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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Tales of Rock – I Wouldn’t Want This For My Daughter or Anybody’s Daughter: Will #MeToo Kill Off the Rock’n’Roll Groupie? – Part 2

Lori Mattix (sometimes known as Maddox) says she was just 14 when she lost her virginity to David Bowie. Her next lover was Jimmy Page. Now 59, she says she never thought of herself as a groupie, but tells me that the affair with Page was “the most beautiful pure love I thought I could ever feel. I’d only had sex once before in my whole life. I felt like I’d won the lottery.” She juxtaposes it with other experiences “where men have harassed me … it’s a different thing when you allow someone to be with you”.

Keith Moon, drummer with the Who, pictured in 1974 with girlfriend Annette Walter-Lax, left, and Lori Mattix.
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Keith Moon, drummer with the Who, in 1974, with girlfriend Annette Walter-Lax, left, and Lori Mattix. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Mattix was under the age of consent, she says, when Page pursued her. Post-#MeToo, does she see the situation differently? “I think that’s what made me start seeing it from a different perspective because I did read a few [articles], and I thought: ‘Shit, maybe,’” she says. As for whether Page was in the wrong: “That’s an interesting question. I never thought there was anything wrong with it, but maybe there was. I used to get letters telling me he was a padophile, but I’d never think of him like that. He never abused me, ever.” Still, Mattix sounds conflicted – rapturous reminiscences (“honestly, I had a great time”) are followed by cautionary notes. “I don’t think underage girls should sleep with guys,” she says. “I wouldn’t want this for anybody’s daughter. My perspective is changing as I get older and more cynical.”

Shirazi thinks that “the model of rock’n’roll is about being as debauched as possible, and that is the model younger bands look up to”. But that’s up for debate in an era when fans are questioning the idea of rock as a heteronormative man’s game. Alleged incidents that might have passed as “rock star behavior” in the past have left some fans feeling uncomfortable and disappointed.

Rochelle (not her real name) was 17 when she was allegedly propositioned by the frontman of a then up-and-coming rock band, whom she met at an acoustic warm-up show in 2012. “I introduced myself and said I was looking for [a place on the] guest list for the main event in the evening, as it had sold out and I was broke,” she says. “The frontman looked me up and down – a developed young woman, wearing shorts and tights from what I can remember – and, with a seedy look, said: ‘It’ll cost you.’ I knew exactly what he meant when he was biting his lip.”

Some would call his behavior typical of a young man emboldened by his growing fame, but Rochelle, now 23, feels uncomfortable. “To know I was 17 – over the age of consent, but still a child really – and not interested, and keep trying it. I’m disgusted,” she says. “I know it’s more harassment than sexual assault, but I worry that he may have done it to someone else.”

A 23-year-old woman told the Guardian that the lead singer of an up-and-coming rock band used his phone to take photos of naked selfies on her own phone screen without her consent in 2014. The band were staying at her house after a show. “I didn’t really know what to do; my dad had already gone up to bed and I was the only one in the room with my favourite band. Teenage, naive me did not know how to handle that situation at all.” She made her allegations public after she heard a few years later that another member of the band had left after allegedly sending unsolicited explicit images to another woman. The woman we talked to reported the singer to police in October last year, but the case was not pursued due to a lack of evidence. The band’s success has continued.

There are, however, those who still embrace the groupie lifestyle. Becky, 24, describes herself as a groupie of the spoof hair-metal band Steel Panther. Although she has exchanged direct messages with band members, she hasn’t had any sexual encounters with them.

“If you’re a single rock star and there’s a fan throwing themselves at you and you fancy them, why wouldn’t you take it?” she says. “I’ve had my bra signed by them: I’ve stood there with my boobs out. If they were to jokingly give them a squeeze and then I tried to sue them for harassment, they’d be in trouble, but it would be my fault.”

I approached three record label employees in an attempt to ascertain whether a contract tends to include specific policies about sexual misconduct by musicians. “Not to my knowledge; it’s really [about] business terms,” says Gary Lancaster, label manager at First Access Entertainment and also a former employee of Warner and Eleven Seven Music. “That’s not to say there isn’t some form of gross misconduct clause. I suspect there would be something to say that in the event of irreparable damage to the relationship – and should both parties agree – it can be ripped up.” The other two people I talk to confirm there is usually a clause stating that an artist can be dropped at any time, but they had not seen anything relating specifically to sexual issues. The Musicians’ Union has an email address that anyone with concerns about sexual misconduct in the industry – be it harassment, sexism or specific instances of assault – can use.

