On tour! Feel like a groupie

By Sergio González | 11:04
Band tour bus

Can you imagine how many interesting groupie stories happen while on tour…if walls could talk

Who hasn’t ever dreamt about following their favorite bands on tour, being with them at all times and seeing them everyday? Well, actually, there are people who do that and we call them groupies.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, groupie was first used as a word in 1966 and most probably because of Miss Pamela (Pamela Des Barres) and her GTOs, considered the first groupie band in history. They were a group of California girls following the mythic Frank Zappa on his tours across America.

Groupies live on the road and that’s a sole adventure in itself.  They have the chance to see many parts of our world and, for God’s sake, they live in hotels. How cool is that? That’s another dream by itself, isn’t it? Waking up in a king size bed just to stretch out your hand and pick up the phone to order an AntiOx breakfast, as the ones NH Hoteles offers, getting ready for a perfect groupie day, following your idol.

The groupie movement is often associated with women reather than with men, as damsels who fall for the handsome troubadour that has just arrived in town, and University of Pennsilvania takes it one step further claiming that groupies are more interested in the rock stars’ personal life (and becoming part of it) than in their music, but how can both things be separated?

Led Zeppelin’s singer is supposed to have been the one putting things in place and marking the difference between two kinds of groupies. He acknowledges that some are just willing to have brief encounters with rock stars but others act as real girlfriends or mothers, taking care of the artists during the always exhausting tours.

If you want to find out about groupies’ encounters with music stars, just Google it because there are tons of stories as told by the fans themselves. Give it the credit you consider but remember that as in Vegas, what happens on the road, stays on the road.

Frank Zappa's Hot Rats album cover

The girl in this album cover is Miss Christine, Frank Zappa’s groupie. A dream come true

Artists are often highlighted by their eccentricities, not all of them met by their managers. It is said that Michael Jackson wanted every hotel room he was in while on tour decorated to his refined liking and the Rolling Stones would order some arrows painted on the floor pointing the way to their room, which must always be the same number. A manager may get those but groupies give artists the feeling of belonging, the feeling of home.

JLo is also famous for her demands while on tour. Though she doesn’t bathe in milk as Cleopatra did, she wants her dressing room to be white, completely white; including candles and flowers. But above them all, the everlasting Cher is the queen of music star demands; a whole legion of groupies, this time mostly men, find it hard to meet her requirements. But she is also known for taking good care of the people who are travelling with her.

Truth be told, Hip-Hop artists’ demands may be even stranger. From Jay-Z’s ride, exclusively a Maybach 57 or 62 with tinted windows, to 50 Cent’s demand of Cuban cigars (illegal in the USA) everything fits in between such as Snoop Dogg’s demand for a Sony Playstation with 1,999 video games or Ja Rule’s odd rule: the bus driver must sleep on a different floor. Bad experiences with the school bus? Who knows but truth is, no matter how unique or eccentric they may be, we love them and they generally get what they want.

Always remember that for us, everyone’s a rock star! Have you ever had a groupie experience? 

Photo credit: Banda Punkake

Photo credit: oddsock


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