Sunday, 3 January 2010

Style Icon: Lori Maddox

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Lori, on the left, modeling for Creem magazine, August 1974.

Several months ago I wrote a long post about Sable Starr, the unofficial queen of the LA scene in the early 70s. Her style and story were both so intriguing to me, and I have long meant to write a similar post on her best friend, Lori Maddox. Lori’s story will be well known to any Zeppelin aficionado, but it bears repeating here as a powerful example of the drawbacks of dating a rock god.

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Lori and Sable.

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"THE GIRL WHO READ STAR.
Her look is wild
She's young but never shows it
She loves to live and lives to love
The ones know she's the One
THE GIRL WHO READ STAR IS YOU"


Lori was born in Los Angeles in 1958, and when she was around 13 made her entry into the rock n roll scene with Sable. They were regulars at the Rainbow Bar & Grill, Rodney's English Disco, the Continental Hyatt House (the notorious “Riot House"), and the Whisky A Go Go. She became a teen model and was included in several editorials in Creem and in Star magazine, the local bible of the scene. Her petite frame, large brown eyes and masses of chestnut curls drew her many admirers, and it has been reported that she lost her virginity to David and Angie Bowie at thirteen. Around the same time a photo of her was shown to Jimmy Page, who quickly became infatuated with her. He was still dating Miss Pamela of the GTO’s (later Pamela Des Barres) but when he was in LA in 1972 on the Zeppelin tour he went after Lori.

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Lori and Queenie Glam at Rodney's English Disco, 1973.

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Sable and Lori with Iggy Pop.

Lori avoided his advances several times, later stating that she was frightened of him; finally Led Zeppelin’s tour manager “kidnapped” her and brought her to the Hyatt and to Jimmy’s room. Interviewed in Hammer of the Gods, a biography of Led Zeppelin, Lori said that the room “was dimly lit by candles... and Jimmy was just sitting there in a corner, wearing this hat slouched over his eyes and holding a cane. It was really mysterious and weird... He looked just like a gangster. It was magnificent." They started an affair that night, which was kept secret since she was only 14 and he was still dating Pamela. His relationship with Pamela ended dramatically when he took her to a party for the band but left with Lori.

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Jimmy and Lori, 1973/74.

By all accounts, Jimmy and Lori were very in love and for the next year and a half she traveled often with the band. When she was 16 he left her for Bebe Buell, the Playmate who had recently been living with Todd Rundgren. Bebe was Jimmy’s date for the Swan Song soiree, which Lori found incredibly upsetting since she was still in love with him. Out of her mind on Quaaludes, she stumbled around the party, bloodying her nose and soaking her white gown in blood. When Bebe and Jimmy were leaving the party, she cornered them, screaming at Jimmy, “Why are you doing this to me?” but he ignored her and went to the Rainbow Room where he had a huge fight with Bebe over his cruelty to Lori.

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Lori and Jimmy arriving at John Bonham's 24th birthday at The Rainbow Bar & Grill, 31 May 1972.

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Lori with Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Rodney Bingenheimer, Sable Starr, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, Pamela des Barres, Morgana Welch, Peter Grant and other friends at John Bonham's birthday.


The next day Lori went to the Hyatt where she found Jimmy and Bebe in bed together. She fled but came back later and knocked on the door. When Bebe opened the door with the chain on it, Lori reached through, grabbing Bebe’s hair and trying to drag her out. Jimmy watched his former and current girlfriends fight it out from the safety of his room, laughing hysterically. Lori drifted out of the groupie scene and briefly got back together with Jimmy in the early 80s; she supposedly never got over the pain of their first breakup but has gone on to a stable career as a buyer in LA and has a son.

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Lori with Rodney Bingenheimer and a friend.

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Lori Maddox and Shray Mecham partying at Rodney's 'English Disco', from Star Magazine's last published issue, June 1973.

Just like Sable, Lori’s style was an amalgamation of trash and full-on glamour. Often wearing hot pants with halter tops made from long, thin scarves that barely covered her pre-pubescent breasts, Lori was just as likely to wear a vintage 40s satin gown with a mink stole. Even in her trashiest outfits, her huge smile lights up the snapshots and she never appears as cheap as Sable sometimes did. More openly romantic than her good friend, it isn’t hard to see how she was so deeply affected by the events of her teenage years.

