The Queen of the Groupie Scene: Candid Vintage Photographs of Sable Starr Hanging Out With Rock Stars in the 1970s

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She was the queen of L.A. baby groupies and she did everything to caught the rock gods eye. She had a small thin frame but she wore outrageously sexual clothes. Baby groupies were small girls wearing grown up sexy clothes. She wore all the smallest spandex pieces, all the sexiest corset tops and nothing else and all the shortest jean shorts. Her trade mark was platinum blond curly hair with bangs which also Nancy Spungen copied.

Lori Maddox, Dave Hill from Slade and Sable Starr in 1973.

Sable Starr (1957-2009) was a noted American groupie, often described as the “queen of the groupie scene” in Los Angeles during the early 1970s. She first attended concerts around Los Angeles with older friends who had dropped out of school in late 1968. She lost her virginity at age 12 with Spirit guitarist Randy California after a gig at Topanga, California. She had a younger sister, Corel Shields (born 1959), who was involved with Iggy Pop at age 11. Pop later immortalized his involvement with Starr herself in the 1996 song “Look Away.”

I slept with Sable when she was 13,
Her parents were too rich to do anything,
She rocked her way around L.A.,
‘Til a New York Doll carried her away…

Starr became one of the first “baby groupies” who in the early 1970s frequented the Rainbow Bar and Grill, the Whiskey A Go Go, and Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco; these were trendy nightclubs on West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. The girls were named as such because of their young age. She got started after a friend invited her to the Whiskey A Go Go at the age of 14. Starr later described herself at that period as having been “nuts to begin with. I always liked getting into trouble”. She had considered herself unattractive, so she had a nose job when she was 15. During the time Starr was a groupie, she continued to live at home with her family and attended Palos Verdes High School to placate her parents.

Sable Starr and Lori Maddox celebrating John Bonham’s 24th birthday, May 1972.

Sable Starr, Queenie, Lori Maddox with Led Zeppelin

Sabel Starr and Legs McNeil, ca. late 1970s.

Sable Starr and Iggy Pop in 1973.

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