I Deserve My Own Groupie (So Do You)

My decision to rewatch Almost Famous three nights ago after several years of living without remembering it was ever made, was a flawed one, a lame one even. A Wednesday at 6pm? Can we not?

But, I simply LOOOOOVE peasant blouses, lace crop tops, SHEARLING, tiny silk skirts, et. al. and I needed to see them right away, in all their glory (on Kate Hudson), in order to inform my June Fashion Regimen, like a true 21st century woman. I watched in awe for two hours as Penny Lane, entertains, surprises, seduces, and humors the boys around her in teeny tiny clothes. So free, independent and evolved! She’s never at a loss for words, she’s game for a laugh and a drink like an Irish teenager, she also looks ravishing whilst vomiting, all truly admirable traits for the 21st century non-blonde, non-button nosed woman like myself.

How is it possible that for someone such as Penny Lane, a guy in flared jeans with dirty fingernails, and questionable guitar skills leads to her demise? Her only option is to move to Morocco and repeat this process with a guy who will no doubt design a line of sustainably sourced tagine inspired cookware and “like really connect with Berber culture”?! Just one humble, totally objective prediction...

How is the movie not actually about Penny Lane but about a group of marginally attractive/talented man-boys attempting to be successful? How is the subplot of the movie not even about her, but about an ambitious 15 year old so passionate about his craft that he abandons Frances McDormand? June Fashion Regimen be damned, my summer goal is to become a groupie. My own groupie. A groupie for myself. A Chelsea groupie. I am Penny Lane, Billy Crudup in terrifyingly tight bell bottoms, and a clueless teenage boy with an over indulgent mother, all rolled into one.

This career move was a long time coming for me… For as long as I can remember, I’ve been romantically drawn to men who are committed to doing what I felt I couldn’t do, that is: whatever the fuck they want. They’re usually musicians from bourgeois families, architecture students who are going to take over Berlin, graphic designers producing films for Vice, skaters who make zines by candlelight, studio assistants who are inexplicably receiving food stamps. Sometimes I worry my 20’s have been completely overshadowed with jealousy. Not jealousy of my own friends (like a normal human), but jealously of our cumulative lovers and non-boyfriend boyfriends. Jealous of their world tours, trips to Tokyo sponsored by Skateboarding magazines, their one off blurbs on i-D online, their zest to start their own companies and pay off student loans at the same time, to collaborate and build friendships with their bosses and mentors. Have I been on the sidelines this whole time, desperately searching for the perfect smocked peasant top, worrying about my mom, buying their records on vinyl and heroically not promoting my own work? How embarrassing.

How to resist this tendency? The tendency to swoon because I value self expression and ambition? Does it help to poke holes and critique the lives of men whose careers were bolstered and fruitful because of groupies (looking at you Picasso, David Bowie, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix,)? Not really, no, but It sure is fun. I think the solution is to groupie myself, to listen as hard and as kindly to myself as I have to cute aspiring photographers. Create my own art with the same openness and enthusiasm I once reserved only for the consumption of my crushes latest installation.

But, wait! Something’s missing in this plan… My fellow groupies! My sisters, I am your groupie too! I promise, I promise, I will buy your record, your magazine, your book! Let this be the summer of the groupie! Go on and love yourself, you might just get a free trip to Tokyo for it!

Chelsea Romeo Allen