The (In)Famous Groupies In Rock History
via Jon Grimson/YouTube
As Popular As The Rockstars Themselves
By definition, a groupie is someone (most commonly a young lady) who follows rockstars around hoping they’d meet them or at the very least, acknowledge their presence. Before there was Twitter, Instagram or any other social media, these fans literally follow them city by city. They often show up at every event, every gig. Some of them get more than the average fan service (photo, autographs, and handshake).
In fact, there are several groupies who hooked up with their favorite rockers. And more than that, there are even those who became as famous as their idols. Let’s take a quick look at the most popular groupies that may or may have not created a huge impact on rock ‘n roll.
10. Lori Mattix
Most rock ‘n roll fans have heard of Lori Mattix and her connections with legendary rockstars. According to her, she lost her virginity to David Bowie at 14 years old. Then, she had an on-off relationship with Jimmy Page which she referred to as “the most beautiful pure love I thought I could ever feel.” This was when the stories went wild especially since Page allegedly locked her so she won’t be exposed to other rockstars. After they broke up, she hooked up with Mick Jagger.
9. Anita Pallenberg
She initially hooked up with Brian Jones, then Keith Richards, and according to rumors, she also had an affair with Mick Jagger. She’s more than Rolling Stones’ muse though because Jagger took her critiques seriously while they were making Beggars Banquet. She was also a fashion icon and actress, and had three children with Richards.
8. Chris O’ Dell
She hooked up with members of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton while they were at the peak of their stardom. Even George Harrison wrote a song about her called “Miss O’Dell.” She started out as an assistant at London’s Apple studio then went on to run errands for The Fab Four like getting their lunch. She eventually became a trusted friend for most of these rockstars.
7. Cynthia Plaster Caster
She’s definitely not your average groupie. When she was in college, she was given an assignment which was to “plaster cast something solid that could retain its shape”. She used this to sleep with rockstars and her first “subject” was Jimi Hendrix. Frank Zappa found this idea interesting and together, they thought of making an exhibit out of it. It never took off but she became famous because of it. The documentary film “Plaster Caster” was about her and she also inspired songs from Jim Croce and KISS.
6. Connie Hamzy
Also known as “Sweet Connie,” she hooked up with numerous rockstars (from Huey Lewis and Sammy Hagar to David Lee Roth and Geddy Lee) and was also allegedly propositioned by then-Arkansas governor Bill Clinton. She was mentioned in the lyrics of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band”. Aside from detailing her sex-capades in Cosmopolitan and Penthouse, she also wrote a memoir titled “Rock Groupie: The Intimate Adventures Of “Sweet Connie” From Little Rock.”
5. Cleo Odzer
She met Keith Emerson and was briefly engaged to him. But Emerson broke it off after seeing her photo published in a magazine and was described as a “Super Groupie.” She recorded an album, wrote some books, became a model and got herself a Ph.D. in anthropology.
4. Nancy Spungen
Most people only remember her as Sid Vicious’ girlfriend. Before she became involved with Vicious, she was a punk rock groupie who ran away from home at the age of 17. She was a difficult baby who grew up to be a violent child. But academically, she excelled. When she was 15, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. After moving to New York City, she followed around several bands like Aerosmith, The Ramones, and Bad Company. She moved to London after two years to follow The New York Dolls and The Heartbreakers. When she met The Sex Pistols, she initially pursued Johnny Rotten but he wasn’t interested in her so she went to Sid Vicious instead. Their relationship was filled with substance abuse and violence which is why the press dubbed her as “Nauseating Nancy.” At age 20, she died after a single fatal stab wound to the abdomen. Four months later, Vicious died of overdose.
3. Sable Starr
Often dubbed as the “Queen of the Groupie Scene,” Sable Starr was “closely” acquainted with Mick Jagger, Marc Bolan, Rod Stewart, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, and Alice Cooper – her favorite acquaintance was apparently Robert Plant. She was also one of the first groupies frequently spotted at the famous nightclubs on Sunset Strip. She was mentioned in Iggy Pop’s 1996 song “Look Away” – “I slept wlth Sable when she was 13.” Bebe Buell also said that “every rock star who came to Los Angeles wanted to meet her. [Starr]”
2. Pamela Des Barres
She’s the very definition of a groupie. After graduating from high school, she took jobs which allowed her to be closer to rock ‘n roll musicians and live somewhere around the Sunset Strip. She eventually became a babysitter for Frank Zappa’s kids and hooked up with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, Jim Morrison, and Waylon Jennings to name a few. With Zappa’s help, she pursued a career in music but it was short-lived. She then tried her hand at acting and in between starring in commercials and a few movies, she was still Zappa’s babysitter. She definitely capitalized on being a groupie because she wrote two memoirs about her experiences and even had a clothing line called “Groupie Couture.”
1. Bebe Buell
First off, she hates being called a “groupie” and prefers the term “band aide” instead. She is perhaps one of the most popular and successful ones because she may have initially achieved fame with her dalliances with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Todd Rundgren, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Elvis Costello and Steven Tyler but she eventually went beyond that. She went on to become a model and even became Playboy magazine’s Playmate of the Month on November 1974, and also released albums. She is Liv Tyler’s mother, by the way.