The difference between a reporter and a groupie
A couple weekends ago I passed up my big chance to be a groupie.My mom is so disappointed right now.Actually, I would have been more like young music writer Cameron Crowe in “Almost Famous,” than Penny Lane. The difference: that whole sleeping with the band members thing. Details, details.The guys in SoulFeel, a band that has gained quite a bit of notoriety in the valley over the past year, asked me and a photographer to come along on their first out-of-state gig. They played two nights in Mystic Springs, Utah, where we were going to be set up in a cabin and hang out with the band before and after shows.Mom, in case you’re being haunted right now with images of me, five musicians, a sordid slumber party and skinny dipping in the hot springs, I was being serious about having my own cabin. And not sleeping with members of the band, remember?I’m so not a groupie.Instead of finding out what ’80s hair band most influenced the drummer, Dane, and which conditioning product lead singer, Brad, uses on his curly locks, I was updating the seniors menu for Saturday’s paper. I traded a weekend of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll for Salisbury steak and a side of corn. Well, maybe I only missed out on the rock ‘n’ roll part.My mom is totally reading this right now.So much for my Rolling Stone-like exposé of a Glenwood Springs funk-blues band on its way to perpetual stardom. Just think of the exposure a story like that could generate over in Europe.David Hasselhoff – even in his trademark Speedo – has nothing on SoulFeel.All this talk of mingling with musicians and being a wanna-be groupie prompted an old friend to remark, to my disbelief, “Whatever, April, you’ve always been a groupie.”Unfortunately, I think he was right.When I was an intern at a weekly newspaper in Indiana during my senior year in college, I had the Lafayette Leopards beat. Back then, I aspired to be one of the few female sportswriters in the field. Covering the city’s new minor league baseball team was a dream assignment. I spent my hot, humid summer days with the boys of summer at Loeb Stadium. I wrote stories about their winning season, and even put together a special section to welcome the team to Lafayette. Those guys loved me for all the right reasons.What I loved was watching kids do baseball bat spin races and seeing groupies congregate outside the team’s locker room like paparazzi outside a Fred Segal boutique during a Lindsay Lohan shopping trip.As a reporter with credentials, I would breeze past the women into the locker room in search of the perfect quote. Those girls hated me.The groupies would give me the evil eye, not knowing that I was actually hoping the players were wearing more than just jock straps.Doing an interview with a half-naked man is not as easy as one would think. I befriended a lot of the players because they didn’t really have any other people they knew in town besides each other. And Mom, when I said befriended, I meant that literally.At the end of the summer, my roommates and I had a party, which we casually mentioned to some Leopards one night out at Nick’s $3 all-you-can-drink Budweiser night.They came in full force, and did what every minor league baseball players do at a college co-ed’s party. The catcher rode my roommate’s mountain bike through the house. The outfielders broke the porch swing. The pitcher tried to make out with my friend Lynne when she was half-asleep.Those guys loved me because I was not a groupie – I was a reporter. There’s a big difference in the two, most notably, that sex thing again. Believe or not, a woman can actually get more respect by not having sex with a man.Although I missed my SoulFeel-on-the-road story, I still have the chance to do a great piece on the band before Brooke, Brad, Dane and Kirk hit the big time. Just don’t call me a groupie.April E. Clark was a mat maid in high school, which could be considered wrestler groupie behavior. She can be reached at 945-8515 ext. 518 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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