Lori Mattix, sometimes known as Lori Maddox, is a former child model and "baby" groupie of the 1970s. She is currently a partner and buyer for the Glam Boutique in West Hollywood. She is most notable for her interview in 2015 in which she made allegations of being involved in sexual relationships with David Bowie, Jimmy Page, and Mick Jagger; relationships which are alleged to have occurred while she was underage and while the musicians were in their twenties. Her experience has become a notable discussion point in the Me Too movement, with her story marking one of the more notable examples in the shift of the movement's focus from the film industry to the music industry.
Life as a groupie
Mattix, while still in middle school, began frequenting clubs on Sunset Strip with her friend Sable Starr. When Mattix was fourteen years old, she and Starr were introduced to David Bowie. A few months later, when Bowie returned to town, Mattix claimed that Bowie's bodyguard was sent to pick up her and Starr for a sexual encounter. According to Mattix:
[Bowie] walked me through his bedroom and into the bathroom, where he dropped his kimono. He got into the tub, already filled with water, and asked me to wash him. Of course I did. Then he escorted me into the bedroom, gently took off my clothes, and de-virginized me... that night I lost my virginity and had my first threesome.
However, Mattix's allegations regarding her experience with Bowie have been called into question due to possible timeline issues; she may have already been in a relationship with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page by the time she met Bowie. Furthermore, unlike the numerous photos of Page and Mattix together, and the "heavily corroborated and well-documented evidence of their relationship", no photographic evidence of Bowie and Mattix together exists.
While she was still 14, at some point around the time she claims to have met Bowie, Mattix began dating Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. According to Rolling Stone, Page went to great lengths to keep the relationship a secret due to the possibility of being arrested for statutory rape. Mattix claimed she ended the relationship when she was 16 years old after finding Page in bed with Bebe Buell. Buell gave an alternate version of these events, claiming that despite the fact that Mattix "had given herself exclusively to Jimmy (Page) from age fourteen to sixteen," she was barred by Page's security from seeing him once he began dating Buell.
One day soon you're gonna reach sixteen
Painted lady in the city of lies
In 2015, an interview with Mattix was published in which she detailed the relationships between her and Bowie, and later Page. The issue later became a central debate topic across social media, prompting a widespread review of how such stories should be understood in the #MeToo era.
When asked whether the Me Too movement had changed her opinion on her groupie years, Mattix admitted that she hadn't seen her relationships as exploitative at the time, but that the movement had forced her to view these years in a different light, and that now:
I don’t think underage girls should sleep with guys... I wouldn’t want this for anybody’s daughter. My perspective is changing as I get older and more cynical.
Commentators have used Mattix's story to highlight the differences between social attitudes in the 1970s regarding the sexual exploitation of minors, particularly regarding people in positions of power, compared to more modern sociological values. Dr. Rebecca Hains, a children’s media culture expert, viewed the problem as a symptom of sexism in the music industry, arguing that it is a "sad commentary on our culture that modern masculinity can be so entitled, so toxic, that we are repeatedly put in the position of both loving the art and hating the man behind said art for what he did to women and/or children." Journalist Stereo Williams framed the problem of lax social attention to such crimes as one endemic to the time period – considered unworthy of concern in the 1970s and earlier – but incompatible in a modern era where society has a greater focus on "protecting victims and holding celebrities accountable."
- Maddix, Lori (November 3, 2015). "I Lost My Virginity to David Bowie". Thrillist. New York City: Group Nine Media. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- Cross, Alan (February 11, 2018). "The music industry is hurtling towards its own #MeToo and #TimesUp reckonings: Alan Cross". Global News. Vancouver, Canada: Corus Entertainment. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
- Gates, M. Sullivan (May 10, 2016). "A Word on David Bowie, Lori Mattix, and the Speed of Information". Medium. San Francisco, California: A Medium Corporation. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- Greene, Andy (November 21, 2012). "Jimmy Page Dated a 14-year-old Girl While He Was in Led Zeppelin". Rolling Stone. New York City: Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- Buell, Bebe; Bockris, Victor (19 July 2002). Rebel Heart: An American Rock 'n' Roll Journey. St. Martin's Press. p. 82. ISBN 0312266944.
- Mick, Wall (9 November 2010). When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin. Macmillan Publishers. p. 324. ISBN 1429985615.
- Kellett, Andrew (9 September 2017). The British Blues Network: Adoption, Emulation, and Creativity. University of Michigan Press. p. 99. ISBN 0472036998.
- Calef, Scott (2009). Led Zeppelin and Philosophy : All Will Be Revealed. Open Court Publishing Company. p. 282. ISBN 0812696727.
- McLean, Craig (May 6, 2018). "Good time girl: memories of super groupie Pamela Des Barres". The Guardian. London, England: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- De Gallier, Thea (15 March 2018). "'I wouldn't want this for anybody's daughter': will #MeToo kill off the rock'n'roll groupie?". The Guardian. London, England: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- Hains, Rebecca (11 January 2016). "Reconciling David Bowie's genius with rape". rebeccahains.com. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- Williams, Stereo (January 17, 2016). "Not Above the Law: David Bowie and Rock 'n' Roll's Statutory Rape Problem". The Daily Beast. New York City: IAC. Retrieved August 13, 2018.