Hill is in two minds about whether top-down policies in the industry would lead to change. “If it’s done in the wrong way, it could definitely get people’s backs up,” she says. “Even if bands start out with good morals, the idea of being a rock star is rooted in these deeply problematic ideas of masculinity. If older, well-respected people in the industry started talking to younger bands about changing those attitudes, that would be really valuable.”

The most notorious rock stars may have made their admissions before the conversation around consent began, but the younger fan demographic is unlikely to see such antics as excusable. Where fans might once have lapped up tales of debauchery, they now want something different from their idols: an awareness of social issues, respect for their fans and an attitude that condemns, rather than continues, the hair-raising exploits of rock’s bygone days. “When I meet fans now, the conversation isn’t: ‘I really love your band,’” one musician told me recently. “It’s: ‘Please don’t do anything wrong.’”

 

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Tales of Rock – I wouldn’t Want This For My Daughter or Anybody’s Daughter: Will #MeToo Kill Off the Rock’n’Roll Groupie? – Part 1

Male rock stars of the 1970s and 80s were often notorious for sleeping with young female fans. Now women are starting to see those encounters in a very different light.

Jimmy Page Pamela Des Barres in 1973.
 Jimmy Page and Pamela Des Barres, 1973. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 2001, when the Mötley Crüe biography The Dirt was published, barely an eyebrow was raised at the debauchery described within. Even one of the darkest tales, in which Nikki Sixx said he “pretty much” raped an intoxicated woman after he had had sex with her in a cupboard and then sent Tommy Lee in to do the same, did little to damage Sixx’s reputation.

If such an account were published now, or allegations to that effect posted on social media, the artist in question would be vilified by fans and potentially subject to criminal proceedings. Brand New’s UK tour was cancelled after its frontman, Jesse Lacey, was accused last November of “soliciting nudes” from a then-underage girl; he later apologised. Support acts pulled out of touring with the Polish metal band Decapitated after they were accused of gang-raping a woman on their tour bus. (They denied the allegations and the charges were cleared in January.)

Mötley Crüe in 1984 … a reputation for excess.
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Mötley Crüe in 1984 … a reputation for excess. Photograph: Paul Natkin/WireImage

Rapper Nelly is fighting a lawsuit from a woman who accuses him of raping her on his tour bus. The suit cites allegations of sexual assault from two other women, one of which allegedly took place after a gig in Essex last December. He denies all allegations. Other, less high-profile, artists, such as Ben Hopkins of the New York duo PWR BTTM and Jonny Craig of the US band Slaves (not the UK duo), were dropped from their respective record labels when allegations of sexual misconduct, which they both deny, were posted on social media.

Even before the #MeToo movement, fans were using social media to share allegations of inappropriate conduct by musicians, but the current high-profile conversation around consent and male entitlement has not only led fans to document their experiences, but even spurred former groupies to question the power dynamic underpinning their experiences.

There is, of course, a gulf between fans who want to meet their favourite musicians and then end up being exploited (or worse) and self-confessed groupies. The latter are actively seeking sex with musicians, while the former are not. Dr Rosemary Lucy Hill, from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Leeds, says the idea of a groupie is a complex one. She cites the example of Pamela Des Barres, who slept with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Jim Morrison and numerous others, and wrote five books about her experiences – an updated version of the most famous, I’m With the Band, is being published in April.

PWR BTTM … Ben Hopkins (right) denies allegations of misconduct.
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PWR BTTM … Ben Hopkins (right) denies allegations of misconduct. Photograph: Ebru Yildiz

“Her idea is that the groupie is the muse,” Hill says. “The way that she talks about sex with musicians as being about getting close to the music is really powerful. When you start to think about music and sex in those terms, it changes your idea of what it means to be a groupie. I’m talking about consensual sex, but some people think it’s never a free choice because of all the expectations. I think both of these things are true at the same time – and that makes it really complicated.”

