Sweet Penny Lane…the incredible character Kate Hudson plays in the iconic Almost Famous. I’ve been called Penny Lane more times than I can count. I have big blonde hair and an affinity for flares and fur coats, but I am not your band-aid.
A lot of you don’t know me personally, but I can be a flirt, I’m friendly and I smile when I talk, but that lends itself to flirtation sometimes. When I get to a show and I walk backstage, press badge on, questions in my head, I can often get mistaken for that term that I hate so much, a groupie. Now if your mission in life is to have sex with lots of bands, go for it, follow your dreams, but I think there’s a huge difference between having sex with bands, being a fan of these bands, and being a professional music journalist.
The problem is sometimes I get along really well with people I interview, sometimes they offer me flights to the Caribbean, or trips to Vegas, or more often, drinks after the show. I turn down most of these offers because I like to take myself out of situations that can be misinterpreted. This can be totally unfair though. This is a networking industry and having strong relationships is key. Who’s to say they aren’t offering me drinks platonically? I want to hang out with the band and get extra details for this awesome write-up I’m going to do. I just prefer to stay on the safe side and make sure there’s no misread signals. Will I text my writers that the frontman is looking fine AF tonight? Definitely! Will I sleep with him? Nope.
However, I’ve made mistakes, and by mistakes I mean I have been romantically involved with musicians, maybe even a couple that I’ve interviewed (If you want to know which ones, the letters of their names are randomly placed in this paragraph). It’s like getting involved with someone in your office, you spend a lot of time together and it’s just bound to happen eventually. I feel like maybe if I was a man it wouldn’t be so frowned upon, I actually think it would be applauded. It’s almost always a bad decision and we’re all subject to them. That’s what makes us human and it’s important to learn from your mistakes and move on.
But what about the ethics? Guys, I love ethics! I have a folder on my computer titled ethics. I try really hard to maintain amazing platonic relationships with my favorite band guys, even better I love all the badass ladies I interview that I don’t worry about at all and can gush over nonstop and feel awesome. All I can is, I try really hard. I can shut down a flirty text. I keep my conversations about interviews and industry. If I think someones flirting with me I like to be upfront, as awkward as that can be.
I guess I’m saying all of this because I don’t want to lie about this, and I’ve heard a nasty rumor about myself before. I know how Taylor Swift feels now, jk I cannot imagine her struggle. When I heard other people talking about me, calling me a slut, saying I sleep with guys I interview, it hurt. I feel like I work really hard to protect my reputation. Like I said, mistakes happen, but I don’t think I should be berated for them. I’ve never let it affect my writing or my professional life and I work really hard to maintain that.
I’m just a single girl trying to find some love while writing about music. So, if you read through this and thought “wow you are so self-involved, nobody cares,” then rock on, but if you’ve ever heard a mean rumor about yourself, you know where I’m coming from. It can be hard out there, let’s not knock each other down or judge people’s romantic lives. What I’m trying to say is, if you want to sleep with the drummer, do it, but do it because you want to and do it knowing you may get hurt or maybe you’ll fall in love and get married. Who knows!? Isn’t that the point of life? We’re not here to judge, and we need to end slut-shaming, and groupie-shaming, and just be all-together more supportive of each other and our life-choices.
“It has to get better. The way we treat each other and look out for each other. It has to get better somehow.”
You’re a strong woman and those hateful words will make you stronger