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 – MÖTLEY CRÜE Movie ‘The Dirt’ Is Hated By Critics, Loved By Fans, Says NIKKI SIXX

MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx has dismissed the influx of negative professional critic reviews the band’s biopic “The Dirt” has received, insisting that the fans love the movie.

He tweeted on Friday: “The album is number #1.The fans are going crazy over #TheDirt. The critics hate it. @MotleyCrue @netflix WORLD FUCKING WIDE.”

“The Dirt” currently has an 86% audience score from 324 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, an online review aggregation service that allows the public to score the movies alongside critics. It has a 42% critic score from 36 reviews on the same site.

Indiewire David Ehrlich called “The Dirt” “wonderfully bad” and compared it to last year’s QUEEN biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”“Bohemian Rhapsody” has a 61% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes but won four Oscars.

“For all the unique details of their story (and their sound), QUEEN‘s big screen bow was so generic that it felt like Bryan Singer was trying to gaslight everyone into forgetting that ‘Walk Hard’ had already reduced this entire genre to a joke,” Ehrlich wrote. “And for all the legendary hedonism that defined their lives, MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s movie feels like it could have been made about any one of a zillion other bands. Hell, it could even have been made about QUEEN!”

Los Angeles Times called “The Dirt” “horribly timed,” “astoundingly tone deaf” and “as vapid and misogynistic as the band members and the book they wrote with author Neil Strauss.”

The Daily Beast said that “The Dirt” “spends almost two hours glamorizing shitty behavior, and then attempts to exonerate its stars with a few vague voiceovers about regret and rehabilitation.”

The Atlantic wrote: “The danger of a document like ‘The Dirt’ is in showing pigheadedness as not only fun and cool, but also elemental, inexplicable, and unstoppable.”

Deadline wrote that “The Dirt” has been “bleached pretty clean from its feral and self-admitted sordid source material,” citing frontman Vince Neil‘s drunken car crash that killed HANOI ROCKS drummer Razzle and the death of his daughter after a battle with cancer as “rare exceptions in this straight to MOR movie that has a limited emotional range outside of party time.”

The New York Times concurred, saying that screenwriters Rich Wilkes and Amanda Adelsonhad “sanded it down to a junior varsity ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.”

Some media outlets were kinder in their assessments, with Decider writing: “Lower your expectations, throw caution, decorum and good taste to the wind, and file it under ‘guilty pleasure.'” The Guardian praised the performances of actors Douglas Booth (who plays Nikki Sixx), Iwan Rheon (who plays Mick Mars) and Daniel Webber (who plays Vince Neil), saying that they “possess similar abilities to navigate between charm and repulsion, all working together to create such a chummy group that their power as an ensemble elevates the material. Just like their real-life counterparts.”

“The Dirt” movie, which was helmed by “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” director Jeff Tremaine, was picked up by Netflix after being previously developed at Focus Features and before that at Paramount.

“The Dirt Soundtrack” accompanies the movie and features a collection of MÖTLEY CRÜEclassics that meaningfully underscore significant moments that shape the film. Exclusive to the film’s soundtrack, MÖTLEY CRÜE recorded four new songs, including the single “The Dirt (Est. 1981) (feat. Machine Gun Kelly)”“Ride With The Devil” and “Crash And Burn”, plus a cover of Madonna‘s “Like A Virgin”.

 

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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 – Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee And Nikki Sixx Had The Grossest Bet Ever

Once you’re a famous rock star, all the fun goes out of making a conquest. Instead of having to go to a bar and desperately try to pick someone up, or swipe right on every photo on Tinder in the hopes one single person will like you back, you basically can’t go anywhere without beating groupies off with a stick (pun not intended). Even if you’re the bassist. That’s why you have to throw some roadblocks in your way to make it a little more interesting.

That’s where Motley Crue’s drummer and aforementioned bassist come in. Apparently sick of having foursomes every night, they made a bet with each other over who could go longest without bathing, showering, or washing in any way, and still find a groupie willing to have sex with them and/or not vomit all over them. Spoiler alert: This has gone down in history as “The Spaghetti Incident” so if you are squeamish, tap out now.

