Tagged: groupies

Groupies… here we go again.

A colleague, who’s fairly new at work, invited us over for dinner at her place the other night. We were chatting about this and that, then she suddenly asks me if I had “ever” been a groupie. 

– Well it just seems like it would be a natural thing, you know, as you’ve been hanging with musicians, rock stars, for so long…? Haven’t you, I mean, you know…ever….?

She didn’t mean it in a judgemental, bad sort of way, she was just sincerely curious.
I wanted to say so many things, I was about to write another blog about it – then realized there already is one from last year on the same topic (https://lita77777.com/rocknroll-women)

Gropuuu

I just felt that I had to explain, to make her understand what I’m about.
Before I even started writing about music, I was a fan like everybody else. Guys who are in bands today – successful or less successful, were the same back in their teens – FANS.
We were all just there for the music – then we went different ways to find our own place in that world. Some became musicians, some TV-hosts, some radio DJ’s, others club owners, record company people, roadies, managers, journalists – and well, some became…groupies,

I’ve just never been able to identify with the role of a groupie. I simply don’t have the personality for it. I’m old-school, the idea of being with some dude that I barely know, just bacause he’s in a band, doesn’t appeal to me at all. That’s one thing.

The second thing is – back in my autograph-collecting days, I looked up to a lot of people, they were on a different level somehow. They were heroes, gods almost. I couldn’t even picture them in a “human” (sexual) situation, as sweaty, huffing and puffing, regular men. I didn’t want that image in my head.
I wanted the larger-than-life image of them, where they were these fantastic sort of men who created music that would live forever, music that touched me, that changed and enriched my life in so many ways. 

[David Coverdale was a GOD, a very sexy one, but nevertheless a hero more than some regular dude :)]

I definitely didn’t want to sleep with any of them, god no. That’s not what they were for, the way I looked at it. It was okay for chicks who barely knew WHO they were screwing to do that. As long as it was some guy in a famous band that they could brag about later, they didn’t care.
Never been my thing, never will be.

And it’s strange how I’ve always had to deal with people who just assumed that I was a groupie. Many years ago, I received a very angry e-mail from a legendary guitarist’s wife, who just spewed our her disgust over “people like me”. I read her mail, with eyes as big as plates, then read it again, and dropped my jaw and again….shaking my head. What the f…..??

To this day I don’t know who she took me for, or why she even thought that I had done anything at all with her husband! I met him maybe twice and one of those two times we were in the hotel bar having drinks, laughing, talking, whatever – and it was not “him and me” – it was the whole damn BAND, crew and fans. It wasn’t exactly a date, and definitely not whatever she thought.

I suppose I was just chosen as an easy target because I was visible out there on the web and she was frustrated with her husband’s way of life. From what I heard, they divorced a few months later, but it was probably not a match made in heaven anyway.

Another time I heard rumors, years later, that I had supposedly “been” with the bassplayer of one of the bands I used to hang with. To make the story more believable, there were “details” about when and where. First of all, I’m not the groupie type, so just to hear stories about this “imaginary me” was fascinating.

It was the first time I experienced being a part of a rumor that wasn’t anywhere near anything that had to do with reality. Total fiction. First I was angry, but then I figured I should have been flattered that someone bothered making up those stories in the first place.

Anyway – that story would have been exposed as a complete lie if anyone had ever bothered to check the facts when it started circulating. The bassist in question had been taken to the emergency room that night because of an overdose. It was kept from the press, because the band was “the big thing”, the moneymakers that year, and the label (and everybody in the big machinery surrounding the band), kept the whole thing private. It lever leaked (much to my surprise actually…).

I wouldn’t have said anything even if asked, it wasn’t for me to start blabbing about that. But if somebody else started digging, they might have found out.

And today, it would be just ridiculous to call me “groupie”. I’ve lived in this rock’n’roll world my whole life, I’m integrated in it in every single way, both as “just a fan” and as a professional. It all depends on the situation. I barely know people who aren’t either musicians, or in some other way in the business. I never tried getting any favors by acting slutty. I don’t need to. I never did.

I don’t know if my colleague understood what I was saying but I think she did. Groupies are a part of the rock’n’roll lifestyle I suppose, guys would go nuts on the road if there weren’t chicks somewhere who were willing to “put out” along the way. Whatever happens on the road, stays on the road – that sort of thing.

