Jail-Bait: The Dark Relationship Between Rock ’n’ Roll and Pedophilia

Jail-Bait: The Dark Relationship Between Rock ’n’ Roll and Pedophilia

In the era of #MeToo, rock stars have remained seemingly unscathed. Is it fair to say that sexual crimes within the industry have been protected under the culture of ?sex, drugs, and rock ?n? roll??

Meghan Kane, The Progressive Teen Staff Writer

The music industry has had its fair share of scandals within the past 60 or so years. The stories of Courtney Love, R. Kelly, and Michael Jackson are well-known, but not many people seem to talk about the storied sexual histories of musicians like Jimmy Page, David Bowie, and Steven Tyler. However, when people do discuss them, they dismiss their implications because it was just ?the way it was?. Pamela des Barres, arguably the most famous groupie of all time, even said that ?there was an equal exchange of love and energy and fun between us and the musicians?. The thing is, times have changed as well as our societal attitude towards sex.

While we have kept the liberated mindset from the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s in terms of having freedom of choice in number and gender of partners, we seem to be much harder on those who cross the line of both the age of consent and consent itself. Ever since Ronan Farrow exposed the decades-long sexual misconduct of Harvey Weinstein in 2017, the #MeToo Movement has been eviscerating alleged celebrity creeps from Matt Lauer to Kevin Spacey. How is it that rock musicians haven?t been approached with these allegations as viciously as these other celebrities? Is it because most events happened 40+ years ago? Maybe. While the crimes may be too old for the authorities to charge the perpetrators with them, it does not mean that they never happened. These musicians deserve to be confronted with their violations just like everybody else, regardless of how old they are. A crime is a crime, no matter when it was committed.

Image for postLed Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page with teenage groupie Lori Maddox in the early 1970s (Rolling Stone)

Lori Maddox, a groupie from Los Angeles, allegedly lost her virginity to David and Angie Bowie at the young age of 13. She met Jimmy Page, guitarist of Led Zeppelin fame, in 1972 in LA. She admitted that he frightened her and that she rejected his advances several times, but she finally gave in when Zeppelin?s tour manager brought her to Page?s LA mansion and saw him in a room that ?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?. He dumped her when she turned 16, after dating her since she was just 14. Page has also been linked to Pamela des Barres, who was also a teenager during the 1970s. While his relations with underaged girls were consensual, the girls were still underaged. Page, who was in his late twenties and early thirties at the time of his scandals, did what he could to keep them hidden. He knew that what he was doing was criminal, and he still hasn?t been aggressively confronted with his crimes all these years later.

Page is just one example of a predatory musician, and the affiliation with pedophilia extends beyond physical interactions. Ted Nugent, ardent conservative and rock legend, infamously wrote a song that was literally called ?Jailbait?, detailing his infatuation with a 13-year-old girl.

?Well, I don?t care if you?re just thirteen?

?You look too good to be true?

Ted Nugent, ?Jailbait?

Musicians seem to be very straightforward when singing about sex crimes, coming right out and saying what they mean without beating around the bush. Kiss? ?Christine Sixteen? and Winger?s ?Seventeen? are two obvious examples of this bold negligence. These were grown men singing about having sex with underage schoolgirls, and they knew exactly what they were writing about.

?I don?t usually say things like this to girls your age, but when I saw you coming out of school that day, that day I knew, I knew, I?ve got to have you! I?ve got to have you!?

Kiss, ?Christine Sixteen?

Is the whole carefree culture of ?sex, drugs, and rock ?n? roll? to blame? Some of the most legendary bands are also famous for their enormous sexual appetites, such as the Rolling Stones. Within rock culture, it seems as though all people care about is the sheer number of sexual conquests that each musician has. The details, such as age differences, don?t appear to matter as much. The act of sleeping with underage girls is more taboo than it is criminal in the world of rock, more so 40 years ago than now, obviously.

It is well-known amongst the rock community that Steven Tyler took legal guardianship of a 16-year-old girl and later forced her to have an abortion, and that Bill Wyman began a relationship with a 13-year-old girl while he was in his 40s, but both men had successful careers after the fact. The issue of pedophilia and sexual crimes in rock ?n? roll isn?t ruining careers and lives as it is in the rest of the entertainment industry, and it should be. It doesn?t matter that these musicians slept with underage girls over 40 years ago, it matters that they knew back then that what they were doing is wrong and that they took advantage of the slow speed of information in order to sweep their infractions under the rug. It?s absolutely unjust and unfair that these men, no matter how old they are, have been allowed to keep their stardom and careers without being them being significantly damaged by their illegal actions. In the end, no matter who you are, wrong will always be wrong.

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