The Groupies and Other Girls

By John Burks, Jerry Hopkins, Paul Nelson

Rolling Stone, February 15, 1969


The fact is that there are differences between groupies according to what part of the country you're in. When you talk about weird scenes, you are talking about Los Angeles and the Mothers and Frank Zappa. The Mothers are the first name that comes to mind when you ask an LA. groupie which band is the most sexually oriented or bizarre. Indeed, Zappa`s reputation, as one musician puts it, is that he supports "all the freaks of Los Angeles."

"Our band is not exactly the kind of band where chicks jump up onstage during a performance." says Zappa. "And the kind of chicks we pull are kinda weird – by weird I mean the 12 and 13 year olds that Don Preston was dragging across international boundaries in Europe. I personally am not troubled with groupies but the other guys in the band seem to get a little action after the hop."

There are various kinds of groupies and Zappa, an ever-astute observer of the scene sees them in terms of cities. "New York groupies," says Zappa "are basically New York chicks. They're snobbish and uptight – they think they're big. San Francisco groupies are okay, but they think there's nothing happening outside San Francisco. L.A. groupies are without doubt the best – the most aggressive and the best fucks, and the only drawback is the incredibly high rate of venereal disease."

Every band that travels carries either Cuprex or A-200 to kill the crabs groupies lay on them. "It's sort of take your choice," Zappa says. "Cuprex burns something awful; it'll take the skin right off. But A-200 smells something fierce."

Sunshine: It's insane. L.A. Chicks will tell you, like, all I care about is fucking and money. All those Hollywood freaks. They have more money than other groupies. Their parents have more money. They get all the material comforts.

Judy: Down in Los Angeles, I've actually seen it happen where a chick will go up to a guy and say, "I'm over 18, I'm clean, let's fuck." Imagine that! It's got nothing to do with a personal relationship. "Let's fuck." Imagine!

The Mothers got love that'll
Drive you mad
They're ravin' 'bout the
Way we do
No need to feel lonely
No need to feel sad
If we ever got a hold on you

Nature's been good to
This here band
Don't think we're shy
Send us up some little groupies
And we'll tape their hands
And rock 'em till they swill and cry

We can love ya till you
Have a heart attack
You best believe that's true
We'll bite your neck
Till you don't know what to do

You know I got a little
Motherly love for you honey –
You know it doesn't
Bother me at all
That you're only eighteen years old
Cause I got a little
Motherly love for you babe –
                     –– Zappa, "Motherly Love"

"Very rare that chicks hit on me," says Zappa. "I think they're afraid of me." At this thought, Zappa flashes the merest – only the merest – small smile. "I would just like to take this opportunity to announce to the groupies of this country that I am a very pleasant fellow, so don't be afraid." As the sat on a flight of stairs backstage at Winterland in San Francisco, fifteen or twenty young girls approached Zappa, not to hit on him, but to tell him they dug the Mothers, him, and the set the band has just completed. Zappa signed autographs, conversed real friendly-like, and was in his every manner the soul of propriety and courtliness. Nevertheless, each of the chicks approached warily, as if ready to make a break for the door, should the goateed lion spring at them.

Zappa used to live in a Topanga Canyon commune with six chicks. "What it was is that I moved in with them instead of paying rent someplace else. It was a happy situation for everybody." But now he's a married man and lives alone with his wife and baby daughter, Moon Unit. (There is a guest house out back, however, where Pamela Zarubica, alias Suzy Creamcheese resides.)

During their five-month stay in New York, the Mothers were dogged day and night by groupies. They would follow exactly 15 paces behind the band. Really young chicks – Cindy, Annie, Janell and Rozzy – aged 13 to 15. Zappa thought it was far-out. "They really surprised us. They had really groovy minds. More imagination than I've ever seen in girls so young." But sometimes a mite vicious. "I have a tape of a 14-year-old going through a fantasy where she was going to kill my pregnant wife so she could get me. It's a little scary, but it's actually very flattering too."

