September 13, 2021
These interviews with the so-called ‘baby groupies’ of the 70s and 80s reveal why the music industry desperately needs its own #MeToo moment
Look Away review – horrifying stories of abuse at the hands of male rock stars
Look Away (Sky Documentaries) is a documentary that looks directly at the music industry’s attitudes to and abuse of the young girls who were – and we can assume still are – pushed or pulled into musicians’ orbits. The film’s title comes from a track of the same name on Iggy Pop’s 1996 album Naughty Little Doggie, which is a “tribute” to one of the most famous “baby groupies” on Sunset Strip in the 70s, Sable Starr. “I slept with Sable when she was 13 / Her parents were too rich to do anything / She rocked her way around LA / ’Til a New York Doll carried her away.” Words are not deeds, of course, though Starr did run away from home to live with a member of the Dolls in NYC at 16, and knew Iggy Pop at that time.
“So many little girl songs,” notes Kari Krome, songwriter and co-founder of the Runaways. She was a witness to and frequent victim of the exploitation by older men of young girls who came to Hollywood; she recounts a rape and an assault, and you sense that this is merely the tip of her personal iceberg of trauma. Look Away is built round extensive interviews with her, the Runaways’ bass guitarist, Jackie Fuchs, and Julia Holcomb. Holcomb met Aerosmith’s frontman, Steven Tyler, when she was 16, became his lover, ward (he got her mother to sign over custody so he could cross state lines with her on tour without being arrested), and fiancee in that order. He got her pregnant then pressured her into an abortion, she says, then sent her home.
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