Ladies in bands don't get ANY action
February 22, 2011 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Over the weekend, critically-acclaimed musician Neko Case started a discussion with her twitter followers: "To answer your question, no, ladies in bands don't get ANY action... Back me up ladies. no one believes this." The resulting conversation lasted the rest of the night and had women musicians like Amy Millan, Miranda Brown and Michelle Branch agreeing and chiming in. So, why don't female rock stars have groupies? posted by naju (131 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
I would like to discuss this in more detail with these lovely and talented ladies over drinks.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:51 PM on February 22, 2011 [13 favorites]


Women rockers don't get groupies because they have a harder time getting the mud shark to cooperate.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:51 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I recall Neko Case discussing this issue on NPR. She said she met an attractive admirier backstage once, only to find out he was her cousin.
posted by Bummus at 12:54 PM on February 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


I was led to believe there were furries?
posted by boo_radley at 12:54 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Male groupies are called "stalkers":

I'd do ANYTHING to see you backstage, Ms. Case. ANYTHING. *shows man cleavage*
posted by benzenedream at 12:55 PM on February 22, 2011 [36 favorites]


Because male groupies just come across as skeezy dudes, and lady rockers are more discerning than rocker dudes?
posted by filthy light thief at 12:55 PM on February 22, 2011 [27 favorites]


Are female musicians any different than female athletes, politicians, artists, or any sort of famous female occupation not (overtly) dependent on physical attractiveness?

Sheryl Swoopes vs. Michael Jordan
Lisa Murkowski vs. Bill Clinton
Georgia O'Keefe vs. Jackson Pollock...

etc

Because male groupies just come across as skeezy dudes, and lady rockers are more discerning than rocker dudes?

I don't think it's that simple. Society accepts that women will trade their sex appeal to curry advantage from power. It's much less acceptable for men to do so (imo), particularly for heterosexual men.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:57 PM on February 22, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm trying to imagine the groupie recruitment drive that this discussion is obviously a prelude to

"To bang the drummer, line up on the left"

Oh, that's actually pretty much the same as regular speed dating. Huh.
posted by LogicalDash at 12:58 PM on February 22, 2011


I'm just glad that this topic is giving guys on the Internet a venue to express whether or not they would bang hot female celebrities. It's really an important topic that is not discussed nearly enough.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:58 PM on February 22, 2011 [138 favorites]


> Male fans, he says, are less likely to get past security, for very compelling reasons of safety.

This, pretty much. I have a hard time envisioning a scenario where some random dude tries to get backstage to meet [female rock star] by making it clear he'd like to have sex with her that doesn't end with him picking himself out of a dumpster behind the club.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:58 PM on February 22, 2011 [23 favorites]


I'd hazard a guess that it's because successful, attractive men are assumed to be seeking an ideal of promiscuity, whereas people have the stereotype is that successful, attractive women are seeking stability or what we'll call "less promiscuity" so people self-eliminate themselves from the running without giving it a go.

Ms. Case, I will gladly hang out next time you're in town.
posted by mikeh at 12:58 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well this is an awfully heterocentrist take. Andecdata: I was at a Joan Jett concert where she got flashed by multiple ladies who had shoved their way all the way to the front. I have no idea whether this translated into the same backstage opportunities of male artists, but it would have been interesting to hear from artists who attract more girl-on-girl sexual attention.
posted by availablelight at 12:58 PM on February 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


Janis Joplin screwed 1000s of men and women in her short career usually different every night including orgies. She had no problem.
posted by stbalbach at 1:00 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, sounds like dude music fans are just no rock and roll fun.
posted by The Whelk at 1:00 PM on February 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Huh. As a veteran of many New Pornographers concerts, I can attest that there is never any shortage of male shrieks of "I love you, Neko!" from the crowd.

Maybe the lesson is that guys are too chickenshit to do more than worship from afar.
posted by eugenen at 1:01 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a memory of an interview with Kim Deal where she describes picking dudes out of a lineup after each show, but my google-fu is failing me.

Maybe it was a hopeful dream?
posted by lumpenprole at 1:03 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


What, honestly, should one of those guys at the New Pornographers concert do? I can't think of any approach that wouldn't immediately be shot down as creepy and/or a security risk.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:03 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Um, I know metafilter doesn't do evolutionary psychology well, but clearly it could be part of the explanation.
In summary, the evidence is strong that men have
evolved psychological mechanisms dedicated to
solving the complex problems posed by success at
short-term mating. These include a desire for sexual
variety, the tendency to let little time elapse before
seeking sexual intercourse, and the behavioral
willingness to consent to sex with strangers. In
addition, men, but not women, appear to lower their
standards dramatically in the context of short-term
mating (Buss & Schmitt, 1993); show a marked
decrease in attraction to a sex partner immediately
following sexual intercourse with a short-term sex
partner, a psychological phenomenon hypothesized to
facilitate a hasty post-copulation departure (Haselton
& Buss, 2001); report exaggerating the depth of their
feelings to gain sexual access (Haselton, Buss, Oubaid,
& Angleitner, 2005); and report that they would have
an extramarital affair if they knew that no one would
find out (for reviews of this evidence, see Buss,
1994/2003). In sum, the evidence for evolved
psychological adaptations in men for short-term
mating is substantial.
posted by AceRock at 1:06 PM on February 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm just glad that this topic is giving guys on the Internet a venue to express whether or not they would bang hot female celebrities.

