Real Life

‘I was a 15-year-old groupie’

'I was a 15-year-old groupie'

Then and now: Nikki at age 15 and now.

Go on, admit it, you have fantasised about bedding a celebrity. While many of us have thought about it, Nikki McWatters has done it — and more than once.

Today, as she lives her life in the Queensland suburbs with her husband, a primary school teacher, and five children, she is being tracked down by the washed-up 80s rock stars she once got up close and personal with.

So why are they trying to track her down? She has written an honest, detailed book, One Way or Another, describing her experience as a teenage groupie immersed in the mid-80s rock scene of the Gold Coast and Sydney’s Kings Cross.

As a young teenager, Nikki formed a group with her catholic school friends. The aim? To bed as many rock stars as they could. And so began her experience as a bed-hopping, drug-experimenting groupie at the age of just 15.

“One of the guys from Duran Duran who has read the book enjoyed it and wished me congratulations and said he couldn’t comment further because he thought he might have recognised himself,” Nikki told us.

“It is actually dangerously satisfying. It’s like flipping the finger at them in a way. Ultimately groupies were kind of not really treated as people, who had a life and feelings, you know. Really, we were only there for one thing. I hope that a lot of old-age rock’n’rollers read it and think, ‘Oh, we never really ever looked at a groupie like that.”

So what brought on the sudden urge to relive the past? Surprisingly, it was Nikki’s husband who encouraged her to pen the book about the period of her life that saw her sleep with leather pants-wearing ‘rock gods’ in the back of limousines, experiment with drugs, force her way backstage and witness “lots of bonking in spa baths”.

“My husband dared me to do it — after chatting and telling him all of the stories over the years,” she said.

But despite his supporting role in her writing the book, he isn’t allowing her to any Duran Duran concerts in the near future.

“Duran Duran came to town not that long ago and I said, ‘Oh I should go and see them,’ and he said to me, ‘Oh I don’t think so.’ I saw them up close and personal once and that was nearly 30 years ago now.”

From her first groupie encounter with Australian Crawl to posing as Rod Stewart’s sister backstage at an Elton John concert “just for the challenge”, Nikki’s experiences as a groupie are both shocking and entertaining. She claims that in the 80s you had no trouble getting backstage, particularly if you were female and that there were more groupies out there at that time than people think.

“It used to be that rock stars were gods and now they are just people,” Nikki says.

“Back then it was the bravado and if you were brave enough to front up and go ‘Oi!’ and make up some silly story they let you back. “A lot of kids wouldn’t be brave enough to try it. I just brazenly did.”

Nikki says that when it came to writing about her experiences, it helped her get over some tough times.

“I was actually in a really bad place when I wrote it. I was suffering post natal depression and battling loneliness. I had just moved away from all of my friends and I’d had two babies in the space of two years at the age of 40 which was just a shock to the system,” she said.

“Writing this, I thought there is a crazy spunky person still stuck deep inside me somewhere and I guess in a way writing that book allowed her to come out again and I must admit I’ve died my hair pink and I’ve gone a bit middle aged crisis. I’ve turned into a middle aged adolescent again.”

Although her teen years were controversial Nikki maintains that she has no regrets from her days as a groupie and says her experience has helped her to be a better parent too.

“It was fun and I hope it doesn’t come across as a cautionary tale I don’t want it to come as, ‘Oh my god I wish I had never done that’. I’ve got absolutely no regrets.

“I have five children and they all know about the book and they know where I have come from so if I tell them about drugs they know I’m talking from a point of view of knowing and not just preaching.”

One Way or Another is available from April, 2012.

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