So Tommy and Nikki did their thing up on stage every night, getting sweaty and gross in their trouser areas, then would proceed to have sex with up to four women a night, getting even grosser and sweatier down there, and did nothing about it. After even two days of that, most of us would be so disgusted with ourselves that we would give up on the bet, but the members of the Crue managed to go two months.

Two months.

Then finally one night it all came to a head, literally. (Seriously, one last warning. Go look at puppies or something.) Nikki brought a woman to his room to get down, and she started giving him a blowjob. Next thing he knew, she was vomiting all over his junk. Since she had eaten pasta earlier in the night, this became known as “The Spaghetti Incident.” Said pasta apparently “became tangled in his pubic hair.” Instead of freaking out and running for the nearest water, Nikki called for Tommy to come check out what had happened, and admitted he lost the bet. And you will never be able to eat pasta again.

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Tales of Rock – Nikki Sixx Had A Lethal Overdose

“Motley Crue: the band responsible for literally every stereotype about hair metal that you know.”

Judging by the above, the most dangerous profession in the 1980s — aside from pulling double shifts at Chernobyl — was being a rock star. After all, there’s Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen, Aerosmith, and, last but not least, Motley Crue: the band responsible for literally every stereotype about hair metal that you know.

In 1987, while touring with Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx teamed up with Slash to unwind by shooting some heroin, presumably because Game Gear hadn’t been invented yet. Unfortunately, because opiate fans aren’t renowned for their measuring skills, Nikki ended up overdosing and dying in Slash’s shower. All things considered, this is the closest thing to a hero’s death that Nikki Sixx could hope for.

Except, as the world would come to learn, Nikki Sixx cannot be destroyed by heroin. He was revived after two minutes of clinical death by two shots of adrenaline stabbed directly into his fucking heart. Ordinarily, this would be followed by a long period of bed rest and some self-reflection. For Nikki Sixx, this meant escaping his ambulance, hitchhiking back home, and shooting up more heroin. The incident resulted in Motley Crue’s Grammy-nominated song “Kickstart My Heart” so … win-win, we guess?

 

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Tales of Rock – Kickstart My Heart

Nikki just can’t kill himself enough times!

One of the most notorious party animals of the 1980s was Mötley Crüe’s bassist Nikki Sixx. In 1981, Sixx founded Mötley Crüe with drummer Tommy Lee. To date Mötley Crüe has sold over 80 million records. In the 1980s, the band gained a reputation for drugs, loud music, sex, and wild parties. The group was known for backstage antics, groupies, outrageous clothing, extreme high-heeled boots, and heavily applied make-up. All the members of Mötley Crüe suffered from alcoholism and long addictions to drugs, but Sixx was the only one that abused heroin. Nikki Sixx has estimated that he overdosed on heroin “about half a dozen times.”

In 1986, Nikki Sixx overdosed on heroin at a drug dealer’s house in London. The dealer reportedly tried to beat the life back into Sixx with a bat, but was unsuccessful so he dumped the body in a nearby dumpster. Sixx eventually woke up in the trash. The event was the inspiration behind the lyric “Valentine’s in London, found me in the trash” from the Mötley Crüe song Dancing on Glass.
In 1987, Mötley Crüe was part of the Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction Tour. During the tour, Guns N’ Roses was the opening act for a number of poplar bands including Mötley Crüe. On the night of December 23, 1987, Nikki Sixx was doing heroin in guitarist Slash’s hotel room when he suffered a drug overdose. Slash was not in the room at the time, but his girlfriend called the authorities. When the paramedics arrived Sixx was hardly breathing.

During the ride to the hospital Sixx stopped breathing and was declared dead for two minutes. The paramedics continued to apply care to Sixx until he was eventually revived. Nikki claims to have had an out-of-body experience during the event. When he woke up in the hospital, Sixx ripped the tubes out of his nose and escaped into the parking lot. He hitched a ride to his house wearing just a pair of leather pants. He then continued to shoot up heroin and was found sleeping with the syringe still in his arm. Soon after the story made international news Mötley Crüe entered rehab. In 1989, the band released the hit single Kickstart My Heart, which was inspired by the infamous overdose.

 

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