TO CELEBRATE THIS WEEK’S RELEASE (TOMORROW, FEBRUARY 9TH!) OF OUR 33 1/3 ON THE MODERN LOVERS’ THE MODERN LOVERS, WE’RE PLEASED TO BRING YOU THE THIRD INSTALLMENT OF MODERN LOVERS WEEK BY AUTHOR SEAN L. MALONEY!
Twenty odd years ago my first college girlfriend—my first cigarette smoking, beret wearing, Czech-lit reading college girlfriend—let me go through the last of the record collection in her grandparents’ attic. I found an Albert Ayler record that introduced me to free jazz and a Sir Douglas Quintet 45 that would eventually convince me to Tennessee. There was a copy of “Do Your Thing” by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street that I would play at every DJ gig for the next fifteen years.
There was a copy of The Groupies & Other Girls that somehow followed me through half a dozen moves and who knows how many fits of konmari. And in the midst of writing 33 ⅓: The Modern Lovers, at point where I needed know more about Miss Christine, of avant-girl-group The GTOs. I knew they talked about her in that musty old broadside that had been following me around since before I had a cell phone.
The writing has a lusty awe of journo-dudes clearly out of their league that feels a little creepy as 37 year old dude. But in the interviews I recognized a lot of women I knew from my wayward youth in the rock n roll scene, people I love and respect and have. Women I shouted along with to The Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner,” drinking, working and creating great art with the ladies. My friends weren’t considered groupies though and it made me recontextualize these women that spoke to Rolling Stone a generation prior.
Rock star mythology can’t exist without these women. There were a lot of creeps willing to exploit these women. Bosstown Sound architect Alan Lorber among them, his Groupies LP getting a real groddy review from Fusion, the contents too slimey for even 1969s low moral ebb. And this archetype that would haunt female rockers to this day. Miss Christine is on the cover of Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats. Miss Christine also came up with Alice Cooper’s look—you know that look—so she contributed more to human culture than most us could ever hope. It’s weird to think that she’s only remembered as this hollow stereotype and hopefully this book will help rectify that.