Famous Groupies and their Legacies
thoughts | Gabbi Gard sights | as listed
We all know the famous rockstars, but behind these rockstars at the time, was the woman. These woman inspired countless songs and influenced each band aesthetically. In the wake of Anita Pallenberg’s death, it is important to note the influence these women had. Their influence has transcended time, with fashion houses and films being made about them. Their style inspires me greatly today and the hardships of what they went through dating rock stars and coming out successful is admirable.
Bands Associated: The Rolling Stones
Songs About: “Coming Down Again,” “You Got The Silver,” and “All About You” by The Rolling Stones
Anita Pallenberg, a German-Italian model, actor and style icon, also known as the sixth Rolling Stone! For me, number one muse because of her style and ultimate influence on the band, The Rolling Stones. She started off dating Brian Jones (multi instrumentalist and creator of The Stones), then moved on to Keith Richards (guitarist and one half of the songwriting duo). This relationship is infamous, filled with drugs and decadence, leading to three children, first Marlon, then Dandelion Angela and Tara Jojo who passed as an infant. Anita was the essence of rock n’ roll; wearing extravagant clothes from different lands as she pleased -- her and Keith would often share clothes, such as the iconic blouses and scarves. It is also rumoured she had a sexual relationship with Mick Jagger after their starring roles in the film Performance (1970). Anita was known for practicing witchcraft and would always carry around garlic to ward off vampires. In 1979, she was thought to have possibly killed a 17 year old boy whom helped her around the house (while Keith was recording in Paris), by playing a game of Russian Roulette. Though it was ultimately ruled a suicide. Anita died recently on June 14th, and will be greatly missed, a true renaissance woman. Keith and her stayed close until the time of her death. He payed tribute to her on social media saying, “ A most remarkable woman. Always in my heart”.
Bands Associated: The Beatles, The Faces, Derek and the Dominos
Songs About: “Something” by The Beatles, “Bell Bottom Blues,” “Layla,” and “Wonderful Tonight” by Derek and the Dominos
Pattie is yet again a model and a complete influence. She was married to George Harrison, the ‘quiet one’ of The Beatles, and later Eric Clapton. Known for her dollish looks, Pattie is one of the most famous girlfriends of the 60s. With more of a good girl look compared to the others, she embraced a more poppy psychedelic style. She was involved in Eastern mysticism and was the one to tell The Beatles to visit mystic Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; eventually going with them on their famous trip to India. In 1974, she ended her marriage with George Harrison after an affair she had with Ronnie Wood (The Faces, The Rolling Stones). Although the marriage mainly ended due to George’s drug problems and constant infidelities, the final straw was an affair with bandmate Ringo Starr’s wife Maureen.
Bands Associated: The Rolling Stones, David Bowie
Songs about: “Wild Horses,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” and “I Got the Blues” by The Rolling Stones, “Carrie-Anne” by Graham Nash, and “And Your Bird Can Sing” by The Beatles
Marianne was not only a model, but singer and actor as well. Born into aristocracy, she is highly educated and began her singing career with the Rolling Stones song, “As Tears Go”, fresh out of school. She later started dating Mick Jagger not long after 1965. They were together for four years with many songs being written about her; she was thought to have been one of Jagger’s greatest loves. Marianne did a lot of acting in the 60s and 70s. She was the lead in the iconic film Girl on a Motorcycle (1968) and starred in many of London’s Shakespeare productions. After her relationship with Mick, she tried to commit suicide and fell into the lifestyle of a junkie. Later citing that many girls after dating Mick could not handle it. In the 1990s though, she cleaned up her act and began a punk career in music. Marianne did not date as many rockstars as some of the other ladies on this list, but she did have a one night stand with Keith Richards in which she has famously recalled as one of the best nights of her life. Her and Anita were very close friends, not only when they were with The Stones, but into their old age.
Pamela Des Barres
Associated Bands: The Doors, The Byrds, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, the Jimi Hendrix Experience
When one thinks of a groupie, they automatically would go to Pamela, a scene gal who has the best rockstar hit list of them all! Pamela began her quest for being around musicians during her senior year of high school when she was hired by Frank Zappa, the avant-garde rock musician, to babysit his children. From here, she met Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones; opening the door to meet her biggest crush at the time, Mick Jagger. She worked random jobs on Sunset Strip throughout the 60s to be closer to the musicians. At this time she said, women were not in bands, so the closest thing you could do to be near the music would be to roll with the musicians. Later, she went on to create her own all-groupie band called The GTOs, although it was not successful. She would go up stage with many bands becoming known to almost all the top rock bands. She was friends and in many cases sexual partners with Jim Morrison, Gram Parsons, Keith Moon and Jimmy Page; she is most noted for her relationship with Page. The film Almost Famous’ Kate Hudson’s character is based on Pamela. Many years later, she went on to write New York Times best selling autobiographies I’m with The Band: Confessions of a Groupie (1987) and Take Another Little Piece of My Heart: A Groupie Grows Up (1993), detailing what being a groupie meant to her and all the good/bad times that came along with it. Pamela owned the title of a groupie and thought of it in a feminist perspective.
Associated Bands: Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, The Stooges, Todd Rundgren
Songs About: “Many” by Elvis Costello and “Little Red Corvette” by Prince
Bebe Buell is an American singer, model, playmate of the month in 1974, and author who reached her peak of rock goddess status in the 1970s. Bebe rejects the title of a groupie; unlike Pamela Des Barres. Her style is the most relaxed, often rocking natural hair and a t-shirt. Buell always wanted to be a singer, but as a pretty young girl moving to New York, she fell into the modelling business. She never particularly liked modelling, but after her Playboy spread, all the rockstars knew who she was. Buell’s old loves include Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Todd Rundgren, Jimmy Page, Rod Stewart and Steven Tyler. She and Steven had a child, Liv Tyler, after a brief affair, but for 9 years she told people Todd Rundgren was the father to protect the child from Tyler’s drug addiction.