The answer you're looking for, as in virtually all questions of a sexual nature: Some do, some don't.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:07 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I saw Neko play in front of about ten people in 1999. I tried to flirt, but figured she had her pick of guys much less boring than I. (I'm also the world's worst flirt.) (and what eugenen said.)
posted by notsnot at 1:07 PM on February 22, 2011


Janis Joplin screwed 1000s of men and women in her short career usually different every night including orgies.

I heard she also speedwalked everywhere and was afraid of toilets.
posted by Zozo at 1:08 PM on February 22, 2011 [25 favorites]


I don't know about any other female musicians but in Neko's case, maybe it's because they're afraid she will fucking fight them.
posted by juv3nal at 1:08 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Neko doesn't want casual groupies to hit on her:
"Was not COMPLAINING about not getting hit on, not ASKING to be hit on,"
posted by stbalbach at 1:09 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's a matter of what motivates groupies, acceptance by people they admire.

Men probably assume they wouldn't be accepted if they propositioned women they admire.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:09 PM on February 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


My friend and I chatted to the woman who's the lead singer of the New Pornographers when Neko is busy. Hug out with her after the show. I think we were too shy to make a movie.
Hung out with These Darlins and heaps of attractive local bands and it's the same deal - of course guys crush on bands! Especially Neko! But I don't want to be (more of) a creep
Though this does put the Neko Case show where she pretended she was on a date with the audience in a whole new light...
I was once chastised in a journalism class for writing a Joanna Newsom review where 'it was clear you rather fancy her'. That stung
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:09 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I heard she also speedwalked everywhere

Apparently she was in a constant rush to the next orgy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:10 PM on February 22, 2011 [19 favorites]


They need to get pickers - the women who would go up to attractive girls in the audience and give backstage passes.

Just don't make a habit of fighting with your picker just before the show like a certain aging rock star was wont to do or she'll decide to pick only the less pulchritudinous standard women who brought their husbands along.
posted by The Whelk at 1:11 PM on February 22, 2011


Oh man, I totally should have hung around the stage door when I saw Liz Phair back in '94.

Of course, the rock star that I totally had major lust for back in the day was Joan Jett, but I have it on good authority that she plays for the home team.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:11 PM on February 22, 2011


Janis Joplin screwed 1000s of men and women

Oh Lord, won't you give me a good looking male,
My boyfriend is lazy, and big as a whale
He spends all of my money when he's not in jail
Oh Lord, won't you give me a good looking male.

Apologies to Bob Rivers
posted by maxwelton at 1:12 PM on February 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


I read somewhere that Neko left Canada because there were too many creeps in the scene?
Now I feel bad about NOT hitting on girls in bands...
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:12 PM on February 22, 2011


or she'll decide to pick only the less pulchritudinous standard women

Cite?
posted by lumpenprole at 1:13 PM on February 22, 2011


I can not for the life of me imagine a scenario where guys wouldn't come across as creepy if they did this.
posted by tommasz at 1:14 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


This weighs heavily on her mind. At the last show of hers I attended, she spent much time ranking metal bands according to how much pussy (her words) she thought they scored. Slayer, apparently, would be at the top.
posted by adipocere at 1:14 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Female musicians that appeal to heterosexual men who go to concerts are often ballsy or princessy. Which is okay on your ipod but more intimidating in the flesh. Besides, Nick Hornby has spoiled it for everyone with the quease-making exercise in literary wish-fulfilment that almost ruins High Fidelity.
posted by tigrefacile at 1:15 PM on February 22, 2011


she spent much time ranking metal bands according to how much pussy (her words) she thought they scored. Slayer, apparently, would be at the top.

Ugh, now I'm completely blanking on the site where groupies would review and rank the bands that came to town - from "All he did was cry" to "Crabs!" to "Totally married and lying about it!".
posted by The Whelk at 1:17 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's a heterosexual dude going to offer the bouncer in order to get backstage in the first place?
posted by electroboy at 1:17 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think we were too shy to make a movie.

Well hell, you've got to walk before you can run.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:17 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


At the last show of hers I attended, she spent much time ranking metal bands according to how much pussy (her words) she thought they scored. Slayer, apparently, would be at the top.

What, she never heard of Led Zeppelin?
posted by Ber at 1:18 PM on February 22, 2011


"I'm just glad that this topic is giving guys on the Internet a venue to express whether or not they would bang hot female celebrities. It's really an important topic that is not discussed nearly enough."

In fairness, a discussion by hot female celebrities talking about the fact that they don't have guys lining up to bang them would seem to be the rare case where such comments would be totally on topic.

I suspect the reason for the situation is just societal norms. A female fan offering no-strings sex to a rock idol is generally considered flattering. A male fan offering no-strings sex to a rock idol is more likely to be considered threatening.
posted by tdismukes at 1:18 PM on February 22, 2011 [6 favorites]




I can not for the life of me imagine a scenario where guys wouldn't come across as creepy if they did this.

