Groupies (1970)

“Led Zeppelin or some of them, nobody can fuck them — they’re hard to get. They’re the good ones — they’re the true pop stars!”

Groupies Poster

Synopsis:
Rock star groupies screw musicians and tell-all.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
Unlike Peary, I don’t believe this “terrific documentary subject” is made “surprisingly dull” by directors Ron Dorfman and Peter Nevard. While Peary argues that “half the time you don’t know what people on-screen are talking about, [and] at other times you don’t care”, I think the film’s cinema verite approach accurately captures how these groupies (not always the best and brightest) really live and talk. Despite their limited career aspirations, it’s revealing that these women (plus a few gay men) know exactly what they’re doing and why; in fact, they’re downright calculating about it, and it’s (usually) a “win-win” situation for the musicians (who enjoy screwing) and the women (who enjoy carving notches into their belts). These groupies consider it a competitive game to “ball” as many rock stars as they can, and are brutally honest (and open) in their estimation of the men’s charms and sexual abilities. It makes for a fascinating glimpse at an enduring subculture.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Learning about a “plaster caster” groupie
    Plaster Casts of Members
  • Terry Reid singing “Bang, Bang”
    Terry Reid
  • Hyper groupies dishing the dirt on all the rock stars they’ve slept with
    Dishing the Dirt

Must See?
No, but it’s recommended as a revealing look at an interesting subculture.

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One Response to “Groupies (1970)”

  1. First viewing. Though I don’t think this one is, a film can, of course, be a “must’ if I (or anyone) didn’t personally like it (in this case, I didn’t). If subject matter is distasteful, it’s a “must’ if the film is well done and/or if the layers of the subject are illuminated. That’s my problem with “Groupies’: I’m certainly not a prude; I just don’t think there’s real value here. The haphazard film seems a result of the Mount Everest theory of documentaries: you capture it because “it is there’. Someone was bound to make a movie of this subject. Could it have been better — sufficiently insightful, esp. about the thought processes of the girls/guys? Are there, in fact, thought processes here to be insightful about? Doubtful.

    One of the first girls interviewed says: “I didn’t realize that the whole scene was all you had to do was have a body. …[One day,] I looked in the mirror and I just said, “Wow, you fucking whore, what are you into?” The result of “Groupies’ is such that the viewer could almost stop there, in the first few minutes, and get what the doc is saying. These aren’t even groupies for particularly top bands (would the “agents’ for those not allow their presence here?). As shown, there’s not much going on “upstairs’ (one girl asks another how to spell “crate’); two male groupies also appear to have certain “toys in the attic’.

    Bottom line is the viewer comes away with no enlightenment; “Groupies’ is the equivalent of an amateur peep-show. One also must endure negligible music (and this is even my era!): Joe Cocker does a pathetic, i-n-t-e-r-m-i-n-a-b-l-e version of rock great Leon Russell’s “Delta Lady’; Terry Reid’s version of “Bang Bang’ has vague camp value but proves that the Cher hit did not cry out for re-interpretation.

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