The Rock n Roll storm of the 60s was a much needed revolution in the music history which gave us many great bands and musicians the world segments as “legends” today. While we are all well aware of how much this time period was unequivocally the best time to “be discovered” in the music industry, I wonder how many of us truly notice what kind of opulence being discovered led to.Money – check, villa – check, vanity, private jets – check, fame – check, women – check oh check!
Women – as musicians were a small group compared to the behemoth group of male musicians in the 60s and the 70s. Pattie Smith, Stevie Nicks and a handful more made their mark in the male dominated music industry. Also behind the veil were the groupie clan that slowly and steadily made their ways into the rainbow lives of artists – satisfying the egos and “other things” these men were “in need” of. Being a groupie was more than legitimate if these girls (also men, yes there were male groupies also ) were of the right age. It was as legitimate as the drugs the artists snuffled at the time to improve their creative talents and hone them.
Personally, if I could go to an era and become anything I wanted, I would be a groupie in the 60s-70s! Yes, as much as nausea it generates around my personality, I would have loved to be a groupie. Now I am very much aware of the mud shark incident, Vanila Fudge and Bonzo (yes he is dead, blame it on him!) were involved in and it is indeed cringe worthy. So I would modify my role a bit as a groupie to only involve hailing artists every now and then and making sure their egos are satisfied by the flattery and not the “other stuff” (yes I am slightly prudish).
I would be like a veiled groupie, you know, like a smart groupie! Have you seen the movie “Almost Famous” where the young Cameron Crowe was involved in everything with the band except for having “that” with the band members? I know he was a journalist in the movie. But I don’t want myself to be tagged a journalist, I would still want to be called a groupie who worked with bands to probably cover the primes of their lives to write a great book about them someday! See it’s a win-win. !
So moving on .. This post is about the famous groupies of those times who not only made a sly entry into the bands’ internal bandwagon but also into the members’ lives and their songs! The first one , the groupie that deserves the top name in the list is (drumrolls please) –
1. Pattie Boyd – Ah the soft Pattie! The model Pattie who was destined to be the wife of two greatest musicians of the century. She was a groupie who George Harrison first laid eyes on.
Apparently she was engaged at the time she met him. But eventually she broke off her relationship to be Harrison’s wife! This is not even the significant part. The significant part is that Pattie had also charmed Harrison’s re-bound best friend Clapton (Cmon who was he fooling? He was hurt by the Beatles’ breakup, he wanted to avenge them by becoming close to Clapton – please ignore my delusional theory if you want to). Clapton was so enamored by her and deeply depressed that she was his best friend’s wife that he went into a self-imposed exile from the industry for two major years! And then, as destiny would have it, Pattie divorced Harrison because Harrison HAD to sleep with Maureen, Ringo’s then wife (a rebound best friend is where it should have ended bro. Sad!). This was a good news to the ailing Clapton who proposed his love for her and she accepted. And then they exchanged rings, only to give each other back the same after 10 years of marriage because Clapton decided that Booze was an integral part as music to his life. Read more about the story here
Pattie cashed in on her experiences with Harrison and Clapton (no guys, its not alimony am talking about) by writing a book “Wonderful Tonight” that went on to become a best seller! So you can imagine the kind of life she must be leading now.
2. Lori Maddox – Lori was an underage model when she met Jimmy Page.
She was just 14 but she d already , let me quote Monica Geller here, “given her flower” to David and Angie Bowie (ah the secrets of successful marriages of the A – listers). And no, that’s not how Jimmy noticed her. It was on a magazine ad that Jimmy saw this young girl and got enticed by her. Once having met, she became a regular at LZ’s lavish parties at Continental Hyatt. And despite many a doubt, she is not the Mud Shark girl ! She had the potential to be the mud-shark girl but no, she wasn’t that. The grand thing about her was, it is said, that she was the first girl, the Hammer god gave his heart to (pedophile, one might call him).
She went on to give several interviews for many LZ biographies after Page dumped her for Bebe Buell (tongue twister! Go on! Say that 5 times in a row, I ll give you a hundred rupees). She was with him when he went through the Satan phase and he ditched her. Way to go Page, way to go! She didn’t get to be rich and famous like Pattie or Linda did, but she did manage to get into the music history books. Yeye on that Lori !
3. Linda Eastwood – Now this, am not sure of whether she was definitely a groupie or not. But my research (!) skews a bit into her actually being one before getting married to Paul.
(This pic is not when they were having an affair. This is when she was a photographer for some magazine)
Her identity before the fortuitous encounter with McCartney is as mysterious as Yoko Ono’s before she met Lenon. Paul was into his girlfriend Jane Asher before Linda “seduced” him with her photography skills (she wasn’t very conventionally beautiful like Pattie was).
She had had certain immoral encounters with Mick Jagger (who has 7 children from 4 women! I considered it is a fact that fits contextually here) and Jim Morrison before Paul landed his eyes on her. Whatever was her past, she later dedicated herself to Paul, had his kids and stayed his wife for a whopping 30 years till her death. Beautiful story isn’t it?
4. Chris O’Dell – I think one of the reasons Sir Jagger was into this groupie was that she looked a bit like Keith Richards (am honest!). Harrison’s song Miss O’Dell is about Ms.Chris O’Dell (surprise! Surprise! ). She actually moved into Harrison’s house when he was married to Pattie (and having affair with Star’s wife Maureen). Apparently she was in the scene where Harrison confessed to his virtual – incest (as Lenon puts it) with Maureen to Ringo. This she writes in her average fare book “Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Women They Loved” (that is not a song, albeit it has so many words and looks like someone is trying to tell a story with the book title! That’s an overt showing off!).
So these are what I think are the most important groupies. There were so many others who “influenced” the greats, but these are the crème de la crème of the groupie land. It is a mystery how some people s life are written so interestingly – you either become a someone or become a no one with these torrid lifestyles. It’s got to do something with Luck.