with under-age girls was exploitative, knew the girls were at high risk of being hurt emotionally, knew it was WRONG.

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  9. Man, when I was 14 I was "raped" by a 30 something year old.....it was fucking AWESOME!!!

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  10. Legal definition

    Definition of paedophile in English:noun

    A person who is sexually attracted to children.

    You can't argue with that!



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  11. Page was definitely pathetic for sleeping with a number of young girls. I wouldn't be surprised if all of our rock star heroes did it. I just wouldn't be able to myself. 13? I mean damn. I guess some guys get off on virgins.

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