One Way or Another: The Story of a Girl Who Loved Rock Stars

Nikki McWatters

One Way or Another: The Story of a Girl Who Loved Rock Stars
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One Way or Another: The Story of a Girl Who Loved Rock Stars

Nikki McWatters

I looked down at this man who adorned the bedroom walls of girls all over the world. His eyes were spinning, his makeup was melting and he had the goofiest grin on his handsome face. This was what the Vulture Club was about. This was fun. This was as rock and roll as it got. I was bedding this rock god on behalf of every teenage girl who had ever imagined doing exactly this - and it felt fantastic. In 1981, fifteen-year-old Nikki McWatters is living in a Gold Coast suburb, dragging herself through humdrum schooldays and dreaming of losing her virginity to a rock star. With three friends she starts the Vulture Club for aspiring groupies - and so begins a festival of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. By day Nikki is a dutiful student; by night she collects rock stars, crawling out her bedroom window and sneaking backstage to meet the band. As Nikki gets older, her conquests get bigger and the stakes get higher. Soon she finds herself in Sydney, chasing an acting career and carousing with her idols. From Australian Crawl to INXS, Pseudo Echo to Duran Duran, she is living her teenage dream - but is the groupie life all it’s cracked up to be? One Way or Another is a rollicking ride through a world of pub rock, big hair, wild nights and mornings after. With irrepressible humour and a bulging little black book, Nikki McWatters recalls an age when everything seemed possible - even if everything wasn’t such a good idea.

Review

Nikki McWatters is a young girl growing up on the Gold Coast in the early 80s, and she and her friends are obsessed with Rock Stars.

Not content with merely collecting posters on their walls, they decide to collect the musicians themselves ‘like butterflies’. And thus a band of groupies named the Vulture Club is born. With immediate success, the Vulture Club unleash themselves upon the late night venues, band-rooms, green-rooms and afterparties of the Queensland music scene.

Like all good collectors, the girls assign a a grading system for their conquests: a green star for meeting a Rock Star in person, silver for talking to them, gold for sleeping with them and also the rarefied red star.

There is of course one golden rule – don’t fall in love – and the rule is swiftly broken.

McWatters writes a brave memoir. It’s a candid coming-of-age kiss and tell set amongst many familiar faces of the 80s music scene where INXS, Australian Crawl, Cold Chisel and even Duran Duran are all counted amongst the characters and conquests. Deftly though, McWatters manages to avoid simply naming and shaming her co-conspirators and treats them with respect and dignity.

This is a rock and roll tale written from the other side. More than just a fan, McWattters and the Vulture club are participants in the scene and the book exposes a side of the industry often hinted at but rarely explored in such a humane and insightful way.

Tom_Hoskins Tom Hoskins is a rock and roll musician moonlighting as a bookshop manager. Or is it the other way around? In his spare time he enjoys riding bicycles and indulging the cats that have taken up residence with him.

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