Roxana Shirazi, 44, a former self-described groupie who wrote the 2011 book, The Last Living Slut: Born in Iran, Bred Backstage, about her experiences, says her own desires were her priority when she began pursuing musicians including members of Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses. “I wasn’t a 19-year-old, wide-eyed young girl – I was 28 when I first met a musician,” she says. “I was very in tune with my sexuality. I wanted to be around guys who I liked, and I wanted them to treat me equally. I wasn’t going to be of service to them; I wanted to be happy and turned on.”

Despite her confidence, she saw a dark side to the lifestyle. “It’s never possible to have full agency [as a groupie],” she says. “From the outset, the power structure is not equal. They’re famous, and, unless you’re famous yourself, you’re not on the same plane.” In The Last Living Slut, Shirazi documented what she describes as emotional abuse from the Guns N’ Roses keyboardist, Dizzy Reed(whom she claims pressured her to have an abortion). The reaction was markedly different from the condemnation such allegations tend to receive today – she was, she says, ostracised by people in the music industry. “A lot of the initial reactions were: ‘Good … well done,’” she says. “Women wrote to me and said: ‘I had the same experience with so-and-so. Do you think I should come forward?’ Then it was all shut down. If I went to LA to see my friends, there were places I couldn’t go; it was like I spoke out against this thing that I shouldn’t have.”

 

 

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Tales of Rock – Nothing Seems as Pretty as the Past

Top Groupies Of All Time: Sable Starr and Lori Maddox

I love writing Tales of Rock, but this is the most lurid and heartbreaking part of this series.
The musicians I loved have done some deplorable things.
But when I think back to my time in L.A. I kind of get it.
I’m not saying it’s right but a lot of artists and musicians did stuff.
Top Groupies Of All Time: Sable Starr and Lori Maddox

 

Hanging out with musicians is any girl’s dream come true. Well, these girls did just that. Mind you, these two girls, Sable, the unofficial queen of the 70’s LA glam rock scene, and Lori, her best friend, were only around 13 at the time. These baby groupies strutted around Sunset Boulevard  on their shiny platform heels, eyes and ears peeled for the likes of Led Zeppelin or David Bowie to show up. I personally don’t like these baby groupies very much, their personalities leaving a lot to be desired, but then again, what 13 year who thinks they’re the hottest thing around isn’t catty? Still, they deserve a mention, these were wild times and these were wild girls.
Due to the comments I keep getting on this particular page, I felt the need to write this. The reason for this post was to not only post a collection of photos of music and fashion from the 70’s, but to also talk about a certain period of time, a moment in history, and the people involved. Nowhere on here does it say I approve of the behavior of the musicians and the groupies. Not once did I say that what they did was ok. It’s like if I made a post about the Holocaust – another period in time that I’m interested in and I’ve read so much about- and saying that I condoned what happened during the Holocaust. I love history (and history has good and bad parts) and the only reason I made this blog was because I like to write about things that interest me, I like to collect pictures, and I like when a person discovers my blog and learns something new or rediscovers something they had forgotten.

Lori modeling with fellow baby groupie Shray Mecham for Star Magazine.

Queenie Glam, Shray, and Sable.
With Iggy Pop.
With Debbie Harry.
With Keith Moon and Annette Walter-Lax.
With Led Zeppelin and groupie Morgana Welch at the English Disco and not the Rainbow Bar & Grill even though to me the booths in the back looked exactly like that. I’ve actually been there a couple of times, not as amazing as I thought it would be, but still crawling with would-be groupies and musicians. I even saw a certain special someone there, coming out of the bathroom before their first gig at The Key Club. Anyroad, the caption to this picture is pretty hilarious.
With John Bonham.
I’m sure you all know what went down with Jimmy and Lori, so I won’t bother to repeat it here.
Just like Jimmy and Lori were a complicated pair, so were Johnny Thunders and Sable.
With Iggy and Johnny.
With Sylvain Sylvain.
With Stiv Bators.
With BP Fallon.
With Dave Hill.
Sable with Mackenzie Phillips and the unofficial mayor of the Sunset Strip, Rodney Bingenheimer, posing outside of the English Disco.
Sable with other baby groupies posing with Rodney outside the Continental Hyatt House (The Riot House).
Young girl – Gary Puckett

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Tales of Rock – David Lee Roth Paid His Road Crew $100 For Every Woman They Brought Him Backstage

I used this picture because that’s when David was hot and he’s not running his mouth!

