Love & Sex

I Did It For Science: Groupie

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When I was fourteen, I snagged a copy of Hammer of the Gods off my mother’s nightstand. What should have served as a cautionary tale on the dangers of one-night stands became my favorite masturbatory fodder. Soon, the crumpled book automatically opened to a photo of Jimmy Page seductively stroking his double-neck guitar. Dreams of running away from Maryland to pursue a super-groupie lifestyle danced in my head.
   But the popular music of my teens was a far cry from Zeppelin. Video killed the radio star, and I was left with Chicago, Milli Vanilli and Paula Abdul. There were groupies in the late ’80s, but they followed bands like Poison. Since I refuse to bone a man who uses more hair products than me, I opted for college instead.
    Yet my fantasy of making sweet love to a rock star never died. Now that I live in a metropolis teeming with them, maybe I can fulfill my dream.

Please list all the materials required for this experiment (including, if applicable, how they were obtained).

– I’m With the Band by Pamela Des Barres
– Hammer of the Gods by Stephen Davis
– Almost Famous (DVD)


In this portion of your report, you must describe, step-by-step, what you did in your lab. It should be specific enough that someone who has not seen the lab can follow the directions and recreate the same lab.
The closest I’ve come to attaining groupie status is flinging my phone-number-emblazoned panties at an author during a reading. Aside from that, I don’t have much experience. So I began with research — a rereading of Hammer of the Gods and a careful study of I’m with the Band.
    Coinciding with my experiment, Pamela Des Barres was reading at a bar in Brooklyn. “My God,” I whispered to my friend Tom as we eyed Pamela across the bar. “She slept with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page and Keith Moon. I feel like I’m about to meet a Nobel Prize winner.”
   During the Q&A, I asked, “If one wanted to sleep with a rock star in this day and age, how would one go about it?”
   Pamela responded that it helps if you’re in a profession where you have access to rock stars, be it modeling, acting or journalism. Awesome, I thought. I’m a journalist. Problem is, I write about sex not music.

Placing dibs on the object of your affection is part of the groupie code of honor.

Considering the notoriety of the penis chart (it reports that Slash is “average in size and nothing to write home about”), most musicians would probably run from me. Maybe I could masquerade as a Tiger Beat writer.
   After the reading, I watched Almost Famous and learned that unless your beloved rock star has given you an engagement ring, you run the risk of being sold for fifty bucks and a case of beer at any time.
     My research complete, it was time to select a band. This proved difficult. Bands today just don’t party like they used to. It’s hard to imagine Death Cab for Cutie inserting a mudshark into anyone’s vag.
   My friend Dave suggested the Rolling Stones, who were playing a benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall that week. “Or,” he pointed out, “You could be a groupie for the billionaires who bought tickets.”
   The Stones seemed a little ambitious, seeing as how they’re the most famous rock band on earth. First I would try cutting my chops on a smaller act.
   I turned to Myspace, a groupie’s paradise. Not only can you troll through thousands of bands, you can send them messages. But after finding too many bands that listed the Dave Matthews Band and Blink 182 among their influences, I retreated in horror.
   Frustrated, I called my friend Tom, whose friend Chris runs Matador records. “Would it be too weird if you asked Chris to help me find a band?”
   Tom phoned Chris and called me back. “He’s got the perfect band, but you have to act fast because they’re playing tonight.” Early Man, a metal outfit from Ohio, was playing at North Six in Brooklyn along with two other metal bands — Priestess and The Sword.
   Because groupies travel in packs or pairs, I called my friend Dodge (short for Margaret Dodge, which we changed because Margaret isn’t a good groupie name). Hesitantly, she agreed to join me. Tom also decided to go on the off chance that Priestess was an all-girl group.
   Quickly, I threw together a getup. Mirroring the styles in Almost Famous, I chose a vintage lace minidress, purple tights and white ankle boots. After covering the bags under my eyes with concealer, I made fake bags using kohl eyeliner.
   We arrived just in time to witness a strapping bouncer escort an unruly metalhead out to the street. The Sword had just taken the stage. They were so deafening we could hear them from outside the club.
   “It’s gonna be really loud,” said Dodge, shuddering.
   “You got an extra ticket?” a stoned-looking, pentagram-accessorized youth asked her.
   Chris and his wife met us and suggested we get a pre-show drink. On our way to a nearby bar, we ran into Mike, Early Man’s vocalist, and Vince, the drummer for Priestess. They both had flowing brown hair and skinny legs that fit nicely into their weathered jeans. Chris introduced us but didn’t mention my ulterior motive of hot rock star lovin’.
   “Oh my GOD!” Dodge exclaimed as they walked off. “Vince is so hot. I get dibs.”
   Placing dibs on the object of your affection is part of the groupie code of honor. From the moment Dodge chose Vince, I would not go near him.
   A few drinks later we returned to the club. Priestess had just taken the stage. Tom was disappointed there wasn’t a single chick in the band, but we were amazed at how hard they rocked. Vince thrashed his see-through drum kit like a madman.
   “I can’t see his face,” Dodge complained.
   “I can’t see any of their faces,” I said. “There’s so much hair. I’m not sure they have faces.”
   We rushed to the foot of the stage to get a better look and were instantaneously swept up in the madness. Legions of dudes banged their heads, genuflecting with devil horns. I too raised my horns in the air until Dodge pointed out that I was actually making the “hang loose” sign.
   The music made me forget that I was on assignment. I was a groupie, completely in love with the sound and the longhaired, beautiful dudes making it — two guitars, drums and a bass playing fast, hard and loud.
   “Priestess rules the world!” Dodge screamed.
   Despite our desperate shrieks for an encore, their set came to an end forty-five minutes later. We had to maul Priestess immediately. Finding Tom and Chris, I begged them to help us get backstage. While Chris explained to Tom that he couldn’t do all the work for me, I noticed that the guy manning the velvet rope to the backstage area appeared to be staring into space.
   Grabbing Dodge’s hand, we slipped past him and giggled uncontrollably as we made our way to the downstairs green room where we found Priestess hanging out. We introduced ourselves and someone offered me a Budweiser. I was in heaven.