Agreed.
Girl groupies come off a bit tarnished too I guess.

But the difference is that girls doing it lacks the entitlement and menace that guys doing it can have. If we look at the statistics about the perpetrators and victims of sexual crimes, it becomes pretty clear why a girl can get away with this more easily than a guy can.

...this whole thread is kind of creepy though. It reminds me of why I stopped perusing Reddit. Too many dudes talking about who they would or not like to bone as soon as a girl is mentioned.

Apologies in advance for the judgments implicit in my comments, but hell, sexism is a nasty that way.
posted by Stagger Lee at 1:19 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guys go for looks, girls go for status?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:19 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


In fairness, a discussion by hot female celebrities talking about the fact that they don't have guys lining up to bang them would seem to be the rare case where such comments would be totally on topic.

Well, except that despite all their "I would totally do her" rhetoric online, when it comes to actually identifying themselves as a groupie at a show, men just don't do it. Now, there are a lot of good reasons for this of course, but it doesn't change the fact that male musicians of all calibers are soaking in emotional and physical attention backstage, while female musicians apparently aren't.
posted by muddgirl at 1:21 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


And thanks for posting this AFTER The Like have left town...
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:22 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I attended Neko Case's show in Boston a few weeks ago. I passed by the stage door on the way out and noticed a van with a trailer with Vermont plates parked by the door and thought "Were I not married, were I sleazy, and were I not totally awkward with women, I would totally be standing right in this spot until she came out." Instead I got on the subway and went home. Sorry Neko, it's the thought that counts, right?
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 1:22 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I assume that she's not being offered casual sex because any interested male fans have assumed that it was not desired -- and in this case their assumptions were true. If she's not actually interested in casual sex with her fans, why bring it up? I mean, I don't ever tell my husband "we have no tequila-flavoured cheese in our fridge", because I don't want tequila flavoured cheese. If I mentioned it to him, he'd probably think I was asking him to get some.
posted by jb at 1:23 PM on February 22, 2011 [21 favorites]


when it comes to actually identifying themselves as a groupie at a show, men just don't do it

Eh, I don't know about that. I know plenty of dudes that are self-admitted fanboys of Ms. Case.
posted by electroboy at 1:24 PM on February 22, 2011


All my life I have wanted to go to bed with - no, have a relationship with - a musician: I'd want her to write songs at home, and ask me what I thought of them, and maybe include one of our private jokes in the lyrics, and thank me in the sleeve notes, maybe even include a picture of me in the inside cover, in the background somewhere
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:24 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


male musicians of all calibers are soaking in emotional and physical attention backstage

I'm skeptical about the "all caliber" part. But it's possible I'm doing it wrong.
posted by weston at 1:25 PM on February 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Dear Rachel Flotard of Visqueen: I am more than willing to help personally solve any issues regarding any lack of groupies that you may be experiencing.

P.S. My SO even says it's ok. I just can't complain if she hooks up w/ Chad Ochocinco.
posted by KingEdRa at 1:26 PM on February 22, 2011


I attended Neko Case's show in Boston a few weeks ago. I passed by the stage door on the way out and noticed a van with a trailer with Vermont plates parked by the door and thought "Were I not married, were I sleazy, and were I not totally awkward with women, I would totally be standing right in this spot until she came out." Instead I got on the subway and went home. Sorry Neko, it's the thought that counts, right?

A lot of the non-arena acts (even some of the arena acts) that I like, I've done exactly that. Stood outside the stage door until they came out. They've never been put off by it, are happy to chat a bit and sign autographs, etc.

I should add, I've never done this in the hopes of a sexual hookup. I'm content with a bit of ink on a CD cover and a "wow you were great" exchange with the artist.

Maybe I'm just doing it wrong.
posted by hippybear at 1:27 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel like Neko at least as answered her own question. It seems to me that a groupy would need at least the illusionary prospect that they might be bedded by their idol otherwise what is it they're hanging round the stage door for?
posted by adamt at 1:28 PM on February 22, 2011


Because male groupies just come across as skeezy dudes

Whereas female groupies just come across as delightful and charming young ladies.
posted by Decani at 1:30 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


As a teenager I worked at a pizza place where the manager would go to a lot of shows and take photos of the musicians. She went backstage a lot but I don't think she ever screwed around. As she told it, she was hanging with Willie Nelson in his opulent tour bus and he sort of dozed off. When he woke up his first words were "Did we have sex?"
posted by exogenous at 1:30 PM on February 22, 2011 [15 favorites]


I'm skeptical about the "all caliber" part. But it's possible I'm doing it wrong.

Well, I meant "all musical caliber" - IME have to be attractive, famous, or the lead singer.

I know it seems contradictory, but as an ugly lady I can assure you that sometimes the lack of unwanted attention can be as stinging as the lack of wanted attention. Like, "WTF is wrong with me that construction workers will whistle at my friend by not at me." I don't want guys to harass me on the street, but at the same time I have been taught that I am a failure if they don't.
posted by muddgirl at 1:30 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nope Celine Dion still aint clicking for me.

