20 Years After “Almost Famous,” How Has the Groupie Changed?

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Penny insists they aren’t groupies. Groupies, she says—her eyes sparkling behind purple sunglasses—sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous. “We’re here because of the music. We inspire the music.”

That’s the audience’s introduction to Penny Lane, the soulful, self-proclaimed Band Aid (which for her is a more accurate description of what a groupie actually is) in Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical power ballad about a teenage rock journalist who joins the fictionalized band Stillwater on tour for a dream assignment for Rolling Stone. The 2000 film takes a loving look at the 1970s rock scene through the eyes of its 15-year old protagonist, William Miller. Two decades later, Almost Famous has endured as a coming-of-age classic and a consummate film for music enthusiasts and journalists alike. But, let’s…

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