Groupie Lit: Sluts Are Great Writers, Jump-Offs Not So Much
Groupie lit is getting around. Two recent publications bookend the extremes of this growing canon of female-authored works -- in other words, one's worth settling down with, while the other should be quit before it's hit.
Tamara Palmer The growing canon of groupie-penned literature.
On the positive side is Ellen Sander's Plaster Casters! Sander's short work was originally published by The Realist magazine in 1968 under the title "The Case of The Cock-Sure Groupies," and she used pseudonyms for everyone involved (including herself). A fly on the wall through the activities of Chicago's Plaster Casters, a duo of young girls who made plaster casts of illustrious rock star dicks including Jimi Hendrix, the story is considered the first national exposure to the groupie phenomenon.
Sander writes in a fanciful, compelling style, as does Cynthia Plaster Caster, who often wooed her subjects through witty letters and signs held aloft at concerts. There's a sweetness and an artistic mission wrapped up in this groundbreaking tale, which was repackaged as an e-book for Kindle on Amazon in late October. It's $2.99, and well worth the price of admission.
And then there's JumpOff by Jara Everett, which dropped a few weeks ago. We heard Miss Kimmie, the gossip girl on KMEL, talking about this on the air. She said that Everett was a groupie, or "jump-off" (they jump on, they jump off, get it?), to R. Kelly, and that he had wanted to pee on her. It was a bit much for drive-time radio, but we still downloaded it when we got home.
After a few minutes of reading JumpOff, it was clear that the bitch had swindled us out of our money, and we want it back. It was the '90s when Everett did most of her starfucking, if you can really call dating Suge Knight and having 10-minute stands with people like Young Jeezy, Too $hort, and, um, Gary Busey starfucking. Every encounter is underwhelming to her, and even more so to the reader. It's depressing and poorly written, even with a ghostwriter, and yet she has the nerve to be preparing a sequel.
By contrast, a book like Roxana Shirazi's The Last Living Slut: Born in Iran, Bred Backstage, published in 2010, offers a beacon of hope for this whole art form, provided someone with as astute a literary brain as Shirazi is willing to be double-penetrated by rockers grosser than she fantasized about in the very first pages. If you've enjoyed books like Pamela Des Barres' I'm With The Band and Karrine Steffans' Confessions of a Video Vixen, which certainly aren't shy on the details (but in Steffans' case might have been largely lies), this one will blow your mind.
Her experiences are so extreme -- and her ability to process and relate those moments vividly on the page so great -- that they convinced Neil Strauss, author of the incredibly page-turning Mötley Crüe memoir The Dirt, to start a publishing imprint to get this book to the masses. It was deemed too racy by established houses.
This may be as good as it gets for groupie lit, but we sincerely hope people will keep trying. Lightning may have only struck this one time, but oh, what a storm.