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BUTTER QUEEN Finds Supergroupie Scene Thin at 22


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Digging through some old files in my storage and I came across this article from the Los Angeles Times, published on June 18, 1972, just a week after the Stones hurricane blew through LA and a week before Led Zeppelin's swing through LA. My first batch of concerts.

Didn't see this article posted before, so am submitting it for those interested in the whole groupie scene of that era. Thought about putting this in the Entourage thread, but then I thought that wouldn't do credit to the people who really were part of Zeppelin's entourage; the hard-working crew members and roadies, etc. Don't have a scanner so I'll type it up myself...there are two photos that accompany the article. Only one could I find on the internet; the other has her posed in front of the Rolling Stones 'Exile on Main Street' billboard that was on the Sunset Strip at that time. For some reason the computer isn't letting me post the image.

Some of what she says comes across as sour grapes...wonder what she thinks now, looking back in hindsight. Would also like to hear from anyone that crossed paths with her at shows, parties, the hotles, etc...MSG, Hotplant, badgeholder, any of you ever see her?

Oh and for you youngsters who are scratching your heads at words like "Peter Max" and "Miss Kitty" and "fuzz", PM me and I'll explain any arcane references you don't get.

Los Angeles Times Sunday Calendar section June 18, 1972

'Butter Queen' Finds Supergroupie Scene Spreading Thin at 22


"Hi there. I'm THE Miss International Butter Queen."

You'd had the feeling she was no ordinary slab of margarine.

In fact, in the world of high rock, this aging Lolita - she's 22 - is considered a groupie high priestess. The Rolling Stones call up this chick who's standing like a Peter Max version of Mae West at the door of her Los Angeles apartment and tell her to come up and see them sometime. David Cassidy, the current sun god of rock royalty, in a recent Life interview is quoted as saying, "I'd rather spend an evening with her than in the living room of the Partridge Family."

Rock magazine gave her the supreme honor that comes to a handmaiden of the groupie scene - the front cover of this month's magazine and the center spread (Hugh Hefner, bite your wheat germ).

And boy, does she know it.

Her apartment is not exactly Hearst castle - but she kicks aside a few of her Vogue magazines (the ones turned to the page with the ads saying "Love Your Skin"), some of her teddy bears and her laundry bag and offers you a seat on the floor.

"I've never given an interview," she says, giving you the look that Miss Kitty gives Marshal Dillon when she doesn't like what he's up to. Her accent is thick Bonnie and Clyde Texas. But more evident is that she's running the joint. "I wantcha to meet my friends - Sandy and Gloria!" she says. Two youngish, sweet California groupie types in casual dress and with flowing Raquel Welch hair say "Hi" and then return to a Bette Davis movie on television.

"I want to get something straight, right off," she says, hands on hips, at her bedroom door. "I dislike being called a groupie. In fact, I'm giving it up. It's just not the same old scene anymore, man. The Stones concert tonight is going to be the end of an era. Things are dead now. I'm just going to retire until there's a whole new shipment coming in."

"Look," she says, trying to find herself another cigaret on her bureau. "I dislike being a freak in a circus. That's what people think I am. They think - ah ha, a groupie, a camp follower. But it isn't so. I'm just a friend to the rock stars. The reason I'm at the top - and man, this is a very competetive field - is that I treat them as a friend. And I always have a lot of young girls and drinks around for them."

Sandy and Gloria keep staring blankly at the television set.

"There's no top MAAAAAAAN anymore." she shouts. "I mean there's no status to anyone anymore. And there's no fun. Why in the old days - and I've been in it since 1965, in Dallas - there used to be a challenge."

It started in 1965 at the Memorial Auditorium in Dallas. "I didn't care about average boys - I just wanted to meet musicians." she says. She came to the West Coast and began following groups here. Traffic took her on tour across country: then Jimi Hendrix.

In 1970 she toured with Joe Cocker. In the 1971 film of that trip, "Mad Dogs and Englishmen", there's a seven-minute sequence of her.

"We used to have to sneak up fire escapes and get by the fuzz - but today any weird little girl can get up to see a rock star. It's just not worth it for me anymore. I mean, who needs it?" She fishes for another cigaret and then starts screaming about a picture she sees in a magazine. "Oh, isn't this neat...Frankenstein's feeding that chick." It's a fashion layout, a subject the Butter Queen says "is dead. Hell, wear what you like."

Then she starts getting excited and jumping around the room.

"Do ya want to see what I'm wearing to the concert?" she squeals. For a few minutes you concentrate on Bette Davis and Ralph Williams. Then, out the door she comes, blushing. "I get embarrassed," she says shyly. "I mean I like people to like what I wear."

She is wearing a satin antique 40s dress and along with it she produces a picture of her idol - Mae West.

"Dont'cha think I look like her?" she says, adjusting a feather near her plunging neckline. The Butter Queen reaches for another cigaret.

Does she feel like the girl next door?

There is an incredible look from her. "Man, any door I live at there are going to be boys next door."

What contribution does a groupie make to the world of music?

"LOTS" she screams, getting uptight at the question. She grabs a white wedding album and starts turning the pages of autographs and photographs. "Look at that, the New Riders of the Purple Sage...the Stones...George Harrison. We give them companionship. We understand their music. We support them when they're down."

She sits and takes a long drag on her cigaret. "Whew. I never knew an interview was like this, man. I mean can't you ask me anything nice?"

"Love," she says, and she warms to the subject. "I don't mind when they get married to someone else. I know someday he'll come along and I'll marry him. Hell, I been married once. During my motorcycle period. Got a son. Just sent him back to Dallas."

"Dallas?" she says. "That's where I'm going after the concert. This place L.A. is just too weird. Everybody's 13 out here."

Is she retiring because she's fading, is the younger competition getting her down?

"Fading?" she says. "Man, I just keep re-entering. Do you know who you are talking to? I'm in the new Stones album - they sing about me in that album. The Led Zeppelin got up in a concert and dedicated a song to me. I'm a lady!"

There is some boredom now. "Hey, man, is this about over - because I was up all last night and I'm just about ready to fall asleep in this chair."

If she's not a groupie (which she defines as a friend to rock stars), what is she?

"Being a groupie," she says, ""that's just not where it's at anymore. What I am is me. Like anybody else. I don't want to give nobody no messages, no church sermons to take home. I just want them to be and let me be. I just want to be me."

She turns the channel to a Joan Crawford movie, takes a long drag on the cigaret and shuffles to the door.

"Another thing," she says, "please don't use my real name in the paper. Call me the Butter Queen. It's not my mother - hell, she's groovy, she goes with me to concerts. It's just hard to be in this life, people calling you and trying to take advantage of you."

"Take care of yourself," she says, hands on hip like you-know-who.

Copyright Los Angeles Times.

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You know I thought there had been a Butter Queen thread a while back, but as I searched I didn't see a thread titled as such...thanks for the redirect. :)

Still, depending on the size of your screen, that article scan you posted was a little hard to read, so at least I didn't type it out for nothing.

That Oprah clip was scary...all that BIG HAIR! :lol:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Funny stuff. Amazing how she viewed things back then, especially after the Stones left town that the era was basically over. It was something like that, according to her. Depends on your view and priorities I suppose.

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  • 6 years later...
On 1/14/2018 at 9:33 PM, The Rover said:


Barbara Cope, "The Butter Queen" dies tragically in East Dallas house fire


What a scary and awful way to die. Poor lady...and I can only imagine some of the priceless memorabilia that was lost in that fire. R.I.P. 😢

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