“I Am A Groupie!”: It’s A Great Scene When Sex Goes Pop!

By on March 13, 2015

Groupies. These girls, who devote their lives to pop music, feel they owe something personal to it. So they make the ultimate gesture of worship, human sacrifice. They offer their bodies to the music or its nearest personal representative, the pop musician. These girls are everywhere. It is one of the most amazingly beautiful products of sexual revolution.” (Frank Zappa, in an article he wrote for LIFE magazine, June 28, 1968)

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“It’s a great scene when sex goes pop!,” according to a tag-line on this sleazorama flick’s original UK poster, but it should also be noted there’s a dark side to sharing your body and bed with rock stars.

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In director Derek Ford’s 1970 British sexploitation-y Groupie Girl — with a screenplay co-written by Ford and Suzanne Mercer, a former groupie who also has writing credits on Bread (1971) and Adventures of a Taxi Driver (1976), as well as credits for contributing to sex-themed documentaries over the years — our groupie girl Sally (Esme Johns) learns a little too late that the scene ain’t that great, after deciding the best way to meet the blokes in the band Opal Butterfly, and head outta town for some adventure-filled fun, is to hide out in their touring van.

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They’re not initially too happy about finding the teenage stowaway, but soon our gal Sal is losing her virginity to the lead singer Steve (Donald Sumpter, lately seen as Maester Luwin on HBO’s Game of Thrones). It’s quite fun, for awhile anyway, as long as you don’t mind all the mistreatment and abuse heaped upon our groupie girl — and there’s a great party scene that might have made Russ Meyer blush — but the sordid misadventures start to pile up around the same time that Sally’s pressured into participating in a foursome with her new boyfriend and the Collinson sisters, from Hammer’s Twins of Evil.

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Sally’s also shared with another band, the excellently-named Sweaty Betty, and, trying to avoid being caught holding by British cops, she gobbles down a chunk of hash and ends up falling down the cellar steps.

Groupie Girl was released in December 1970 in the US by American International and re-titled I Am A Groupie! for the U.S. market, and, just a few years later, lucky film-goers in France saw it re-titled once again, as Les demi-sels de la perversion, which apparently roughly translates into The Pimps of Perversion (it also contained sex scenes that were not in original film, ooh la la!).

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There were three songs written for the movie by Peter Lee Stirling and David Byron, recording under the name of Virgin Stigma; however the writing credits for Byron was omitted on the Polydor Records LP release of the soundtrack, due to contractual issues with another record label that Byron was signed to at the time. Opal Butterfly, incidentally, were a real band, and they had undergone a few changes in lineup over the years — Lemmy (of Hawkwind and Motorhead fame) was even a member at one time, but he had been kicked out of the band before this movie came along — but they didn’t last too much longer after this movie was released.

Bonus:

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.