Why do '70s rock stars get a pass on statutory rape?

After David Bowie’s recent demise it came to light that one young lady claimed to have slept with him when she was 14. There are numerous similar stories attached to many of the big rock stars of the era. Why haven’t these stars garnered much public opprobrium for their activity during this period?

I’ve wondered the same thing myself - it seems weird that the world of TV light entertainment has been held to account in recent years (e.g. Operation Yewtree) - whereas musicians have been left alone, relatively. I’ve just concluded that the media have decided that they don’t want to have to disown half the bands of the latter half of the 20th century as paedophiles, on the basis of underage groupie trysts.

Define “given a pass” - I don’t know about this claim about Bowie, but much of the excesses of the 70’s are very well documented and discussed.

Not sure what to say. Artists throughout history are demonstrably not saints. Do we have to go back and rename all of the buildings now?

A day after his death, and given his huge artistic influence across many media - I am not focused on anything but that right now.

What were the statutes in that place and time?

What was that place and time?

Lots of statutory rape isn’t charged because someone has to file a complaint. It’s the crime of having sex before a certain date. If he did actually engage in sex with a 14 year old he’s not claiming that he forced her.

Because we admired and approved of and encouraged their hedonistic behaviors at the time.

Add to that the generally arbitrary (though necessary) idea of ‘age of consent,’ and the fact that most people 40 years ago just didn’t feel that it was as big of a deal as we do today, and, well . . . barring accounts of violent abuse, it’s hard to condemn sex with teen groupies in the 70s with the level of shock and anger and vehemence that one might condemn similar behavior today.

If she was that young it doesn’t mean he knew. She may well have appeared much older, we all knew such girls growing up, after all. And she may well have presented herself as ‘of age’.

Besides which, it’s a claim, not an established fact. Which in the case of celebrity means not much, anyone can ‘claim’ anything, and often do. Silly nonsensical things even.

Add to it the fact that unless the girl or her family are pushing for a prosecution, and she admits it was consensual, there isn’t much of a case.

Yeah, I’m not seeing the ‘given a pass’, or need for outrage, to be honest. How many people who’ve claimed to have bedded a Rock icon, do you think actually have?

If it’s the Lori Maddox thing, she was thirteen, in Los Angeles, in 1973.

If said girl has no regrets about her rock star fling, then how would you go about prosecuting the “crime”?

No victim + no witnesses willing to testify = no trial. Pretty simple. No one is going to attempt to prosecute a crime with no evidence and and no complainant.

I’ll define “given a pass” as the general public being OK with them undertaking behaviour that if others had done it would result in him being publicly condemned for being a rapist, child abuser, whatever. Not only do they not seem to attract much public ire for their behaviour, people seem to think in many instances such behaviour was laudable. This “pass” seems to be only given to '60s/'70s rock and roll performers. In pretty much any other sphere, no matter what the girl’s opinion of the event, public opinion of the star would take a nose dive.

Sex with teens has been socially acceptable for the most part of human history, not just by pop stars in the 1970s. I heard there were some recent UK cases where prosecutors decided to go after old pre-1970s celebrities for underage sex, a half a century later.

Take a look at your grandma or great grandma’s marriage certificate, not to mention Miley Cyrus (15) and Jason Gaston’s (20) relationship.

But yeah, 1970s rock stars get a pass because:

  1. Groupies were asking for it
  2. Teens are sexual beings
  3. Regardless of law, teens did not need to be coddled as such until fairly recently
  4. It’s judgmental to label artists as perverts when they, like every human, are multi-faceted
  5. Celebrities are worshiped, especially those who create art which transcends time and space
  6. There are too many social justice warriors as it is, but feel free to start anti-David Bowie campaigns and see how for you get.

Do you feel the age of consent is a bad idea?

Celebrities and powerful people were given this pass frequently up through the 70s. There is no shortage of actors and sports stars who were given a pass as long as they were popular enough or well connected. Part of this was the public attitude, an underage girl who voluntarily engaged in sex with an older man was obviously a slut and asking for it. But still, in most cases there was no complaining witness, and no one to give a pass to.

I won’t answer for ElderSign, but IMO, in many ways, yes. I’m not prepared to propose an alternative, nor am I advocating old men raping five year olds (just in case you were gonna take it in that direction) but yeah, I think some of the laws are ridiculous, or at least some of the rabid prosecution thereof.

That Lori Maddox wasn’t very good looking, but what do I know? I read the article and it seems her mom was pleased as punch about her dating Jimmy Page, ‘like a little Priscilla Presley’. … I wonder if David Bowie even remembered that night with her and the friend. It must have happened dozens - hundreds - of times in his druggy life.

You can’t catch them, 'cause the rabbit done died.

It was Quid Pro Quo. We gave them a pass, they gave a backstage pass.

You haven’t read The Dirt by Motley Crue, or The Long Hard Road out of Hell by Marilyn Manson.

Nothing changes. Life on the road for a bunch of strutting young musicians is going to led to debauchery. The Go Go’s - all women, duh - were notorious on their first couple of tours for partying superhard and sleeping around. I know one guy who had a great time :wink:

In all the cases where I’ve seen it be a big deal, it’s either a married person, a teacher or other authority figure, a moral figure, or a situation where people think there was trickery. None if the first three apply, and we have no problem picturing groupies throwing themselves at famous rock stars, so we assume no teachery, unless there’s a habit.

I’m not saying I agree or disagree, just giving my opinion of my observations. Even those who think it happened don’t blame Bowie.

Edit: For teens, I mean. Kids are different.

If I claim you and I had homosexual sex in a hotel in Vegas, would it become the truth?

And also, why do you beat your wife?