Groupies. Die-hard fans of celebrities, bands, and musicians who follow them wherever they go or attend as many of their gigs as possible. Most of them hope to get up close and personal with the band – or a specific band member, most of the time the frontman. The term “groupie” can be used for both sexes but more often than not, groupies are girls hoping to get intimate with the band. One might think groupies are a dime a dozen – but some of them stand out of the crowd due to their, ahem, record. Behold, the most infamous groupies in the history of rock.
Pamela Des Barres
Pamela Des Barres, born Pamela Ann Miller, is a musician, actor, author, magazine writer, and former high-profile groupie. As a child, she adored the stars of the times – Elvis and the Beatles, with Paul McCartney chosen as her favorite. Later, she switched to another Brit idol – Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones. She started spending time with rock bands – most notably The Byrds – while in high school in 1966, taking various jobs that allowed her to live close to the Sunset Strip and constantly stay in the entourage of the bands around.
While in high school, she chose Mick Jagger’s genitals as the topic for one of her paintings and landed an A for the assignment. Later, she had the chance to compare the imaginary organ with the real thing (repeatedly, it is said), and explore similar artistic endeavors with many other high-profile musicians, including Jimmy Page, Jim Morrison, Gram Parsons, Keith Moon, and actors like Don Johnson and Woody Allen.
She published two memoirs about her years as a groupie, as well as several non-fiction books about the world of rock-and-roll.
Sable Starr, born Sable Hay Shields, has often been described as the “queen of the groupie scene” in LA during the 1970s. She became one of the first “baby groupies” in the early 1970s, often seen at trendy nightclubs on the Sunset Strip, reportedly losing her virginity at the age of 12 to Spirit guitarist Randy California. Starr claimed to have had close encounters with the legends of rock at the time: Jeff Beck, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Marc Bolan, and Alice Cooper, not to mention Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant, who she claimed was her “favorite rock star”.
Bebe Buell, born Beverle Lorence Buell, is perhaps the best-known and highest-profile groupie ever. She was a successful fashion model, later becoming Playboy Magazine’s Playmate of the Month in 1974. She was in a relationship with Todd Rundgren until 1979, followed by several affairs with various rock musicians over the coming decades. Her list of conquests has big names like Jimmy Page, Todd Rundgren, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, Paul Cowsill and Mick Jagger. She is perhaps best-known for her affair with Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler – the relationship was fruitful, resulting in the birth of Liv Rundgren, better known as the actress Liv Tyler.