To be honest, no celebrity really does it for me. It's like a can of soup at the store. It looks good but you're going to regret it. Especially when you realize how much salt is dumped in it to make it taste good. I can do better in my own kitchen.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 1:31 PM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


re: Janis Joplin, see Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin. Janis was the first female mega rock star, she fought a lot of bias that's hard to imagine today, changed peoples attitudes, the keystone to female rock stars.
posted by stbalbach at 1:32 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I should add, I've never done this in the hopes of a sexual hookup. I'm content with a bit of ink on a CD cover and a "wow you were great" exchange with the artist.

Maybe I'm just doing it wrong.


Nah, I think you're doing it right.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 1:32 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ugh, now I'm completely blanking on the site where groupies would review and rank the bands that came to town - from "All he did was cry" to "Crabs!" to "Totally married and lying about it!".
posted by The Whelk


Would that be Metal Sludge?
posted by Anephim at 1:33 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


A lot of the non-arena acts (even some of the arena acts) that I like, I've done exactly that. Stood outside the stage door until they came out. They've never been put off by it, are happy to chat a bit and sign autographs, etc.

I should add, I've never done this in the hopes of a sexual hookup. I'm content with a bit of ink on a CD cover and a "wow you were great" exchange with the artist.


I need you to teach me how to do this without feeling incredibly awkward and lame and like a giant annoyance.
posted by eugenen at 1:35 PM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


After making that tweet, you can be damn sure Ms. Case is going to have quite a few sets of hotel keys thrown up onto the stage during her shows.
posted by pjdoland at 1:40 PM on February 22, 2011


I have no idea whether this translated into the same backstage opportunities of male artists, but it would have been interesting to hear from artists who attract more girl-on-girl sexual attention.

Seems to me Belinda Carlisle did an interview with PlanetOut a few years back where she tacitly acknowledged that all of the Go-Gos had, at one time or another, made private time for their more devoted female fans.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:41 PM on February 22, 2011


Just act like you belong there. Tell the singer you appreciate the music, how much it means to you, whatever. If it's John Darnielle from the Mountain Goats make some joke about videogames or metal. Leave after 5 minutes so it dozen get weird.
Or take them to the nearest pub. I've done that with a few international folk-punk and country guys.
If it's a local band just buy them a drink
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:41 PM on February 22, 2011


pjdoland: "After making that tweet, you can be damn sure Ms. Case is going to have quite a few sets of hotel keys thrown up onto the stage during her shows."

Tighty whities, perhaps?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:42 PM on February 22, 2011


To be honest, no celebrity really does it for me. It's like a can of soup at the store. It looks good but you're going to regret it. Especially when you realize how much salt is dumped in it to make it taste good.

... I am not sure what the salt is in this metaphor.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:42 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Would that be Metal Sludge?

yes it is!
posted by The Whelk at 1:43 PM on February 22, 2011


... I am not sure what the salt is in this metaphor.

Cocaine.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:44 PM on February 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


... I am not sure what the salt is in this metaphor.

Artifice.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:48 PM on February 22, 2011


Cite?

Party chatter with band managers?
posted by The Whelk at 1:49 PM on February 22, 2011


Strange that it's different for rockers. It was a standard part of theater life for quite a long time, the mob of male admirers in evening dress with bouquets of flowers, hanging around the stage door waiting for, oh, Ellen Terry to come out. I put it down to nobody owning dinner jackets any more, let alone cutaways. (PS OMFG Ellen Terry *sigh*, somebody please queue up "Pictures of Lily")
posted by jfuller at 2:07 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I saw a guy selling flowers on the way to a gig by a girl I dug but i figured it would be cheesy and lame
way different issue if you know the person though
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:09 PM on February 22, 2011


If you want a signature, present a reasonably rare, early item. I think I got five minutes of excited chat from someone just because I showed up with a CD from their very first band. "I haven't seen one of these in years?! How did you find this?" It also helps if you have a Post-It stuck to the item with your name on it.

If you want to talk, talk about something infrequently mentioned. Not something similar to grabbing Shatner and asking "Um, like, when you ... um, left your quarters for the last time? And you opened up your safe? Um ... what was the combination?" Something a little obscure, an unfinished bit of business, that sort of thing.

As to the why of the dearth of mangroupies, I think the answer lies between the somewhat humdrum fear of expected rejection and the sharp terror of piddling yourself like an overexcited Rottweiler at the prospect of actually being in the ballpark of reciprocated flirtation.
posted by adipocere at 2:16 PM on February 22, 2011


Hello! Joan Jett! Virgin! Hello!
posted by uraniumwilly at 2:18 PM on February 22, 2011


I think that there are some hilarious Missed Connections waiting to be written about this.
posted by Weebot at 2:24 PM on February 22, 2011


Dear Pitchfork Letters,

I never thought anything like this would happen to me, but...
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:29 PM on February 22, 2011 [15 favorites]


Oh, I've been a male groupie for years. Ain't nothing to it. It's all about putting out the vibe. You work your way up to the stage and give the look. And then, when you catch the eye, you turn and walk out. That always gets a reaction. After the show, you work your way back to the stage door and smoke a little buddha there, wait for it to open.

