Monday, June 14, 2010

Like a Muse Part 1: Pattie Boyd (and a little George Harrison)

The main reason I started to write this blog was because I wanted to find a muse, so to speak. I don't really have heros or idols but I do have many people I admire and since Madonna has been one since I was very young, it seemed natural to pick her as the main focus and kind of adopt her as my muse. I love the idea of a muse. An inspiring, almost ethereal being, a nymph, a waif, all those words that mean delicate other-worldly women who inspire and capture attention effortlessly and leave masses of heartsick creative types pining for more. Somehow this turned into mean a groupie. So be it, I love those classic groupies. Bebe Buell, Pamela Des Barres, Patty Boyd, Cynthia Plaster Caster and many others. I've read all their stories, all these black sheep that somehow found themselves through music and the men who made that music. As much as the word muse brings to mind classic images of Greek immortals, groupies are the mortal examples of them. To me. The best way I can explain myself is to highlight this article that I wrote for the online zine Decomposure a while back. I have no idea if it ever got posted or printed and since I wrote it I reserve the right to edit and re-post.

Most people, if asked to define a groupie, would reply that it’s a floozy who has sex with rock stars. Sadly, most people are stupid. There are two things wrong with the previous statement; a) the word floozy isn’t used as often as such a great word should be and b) that’s the definition of a star-fucker. Groupies do not cozy up to musicians simply to be near fame, they cherish the music they make and offer themselves as “tokens” of respect and admiration. What better way to show how much a piece of music, a song, or a record means to you than to offer the most personal thing you can, your body?

Like all good things, groupiedom did have its eventual downward spiral. Baby groupies like Sable Starr who just wanted the notoriety of being with famous personalities arrived on the scene bringing their cattiness and their extreme young age. The music took a backseat to the debauchery and the innocence of peace and love morphed into the raunch of sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll. Which brings us to the present. Floozies. Yes they’re there too but to quote Sapphire, a fictional groupie from Almost Famous, “They don't even know what it is to be a fan. Y'know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts.” That’s the definition of a true groupie.

I can understand how music can totally bowl you over and envelope you from the inside. I laughed with pure joy at Frank Zappa and the Mothers, cried because of a song for the first time while listening "Lady Stardust," and fell asleep to T. Rex almost every night in high school. Alice Cooper helps me stay sane on crowded subway rides, Madonna gets me to not collapse during work-outs, and Bon Jovi reminds me of being a little kid at her very first concert on her 7th birthday. I followed Hanoi Rocks to freakin' Tokyo for God's sake! My favorite memory of one of my best friend's Rob is him coming to Istanbul and the three of us, my boyfriend, Rob, and I, going to Athens for a mini-vacation to see Iron Maiden. I burst into tears listening to Dio the other day because I was so sad he died, and I had one of the very first bonding experiences with my boyfriend (then just a guy I knew) when I found out he knew who The Wildhearts were. I can relate almost every memory and landmark experience to a certain song or band and I was so in awe of the movie Almost Famous that I actually set out to become a rock journalist for a while and managed to get interviews with bands I loved and reviewed hundreds of bands and actually got published for the first time. Those who can't play, write, right? Music and the people related to it are my muses and I don't think I will ever get over that feeling of speechless emotion that comes with finding a new song, or band, or record that makes your heart skip several beats.

It was pretty natural seeking out others that got this affected by music like myself and it's sort of like a hobby now, reading and keeping up with the lives of these women, these groupies. They're inspiring to me just because they're so sure of themselves and got to live out my version of a fairy tale. Yes, my handsome prince would come with a guitar rather than a horse. Maybe it's a not-so-secret wish to be like them, or maybe it's something else. I got to thinking about them again while I was writing the previous post about Eric Clapton and the song "Layla," which is of course about George Harrison and his ex-wife Pattie Boyd. You have access to wikipedia so you can find out her story if you so choose. But every once in a while I want to highlight some of my muses with pretty pictures and in honor of yesterday, here's a little Pattie collection. I've always been a George Harrison fan so I favor the era she was with him over Eric's (plus I read her book and he sounded like an ass) so he's in some of the pictures too. After all, he's sort of an inspiration to me too and not all muses have to be female.

1 comment:

  1. Patty Boyd is on the verge of becoming a style icon for me. Those eyes, her hair, and her amazing attitude. Plus, I too am a huge fan of George (I mean, he's obviously the best Beatle).

    And I want that white dress that she's wearing in the second picture.


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