Quantify the effects of the experiment.

“I never knew a metalhead could smell so good,” Dodge gushed.

The members of Priestess — Mikey, Mike, Dan and Vince — hail from Montreal. They are nice, gracious, smart and funny — traits the general public might not associate with metal bands.
   While Dodge attempted to engage Vince in a discussion about methods for replacing liquids after a show, I ran back upstairs to triumphantly tell Tom where we were.
   Tom and I returned to the green room and chatted with the dreamy quartet for as long as possible. Even when the headliners, Early Man, went on, we remained, not wanting to miss a moment of backstage glory. But a word of caution to would-be groupies: Never go beer for beer with a metal band, especially a Canadian metal band.
   We were still drinking with Priestess when Early Man returned. A member of the band took off his shirt and rang out the sweat.
   “I felt honored to have witnessed that,” said Dodge. When Priestess was out of the room for a second, Dodge buried her face in Vince’s jacket. “I never knew metalhead could smell so good,” she gushed.
   Priestess, Early Man and Chris invited us along to the Turkey’s Nest, a Brooklyn dive bar. Dodge regretfully opted out after realizing she was too drunk to go anywhere else.
   Once there, I tried to impress Mike, Priestess’s bassist, by ordering a drink in elvish. The bartender served us thirty-two-ounce Styrofoam cups filled with Budweiser, which I needed like a hole in the head. Though I was drunk and confused, I managed to chat up Mike for hours until we were the only people left in the bar. I think I even offered him an off-the-record quickie, which he politely refused because of “a girlfriend in Canada.”
   Even so, I was delighted to hang with the bassist of my new favorite band. My excitement was squashed only when the bartender hovered over us and said, “We’re closed. You really have to leave.”
   Mike walked me to a cab and said goodbye before sauntering off to the Priestess RV, which I can only dream about (or masturbate to.)
   The following day, Dodge and I exchanged a flurry of emails regarding our rapid descent into metal fandom. But while Dodge studied the Priestess tour schedule and considered taking up residence in Montreal, I had work to do. Though I’d failed with Priestess, the Stones concert was only a couple days away.
   My friend Kat agreed to go with me, despite what she determined would be “certain failure.”
   But even if I had to prop Keith up and give him mouth-to-mouth, I was determined to succeed. (Remembering the code of honor, I’d placed dibs on Keith.)
   We arrived at Radio City an hour before the show. The place was swarming with security. Circling the block, we found a gaggle of dudes in laminated crew necklaces hanging out next to a large golden door labeled “Stage Entrance.” We stood next to them.
   Because tickets to the show cost between $300 and $1,000, even the audience members were arriving in limos, making it tough to determine which vehicle was carrying the rock gods. Many of the concertgoers were wearing business suits. I was offended.
   “You’d think these dudes would have the decency to remove their ties,” I noted. “Why don’t we just try to get in and then act like we didn’t know we needed tickets?”
   Turning to one of the crew, I asked, “What do you think the chances of us gaining entrance sans a ticket are?”
   “Not so good,” he answered. “There’s the Radio City security, the Stones’s security and the NYPD.”
   The fact that the temperature dipped into the thirties could explain why Kat, two eBay autograph hunters and I were the only fans waiting outside. Our eyes shifted between the arriving cars and the stage entrance. “I don’t think they’d be so obvious as to arrive in a fancy limo," I said. "I bet they’re gonna pull up in a DHL truck."

