A back-stage pass and a story to tell on Monday morning

When we were young and foolish, we considered it a privilege to be seduced by a rock star. But in retrospect, we feel ashamed, writes
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The Independent Culture
ALLISON BROWN, the woman at the centre of the Gary Glitter case, last week made a tabloid call to any other young "victims" to come forward in order to give greater credence to the prosecution of the ageing and deeply sleazy pop star.

The thought of grown women, who might have had sex with their musical heroes when they were teenagers, "coming forward" must have pop stars of every strata - from dance-hall heroes to major Wembley stadium fillers - quaking in their shoes. While there is evidence that Gary Glitter's tastes are unusually hard-core, there is no denying that pop stars regularly exchange a bit of fame and glamour for the unquestioning admiration and youthful bodies of young, female fans who may or may not have reached the age of consent.

Certainly when I was a teenager in the late Seventies and early Eighties, we used to go as close as we could to the stage with the hope of catching the lead-singer's or, at the very least, the bass-player's eye.

Once I was pulled on-stage by a horribly sweaty lead singer of an American band called The Cramps. As soon as I was up in front of an audience of hundreds I wanted to be back home watching Starsky and Hutch but he made me dance with him and decided that it would be interesting to try and take my shirt off. I quickly decided to test the "dive into the audience and see if they will catch you" theory.

The considerable humiliation was made worse by a picture of me looking dazed and the singer looking lecherous in the music press the following week. Maybe this put me off the whole pop star and concert thing because, although I didn't admit it for a few years, I really can't bear going to see anyone "live". In fact, I would much rather listen to a dead singer in the privacy of my own home. Anyway, for a few years going to concerts is what we did, perhaps because we were too young to get into night clubs. Once when we were 15 and on our way to a venue in North London (which has now been turned into a different kind of "Hall of worship), we were hauled into a pub by a bouncer to meet the headlining band, who had seen us walking past.

For a round of "Barcardi and blacks" (that is what teenage girls used to drink in those days) and minimally interesting conversation, we were basically expected to wait for them backstage and have sex with them. They were pretty famous at the time and so the more naive or adventurous among us decided to go for it and have a story to tell on Monday morning. I had a gorgeous boyfriend at the time, who was waiting for me outside the tube-station, and so I left.

A few of my friends became members of a kind of floating harem who were called up whenever the band came to town and so had star status at our all-girls school.

Another famous band had a drummer who was well-known to like girls even younger than us - and the thinking was that no one should go to their concerts because they were "creepy". I don't know if it was because of our vetoing or because of their drug habit, but we liked to think we had something to do with their demise.

A friend who was lead guitarist in a very successful band tries to defend himself. "Yes, most of us did have sex with young girls, but we were in our late teens and early twenties at the time - and not particularly mature for our age either. Besides, part of the reason we formed a band was to get girls to like us and I suppose that if they were out that late we kind of presumed that most of them were over 16. As long as they looked it, we didn't enquire any further. We wanted to sleep with women rather than girls, but if they were physically well-developed and seemed keen, we went for it anyway. It was a sexual agreement which hardly ever became a relationship and I don't think there was any expectation of that."

Two highly respectable women I know were amazed to discover at a party that they had both lost their virginity to the same member of a deeply forgettable musical assemble, who were considered quite sexy at the time. They both agreed that this star was dreadful in bed and that pop stars probably always are because the seemingly endless choice of women makes them lazy.

So, would any of the women I know come forward to "kiss and tell" about their experiences - after all, some have slept with people who are still very rich and famous? "Oh God, no," was the general reply through howls of laughter. One said her daughter would "disapprove". Another said it would put the final nail in the coffin on her "credibility rating" with her friends, and another said "it would destroy my reputation and might damage my career".

Someone else recalls a cringe-making remark some wannabe pop star told her when she asked if she would be seeing him again after a quick tryst in the dressing room of the university concert hall. "Hey, this ain't no high school prom, baby. This is rock'n'roll!"

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