When it does, the recognize you. "Why'd you leave the show?" they ask. Shrug. Tell them you had something else you had to do. But you wanted to come back and apologize, because you know it was rude. Offer them a toke. Some will take it, some won't, but they appreciate the gesture.

If you've been doing this for a few years, or decades, as I have, you know somebody they know. Mention them. Just casual, the way you do when discussing mutual friends. Let the conversation wind its way around until they realize who they're talking to. Until they get around to realizing that you're the guy all the others talk about. "Oh, you!" they'll say.

Shrug. Tell them you're headed for a drink. Or you have a bottle in your trunk, if they're interested in sharing. Some will. Some won't. It's no big deal.

The ones who will know what they're in for. Hell, the ones who don't know what they're passing up. They all talk. They all gchat and email. They share photos, and stories, and secrets. You do it for a few years, your everybody's secret. They don't need to go to casual fans. Not when there are old pros like me around. We're discreet. We won't get hung up on relationships, or expect to go on the road, or ask for or offer anything but a good time.

I've never talked about this before, and I'll never share any of the details. Hell, if you ask me about it again, I'll claim I was lying. I'll claim I just made it up on the spot.

But if you see me outside the door at First Avenue, smoking a little buddha, you'll know what's going on. Toss me a high sign and continue on your way, brother. I have something I have to do.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:33 PM on February 22, 2011 [35 favorites]


Possibly related? Marnie Stern sets up a kissing booth at her shows.
posted by naju at 2:35 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Amy Millan is currently carrying the baby of her band's bass player. I think she's found a solution to the problem.
posted by dry white toast at 2:36 PM on February 22, 2011


Nick Hornby has spoiled it for everyone with the quease-making exercise in literary wish-fulfilment that almost ruins High Fidelity.

Oh, that's nothin'. Try Arthur Phillips' The Song Is You.
posted by Zed at 2:41 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie: " if you see me outside the door at First Avenue, smoking a little buddha, you'll know what's going on."

Doesn't the whole rotting body parts thing kinda put the chill on, AZ? Or does that add a certain je ne sais quoi?

As someone who has savored Ms Case's voice, performance, beauty, wit and person from within arm's reach on many occasions, I can assure you that it is only the fact of my own long term relationship which has prevented me from pitching sweet, sweet woo, flowers and all, lo these fifteen years.

Just between you and me, mind.
posted by mwhybark at 2:47 PM on February 22, 2011


I'm obviously not partying with Astro Zombie nearly enough.
posted by hippybear at 2:48 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm mildly surprised that lady rockers don't get laid as much as I had previously thought, but if this story is true, it goes to show that gender roles are pretty unfuckwithable if even the power of rock can't alter them. But those gender roles cut both ways - I'll place an additional wager that guys in bands don't get laid as much as they'd like everyone to think either, but talking about it on Twitter would make them seem "desperate" to the opposite sex (and they'd lose precious scenester points), while when Neko talks about it, it's "honest" or "refreshing".

And Astro Zombie - the ladies that play shows at 7th Street are way more fun anyway.
posted by antonymous at 2:51 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


eugenen: Huh. As a veteran of many New Pornographers concerts, I can attest that there is never any shortage of male shrieks of "I love you, Neko!" from the crowd.

Maybe the lesson is that guys are too chickenshit to do more than worship from afar.
Cue the hate, but this seems to be part and parcel of the larger problem, "Women have no clue what they fucking want or how to express that". It is not chickenshit for a guy to not hit on a woman, especially one who's only connection to them is a celebrity, when there's no indication this is desired. We guys, we can't read minds, so in most cases we default to the moral, ethical and polite behavior of worshipping from afar only. This is as true for non-celebrities as it is for celebrities (more so for the celebrities, as we don't have any connection to them that might feasibly welcome a one-night hookup).

Look, you can't simultaneously complain about the awful oppression of unwanted affection, and then bemoan that you aren't getting hit on constantly. And certainly if you are a female rockstar, and you want cheap sex, fucking ask for it. Neko Case won't have any problem doing this, any more than male rockstars- but apparently she wants the guys to make advances on her without any context that this is desired or acceptable, which any guy would rightly assume as a default it is not acceptable.

That isn't how it worked for Zepellin or anyone else: they would "ask" for these favors pretty explicitly. They'd create a wild backstage party atmosphere at every show, they would make it damned clear to the roadies and handlers that these environments exist, they would have people direct the hot girls backstage, and the rest would happen naturally. If Neko's not actively engineering such an environment, then what the hell does she expect? Guys should break into the green room to try to fuck her anyway? That doesn't work for female groupies stalkers either- both genders will get arrested in that situation. There are male rockstars who don't have a party atmosphere and constant casual sex, and those guys would be rightly livid if female groupies imposed themselves on them. But the ones that embrace that hedonism, they work to make it happen (sometimes embarassingly so, if the stories are true about mid-level rock stars rather pathetically trying to engineer a post-show hookup with someone who's just not interested- even lead singers get shot down sometimes, after all).