Everybody knows that it’s happening, at least every now and then. But frankly – it happens in an office just as much, it’s just not as interesting to mention. Some bands brag about doing groupies because it makes them heroes among guys who are less “lucky”. Other bands are sticking to their wives and girlfriends – and there are more of them today than there used to be, which I guess proves that even musicians can be decent human beings sometimes. ;))

The groupie-thing is much less of a deal than it was in the 80’s and early 90’s, that’s for sure. I’m just not that type and that’s all there is to it. :)

 

 

Rockers and groupies – why they need eachother

Imag3736

My friend Vera from Russia came to visit me Friday & Saturday, and on Saturday morning she came out with this book that she found in my book- and magazine-piles. :) Well, I just had to buy a book that had a title like THAT…! She was flipping through the pages, changing her facial expressions for every new funny or interesting fact she read in the book, but there was of course a lot of laughing.

One of the things that one of the “rock stars” answered when asked what he thought was a complete turnoff, was that he didn’t like if the girl had any insecurities. She had to be confident, that was sexy.

It got me thinking. It’s a well known fact that the things you don’t like about yourself, are also the things you will dislike in other people. And it’s not really a secret that musicians aren’t necessarily the most confident people in the world.

Steel Panther used that as a joke at the show the other day – “Our drummer isn’t as handsome as the rest of us, yet he gets laid! Do you think he would ever get laid if he wasn’t in a band? Hell no!”

That was a joke, but musicians often admit that they became musicians because it would “get them chicks”. So, for some reason, they didn’t quite believe that they would be able to “get chicks” just by relying on their own personalities, by just being who they are – plain and simple.

I’ve written about this before, attention-seeking rock stars, who are addicted to the admiration they get from fans, and of course the kick they get from feeling desirable by women (preferably women that other men want). It gives them credibility – and insecure people need that.

That’s also the reason why rich and famous men tend to marry models and actresses – to show OTHERS what they got. It’s like any other posession – a new big TV, a flashy car… That generates more admiration, which in some cases seems more important than true love.

Which brings me to “part two” of the whole equation. Many groupies have the same issues – they are looking for validation just as much as the “rock star” is. By scoring a rock star, they think that “if I could get a guy like THAT who could have any other chick he wants, then I must be worth something!”. The guy is thinking the same: “If I can screw chicks like THIS one, who wouldn’t give a rats ass if I wasn’t in a band, I must be worth something!”

Probably not in those words, but you get my point.

[Jon Bon Jovi with some lady who most likely was not his wife ;) ]

Even Bon Jovi's groupies had big hair only their ones came in bikinis! (Getty Images)

There are quite a few issues on both sides, most likely. Why do rock stars screw around? Because they can, because it reinforces the idea that they need to have about themselves – that they are attractive and desirable.
They can brag about it in interviews (hello Motley Crue) and get little teenage boys to look up to them. Teenage boys who are probably being told to piss off when approaching a girl – so they need heroes to show them how to get away from that whole “evil circle”. 

It’s pretty interesting to witness the whole thing. Even more interesting when the rock stars are being treated like heroes for getting all the girls – whereas the girls are being treated like sluts for doing the same thing and for ,probably, similar reasons.

Human interaction and common psychology is probably the same everywhere, not just in music, but that short comment that “they must be confident” just got me thinking, Cause the question is if the girls are getting the same thing in return.…?

Small things are actually saying a lot about the “studs” in bands. I used to think Nikki Sixx was cool, but he is screaming so loud for attention on a daily basis that I’m beginning to feel sorry for him. I wonder if he feels his life would even be worth living if all that attention was taken away from him for a week or two? Would he survive

I don’t “look up” to rock stars the way I used to anymore. The internet has given away too much about them, When they’re not content with the attention and admiration they are already getting, but are begging for more through their Twitters and Facebooks, it just starts getting ridiculous.

I don’t mind the “normal” updates – I’m talking about those who need to let the world know when they went to take a dump and how much they produced, that sort of thing…Let us have a little bit of mystery at least, please. :-)

It’s just an interesting thing to sit and reflect on, on a Sunday evening….

 

Rock’n’roll Women

It’s interesting how women’s role in rock’n’roll has pretty much always been limited to one thing: “groupies“. I never quite realized how bad it was until I started meeting/interviewing bands and I constantly was taken for a groupie by strangers who didn’t know anything about me.

It’s as if there was no other box to put a female in. Guys who were hanging outside backstage doors for hours were called “fans” or simply “autograph-collectors”. The general view on those guys was that they were dedicated, they were the real FANS. 

Girls who did the same thing were…groupies? Nobody cared why you were there, how many records you had by the band, how many shows you had seen, or how many nerdy facts you knew, it was just assumed that you were there to screw some musician.

