“Dear Ms. Mix and Bitch,
I’m 18-years-old, have just graduated from high school, and want to be part of rock-n-roll for my life. I absolutely love rock stars like Dave Navarro and Anthony Kiedis and would love to be a rocker’s girlfriend. For now, I live with my parents in a small town in central California, but I am hoping to save enough money to move to L.A. soon. My parents want me to go to college, but my grades suck weinis and I don’t want to go to a crappy community college. I think I am very pretty – although nothing like a Carmen Electra or anything. My best friend thinks I’m crazy, but she’s planning on moving with me, because she hates where we live as much as I do.
I don’t admit my internal ambition to most, because I know how bad it sounds. It’s just that I love the rock-n-roll lifestyle and love the guys that make the music that make me feel excited and safe at the same time. My best friend urged me to write to you, to get your take on it. What do you think?
Signed, Almost Famous
Interesting that you signed off your letter with the movie moniker that you did, because one of the first things I’d ask of you is “did ya see the movie? Do you witness what happens to most groupies?” It’s certainly one helluva ride – with very few able to come out the other side (for one that did, read Pamela Des Barres’ “I’m with the Band” Confessions of a Groupie.”) For her, it was worth it – something not most of groupie girls can say.
Listen, I’m not going to tell you that the rock-n-roll lifestyle is a bad idea. There are some that live it without getting lost in random sex, itchy crotches, and wanton drug abuse. Again, not many. What I would urge you to do is to find an avocation in that world in which you can support yourself financially. Don’t just plan on being some band’s mattress. Are you a naturally organized person? Perhaps you can get a job working as a roadie. Are you more artistic? Perhaps you can train to be a kick-ass tattoo artist (a world completely interlaced with rock-n-roll). Standing around and looking pretty may work for a night on the road, but there are a million other pretty girls out there with the same skewed ideas that you have, my dear. Find a way to be part of that world in a way that keeps your dignity and, frankly, makes you a more interesting hang. Nothing’s more boring after a while than a dumb guy or gal just standing around, attempting to be look cool.
My guess is that your dream of landing the coveted roll of rock star muse is an attempt to feel as if you matter. Latching onto to the famous – without having something to contribute – says to me that perhaps you feel that’s the only way you’re going to make something of yourself. When you move to L.A., I urge you to find a therapist (look to places like the Southern California Counseling Center, places geared for people with not a lot of cash, but need some direction). Your therapist can help keep you grounded in the City of Angels.
I don’t know you, Penny Lane, but I’m betting that you’ve got a lot more to offer, and you haven’t been told that enough in your life. Take care of yourself. Always make ’em wear a condom. Stay away from the hard drugs – and keep that best friend around. Sounds like she’s looking after you already.
1. “Woman King,” Iron & Wine. [Iron & Wine – EP]
2. “Whisper,” Morphine. [Yes]
3. “Unemployable,” Pearl Jam. [Pearl Jam]
4. “To Live and Die in L.A.,” 2Pac Featuring Val Young. [Greatest Hits]
5. “Trophy Wife,” The National. [Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers]
6. “Tiny Dancer,” Elton John. [Elton John’s Greatest Hits]
7. “Dani California,” Red Hot Chili Peppers. [Stadium Arcadium]
8. “Can’t You See..” The Marshall Tucker Band. [Searchin’ for a Rainbow]
9. “LA Woman,” The Doors. [Riders of the Storm]
10. “Classic Girl,” Jane’s Addiction. [Ritual De Lo Habitual]