If she wants to be known as "Nookie" Case, she's gotta actively put herself out there. You don't have backstage orgies if you're still embracing the gendered standards medieval courtship rituals.
posted by hincandenza at 2:58 PM on February 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


I know you don't want to hear this, hincandenza, so I'll repeat myself:
I know it seems contradictory, but as an ugly lady I can assure you that sometimes the lack of unwanted attention can be as stinging as the lack of wanted attention. Like, "WTF is wrong with me that construction workers will whistle at my friend by not at me." I don't want guys to harass me on the street, but at the same time I have been taught that I am a failure if they don't.
posted by muddgirl at 3:01 PM on February 22, 2011 [12 favorites]


I'm just glad that this topic is giving guys on the Internet a venue to express whether or not they would bang hot female celebrities. It's really an important topic that is not discussed nearly enough.

Totally agreed. This topic is certainly no less important than whether certain high profile women are hot or not, so thanks for weighing in on that.
posted by ODiV at 3:01 PM on February 22, 2011


Alack and alas, would that I could set the Atavachron for 1956, and proceed to follow Patsy Cline around in a van.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:04 PM on February 22, 2011


Seems to me Belinda Carlisle did an interview with PlanetOut a few years back where she tacitly acknowledged that all of the Go-Gos had, at one time or another, made private time for their more devoted female fans.

I remember talk of a, um, VHS tape that may have shown some of this...
posted by armacy at 3:08 PM on February 22, 2011


I bet Fugazi never had this problem.
posted by antonymous at 3:25 PM on February 22, 2011


Last time I hit on a girl in a band it turned out to be Twiggy Ramirez, and uh, I mean we had fun and all, but...Christ.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:27 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I totally tried to get the attention of Kamara Thomas of Earl Greyhound but she doesn't smoke weed and all she wanted to know was if there's a good vegan restaurant in town that's open late.

There isn't.

Damn you, stupid lack of late-night vegan restaurants!

OTOH, Nashville Pussy? There's a band that really, um, gives back to their fans.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:31 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


...the sharp terror of piddling yourself like an overexcited Rottweiler at the prospect of actually being in the ballpark of reciprocated flirtation.

I bailed on a chance to have a drink with [attractive Canadian singer-songwriter] a few years ago for this very reason: someone I admire that much, who's enchanted and inspired me for years—there's no way I'm not going to make an ass of myself.

(And anyway, heroes inevitably disappoint. You think it's bad when Favourite Actor turns out to be a Scientologist or Favourite Writer turns out to be a misogynistic creep? How about finding out that Favourite Musician is actually terrible in bed? Who'd want to burst that bubble?)

Best for all concerned to keep a healthy and respectful distance between entertainer and entertained, I figure.
posted by Zozo at 3:32 PM on February 22, 2011


OTOH, Nashville Pussy? There's a band that really, um, gives back to their fans.

damn... when i saw them i tried to get the female member to help a fan who may have been molested by security guards. and i think she was married
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:34 PM on February 22, 2011


so, um, is there a way to hit on female musicians without being creepy?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:34 PM on February 22, 2011


Damn you, stupid lack of late-night vegan restaurants!

Dude, that was your opening. "No there are no vegan restaurants but at my home I have courgettes and also some rice."
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:36 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I bailed on a chance to have a drink with [attractive Canadian singer-songwriter] a few years ago for this very reason: someone I admire that much, who's enchanted and inspired me for years—there's no way I'm not going to make an ass of myself.

You can't disappoint a picture!
posted by flaterik at 3:42 PM on February 22, 2011 [10 favorites]


This bothers me a little bit. I used to practically stalk Liz Phair, but in a sweet not creepy sorta way (at least that's what I told the judge.)

One night as I was in my prime and attending a show in a really nice, small venue with coworkers she literally sang the song HWC to me. At least, that's how I saw it. The rational side of me told me she was just being a good showman. Nonetheless, after the show the crowd cleared out quickly. We debated staying to see if we could catch up with the band (it was a really small venue). I didn't see the point, so instead we went home. On the way, one of my coworkers threw up what must have been a dozen bottles of cabernet on me.

Now, I will forever remember that night as the chance I could have been Liz Phair's throwaway groupie. Don't bother telling me she already had a steady boyfriend at the time, my mind is made up.

But hey, cabernet camo pants are cool too.
posted by chemoboy at 3:42 PM on February 22, 2011


I bet Fugazi never had this problem.

Well, they aren't women, are they?
posted by Forktine at 3:43 PM on February 22, 2011


I always thought it was pretty simple to work out. Guys are nowhere near as picky or as confusing as women when it comes to the science of getting laid. Most guys assume they have no chance so don't bother, plus there's the stalker / bouncer issues as stated above.
posted by Bubbles Devere at 3:49 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also: Apparently men still prefer the old pornographers.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:57 PM on February 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Personal anecdote data point (which like all others may or may not mean anything):

Security was a lot more relaxed about where my boyfriend could stand when trying to meet Liz Phair after a show when they realized the guy with him (me) was his boyfriend.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:01 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Was not COMPLAINING about not getting hit on, not ASKING to be hit on,"

Case closed.
posted by flabdablet at 4:39 PM on February 22, 2011


so, um, is there a way to hit on female musicians without being creepy?

