Books by the women who had sex, drugs, and relationships with the unforgettable stars of rock ‘n’ roll
Annie Scudder, Editor at TrèsSugar, takes us from out in the crowd to behind the curtain with a list of books by the ladies who knew the stars up close and personal.
This week on Mad Men, Don Draper does his best to get backstage at the Rolling Stones concert. Dressed like “the man” in his suit and tie, a look his much younger wife describes as “square,” Don and fellow ad man Harry Crane set out to try to get the Stones to sign on for a Heinz campaign. Instead of meeting the band, the pair hangs backstage with some teenage girls smoking joints — groupies! As we’ve come to expect from Mad Men, the show gave us a glimpse into the 1960s and its defining pop cultural characteristics. But if you want to know more about the real-life ladies who inspired the reference, here are eight groupie autobiographies to get in bed with.
Dandelion: Memoir of a Free Spirit
Dandelion: Memoir of a Free Spirit is Catherine James’s story. At 12 years old, the Southern California girl raised by a speed-freak mom and alcoholic father escaped her orphanage for a weekend, during which she met a young Bob Dylan. Two years later in 1964, she made her way to Greenwich Village, and eventually found herself hanging at Andy Warhol’s Factory, and having flings with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, and Jackson Browne.
Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side With David Bowie
The former Mrs. David Bowie, who met her rockstar husband in 1968, is the author of Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side With David Bowie. In it, Angela Bowie doesn’t hold back describing orgies and David’s bisexuality, including a time he ended up in bed with Mick Jagger.
I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie
Pamela Des Barres is one of the most iconic groupies of the ’60s. In her definitive memoir, I’m With the Band, she tells tales of sex and drugs, turning down a date with Elvis Presley, and affairs with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, Waylon Jennings, Chris Hillman, Noel Redding, and Jim Morrison.
Let’s Spend the Night Together: Backstage Secrets of Rock Muses and Supergroupies
Pamela Des Barres wasn’t content with simply recounting her adventures. In Let’s Spend the Night Together, she moves on from her own stories to introduce readers to 24 other supergroupies, whom she interviewed for the book.
Faithful: An Autobiography
In Faithful: An Autobiography, Marianne Faithful recalls her drug-fueled life after her 1964 hit “As Tears Go By.” She tagged along with Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones. Her four-year affar with Mick Jagger (did anyone not sleep with him?!), inspired the hit “Sister Morphine.”
Rebel Heart: An American Rock ‘n’ Roll Journey
In Rebel Heart: An American Rock ‘n’ Roll Journey, Babe Buell recalls her life as a wild model in the 1970s who escaped her military father’s strict household and ended up having relationships with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler — with whom she had her daughter, actress Liv Tyler. But Elvis Costello was the love of her life, according to Babe, and the Playboy centerfold recounts their affair, her decision to have an abortion after becoming pregnant with his child, and her eventual heartbreak.
Without many graphic sexual details, Francie Schwartz’s 1972 autobiography Body Count tries to separate the 1960s rock scene fact from fiction. She went from married life in LA to divorced life working at an ad agency in NYC, and then on to London in 1968, after she was told he needed to have a penis to become an art director. She went on to spend a Spring and Summer as the live-in girlfriend of Paul McCartney, and gives a first-hand account of life with the Beatles in 1968.
Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me
Pattie Boyd, the ex wife of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton put her story to paper in Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me. The woman who inspired Harrison’s “Something” and Clapton’s “Layla,” gives an honest reflection of her time as a rock ‘n’ roll muse.
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