I’ve already written about the sex tents that Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar had installed wherever he performed so that he could disappear mid-solo and indulge himself in a groupie or nine. But that’s not the only way Van Halen was entrepreneurial with their young fans. Let’s take a minute and discuss how original frontman David Lee Roth amused his roadies by sending them out on groupie scavenger hunts.

From his lofty position on the stage, Roth would instruct his roadies to dive into the crowd and collect very specific girls for him to have sex with. The lucky girl would be given a special backstage pass with the initials of the roadie who approached her written in the top corner. If that pass was then among the ones strewn on his floor the next morning, Roth would reward the roadie with a $100 bonus at breakfast the next morning, because exchanging money for sex works up an appetite.

But that’s not where Roth’s impressive management methods ended. Once he’d chosen his girls/targets, he would often inform the crew that once all of the equipment was packed into the trucks, they were free to pick up the leftover groupies. And while it must have been unpleasant for the hotties who flocked backstage to get the runner-up prize of being felt up by a mustard-stained teamster, using women as currency did cut pack-up times in half.

Seeing that so much of his backstage dealings revolved around Roth banging groupies, it makes sense that he insured his wang. After all, if something ever happened to it, the backstage work would have ground to a halt. But everywhere else, women would rejoice at no longer being herded into Roth’s fuck pen by his sound-checking border collies, and men would rejoice for never having to hear “Jump” again.

 

 

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Tales of Rock – Motley Crue Rubbed Egg Burritos On Their Dicks To Mask The Smell Of Groupie Sex

According to pop culture, hiding an affair is a complex plot involving secret phones, meaningful glances, and constantly sniffing and re-sniffing your clothes. It’s a high-stakes game, and if you don’t want to lose, you better be willing to do anything. Just ask Motley Crue.

In the early days of the band, most of the members had girlfriends — which is problematic when your job kind of insists on you sexing groupies. Not wanting to break up with the loves of their lives, but also wanting to constantly be boning other people whenever they weren’t home, the Crue came up with a plan. After every piece of backstage or recording booth tail, the band would take Tommy Lee’s van to a place called Naugles. There, they celebrated their infidelity with a round of egg burritos — one to eat, and one to slather all over their dicks and balls.

Now, rubbing Mexican food on your junk isn’t some old-fashioned cure-all for groupie-related STIs — this ritual was all about the smell. The band figured that the smell of egg burrito would overpower even the most pungent of backstage favors. And before you ask “Couldn’t they just shower?” remember that this is Motley Crue we’re talking about. Look at them. Taking a shower would raise more suspicions than coming home smelling of strange vaginas. As Vince Neil described it, “We would tell our girlfriends, ‘Oh, we dropped the burritos in our laps.'” Every day of the week. Maybe their girlfriends were too worried about them dying of high cholesterol to be thinking about them cheating.

As we know you’re dying to find out, they used the burritos like washcloths, not like fleshlights. The Crue didn’t ram their members into piping-hot eggs. At that point of the evening, their dicks were already burning plenty.

 

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Tales of Rock – Van Halen Had Sex Tents

Hagar exerted himself so much during his nightly trips that he temporarily lost the ability to climax.

Before they became a quartet of endless punchlines, Van Halen used to be one of the coolest bands in the world, and they demonstrated their status by having sex with every female who wandered within one mile of their powerful aura. Their career is a filthy memorial to how being in a band is a more powerful aphrodisiac than things like “not looking completely ridiculous,” a criteria David Lee Roth specifically targeted for destruction.

Roth infamously claims that he had his penis (nicknamed “Little Elvis”) insured and would hold a nightly contest wherein he would reward his roadies with a cash prize if they were able to convince girls he had spotted in the crowd during the show to come backstage for a personal discussion with Little Elvis. It is unclear whether his insurance policy required each girl to sign a waiver beforehand.

Roth’s eventual replacement, Sammy Hagar, was a little more “Roman Emperor” in his groupie interactions. One tour saw the band build a tent directly beneath the stage specifically for Sammy Hagar’s erection. During the mid-show 20-minute guitar solos Eddie Van Halen would launch into each night, Hagar would disappear to the tent and discover a group of naked fans waiting to swallow his penis, which we assume was as pinched as his face.

But owning your own sex tent apparently has powerful side effects. Hagar exerted himself so much during his nightly trips that he temporarily lost the ability to climax. That’s right — Sammy Hagar had so much sex that he ran out of sperm. And with that mental picture, I end the post.

 

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