If you didn’t understand, after watching the movie ‘Almost Famous’ (and if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s time you checked it out) why it is that girls who adore & follow a band HATE being called groupies… Here’s another take on it. I just happened to fall upon Chris O’Dell’s blog. Now that she’s telling her story (40 years later) about her life in Rock N’ Roll, she’s becoming the perfect spokesperson for true fans.
I had to share this blog post of hers. Because I love it:
“I was one of the first, if not the first, tour manager. I have advocated for women all my life. And I still don’t get it. Women constantly get relegated and invalidated when it comes to just about anything.
I have put up with newspapers, magazines, and even my publisher, picking out the salacious bits from my story. Did I use drugs and have sex? You bet. How many people haven’t. Did I sleep with men who were famous? You bet. They were around. But I didn’t go around talking about it. At least not until I wrote my book – thirty to forty years later. And, quite honestly, if you’ve read my book, you know it was pretty, well, superficially touched upon. Radio interviewers and journalists want the details, but I haven’t given any. Did I run drugs? Please!! I did the job that was expected of me at that time. Would I do it today? No Way!!
So the word ‘groupie’, ‘grooviest groupie’ and now ’super groupie’ have been hung on my head. Is that the only word people have for women who worked in rock and roll. Do they call the guys who did the same job I did groupies? Did they write about all the men/musicians who slept around? Of course not! Was I a fan? Yes. We all were fans. Why else would we have been there.
I think it’s time that we as women, and we as men, must stop degrading women with titles. My greatest example to women I work with is: In high school, if you were a girl who had sex, you were a slut. If you were a guy who had sex, you were a stud. What’s wrong with this picture? And we women contribute to it as much as men. I know I’m guilty of it. It’s ingrained in our psyches. We’re just people who do the best we can to survive in this very complex and crazy life.
After twenty years in the rock and roll world, I quit! I moved back to Tucson, raised a son, held down a job, and got two degrees in college. I am writing about this because I have a voice – and I’m going to use it. I hope the rest of you do the same.” -Chris O’Dell