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BACKSTAGE

by
in Filmmaking
on Jul 15, 2006


The guys over at Other Music have noted the DVD re-release of Ron Dorfman and Peter Nevard’s 1970 documentary, Groupies. A rarely seen cult film on the ’60s rock scene, Groupies is now out from Cherry Red Records and is described by their catalog like this:

A classic sixties documentary, “Groupies”, finally gets its release on DVD. “Groupies” is the ultimate expose of back-stage shenanigans. At times hilarious, at times almost tragic, the documentary follows the fortunes and dilemmas of various real life groupies, a supremely hedonistic bunch of rock fans, on their relentless search for a new kind of kick. Competition is fierce. The bigger the star the higher the score. Weird tales abound. There’s the washed out S&M freak, the runaway schoolgirl who’s parents are closing in, the boy groupie beaten up and broken hearted over his love for a star and the most unusual collection plaster cast mementos you could imagine. Laced with plenty of live footage from various gigs, “Groupies” includes classic performances by Terry Reid, Spooky Tooth, Ten Years After and Joe Cocker.

And here’s what Other Music has to say about it:

I’ve always had a difficult time trying to ascertain what exactly the counterculture was in the ’60s. What I mean by that is counter to what? It seems like everyone has this romantic notion of this decade and everyone’s father, teacher, uncle, minister, etc. apparently participated in it. There’s been accounts of pitchers throwing no-hitters on acid, Ronald Reagan allegedly smoking pot at a dinner party he hosted at the Governor’s mansion, and enough free love and groupie action spread around that even Dean Martin and the Rat Pack were having love-ins. How much of this is true is hard to gauge, and I’m sure most of the people who claimed to be in the thick of it probably weren’t, but if everybody in the mainstream were involved in this culture, what was truly bubbling underground? What was really going on? It seems that most of the people who actively participated in this thing some 35-plus-years ago aren’t really here to tell us this story, and the ones who are still alive don’t really seem to remember much about it.

This exploitation documentary that was produced and filmed in the late-’60s is probably the closest thing that I’ve seen that actually seems to offer an unflinching glimpse into the true nature of the counterculture vibe of that time.

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