Tuesday, September 16, 2008

what's the hangup? what's the scam? i guess you think i'm just another one, one of your fans

Some groupies insist on being called "muses", as if "groupie" was a bad word. While I think that's stretching it a bit far, groupies have inspired some great songs (however bitter or mocking some may be). Here's three great funk songs that aim some love (and sarcasm) at the backstage ladies.

Sly & the Family Stone - "Jane is a Groupee"
Say, Larry what's-his-face,
Said you'd teach me how to play the bass
And since we've got a little time to waste

Might as well get it on
This song portrays groupies as manipulative wenches who aren't true fans, and I'm sure many were. I like this song for the straight-up awesomeness of the music. The cold bassline and pass-the-baton style vocals are classic Sly, but this cut is more guitar-driven, which drives the own "groupee" in me wild.

Rick James - "Superfreak"
She'll wait for me at backstage with her girlfriends
In a limousine
Three's not a crowd to her, she says
"Room 714, I'll be waiting"
When I get there she's got incense, wine and candles

It's such a freaky scene
This doesn't depict groupies in a bad light, per se, but it definitely portrays them as sexual objects. However, I don't feel this is unfair, as it's safe to assume the girl in question portrayed herself as a sexual object to earn this funky tribute.

Funkadelic - "No Head, No Backstage Pass"
She said I know the drummer, can you let me in?
Tell the guitar player I brought a friend
Ask the roadies do they need a hand
Tell the manager there's a girl named Jan
The doorman said: "No head no backstage pass"

Easily my favourite groupie tune, especially the "Not by the hair on my chinny-chinny-chin, if you ain't givin' head, you ain't gettin' in". By the time the "a-woop, a-woop, a-yappa, yappa, yappa, yappa"'s kick in, you're feeling the groove and thinking that maybe it's a fair deal after all.

Of course, there are countless other songs (most of them more romantic, but some a little less) inspired by women who happened to be groupies, these are just a few of my favourites that directly reference groupie-ism.


Carolina Lange said...

Amazing post!

Alix d'Laire said...

It's funny, because alhtough I guess I'm somewhat a feminist (or rather post-feminist, as in I can really do whatever the hell I want) and don't really like the whole sex-object thing, I love groupies. They inspire the best songs. They have a sort of je ne sais quoi and they represent intensity and grace and general amazingness. Great post!

Cate said...

I agree! Love the pictures you posted, and I like the "Larry What's-his-face" Line in the "Jane is a Groupee" song.

Sister Libby said...

You have the greatest brain. I really would like to be in your head for a day.

Sunniva said...

I love love love Superfreak and No head, no backstage pass! Just the names alone are amazing. Groupies are so fascinating, and it would be so fun to be one. Ahh Arctic Monkeys here I come haha! You'd definitely make the most perfect groupie, Molly!

The Clothes Horse said...

Poor groupies...er, "muses." All the inspiration they give and all the derison they get...

Diana Coronado said...

Great entry.

scott said...

Hello. I think your blog is wonderful. Thanks for the inspiration..-s

this wheel's on fire said...

i'm pretty sure you are my blog soul mate...in a non-stalker-ish way!! i LOVE LOVE your blog <3