Tales of Rock – Lori Maddox

“Lori Maddox was obsessed with sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and they were just as obsessed with her – despite the fact that she was just 14 years old.”

In 1970s Las Vegas, you were hard-pressed to find someone who wasn’t either a groupie or someone who wanted to be.

The lifestyle was one people fantasized about, leaving home, living on busses, following legendary rock stars from city to city and getting just the faintest glimpse into their lavish lifestyles. Not everyone could handle it, and those who could became almost as famous as the stars. One, in particular, was Lori Maddox.

The only problem? Lori Maddox was 14 years old.

Fresh out of junior high school, Maddox met Sable Starr, who became known as the “queen of the groupie scene.” Starr, also underage at the time, pulled Maddox into her seedy world of the after-hours parties on the Sunset Strip.

When Lori Maddox was just 15 years old, she met David Bowie.

She and Starr were at the E-Club, one of the nightclubs that dotted the strip and played host to rock stars, and turned a blind eye to drug use and girls that might not be of legal age. Bowie, eleven years her senior at the time, scared her at first. When asked about meeting Bowie, she described him as, “hair the color of carrots, no eyebrows, and the whitest skin imaginable.” She pretended she was with someone else to avoid going back to his hotel room with him.

By five months later, her fears had subsided, and she had lost her virginityto him.

When she wasn’t getting down and dirty with rockstars, Maddox could have been mistaken for any other teenage girl. During the week she went to school, lived at home with her mom, and hung out with her sisters.

On the weekends, she snuck out while her mom was at work, and frequented seedy nightclubs with much older men. Despite what seems like an obvious problem, Maddox never considered her lifestyle unusual. In fact, she reveled in it.

Not too long after her tryst with Bowie, Maddox got a phone call from Jimmy Page, guitarist and founder of Led Zeppelin, the biggest rock band in the world at the time. He invited her to his hotel and even sent a limo to collect her.

“I felt like I was being kidnapped,” she said. “I got taken into a room and there was Jimmy Page.”

If there were ever a time for it to click that her lifestyle was far from average, it should have been then, standing in the bedroom of a man quite literally double her age. But, despite the hostage-situation-like vibes, Lori Maddox didn’t run. Instead, she fell in love.

“It was perfect. He mesmerized me,” she said of the evening. “I fell in love instantly.”

Their relationship was secretive and tumultuous and constantly overshadowed by Maddox’s age. But, Page clearly didn’t care. As Maddox was underage she couldn’t travel state-to-state with the band in their jet, so she would sequester herself in Page’s hotel room, and wait for him to return. Eventually, her life outside of being a groupie began to suffer.

“My whole life was about waiting for Jimmy,” she said. “I tried going to high school, but I couldn’t concentrate. And after Jimmy Page and David Bowie, what was I going to do with a North Hollywood boy? I didn’t go to high school prom because I was too busy living the Hollywood prom.”

Then, suddenly, the fairy tale ended. As rock stars do, Jimmy Page eventually moved on, and one night after returning from a show, Maddox found him and Bebe Buell – eventual groupie/lover of Steven Tyler, and mother to his oldest daughter, Liv Tyler – in bed together. After that, her attitude changed. No longer was she there for love, she was there for fun.

Before she turned 18, Lori Madoxx would take shots with John Bonham, do several different drugs with Iggy Pop, have sex in a bathroom with Mick Jagger, and find herself in a bar fight between Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

Despite her foray into the illicit lifestyle of sex, drugs, and rock and roll all well before she reached adulthood, Maddox has no regrets. In fact, she says, she never felt better than she did all those years.

“I feel like I was very present,” she said. “I saw the greatest music ever. I got to hang out with some of the most amazing, most beautiful, most charismatic men in the world. I went to concerts in limos with police escorts. Am I going to regret this? No.”

 

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Wildwood Daze – Spring of 1980 – The Union Jacks – Part 2

Look at Chaz in his black outfit, with his ’79 Black Ibanez Iceman, rocking out for the kids. Baby steps.

 

We get our first gig at Margaret Mace Elementary and Middle School. We’re going to play for the kids in middle school. 12, 13, 14 year old kids.

Jim went to this school, and knows the faculty. He was good student, but my dear friend is an older man in high school now. He’s in Wildwood High now with me and Mark the bassist.

Incidentally I will add this side note. My Uncle Jack was valedictorian from the first graduating class of Margaret Mace. My father told me he never cracked a book. Just a brilliant charming dude.

Love him forever.

I wish I were his son. Just neglect me and let me play rock and be in the music industry.

