A groupie is a person who, while he/she may be a fan at some level, seeks intimacy (most often physical, sometimes emotional) with a famous person.

Types of Groupies

Groupie is derived from group in reference to a musical band, but now has more general application. The term "groupie" is often used derogatorily but also used casually and sometimes interchangeably with another word with dual connotations - junkie. Eg."My husband's the football junkie but I'm a basketball groupie."

Female groupies in particular have a long-standing reputation of being available sexually to celebrities, rappers, pop stars, rock stars, professional athletes, politicians, and other public figures regardless of the fact that the objects of their obsession may already be married, have children, or otherwise already in a committed relationship. There are other male-dominated professions and occupations that attract groupies as well, such as law enforcement and firefighters (especially after 9/11), the military (these women are sometimes referred to as "Allotment Annies", "debs", and "badge bunnies" hence the sentiment "I love a man in a uniform," camp followers, or EIBs [Everyone In the Barracks]),"Allotment Annies" History | ahwt_01_package.xml preachers and ministers. Even convicted criminals sometimes have followers - see hybristophilia. A specialised sub-type was generated when the profession of astronaut came into being. Certain groupies in Houston and Cocoa Beach have bragged about seducing "all the original seven" and/or "all the moon-walkers". In the nature of things, these claims are unverifiable.

In the book Hammer of the Gods (Stephen Davis, 1985), Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant is quoted making a distinction between fans who wanted a brief sexual encounter with a musician, and "groupies" who adopted a musician for the duration of the tour, acting as a surrogate girlfriend or mother, often taking care of the musician's valuables, drugs, wardrobe, and social life. The GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously) who were associated with Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention and other late 60s and 70s stars, and the Plaster Casters are probably the best known groupies of this type. They are sometime referred to as "road wives."

In Film

In print

Carol Bedford wrote a book about her experiences as one of the Apple scruffs, an unusually dedicated group of fans who waited for the Beatles outside Abbey Road studio for several years during the late 60s and early 70s. These "groupies" did not seek a physical relationship with the Beatles; they just wished to be near them whenever possible, and to assist them in any way they could. Her book, "Waiting For The Beatles: An Apple Scruff's Story" (1985) is now somewhat hard to find. George Harrison wrote a song for them, "Apple Scruffs", on his album, "All Things Must Pass", and some of the "scruffs" were even recruited to sing backup on Beatles songs such as "Across the Universe."

Pamela Des Barres wrote two books detailing her experiences as a groupie, ''I'm With The Band (1987) and Take Another Little Piece of My Heart: A Groupie Grows Up (1993), as well as another non-fiction book, Rock Bottom: Dark Moments in Music Babylon. Her most recent book, Let's Spend the Night Together'' (2007), is a collection of wildly varied interviews with classic "old school" groupies including Catherine James, Connie Hamzy, Cherry Vanilla, Dee Dee Keel, Margaret Moser, and Patti Johnsen as well as modern groupies like Lexa Vonn and the Plastics. Des Barres, who married rock star-actor Michael Des Barres, scored a coup for the book when she got cult actress Tura Satana, rock muse Bebe Buell, actress Patti D'Arbanville, and Cassandra Peterson (better known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark) to talk about their relationships with musicians.

Bebe Buell wrote a book about her experiences entitled Rebel Heart. Buell has gone on record as saying she does not consider herself a groupie. However, she is still labelled as such and often associated with them in books like Pamela Des Barres' ''Let's Spend the Night Together.'' Buell prefers to be called a muse, a fair term given her serious relationships with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Todd Rundgren, and Elvis Costello and her musical pursuits. Her daughter with Steven Tyler is actress Liv Tyler.

Karrine Steffans authored Diary of a Video Vixen. The book detailed her liaisons with famous hip-hop stars and athletes as well as the time she spent as a video girl and groupie. Steffans is the voice of a new breed of groupies, those that work within the industry and enjoy its perks with gusto.