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Lori Maddox and Shray Mecham from Star Magazine, June 1973.

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Lori with Keith Moon on his birthday, date unknown.

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Lori and Keith Moon.

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Lori, Leee Black Childers, Sable and friends.

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Lori Maddox, around 1973.

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Lori, laying on the ground, with the New York Dolls in Creem magazine, August 1974.

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Lori, 1973.

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Lori with Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls upstairs at the Whisky A Go Go, August 1973.

38 comments:

smashingbird said...

Fabulous post and pics, it's soo scary to think how young these girls were though....

Heather Taylor said...

I never heard of her before. She is just gorgeous!

Gnarlitude Jen said...

Love love love this post. I mean really, can you imagine? 13 and on tour with Zeppelin. I was born at the very wrong time.

Maggie said...

It's interesting how groupies and female rock fans have always dressed the same--she would fit in just as well now as she did then. I've actually worn similar outfits to the one with her in the tank and tights.

I didn't start partying until I was 20, though. 13 definitely shouldn't be in those situations.

katy said...

i love the descriptions of her & her posse in pamela des barres "i'm with the band". i really don't think she ever used names, but the descriptions speak volumes...lol!

excellent post!

Out Of Order said...

interesting post :]

Darian Darling said...

I love Glitter Rock and the English Disco groupies! My BFF Lady Starlight (Lady GaGa's mentor) used to throw a great English Disco party on the LES circa 2005. We all featured insane glam looks. It was fun. Great post! XXX DD

Eyeliah said...

What a story she has, and those lips pre plumping days - so gorgeous! I cannot believe she got into all that so young, where were the parents I wonder? Not that I wouldn't have been wild enough to do the smae things! Off to read about Sable.

Barbara Dice said...

hello Lori. this is Barbara. I went to London and married that English guy, Richard. Can not believe these pics. We were cute, but way too young. I would love to hear from you. Hear about Sable?

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the 70's reading Star magazine and it irks me when you younger girls don't do your homework and get the FACTS BEFORE you post things here on the internet. Lori's name is Mattix, not Maddox. The 2nd photo of Lori & Sabel is NOT from Star magazine. The 7th photo is Lori arriving with Jimmy. I also beleive it was Jimmy's (24th) birthday, but I could be mistaken. I also beleive the photo was from 1973. And lst but not least.... the last PUBLISHED issue of Star was June 1973, but there was one more issue actually published after that. It didn't make it to the newstands. Check out my official Karen Umphrey myspace fansite: www.myspace.com/karenumphrey

Anonymous said...

ALSO, that is Leee Black Childers NOT Rodney Bingenheimer in the pic with Lori, Sable, Queenie and Karen.

Kintster Beauty and Fashion said...

She's so fabulous! I like her style. It's so amazing that she loves to live and lives to live. I salute her as one of the best style icons of today.

Anonymous said...

The man in the 7th photo is John Bonham, not Jimmy Page.

Anonymous said...

Wow.... that's sad. A bunch of full grown men who used their fame to take advantage of children for sex. I'm surprised no one went to jail. Nothing against groupies, but damn, couldn't those boys go after someone their own age? 13 is just ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Much of this is inaccurate. Lori met Jimmy in May of 72. She was 13 and he was 28. He spent time with her only when the band was based in LA while touring. Jimmy never took her out of the city and she never toured with them. He was gone by the end of the 72 US tour later that summer. He didn't return to LA for a year and stopped seeing her by the end of the 73 US tour in July. When he returned the following spring for the Swan Song party, he was already done with her and had moved on to BeBe Buell. Not much time together. Although legitimately heartbroken, Lori didn't leave the groupie scene. She had subsequent encounters with Mick Jagger, Keith Moon, and others.
Please do not glamorize these things. Lori was a very young girl who was used by a much older man. He may have been fond of her but he certainly wasn't in love with her. When Jimmy was finished with Lori and the other groupies in LA, he went back to his wife and child in England. That's how it was with groupies - they were there for a good time, a stress release, a way to fend off the loneliness of the road, and in return they got to hang with famous rockstars. Most of groupies understood and accepted this contract. Lori didn't.

Anonymous said...

Wow.... that's sad. A bunch of full grown men who used their fame to take advantage of children for sex. I'm surprised no one went to jail. Nothing against groupies, but damn, couldn't those boys go after someone their own age? 13 is just ridiculous.