I think family genetics get mixed up but great creativity came from pain and oppression so I’m fine with where I came from.

All the best art comes from the oppressed. Under Jack I may have just ended up a privileged asshole so I’m fine with where my soul landed.

I’m terrified to do our first show. But it’s a bunch of young kids in an auditorium. I can’t eat before the show for fear of throwing up. No one in the band knows about my severe anxiety problem.

They’re ready to rock these kids and take this band for a test drive.

I’m terrified, but we’ve rehearsed everything and have our whole set list ready. Brian would write out the set list and tape it to the floor in front of every one of us so we knew what was going to happen. I always felt comfort in that, so thank you Bri.

If I just could get through the first song I’d be fine. We got this. We always opened with Freeway Jam, I think by Jeff Beck. It was just a cool song we could run licks on and warm up to get the audience going.

It’s funny because almost every blues act does the same thing. They come out and jam for a bit and then get into their real shit with singing and hits. We did the same thing as a fledgling band automatically. It just worked for us so we could warm up and get to the songs.

We hit our groove, and Brian is always the constant professional showman we need to carry us forth.

He’s just great. He is clearly the leader of this band and we let him have the reigns. He carries us through our show with tight drumming and great vocals and showmanship.

Brian is clearly the leader of this band, but he can’t do it without me, the creative songwriter, cute, rock star one, Jim, the sizzling lead guitarist, and Mark, his flexible tone deaf puppet, carrying the rhythm.

It’s Brian’s band and it’s always been Brian’s band, but today he’s a little outnumbered. The audience has me and Jim rocking out on our guitars in the front.

Thats who the audience adores.

I’m just trying to hold it together and hit all of the right notes.

However, I’ve brought several guitar picks with me and I am throwing them out to the kids in the audience.

I’ve lived this exact scenario as a kid. If there was some rock band playing and I could be a part of it, I would attach myself to that in a second. I knew that even though I was playing rock at a middle school I had to go full on rock star. Because that’s what I wanted to be.

I bought tons of guitar picks before the show and threw dozens into the crowd knowing the result. The kids went crazy. Brian picked up on this and tossed drumsticks into the audience and they fought over them.

Back in 1979-1980 the song by JJ. Cale that became a hit by Eric Clapton had become a hit. It was all over the radio. It was called Cocaine.

Huge hit. We covered the song because it was wildly popular that year. People loved it.

Should we have played Cocaine to a bunch of 13-year-old kids? Probably not. We didn’t even think about it at the time. It was just a hit. But to play that for a bunch of kids in middle school, we probably should have deleted from the set list.

I can tell you that we did the chorus…. “She don’t like, She don’t like, She don’t like…..

The kids would shout: COCAINE!

We had know idea.

Union Jacks were already a dangerous band. (We were just playing what was popular on the radio. (Should we have reviewed the set list before playing in front of a bunch of kids….yea probably)

We’re nearing the end of our set. (The kids are going wild) The Vice Pincipal walks onstage and tells us we’re done.

Brand new young lead guitarist Jim and former alum literally pushed him off the stage…

“We’re not done yet.”

He launches into “My Generation” by the The Who, which to me is my favorite song Jim ever performed with our band. It just seemed so arrogant. It just seemed to embody my best friend.

We close out the show and I think maybe Jim busted up his Strat for show.

We never fucked around with our equiptment but because I spent $500 of my busboy money on my sweet guitar I always treated like my best girl. But Jim beat his Strat into the bass drum that day. It was a pot CBS Strat so I knew that bolt on neck would hold and could be fixed.

 

We promise to meet up later to review and revel.

By the end of the show I had a headache from not eating/not puking/anxiety/ I walked home and sat at the kitchen table with my mom.

“How was the show?”

“I should probably eat something.”

“PBJ rock star?”

“That would be lovely, mom. I think we did good but we may have played some songs that not everybody liked.”

“Well you have to expect that in rock and roll. You think Elvis cared?”

I knew my mom cried when Elvis died, but in that moment I knew my mom, even though she wouldn’t go to my shows, was proud of me.

She got it.

She just was so afraid of watching me fail.

I didn’t care. I was just happy I didn’t puke on stage because of my anxiety.

I did it. I made it.

Knock at the door. Mark and Brain are there.

One Bufferin and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich later…

“Hey guys. Thanks for bring my gear home.

Mark: “I feel like a fuckin roadie.”

Chaz: Welcome to real rock and roll. We just played a real gig and rocked the fuck out. I know it was to a bunch of kids, but we’ve got something here an got paid! ”

Mark: “Some kids recorded the whole concert on tape recorders.”