Morgana Welch, an attractive privileged Los Angeles teen, had relationships with Randy California, Led Zeppelin, Roy Harper, and other artists in the early 1970s. Her exploits at the Whiskey A Go-Go and other L.A. hotspots during the Strip's glam glory days of the Seventies are recounted in Michael Walker's book Laurel Canyon and on her website Hollywood Diaries, as well as her upcoming book of the same name.

Margaret Moser, veteran rock journalist for the Austin Chronicle, has written extensively about her groupie experiences. The leader of a GTO's-like gaggle called the Texas Blondes, Moser was inspired by critic Ann Powers' 1993 New York Times story to initiate an acclaimed Groupies panel in 1993 at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, and repeated it at Carla DiSantis' Rockrgirl Conference in Seattle, Washington in 2000. She is the author of three books including Rock Stars Do The Dumbest Things.

Catherine James, actress and model, writes about her life as a throwaway teen who found adventure as a groupie in the upcoming Sixties memoir Dandelion. James was not only celebrated in life and song by such musicians as Jimi Hendrix and John Mayall, she and Moody Blues/Wings' Denny Laine had a son. After a career modeling with Wilhelmina agency in New York, James relocated to Los Angeles, sometimes working as stand-in for Diane Keaton.

Connie Hamzy, the Little Rock, Arkansas groupie immortalized in Grand Funk's "We're An American Band," unexpectedly found the spotlight back on her when it was revealed former President Bill Clinton dallied with her. Long known for her wild exploits with the Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and other bands, Hamzy still resides in Little Rock, keeping a reasonably low profile until the next group rolls into town. Hamzy's book Confessions of Rock Groups, co-written with Bob Andrews, is out of print but rumored to be available again soon.

Francie Schwartz's book Body Count describes her brief romance with Paul McCartney during the making of The Beatles ("White Album") in 1968.

Germaine Greer, the feminist writer and academic, told the New York Times in an 1971 interview that she had been a supergroupie. "Supergroupies don't have to hang around hotel corridors," she said. "When you are one, as I have been, you get invited backstage. I think groupies are important because they demystify sex; they accept it as physical, and they aren't possessive about their conquests.

Chris Brown (singer) has spoken about groupies in the outtakes of the October issue of Vibe (magazine), stating: "I don't talk to groupies. I don't like groupies. Groupies have an agenda. I don't like a girl with an agenda- a negative agenda. Groupies have a tendency to either want something from you, your pockets, your money, or they want you to put them on in some way. They don't think about you as a person."

In music

Michael Jackson's 1988 hit single Dirty Diana, which propelled him to the world record of five number-one hit singles from one album, with his revolutionary album Bad, is about a female groupie called Diana who is pursuing him.

"The Mud Shark" by Frank Zappa was recorded live during a Fillmore East gig in June 1971. The song lyrics reference the infamous shark episode involving some of the members of Led Zeppelin and a groupie that allegedly occurred at the Edgewater Inn in Seattle, Washington on July 28, 1969.

The song Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers briefly concerns over groupies. Led Zeppelin's Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman) is about a groupie who annoyed the band early in their career.

Pink Floyd's Young Lust is about the protagonist seeking gratification from a "dirty woman", apparently a groupie, and One of My Turns describes the breakdown that follows. ''Summer '68 '' is also apparently about the experience after an encounter with a groupie.

"Superstar" is a pop song written by Leon Russell and Bonnie Bramlett. It is a love song about groupies, with the story told from the point of view of the groupie rather than from the opinion of the star. The song appears on the Joe Cocker album, Mad Dogs and Englishmen and is sung by Rita Coolidge. It was performed live by Bette Midler on The Tonight Show. In 1971, it was a #2 hit song and Grammy Award nominee for the Carpenters (some of the lyrics were changed to better fit their cleancut image). The song has also been recorded by Luther Vandross and Sonic Youth.

Also in 1970, Tony Joe White's "Groupy Girl" was a minor hit on the British charts and elsewhere.

The Dr. Hook song "Roland the Roadie and Gertrude the Groupie" depicts and lampoons/celebrates the groupie stereotype in a tragic romance. "Cover of the Rolling Stone" also notes that the band has "a lot of little teenage, blue-eyed groupies who do anything we say."

