15 February

Pick a Day

15 FEBRUARY

In Music History

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2019 The superhero series The Umbrella Academy, based on a comic by former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, premieres to positive reviews on Netflix. The show, starring Ellen Page, also features Mary J. Blige as an assassin.

2011 A stunned Laura Marling accepts the Brit Award for Best British Female at the O2 Arena in London. In an interview later that year Marling says she was "terrified" at the awards ceremony, clarifying that she's "been around people for whom [winning a Brit] has changed things and it is uncomfortable to watch. I'm not built for that."

2006 Anna Marly, composer of "Chant des Partisans," dies at age 88.

2006 Kaiser Chiefs take home three trophies to dominate the BRIT Awards, held at London's Earls Court.

2006 The gravesite of AC/DC singer Bon Scott in Fremantle Cemetery in Western Australia is classified with a heritage listing.

2005 French singer Pierre Bachelet dies of lung cancer at age 60.

2005 The Norah Jones album Come Away With Me is certified Diamond for sales of over 10 million in America. A mellow, jazzy set, it's an outlier on the list of Diamond-certified albums, which are dominated by pop, rock and country.

2003 Good Charlotte's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" peaks at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100, the highest they would get on the chart.

2001 George Harrison enters the cyber age with an online chat on MSN Live.

1998 Backstreet Boys appear on the TV show Sabrina the Teenage Witch in "The Band Episode."

1998 Fans of Japanese rock act Glay cause the Tokyo area phone system to break down as they try to reserve tickets for an upcoming concert by the band. Chaos ensues at the Nagano Winter Olympics main pressroom as long distance lines go down during the ski-jumping event.

1995 ASCAP honors songwriter Diane Warren with the Voice of Music Award.

1995 The Los Angeles, California, heavy metal radio station KNAC goes off the air and is replaced by the Spanish radio station KBUE on the same channel - 105.5FM. The station signs off at approximately 1:59PM after playing Metallica's "Fade to Black." Three years, later KNAC goes back on the air, this time on the internet at KNAC.com.

1991 Rod Stewart's ex-girlfriend, supermodel Kelly Emberg, files a $25 million palimony suit against the singer in Los Angeles Superior Court.

1984 Ethel Merman, one of the top singers in Broadway musicals, dies of brain cancer at age 76.

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Rolling Stone Explains Groupie Culture

1969

Rolling Stone's front cover features an article on "groupies" - introducing a new term to the popular lexicon.


As rock and roll matures, fan culture also becomes more refined, and a name is needed for the ladies who hang out at the stage door hoping for some intimate interaction with the band. These girls add color to and intrigue to the rock stars' stories, but they are typically minor characters in music journalism, often sneered upon in print. Rolling Stone, in just their 27th issue, makes them the cover story and defines their moniker: Groupie. Groupie culture shows up in dozens of songs: One of the most infamous of all groupies, Cynthia "Plaster Caster" Albritton (who gets her name from her penchant for taking casts of band members' members) is immortalized in Kiss's "Plaster Caster" and The Eagles document a particularly debauched event in "Pretty Maids All In A Row." Frank Zappa goes one further than writing songs, and forms a group made up entirely of groupies: The GTO's. They release a single album: "Permanent Damage (1969). Some groupies become well-known in their own right, preempting the post-millennial culture of becoming "famous for being famous." Among them are Bebe Buell (the mother of Liv Tyler) and Pamela Des Barres, who writes two books on the subculture: I'm With The Band (1977) and Take Another Little Piece of My Heart: A Groupie Grows Up (1993). By the late 1980s there is even a male groupie known as Pleather who follows all-female bands such as the Bangles and L7. Not all of the liaisons between rocks stars and groupies are one-night stands: Several performers marry their fans, although these are rarely lifelong unions. Todd Rundgren married Bebe Buell, The The Velvet Underground's John Cale married Cynthia Wells of the GTO's, and Whitesnake's David Coverdale wed Tawny Kitaen, who became a video vixen when she appeared in "Here I Go Again." As for how the word "groupie" developed a negative connotation, Pamela Des Barres says, "People just got jealous because we were getting backstage and they weren't." Cynthia Albritton, the "Plaster Caster," adds, "Some band members didn't like the fact that girls were willing to have sex with other band members besides themselves. They were insecure about their pecking order."

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