Lori was a stunning young girl. Very beautiful. I adore reading about groupies, too. But a man pushing thirty taking advantage of a thirteen-year-old child is sickening. How sad this was the norm back then.

Anonymous said...

I really hate the idolisation of groupies in any way! They were sl*ts who were sleeping with rock stars, supposably because they admired their music. Yeah right! That's why most of them have published their experiences in books now, trying to make a buck out of them!
Plus, they had horrible taste in clothes. Basically, they were dressing like wh*res which was pretty much what they were. If you want to admire women for their rock and roll style and attitude, admire Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry and so many other stylish women who had actual talent too!

Anonymous said...

I saw The History Of LED ZEPPELIN this afternoon and saw Lori saying how sweet a person Page was.
I m not sure but I feel she sadly still has the hots for him and defends him while he evidently used her as a throw away.
Feeling sorry for her?
Yes and no?
Through the ages women like that have chosen to go for men with succes instead of loving a decent man.

Mark
purpelaar1965@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I agree with one of the anonymous posters on here. These girls didn't have any style...they just dressed like sl^ts to attract their "rock gods". I can't believe the members of zep got away all the stuff they did...i.e. child abuse and rape. These girls were just babies and they clearly took advantage of their vulnerability. Love Zep's music but I don't like how they used, abused, then threw them away like yesterdays garbage.

Anonymous said...

I really fail to see the "style": EVERYONE was dressing this way in NYC at the time - and some even better. Look at the Pointer Sisters (40's dresses). Those big fur or feather short jackets were called "chubbies".

I also really fail to see why it's one man - Jimmy Page - who is constantly connected to Lori and vilified for it when AHEM David Bowie, Keith Moon and apparently John Bonham the drummer of LZ had also been with her. It's the romantic story that Lori tells about Jimmy that everyone has latched onto. Poor Jimmy - you got what you deserved. "A moment on the hips, a lifetime on the lips." BTW: that is JOHN BONHAM arriving at the party with Lori - that is definitely NOT Jimmy Page.

Anonymous said...

One more thought: how do we know that Jimmy Page didn't tell Lori that it was over and she refused to listen to him? At 28, most young men are not that good at communicating their feelings. And at 28, most guys aren't really MEN yet - they don't catch up to women emotionally until about 40. Jimmy Page is very smart, very refined, but emotionally, well, that's an area for improvement. I also question his sexuality - maybe he was a closet queen and now has come into his own. He does seem to enjoy the company of Ross Halfin an awful lot ...

WendyK said...

Can we have her actual age relating to these encounters or are they mostly rumours? For example, she was said to be with page for a year and a half from the age of fourteen. So how old was she when she dated the other men, over sixteen I hope?

Anonymous said...

everyone is commenting as if she had a good life. She was raped by Page, and there is no such thing as consensual sex at the age of 13. She lived a horrible, depraved, sinful low life. How sad, what she must have felt about herself growing up being used and abused by a bunch of discusting dirty old men. Just because they can play an instrument doesn't make them god's, they were discusting and should be in jail.

DebbieJoy said...

That is definitely John Bonham and not Jimmy Page! I agree with the anon blogger who sets the record straight .. they were barely together and she never toured with him. He had other women (girls?) all over the place and a full time girlfriend and child in London. I like Lori but she DOES talk the whole thing up!

StellaTennantFreak said...

The LZ book "Hammer of the Gods" includes the legend of Lori Maddox. This book came out in the mid-1980s. Lori was quoted saying that she was an angel with a broken wing. She was still in love with Jimmy Page.

Lori's Dad was not mentioned in the book. She claimed that Jimmy called her mother and said he hoped that she didn't mind him seeing her daughter.

As far as these adult men having relations with girls below the age of consent, when they visited Bangkok, they patronized a brothel displaying extremely young girls, each with a number. Patrons could indicate which ones they wanted by pointing to the number.

Anonymous said...

Paedophilia, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous, thank you so much for saying the right things. I always thought Led Zeppelin were complete a...holes and their music is mostly overrated. And some freaky photos never really tell the truth about what´s really going on. I totally agree with you that these grown men did definitely abuse young girls who were easy to impress.

Bára Hyclová said...