Chaz: ” Really? We have to hear them!”

Brian: “Yea. We have more gigs coming up.”

Chaz: “Cool man. We’re going to the top!”

Brian: “Oh, these are for you. Looks like you’re pretty popular.”

He hands me a stack of slips of paper with girls names and phone numbers on them.

IT’S STARTING….

I have finally arrived.

I read them all and can’t believe that after all of this time of being a loser this is happening now.

A bunch of 11, 12 and 13 year old girls want to meet me.

I throw them all in the wastebasket in my bedroom.

Because all of these lovelies are minors. Sadly this is something that will haunt me my entire life.

 

 

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Tales of Rock – Lori Maddox – Part 2

MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES
COURTESY OF LORI MATTIX

 

 

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Tales of Rock – Lori Maddox – Part 1

“I LOST MY VIRGINITY TO DAVID BOWIE”

IN THE EARLY 1970S, the Sunset Strip was a magnet for rock stars: Bowie, Zeppelin, Iggy Pop, Mott the Hoople, The Who. They all hung out in the VIP rooms of louche LA nightclubs like E Club, the Rainbow, and Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco. And with them, of course, came groupies. Scantily clad 14- and 15-year-olds like Sable Starr and Lynn “Queenie” Koenigsaecker sipped cherry cola, dropped pills, and evolved into pubescent dream girls for the platform-shoed rockers who could get anything and anyone they desired. 

MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES
MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES

 

 

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Wildwood Daze – Winter of 1979 – Lola – Part 6

Lola’s mom is out with her sister. All Lola and I want is some alone time.  I just want to kiss her her

I go to her house. The whole relationship has been condemned by anybody who knows. But I love her. Lola is beautiful and voluptuous and I can’t resist her. Her mom seems fine with is. I’m a nice boy who looks so innocent I’m probably her a year older than her 14-year-old daughter. I feel like Jimmy Page and Lori Maddox at this point. (Google it friends) But I adore Lola. She’s such a sweet baby to me. I always liked young girls. I think it came from me being me being grounded so much and having to hang out with my middle sisters at the house that I got a taste for young girls.

They were always around. So cute and friendly. I had no point of reference, I think it stunted my sexual maturity. From fucking up and being grounded all of the time when I was younger I would be home with my sister and her friends. I had nothing to do and they were always around. This is a thing I carried with me my entire life. All of my girlfriends once I got out of my horrible nightmare of a marriage were all younger than me.

20 years, 17 years, 10 years, and now 30 years. It’s a never ending cycle of failure.

If you date women younger than you, they will always want marriage and kids. and if you’re divorced and have a kid and paying a fortune in chid support you will never want to do that again, no matter how magically amazing your girl is. (See: Michelle.)

It’s a horrible cycle.

I kept dating and getting into relationships with young women over and over for over a decade and they all end the same.

 

Lola is delicious. I love her. But I don’t even know what love is. I have already relieved her of her virginity. I feel guilt and victory in the same breath. But mostly fear of the consequences of the adult part. Pregnancy and VD are my biggest nightmares from Jersey to LA. That and drugs.

I have realized that I love the feeling of being around a beautiful girl. I’m a teenager and I am crippled by anxiety and depression I don’t even know I have but Lola makes me feel good for the first time.

I go to her Aunt’s house and we kiss, drink soda, and watch TV. We know when her mom will be back.

I was always amazed at how big Lola’s breasts were at the age of 14 and how much she liked me having sex with her. But I was her first.

I had already had my cherry busted years ago in Philly at 16 but for Lola this was a whole new world. It was for me too. Sadly, even at the age of 17 I actually was even more turned on I was fucking an underage girl.

What was wrong with me at age 17? I don’t think now it was anything perverted because I really thought of Lola as my girlfriend and I absolutely loved her. Cute, sweet, witty and fun. Lola made me feel relaxed with a girl for the first time.

I loved her little visits with her mom in the winter of 79. Lola was the sweetest, warmest moments of my life back then.

 

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Tales of Rock – David Bowie and the 15-Year-Old Girls

The surprise news of David Bowie passing Sunday night caught everyone off guard, and there has been a massive outpouring of emotion and support for a man whose music and art touched many (New Times has published two such pieces). Those tributes are well-deserved. Bowie leaves behind an incredibly diverse and impressive body of work, and he has inspired millions. David Bowie was many things — rock ‘n’ roll hero, queer icon, fashion superstar, a man unafraid to make daring artistic choices. He was also the type of man who, in his mid-20s, allegedly would sleep with two girls not old enough to drive themselves to his hotel.