Yes. Well, I don't know if famous women are different, but one can definitely flirt with non-famous women, or anyone, really, without being creepy. The trick is, pay attention to how you are being received. Start off by saying nice, friendly things. Don't start with a compliment on a woman's looks, but compliment her on one of her skills or accomplishments (eg., "Oh my gosh I just love your music so much! That one song where you say that thing really speaks to me!"). If she says "oh, thanks!" in an enthusiastic tone and isn't blowing you off or in a hurry to leave, is looking at you and facing toward you and otherwise interacting with you, proceed to ask her questions (eg., "How did you think up that really poetic lyric?"). Don't begin with anything too personal though - you can get to that later if appropriate. Now, continue to pay attention to how you are being received. Does she just give the briefest answers possible to still be polite? If so, thank her (for taking the time to talk to you - this for a celebrity, anyways)/ask for an autograph, then excuse yourself. If she answers at more length, or continues the conversation by asking you about yourself, keep going. Continue mixing compliments on her skills with questions, and continue paying attention to how you are being received. Read up on body language if that's not one of your current skills, and pay attention to (and accept) how you are being received.

In my experience, the guys who come across as creepy are the ones that are clearly not interested in me, but rather what I can do for them. If I get the impression that a guy will be upset, pissed off, etc. should I not return his interest, that's creepy. Or if a guy is focused on my looks, or that's the first thing he mentions, that's creepy. If you are actually, genuinely being thoughtful and interested in the other person, you should be okay. If you're worried about how you come across to women, maybe see if one of your female friends will let you practice with her (but maybe agree ahead of time that she can give you her honest evaluation, and that you will not argue about it or contradict her evaluation or say anything about it aside from asking questions for further clarification).
posted by eviemath at 4:44 PM on February 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


If you're worried about how you come across to women, maybe see if one of your female friends will let you practice with her (but maybe agree ahead of time that she can give you her honest evaluation, and that you will not argue about it or contradict her evaluation or say anything about it aside from asking questions for further clarification).

While I wouldn't want to volunteer anyone as being a representative guinea pig for an entire class of people, I think this could easily be gender-neutraled and is excellent advice overall. Some of the best personal growth I've achieved has come as a direct result of having a trusted person offer honest and non-argued feedback about how I come across.
posted by hippybear at 4:48 PM on February 22, 2011


Sadly, though, eviemath, some people have no compunctions at all. One of the most embarrassing experiences of my clubbing life at the time was when someone's loser brother-in-law from the sticks in town on a tear for the weekend. He kept hitting on k.d. lang, who was good friends with some people that we were with. His bleery attitude was that she was "that way" because she'd never met a man like him before. This went on 'til 5 am, until we finally ditched his sorry azz, like we hadn't since middle school.

When she came by our table the next night, she specifically asked if that "Dog Boy" was with us, before sitting down. He still carries that nick-name.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:51 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I "hit on" (just asked how I could get in touch with them again) two mid list actresses when I was younger and much much cooler. One said "my life is complicated enough already" and the other just sort of laughed like "oh you" and bought me a drink.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:59 PM on February 22, 2011


The thing about Neko Case is that she is, while undoubtedly one of the most beautiful women alive, strangely asexual. Does she have a boyfriend? Is she a lesbian? Is she satisfied with a dog as a constant companion? Who knows?
posted by KokuRyu at 5:01 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hitting on women without being creepy? . . . hmm . . . check out this page here.
posted by jfwlucy at 5:14 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't know if anyone has mentioned this but if you're in a small scene and you hit on local bands it could potentially lead to drama. Especially if the bands get support slots for bigger bands.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:15 PM on February 22, 2011


Come to think of it, i'm not sure how my friend and I convinced ourselves to stand outside the venue where the New Pornographers were playing and talk to the singer. I guess we do it for enough bands that we're used to it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:16 PM on February 22, 2011


muddgirl: "I don't want guys to harass me on the street, but at the same time I have been taught that I am a failure if they don't."

Well, a man who grows up in a misogynist culture is taught that he's a wimp if he doesn't harass women. Both of these ideas are just plain wrong. I've read so many stories on MeFi where women are harassed and when they reject the dude, he responds "well you're an unattractive bitch!" I suspect both these ideas come from the same place.
posted by grammar corrections at 5:53 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


KokuRyu: "The thing about Neko Case is that she is, while undoubtedly one of the most beautiful women alive, strangely asexual. Does she have a boyfriend? Is she a lesbian? Is she satisfied with a dog as a constant companion? Who knows"

I know some of these things. She is not a lesbian. She was once married, and when that didn't work out, she took it hard. Boyfriend status unknown. Dog satisfaction index unknown.
posted by mwhybark at 5:59 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Both of these ideas are just plain wrong.

