In the 1970s, David Bowie, along with Iggy Pop, Jimmy Page, Bill Wyman, Mick Jagger and others, were part of the ‘Baby Groupies’ scene in LA. The ‘Baby Groupies’ were 13 and 14 year old girls who were raped by male rock stars. The names of these girls are easily searchable online but I will not share them here as all victims of rape deserve anonymity.
The ‘Baby Groupie‘ scene was about young girls being prepared for sexual exploitation (commonly refereed to as grooming) and then sexually assaulted and raped. Even articles which make it clear that the music industry ” ignor(ed), and worse enabl(ed), a culture that still allows powerful men to target young girls” celebrate that culture and minimise the choices of adult men to rape children and those who chose to look away. This is what male entitlement to sexual access to the bodies of female children and adults looks like. It is rape culture.
David Bowie is listed publicly as the man that one teenage girl ‘lost her virginity’ too.*
We need to be absolutely clear about this, adult men do not ‘have sex’ with 13 and 14 year old girls. It is child rape. Children cannot consent to sex with adult men – even famous rock stars. Suggesting this is due to the ‘context’ of 70s LA culture is to wilfully ignore the history of children being sexually exploited by powerful men. The only difference to the context here was that the men were musicians and not politicians, religious leaders, or fathers.
David Bowie was an incredible musician who inspired generations. He also participated in a culture where children were sexually exploited and raped. This is as much a part of his legacy as his music.
*Her age is listed as somewhere between 13-15 depending on the sources.