I used to be so into that when I was 13. Led Zeppelin, groupies, LA scene, such a flashback.
Actually it was me who first scanned the photo of Lori and Jimmy page (the one where she's wearing flower dress). It was in a certain rock magazine I bought in England. I remember posting it on myspace for the first time and everyone was like "wow such a rare pic, never seen that one" - That magical time around 2007 when retro stuff wasnt yet so cool for everyone. Back then, myspace made a quite great community for people who were into.

Anonymous said...

I knew all those girls - they were only interested in how many rock stars they could conquer. Jimmy was not in love with Lori - he went through all the groupies in LA and Lori slept with many many many rock stars. No love lost. Lori was pretty trashy and crass. I agree, don't "glamourize" her! As far as the "rape" issue, all the sex was consensual, we were all younger and times were much different. I was 13 when I first had sex and I started it!

Anonymous said...

Everybody looks good at 18. Nothing special here. Have you seen a recent picture of Lori? She's RUFF book.

Anonymous said...

What Anonymous said on '24 March 2011 13:51' is quite correct.
It completely matches with the book 'Light And Shade/ Jimmy Page's oral autobiography' written by Brad Tolinski (the cheif editor of Guitar World magazine)

Though Jimmy does not mention any names of groupies, he explains tour lives in a book that ‘Those really were the days of pure hedonism. LA in particular was like a Sodom and Gomorrah, but it always had that vibe, even going back to the golden age of Hollywood in the twenties and thirties. You just ate it up and drank it down. And why not?’
And then in the same breath says that ‘’But when I was off the road , the pendulum would swing the other way. I equally enjoyed our breaks. But then again, maybe I was recharging my batteries for the next time out! [laughs] I almost had this spilt personality. I really enjoyed having a stable home life.'

This is very rare that Jimmy Page is talking about true him. No proper women names other than his three (ex) wives in the book.

Anonymous said...

I agree with another poster - why is it Page who is always vilified? How about Bowie AND his wife, Iggy Pop, Syd Silvain, the list goes on. Not saying it was right, but I can't imagine any of those bands spent an inordinate amount of time asking anyone's age. Beep Fallon once said, if you want to look at predators, check out the girls on the scene. They chased the men and fought, sometime violently, amongst themselves over who got who. It was about bagging as many rock stars as you could. Rodney Bingenheimer said the scene amongst the groupies was viscious. Nothing I've read detracts from that.

Lori is a sweet lady, but she does talk this up quite a bit. Too many changing inconsistencies in her story, other than the basics. Sort of like her story of him making her smoke an entire pack of cigarettes when he saw her smoking, and she never picked one up again. Funny how many later pics you see of her doing just that.

Gene said...

These coke/celebrity whores were all too old and used up to be interesting. Courtney Love gave Ted Nugent a blow job when she was 12. I'd like to read about the circle of groupies she ran with. I say do a story on the pre-teen groupies, before they're used up hags in their teens.

Anonymous said...

These coke/celebrity whores were all too old and used up to be interesting. Courtney Love gave Ted Nugent a blow job when she was 12. I'd like to read about the circle of groupies she ran with. I say do a story on the pre-teen groupies, before they're used up hags in their teens.

lightning said...

To all the Negative anonymous,
This is the first time I have seen this blog, who are you to take my inventory ? I had an amazing life and still do? I will never regret one moment of my existence, I have been blessed and loved. I have kept my story to myself, as far as Jimmy goes, he was pure joy. You truly are sad that your life is so pathetic that you have to judge mine !

lightning said...

To all the Negative anonymous,
This is the first time I have seen this blog, who are you to take my inventory ? I had an amazing life and still do? I will never regret one moment of my existence, I have been blessed and loved. I have kept my story to myself, as far as Jimmy goes, he was pure joy. You truly are sad that your life is so pathetic that you have to judge mine !

lightning said...

To all the Negative anonymous,
This is the first time I have seen this blog, who are you to take my inventory ? I had an amazing life and still do? I will never regret one moment of my existence, I have been blessed and loved. I have kept my story to myself, as far as Jimmy goes, he was pure joy. You truly are sad that your life is so pathetic that you have to judge mine !

Jenna said...

Really Interesting, I love reading about history especially surrounding music sounds like it was an insane time for music, you dont get stuff like this in 2014

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