Have I mentioned that I love heavy metal music? More specifically, have I mentioned that the hair-metal bands of the 1980s hold a special place in my heart? They do. Guns n Roses, Skid Row, Poison, Motley Crue, etc. etc. etc. I thought they were the BEES KNEES, and okay, I still do, and I'll thank you not to judge me. So when I saw that there was a VH1 "rockumentary" last night about the groupies that followed, loved, and lost the members of said bands, I was IN. I was so in, dudes. HORNS!!!!
The doc (rock?) was awesome. It was really a touching reminder of past times, back when boys wore more makeup than girls, and girls back-combed their hair so high it was judged by a ruler, and everyone had sex with each other and did a ton of drugs, and those that survived told the tale. And it showed me one very important thing.
It's damn lucky I was only 10 years old in 1987.
The tales these women told of the dream of these rapscallion (okay, these asshole) guys loving them, that they would be "real" members of the band, etc. broke my heart. I remember how much being PART of something meant to me when I was 20, and how the idea of being part of the BAND, man, was so important to lost young women. But it wasn't the actual sex, drugs, and rock and roll that made me wonder what exactly I would have done back in the day, had I been 10 years older. It was the everyday stuff that these women would do for these guys. They cooked for them. They cleaned up after them. They gave them somewhere to stay. They mothered these crazed, strung out boys with guitars, and THAT, friends, is where I would have fallen into the fray.
It's no secret that I love taking care of people, and had I been a young, dumb 20 year old? I would have been in that kitchen making a vat of spaghetti for a metal band while they tore apart my apartment, you bet your ass I would have. Sigh. Thank every deity out there I am not in my 20s anymore. The bands can cook their own damn spaghetti.
These were tough broads, man. And despite being groupies, or perhaps in small part because of it, I respect them. I respect them for their toughness, their drive, their dedication and love for the music. I respect and hold aloft a lighter for you, groupies of the 1980s metal years! And I'm glad you survived.
As one of the women said, "Do it for the band." And even if that is the dumbest damn thing you've ever heard, think back to when you were young and full of dreams of making it big. I get it. I understand it.
I'm SO GLAD I didn't live it. But I would have. And so thank you, being 10 in 1987. You may have saved my life. You at least saved my hair.