I think everyone wants to feel sexually attractive. Even if intellectally you know that something is "wrong", emotionally you may feel a different way. My mother, who taught me while I was growing up that all male female relationships were based on violence, still loved men with abs.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:27 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Absolutely, Ad hominem. I'm just saying that nobody's entitled to anybody else's attention. If Neko wants a fan to give her attention, she should make a move.
posted by grammar corrections at 6:36 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Neko's case, and I'm totally guessing here, maybe it's the sword that puts guys off.
posted by newdaddy at 6:44 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'll place an additional wager that guys in bands don't get laid as much as they'd like everyone to think either, but talking about it on Twitter would make them seem "desperate" to the opposite sex (and they'd lose precious scenester points),


I think this is quite true. Also, there's some intentional rejecting going on. I'm sure Neko Case spots and rejects creepy losers before the hookup even becomes a dim possibility. So do some guys in bands.
posted by Miko at 7:09 PM on February 22, 2011


Something I haven't seen addressed is this:

Rock stars of any gender work with security to control the environment backstage or in their green rooms. If the performers want nobody backstage, nobody gets backstage. If they want people backstage, those people can be given passes or laminates or can be escorted back by the crew or the performers themselves. If Neko, or female performer wants "groupies," she needs to determine a system for choosing people to hang out with backstage, and communicate that system with her people and with the venue. Because if security and the stage crew are doing their jobs, no mangroupies are allowed past this point without a laminate.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:18 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]



I'll place an additional wager that guys in bands don't get laid as much as they'd like everyone to think either, but talking about it on Twitter would make them seem "desperate" to the opposite sex (and they'd lose precious scenester points)


I'll see your wager and raise you this - despite what you may have seen or heard, there is a large percentage guys in bands who would very much not like everyone to think they get laid by a bunch of groupies everywhere they play. I also think that the amount of scenester points scored by being a notoriously promiscuous groupie-humper varies from scene to scene, and that point value is sometimes a negative one.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:51 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every time I think about it, Sarah Slean starts singing to me, so I just go home.
posted by showmethecalvino at 9:43 PM on February 22, 2011


Whereas female groupies just come across as delightful and charming young ladies.

That's not the point though. If you're a male rockstar you're probably a fan of trashy laides. But who is a fan of trashy dudes?
posted by delmoi at 9:59 PM on February 22, 2011


But who is a fan of trashy dudes?

Your mo...er, anyway, trashy people are like trashy decorations. You think when you see one in the mall "no one will buy this mug shaped like a clown" and yet someone always does.
posted by maxwelton at 11:50 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]



I need you to teach me how to do this without feeling incredibly awkward and lame and like a giant annoyance.

You can always do what I did, and pretend to start a zine. Or, I guess these days, a blog. Ask for an interview. Got me to hugging-at-shows status with some local artists and one really awesome "backstage crouching in an alley with the band" moment with the band Verbena. (Lovely people, too bad they broke up.)

Whether you actually get around to publishing said interviews is up to you.
posted by threeturtles at 12:06 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


because %THIS COMMENT REMOVED FOR SEXISM%
posted by 3mendo at 12:12 AM on February 23, 2011


Because if security and the stage crew are doing their jobs, no mangroupies are allowed past this point without a laminate.

SO not the stage crew's job. I don't give a damn who's backstage, as long as they're not in the way of my job, which is generally lighting or electricity related and has absolutely fuck all to do with people management.
posted by mollymayhem at 12:58 AM on February 23, 2011


It's not that they don't "get" any action; it's that they don't /want/ any.

SRSLY, have you seen the boys that show up for gigs? Not even worth a roll.
posted by clvrmnky at 4:48 AM on February 23, 2011


Maybe I'm missing something. What's the point of acquiring scenester points other than to redeem them for tookie?
posted by horsewithnoname at 5:14 AM on February 23, 2011


Free PBR.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:27 AM on February 23, 2011


My girlfriend and bass player in our punk band was always hit on. And sometimes actually hit or kicked as was the method of punks to show affection. She never found it flattering.
posted by judson at 6:57 AM on February 23, 2011


Yup, stage electrician here, and there's nothing more annoying than trying to loadout band gear at the end of a 20 hour day while having to constantly ask star-struck assholes to get out of the way. In fact, one of the best parts is being able to say "can everyone please get the fuck out of here?" with impunity.

That being said, I find the "no bullshit" factor of security gets dialed up a notch or three when the talent is a skinny little woman, for what it's worth. I've also never failed to take note of weird men lingering, either.
posted by nevercalm at 7:39 AM on February 23, 2011


SO not the stage crew's job


Fair point. I've worked shows where members of the venue's crew doubled as backstage security, keeping idiots away from both the equipment and performers, but you are correct, it is not generally their responsibility.

I always found the "no bullshit" factor depended mainly on the explicit wishes and demeanor of the performers, but a skinny little women would, absent other instruction, get an extra helping.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:57 AM on February 23, 2011


OTOH, Nashville Pussy? There's a band that really, um, gives back to their fans.

At the risk of seeming like a creepy dude, I would love to hear more about this.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:01 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]




hmmm. That's starting to sound a lot like a gender-flipped self-serving Internet Nice Guy "it can't be me -- clearly there's something wrong with all of them" rant.
posted by Zed at 5:13 PM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


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