Zappa may wind up the ultimate historian of the groupies (whom he sees as freedom fighters at the avant garde of the Sexual Revolution that is sweeping Western Civilization). He's got hours of interview and conversation with groupies on tape, plus all the diaries of the GTOs, plus all the diaries of the Plaster Casters, plus several other diaries and hundreds of letters and photos; and he's already gotten the whole thing together into a book to be called The Groupie Papers. The manuscript is already in the hands of the publishing company Stein & Day, although Zappa still has heard no reaction from them. "They asked me to write a political book" he says. "I couldn't get into that, and I had a January 1st deadline. So I did the groupie book. I wonder what their first impression was." Stein & Day is a high quality and pretty straight house.

Some of the tape may appear on the Mothers' next LP, or maybe the one after that. "I'm not sure the public is ready for that yet, and some of the girls are under-age," says Zappa, "so there's the ethical problem" His tapes contain the whole groupie rap: comments on various rockstars' ("cockstars," Zappa calls 'em) penis length and diameter, hairiness, body smell, duration of intercourse, number of orgasms by him, number of orgasms by her, type of drug preferred, etc., etc.

It pays to make a favorable impression. "Groupies are very influential on the record market because they know so many people," Zappa notes. "If you're a hit with the groupies, you'll sell 15,000 records in L.A. alone."

Zappa himself couldn't believe it when he first heard about the Plaster Casters. "It was the most fantastic thing I ever heard," he recalls. He is now their sponsor, as the girls put it – or advisor, as he puts it. "I appreciate what they're doing, both artistically and sociologically. Sociologically it's really heavy. I'm their advisor to see that they're not mistreated." Artistically, Zappa thinks the Plaster Casters' works compare favorably with, say, neon sculpture.

"Pop stars are idolized the same way General Grant was. People put up statues to honor war heroes. The Plaster Casters do the same thing for pop stars. What they're doing is making statues of the essential part of the stars. It's the same motivation as making statues of Grant."

Zappa grants that the Plaster Casters are not without their own element of comedy. "I find a sense of humor lacking in pop music generally," he says. "All these people take themselves so seriously. They should be able to laugh at themselves. The Plaster Casters help you do that." Considering all his admiration for the girls it is perhaps odd that Zappa has not been cast himself. "They asked me, of cause," he says, "but it just wasn't for me."

The incidence of lesbianism between groupies is high, Zappa finds. "Very high," he says, "and they think nothing of it. They prefer homosexual or bi-sexual boys. Soft, effeminate boys. It‘s good that they can be bi-sexual. It shows they're adapting to their needs. If it feels good, do it! With a dog, with a ketchup bottle, anyway at all it's groovy."

"It's amazing what you run into on the road," Zappa says. "These chicks are ready for anything. They'll give head" – oral intercourse – "without thinking about it, anyplace: backstage in the dressing room, out in the street, anyplace, any time. And they're ready for anything.

"I think pop music has done more for oral intercourse than anything else that ever happened, and vice versa.

"And it's good for the girls. Eventually most of them are going to be married to regular workers – office workers, factory workers, just regular guys. These guys are lucky to be getting girls like these, girls who have attained some level of sexual adventurousness. It's good for the whole country. These guys will be happier, they'll do their jobs better, and the economy will reflect it. Everybody will be happier."

In short: A happy nation sucks.

The absolute antithesis in group image to the Mothers is another LA. band: those "loveable synthetic TV mop-tops" (as Mike Nesmith himself describes them), the Monkees. And yet . . . and yes, it's hard to believe . . . the Monkees figure fairly prominently in the tales of L.A. groupies. There are stories of orgies, of fantastic week-ends, the same kind of stories that are told about most bands.


This is only a Zappa-related part of a longer 15-page special called "The Groupies and Other Girls".
Other part of this special is The GTO's.

Read by OCR software. If you spot errors, let me know afka (at)