It was so damn tiresome and I always knew what people would automatically think every time I showed up at a hotel or a venue. A blonde hanging with a band – well, that was crystal clear then, could only mean one thing, right?

The funniest memory in that respect would be when my friend Bianca and I went to hang with AC/DC on their tour bus in Albany, NY many years ago. It was so unpretentious, Angus and Malcolm had just ordered pizza from Pizza Hut and Angus tried to pick up that sloppy, greasy piece of pizza to hand it over to me and Bianca. He had to get a handful of napkins to wipe off his hands. And we were, for some reason, discussing the Beatles and the bus-interior (cause they had this huge stereo in there, which was the latest technology at the time).

It was just fun, very relaxed, we were treated very friendly and nothing weird was going on. But you can imagine people’s faces when two Swedish blondes got off the AC/DC-bus wiping their mouths with napkins?! ‘Nuff said. ;)

[Me, Angus, Malcolm and Bianca with our pizzas on the bus, 1996]

 I always dressed in jeans and sneakers when I went to gigs, figured that nobody would ever take me for a groupie since I was there rocking out, getting all sweaty and messed up like everybody else.
Didn’t matter. If I had a backstage pass or was seen talking to a rockstar – that was it. It was as if I had the word “Groupie” printed on my forehead.

Professionally, I was very particular about staying 100% business. Cause if you want to be taken seriously, you’ve got to act professionally, even if the people you’re dealing with, aren’t.

Cause if you cross the line and get involved with musicians, and it’s really just hurting your professional image, since it fuels the general public’s attitude towards women in rock. I worked too hard to make a name in this business to jeopardize it for some meaningless one-night-stand with a rockstar. Especially not since I know those guys better than most, as I have been around musicians most of my life. I know how all that works.

Groupies were “no-names”, for the most part. There was always some other chick in the next town that looked the same and would be used for the same thing as the one the night before – and the day before that. Nobody ever gave a fuck about them and certainly didn’t remember their names.

People remembered my name. Maybe because I didn’t screw anyone, maybe because I surprised some of those bands by actually knowing a lot more about their music than they expected me to, or maybe because it was obvious that I was dedicated to the music, not the musicians.
I don’t know, but I earned the kind of respect I would most likely not get if I had been a groupie (unless, of course, I had gone out of my way to become the next Pamela DesBarres or something).

I was rarely treated badly by people in the business, especially after a few years when my name got known by a lot of people. There were, of course, managers, record company representatives and people like that who were annoying assholes, but it was just because they were like that in general, not because it had anything to do with me, personally.

But things are SO much better now than they were in 1983. There are more women in the metal crowds now, there are women in all fields of the business and it’s no longer a big deal. I guess a female musician still have to hear that she’s “good – for a woman” and answer questions about her female rolemodels or other things that are focused more on her gender than her music and musicianship. But it’s still a whole lot better now than it used to be.

And it’s only been in more recent years really that I’ve met other females in this business that are super-professional, tough ladies and very, very good at what they do.
Two of them I met through Jon Oliva’s Pain. Anett, their tour manager, and Hanneke, the light-tech. Both very cool ladies who I think are truly inspiring. I can relate to them because they’ve both had to overcome obstacles to prove that they know their shit and earn the respect that they deserve.

I remember Hanneke yelling at some stage-guys when she was out working for Finnish rockers Lordi, and when I laughed at her “bitchiness”, she just stated that it was the only way to get people to listen to you. If you’re too nice, they’re just gonna treat you like a doormat.

Same thing with Anett. She’s definitely not letting anyone treat her like a doormat, that’s a tough lady with brains and very dedicated to the business. It’s her life, she loves and knows her rock’n’roll.

I always had to turn to guys to be able to do that. Most girls weren’t interested in music on that level. But now, I’m getting to know more and more of them, and it feels great!

There are a few more very close friends that are extremely skilled, as photographers, managers, whatever else they have chosen to do and it just puts a smile on my face to see how things have changed for the better.

Heavy metal will always be “masculine” music. It’s a macho world, for the most part. But it’s no longer an exclusive men’s club, like it used to be. It’s a music style that attracts all kinds of people, all ages, all kinds of backgrounds, men, women, workers, lawyers, young, old….

I remember how I was one out of…maybe 5 girls at Judas Priest-concerts in 1991 or the Clash of the Titans-shows (Slayer, Testament, Suicidal Tendencies, Megadeth). It was ONLY guys. NOW, you will find that things are very different. There are girls everywhere, loving the music just as much as any guy.

I’m glad that even the male-dominated world of rock has evolved. It only took almost 40 years to get there, but it shows that nothing is ever impossible! :)