• True Stories

The Most Famous Groupies in Music History

Infamous rock groupies are almost as big a part of music history as rock stars themselves. While many fans have taken their love of a particular artist to great lengths, these groupies became a part of the musicians' lives. In some instances, these super fans have gone on to have children, travel and even work for the stars to which they are so devoted. Then, you have those groupies who took pictures of celebs after the encounter.

While many were very young, some had long relationships with famous musicians, and would go on to inspire scores of songs. Some groupies struggled with substance abuse later in life, and a few either went to prison or passed young. But most seem fairly well-adjusted, writing memoirs about their time with bands, and parlaying their fame into media appearances. When thinking of the most famous groupies, Jim Morrison acolyte Pamela Des Barres definitely comes to mind, but there are plenty of others.

Here are some of the most famous groupies in the history of rock music.

  • Lori Mattix

    Photo: Hunter Desportes / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Lori Mattix was part of the famed LA "baby groupie" scene of the early '70s. She allegedly was intimate for the first time with David Bowie, and also had a relationship with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Page is said to have kept Lori Mattix locked in a closet as a way of keeping her away from other rock stars, and the two had an on-again, off-again relationship for two years, inspiring the Zeppelin song "Sick Again."

    She later allegedly hooked up with Mick Jagger, and left the groupie scene soon after.

  • Photo: Punkcast / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

    Legendary groupie Pamela Des Barres got her start in the late '60s, and said she has juggled relationships with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, and Jim Morrison. She regularly flew around the world with Led Zeppelin, sewed shirts for musicians she loved, and dated a number of well-known actors.

    She also became a nanny for Frank Zappa, recorded an album with him, painted, acted, and wrote one of the first groupie memoirs, I'm With the Band, in 1987.

  • Bebe Buell

    Photo: David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

    While a member of LA's groupie scene, Buell had a brief relationship with Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler - which led to a daughter, actress Liv Tyler. Buell had also allegedly hooked up with a number of other '70s stars, including Elvis Costello, Mick Jagger, Todd Rundgren (with whom she had a seven-year relationship), Rod Stewart, and Duran Duran bassist John Taylor.

    She later recorded music of her own, and wrote a memoir about her days as a groupie.

  • Chris O'Dell

    Photo: Chris Hakkens / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    O'Dell apparently hooked up with members of both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, as well as Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton. But she first came into the music scene as an assistant at the Beatles' label, Apple Records. She became a close confidant of the group, and inspired George Harrison to write a song called "Miss O'Dell" when he was waiting for her to come to a meeting.

    After leaving Apple, she says she worked for the Stones while juggling affairs with Harrison, Clapton, and Ringo Starr. She then worked for Dylan as a tour manager, and wrote a book about her experiences.