Consider the story of Lori Maddox and her friend, Sable Starr.

In her teens, Maddox (often spelled “Mattix”) was known as Lori Lightning, a barely post-pubescent model who became known as a groupie in Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip nightclub scene. Raised by a single working mother with little time to care for Maddox, Maddox befriended a girl her own age, Sable Starr, and the two would eventually go on to party with just about every major rock star that came through LA. Most famously, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page kept Maddox as a hidden girlfriend for two years while she was underage.

But before Page, there was David Bowie.

Maddox has repeatedly said in interviews that she met Bowie as a young teen and he asked her up to his hotel room. She was 14, and Bowie was in his mid-20s. Afraid, she declined. But five months later Bowie again propositioned her, and she and Starr went to his room.

Maddox has since told the story several times, including once for a VH1 documentary that curiously omitted her age at the time, but she most succinctly told it to Thrillist just a few months ago.

Next time Bowie was in town, though, maybe five months later, I got a call at home from his bodyguard, a huge black guy named Stuey. He told me that David wanted to take me to dinner. Obviously, I had no homework that night. Fuck homework. I wasn’t spending a lot of time at school anyway. I said that I would like to go but that I wanted to bring my friend Sable. She was dying to fuck Bowie. I figured that she would sleep with him while I got to hang out and have fun.

So the two girls went to Bowie’s hotel, where, according to Maddox, she had sex with Bowie, which later turned into a threesome with Sable.

We got to the Beverly Hilton and all went up to Bowie’s enormous suite. I found myself more and more fascinated by him. He was beautiful and clever and poised. I was incredibly turned on. Bowie excused himself and left us in this big living room with white shag carpeting and floor-to-ceiling windows. Stuey brought out Champagne and hash. We were getting stoned when, all of a sudden, the bedroom door opens and there is Bowie in this fucking beautiful red and orange and yellow kimono.

He focused his famously two-colored eyes on me and said, “Lori, darling, can you come with me?” Sable looked like she wanted to murder me. He walked me through his bedroom and into the bathroom, where he dropped his kimono. He got into the tub, already filled with water, and asked me to wash him. Of course I did. Then he escorted me into the bedroom, gently took off my clothes, and de-virginized me.
Two hours later, I went to check on Sable. She was all fucked up in the living room, walking around, fogging up windows and writing, “I want to fuck David.” I told him what she was doing and that I felt so bad. Bowie said, “Well, darling, bring her in.” That night I lost my virginity and had my first threesome. The next morning, there was banging on the door and it was fucking [Bowie’s wife] Angie. I was terrified of her. David said not to worry about it. They were already at the point where they had separate rooms. She probably knew he’d be in there with girls… or boys. He was totally bisexual. I saw David many times after that, for the next 10 years, and it was always great.

So far as I could find, Bowie has neither confirmed nor denied Maddox’s account of that night, and there don’t seem to be any pictures of Bowie and Maddox. That said, Maddox’s relationship with Page, which — again — began when she was 15, is universally accepted as fact by now. Rolling Stone even confirmed it. Getty Images has archived photos in which Page drapes an arm around an obviously juvenile Maddox.

And to be fair, Maddox has not once indicated that she found the experience traumatic, though the encounter under today’s laws would be considered statutory rape. Quite the contrary, in interviews in the past few years, Maddox seems joyous retelling the story. Thrillist asked her point-blank if she saw any problem with how Bowie, a powerful older man supplying young teens with drugs and alcohol, slept with her that night.

“I was an innocent girl, but the way it happened was so beautiful,” she replied. “I remember him looking like God and having me over a table. Who wouldn’t want to lose their virginity to David Bowie?”

She later added, “I feel like I was very present. I saw the greatest music ever. I got to hang out with some of the most amazing, most beautiful, most charismatic men in the world. I went to concerts in limos with police escorts. Am I going to regret this? No.”

Of course, statutory rape laws are in place for a reason. And it’s up to Maddox to define whether her sexual encounter with Bowie was traumatic. Many have dismissed Page’s and Bowie’s actions as par for the course for famous rock stars, dirty misdeeds overshadowed by their contributions to the pop zeitgeist. Many are crediting Bowie’s being an androgynous role model with saving the lives of queer children worldwide. Statutory rape seems destined to be a footnote in Bowie’s legacy, because maybe that’s how we as a society evaluate our famous people: We don’t let singular acts overwhelm the legacy. We measure people’s value by what they contribute to society, and if a man happens to act unethically on the way to selling millions of records and being an overwhelmingly positive force in the lives of millions, so be it.

 

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