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.

6 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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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.

      Delete
    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......

      Delete
    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......

      Delete
  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

    ReplyDelete
  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

    ReplyDelete