I have a high emotional investment in all Cameron Crowe project, but Almost Famous is the only movie that I live and breathe. As Almost Famous turns 15 this year, I'm getting reflective about all the feelings it encapsulates, and how it's followed me as I developed as a writer, never faltered as a fan, and learned how to be... well, a groupie. It's weird that, as I grow up, I identify more with William Miller (always writing, often tapped by my idols, otherwise uncool by all accounts), considering when I was 15 all I wanted to be was Penny Lane.
Though hardly a flower child and barely charismatic, I latched onto a copy of Pamela Des Barres' I'm With The Band and tried my damndest to get... well, with the band. Though there was a time when I felt like I had macked it with a quarter of the 2007 Jersey Shows booking list, most (read: all) encounters with musicians ended with medium inspiration and heavy heartbreak. My muse complex finally curdled around age 19, and I've taken a long sabbatical from men-with-guitars since... for the most part.
But I admire anyone who wants to forge ahead with that kind of life. If that's you, then put on your best sheepskin coat and follow these tips based on the life and times of Miss Penny Lane.
1. Be There To Inspire The Music
According to Penny, the distinction between Band-Aids and groupies is that groupies sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous. Band Aids, however, are there because of the music. They there facilitate the creative process. Or, at least, that's what you tell yourself, you know?
2. No More Sex
...just blow jobs and that's it. No, I'm pretty sure that nobody in Almost Famous follows that rule, but try to keep yourself at least safe emotionally and sexually.
3. Never Take It Seriously
And how do you keep yourself safe? This is Penny's rational: "If you never take it seriously, you never get hurt, if you never get hurt, you always have fun." You keep that mentality, and you can crack a joke when your lover sells you to Humble Pie for $50 and a case of beer.
4. Surround Yourself Captivating People
Everyone Penny knows is fabulous, fabulous, fabulous, and having a fabulous squad elevates your own fabulousness. And that aside, "Famous people are just more interesting."
5. You Got To Have a Gimmick, And You Got To Have a Purpose
Penny is so well traveled that she can brighten up any room with her well-rehearsed airplane skit. But that's not all! Note how she wields her polaroid camera as an ever important capturer-of-memories. Penny isn't just bubbly and charming, she makes herself useful, and that makes her stand out. If you're at all curious, I constantly was errand-running for bands, and my gimmick (for the most part) involved baking cupcakes. Actually, let's be honest, baking cupcakes is still my gimmick.
6. Know When To Leave
In this instance we're going to learn from mistakes here: don't follow your pseudo tour boyfriend to New York if you know his ex wife/current girlfriend thing is going to be there. At the point, the party is way over, and it's time to head to Morocco and detox.
7. And Of Course, Embrace a Glamorous Moniker
I won't repeat what mine was because it'll take us to a dark place, but this is a must. From Polexia to Sapphire, all the Band Aids have sort of exotic alter egos. Lady Goodman had to become Penny Lane in order to leave the real world. You find your title, and you too can go where it's all happening.
Images: Dreamworks Pictures; Giphy (7)