At least I succeeded in making some headway as a singing-waiter groupie.

     A silver fox waved a Mercedes limo into a reserved spot. “That guy is wearing a mock turtleneck. He is definitely someone,” Kat observed. “A celebrity must be in that car.”
   “Yeah, and I think Keith is driving,” I said after the Mercedes swerved and almost ran down the turtleneck-clad fox.
   Suddenly an Enterprise rental van emerged. The crew opened the back and began to pull something out. “Maybe they’re wheeling them out on gurneys.”
   We watched the Mercedes and the back of the Enterprise van for over an hour before my face started freezing.
   One of the autograph hunters got word that the Stones had gone in on the other side. “We had to choose the wrong side,” Kat sighed.
   Disappointed, cold and hungry, we went off in search of sustenance and warmth. We would return after their set and try to catch them on their way out.
   The closest bar was the lawn jockey-festooned 21 Club, where we were turned away because of Kat’s jeans.
   “I can’t believe a man in a bad suit turned me away,” she groaned.
   “An hour ago I had dreams of boning Keith Richards. Now I’d settle for a Rolling Stones cover band,” I moaned.
   “It’s freezing. We have to find a place.”
   We found a place called Ellen’s Stardust Diner. A sign on the door advertised singing waiters.
   Inside, a maitre d’ whisked us to a table in the front row.
   “We’re total VIP’s,” Kat enthused, checking out the crooning waiter before us. “Is he singing George Michael?”
   “I believe he is,” I said. “I have a sneaking suspicion he might not be straight.”
   He exited the stage and took our order, whereupon another singing waiter took his place, belting out Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right.” Stealthily, he jumped onto the chair behind Kat and shook his ass inches from her head.
   “Woohoo!” I shouted, making devil horns. A table of fanny-pack-clad tourist women eyed us suspiciously. “If I were wearing a bra, I’d throw it at him.”
   “If bras weren’t so expensive, I’d throw mine,” said Kat.
   A singing waitress followed. “Who likes show tunes?” she asked the crowd, which responded with dead silence. “Or do you guys like rock ‘n’ roll?”
   “Rock ‘n’ roll!” Kat shouted.
   “Free Bird!” I added.
   She belted out a Tina Turner tune and exited the stage. A lanky redheaded waiter began singing, “What’s New, Pussycat?” while expertly gyrating his hips like Tom Jones.
   “He’s hot,” I said. “I wonder when he gets off work.” It wasn’t hard to catch his eye considering we were the only people watching. I winked and blew him a kiss. He winked back at me and shot me a devilish smile.
   His song finished and he recommenced carrying trays of cheese fries and hot dogs. “That’s not right. He’s a star,” I cried.
   Just then the tip jar came around. Taking out a flyer with my picture on it, I jotted down my email address and slipped it in along with a couple bucks. Satisfied that I’d succeeded in making some headway as a singing-waiter groupie, we finished our snack and headed back to Radio City.
   The Stones were still onstage. We pressed our ears to the golden door and listened. It was almost like being at the show.
   They played eight more songs before the music stopped and the audience began filtering out. Barricades were brought out. Security asked us and about ten other fans to stand behind them.
    “When do you think they’re gonna come out?” Kat asked.
   “They have to climb inside their life-regeneration tanks first.”
   We waited along with the other fans for close to an hour, at which point the barricades were removed and Kat and I realized they’d already gone. I don’t know if the Stones don magic “invisibility suits” when entering and exiting arenas, but we never even caught a glimpse of them.
   Exhausted and cold, we called it a night.

Summarize your findings. Don’t forget to attempt to identify possible variables that could result in different findings for others trying to recreate your test results.

When the Stones sang, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” they could have been talking about this experiment. I lacked the patience and sneakiness needed to get in the pants of the objects of my adulation. About the only sneaky thing we did was molest Vince’s clothing.
   Still, when I looked up “groupie” in the dictionary, one definition was “any enthusiastic fan or supporter.” In that sense, I succeeded. In fact, I’m still succeeding by listening to the same three Priestess songs from their website over and over again. And Dodge was converted: “Now I am a groupie,” she said. “Why couldn’t this have happened before the show?” Though she pointed out that she felt a little like an uncool aunt while hanging in the green room. “Instead of asking Vince about fluid replacement, I should have been more concerned about how he was going to get rid of some more fluids.”
   I felt a sense of pride and a tingling of excitement just from sitting next to Mike at the bar. It’s probably what Miss Pamela felt when she sat next to Jimmy Page. Maybe musicians are like trophy wives for women.

©2006 Rev. Jen Miller and