Rock history can’t be written without groupies.
To many outsiders, they were simply a wild indulgence – untamed women who put the sex in “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.” But to the groupies – as well as the artists – these women were so much more than that. Yes, there was sex – lots of it – but there was also inspiration and exploration that helped musicians unlock deeper artistic expression.
From a historical standpoint, groupie culture formed in the ‘60s, took hold in the ‘70s and continued through the ‘80s. Cameron Crowe famously captured the groupie lifestyle in his 2000 movie Almost Famous through Kate Hudson’s character Penny Lane.
“I always tell the girls never take it seriously,” the blonde “band aid” explains at one point in the film. “If you never take it seriously, you never get hurt. If you never get hurt, you always have fun. And if you ever get lonely, you can just go to the record store and visit your friends.”
Many of the real-life figures in our below list of 15 of Rock’s Most Famous Groupies had songs written about them. Others emboldened musicians to take risks they otherwise may have avoided. And, in a select few cases, groupies gave feedback on songs, altering the direction of classic tracks. While heartbreak was the most common outcome of these groupie-musician relationships, several ended in marriages. Some cases also ended in tragedy; drug addiction and death weren’t uncommon. It went with the territory.
Whether you view them as muses, super-fans or simply wild floozies, rock history wouldn’t be the same without these women.