"Apple Scruffs" (All Things Must Pass, 1970) by George Harrison was recorded in tribute to a highly dedicated group of teenaged girls who staked out the Beatles' Apple Corps at 3 Savile Row, Abbey Road Studios, and Paul McCartney's home on Cavendish Avenue. The girls often slept outside in rough weather, waiting for a glimpse of a Beatle. The Beatles' song "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" (Abbey Road, 1969) refers to the day that some of the Apple Scruffs climbed into Paul McCartney's house via an upstairs bathroom window and raided his closet for a pair of pants which they took turns wearing. They also took a framed photograph, which they later returned at Paul's request. A complete description is available in Carol Bedford's "Waiting For The Beatles: An Apple Scruff's Story" (1985).

Paul McCartney and Wings 1978 Album, London Town, has a song entitled "Famous Groupies."

Ian Hunter's "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", (later a hit for the band Great White) is about groupies and musicians. Sample lyric: "You didn't know how rock-n-roll looked/Until you saw your sister with a guy from the group/Halfway home in the parking lot/From the look in her eyes she was giving what she got".

In the 1973 rock song by Grand Funk Railroad, ''We're an American Band'', the band sings about the groupies they encountered while touring. In one verse, the women were referred to as "chiquitas". In another part of the lyrics one famous groupie, Connie Hamzy, was mentioned by her nickname. "Sweet sweet Connie/was doing her act/she had the whole show/and that's a natural fact."

"What's Your Name" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, about a one night stand with a nameless groupie, reached #13 on the single airplay charts in January 1978.

The AC/DC song "The Jack" describes the aftermath of one of Bon Scott's many sexual encounters, this time with one of the band's groupies -- through playing-card metaphors, the song attempts to portray Scott's gonorrhea the following morning. Later, a much more direct version was released, with the metaphors replaced by contemporary English and Australian colloquialisms.

In the AC/DC song "Whole Lotta Rosie" is about a large groupie that singer Bon Scott encountered. It is said that "Rosie" is one of the best lovers he's encountered

The Guns N' Roses song "It's So Easy", from their debut album Appetite for Destruction is largely about groupies and the fact that getting signed suddenly increased their interest in the band.

The Japanese pop group Pizzicato Five paid homage to the groupie lifestyle in 1994 on a track from their Japan-only album Overdose called "If I Were A Groupie". The song originally featured vocalist Maki Nomiya singing in Japanese over a documentary recording of an American groupie recounting her exploits with glee ("The Groupies", c.1969, produced by Alan Lorber), while a serious Japanese voice delivered a simultaneous translation. The following year the song was re-recorded (presumably for copyright reasons) for the band's second U.S. album release The Sound of Music by Pizzicato Five, with one of the band's U.S. management team providing the "groupie's" spoken words.

Mark Knopfler sings "Well, them groupie girls ain't what they're cracked up to be..." on the song "There'll Be Some Changes Made" from the album Neck & Neck with Chet Atkins.

Alternative metal band System of a Down have a song about groupies in their second album Toxicity. The song is called "Psycho" and here is a characteristic part of the lyrics: "Psycho, groupie, cocaine, crazy/So you want to see the show/You really don't have to be a ho"

Rick James 1981 hit song Superfreak describes encounters with groupies whom he described as the "kind you don't take home to mother."

In 1992, Juliana Hatfield released the album I See You, which included the track "Rider" with the lyrics: "She has no brain at all/Her head's about to fall/People always laughing/In her face and behind her back...You stupid groupie/You stupid slut/By the time you're bruised and bloody/Have you had enough?/Or is there any blood left in you/Or are you really just a whore?/Do you think about what you've been doing/Or don't you wanna know?"

In 1971, King Crimson released the album Islands, which included the track "Ladies of the Road", which is supposedly about groupies, although fans have suggested that the song might be a joke.

Snoop Dogg has recorded a song "Groupie Love" 213 with Nate Dogg and Warren G. Chamillionaire has recorded the track "Industry Groupie" which features in his second album "Ultimate Victory".

Tech N9ne recorded a song off of his EverReady album from 2007 entitled "Groupie" about on the road touring travels about groupies.

External links

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