It was 15 years ago that Cameron Crowe turned his experiences of writing for Rolling Stone magazine, which saw him tour with bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Eagles, into the screenplay for Almost Famous.
The semi-autobiographical film chronicles 15 year old aspiring music journalist William Miller’s (Patrick Fugit) tour with up-and-coming band Stillwater; he becomes more involved in their lives than expected, witnessing their volatile relationship as a band, and those with their groupies. One particular groupie, Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), (who is said to be based on infamous groupies such as BeBe Buell and Pamela Des Barres) drags William head first into the lifestyle his overprotective mother was so desperate to protect him from.
As Almost Famous turns 15 today, we celebrate with 15 of the films greatest quotes:
William Miller: “I have to go home.”
Penny Lane: “You are home.”
Home is where the heart is, and Penny was right, William’s heart was with music. Her heart, sadly for William, was wherever Russell was.
Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman), William’s mentor, kept himself away from the bands. Despite living in his office and being cynical, at least he was happy there.
Russell Hammond: “… And you can tell Rolling Stone magazine that my last words were, I’M ON DRUGS!”
After he sobered up, I’m pretty sure Russell (Billy Crudup) would’ve wanted to retract this statement.
Penny Lane: “We are not groupies; groupies sleep with rockstars because they want to be near someone famous. We are here because of the music; we inspire the music. We are Band Aids.”
We can either nod our heads or sarcastically tell her to keep thinking that, but every song writer needs a muse and who better than Penny Lane?
Elaine Miller: “Look at this, an entire generation of Cinderellas and there’s no glass slipper.”
William’s mother (Frances McDormand) may be a tad obsessive when it comes to protecting her son from the bad in the world (according to her that’s Simon and Garfunkel), but she does have a point here.
Penny Lane: “I always tell the girls never take it seriously, if you never take it seriously you never get hurt, if you never get hurt you always have fun, and if you ever get lonely just go to the record store and visit your friends.”
It’s a shame that sometimes Penny couldn’t take her own advice.
Penny Lane: “How old are you?”
William Miller: “Eighteen.”
Penny: “Me too! How old are we really?”
Penny: “Me too!”
William: “Actually, I’m sixteen.”
Penny: “Me too; isn’t it funny? The truth just sounds different.’
William: “I’m fifteen.”
I always breathe a sigh of relief as Penny doesn’t respond to that last statement with an excited “me too”. It’s a sad reality that rockstars today abuse their power to manipulate underage girls that lie about their age. Just recently allegations were made against band Front Porch Step, but they were still allowed to play the American Vans Warped Tour. Don’t abuse your power!
Russell Hammond: “I’m never as good as when you’re there.”
Russell finally admits it to himself, and to Penny, that she’s more than just another groupie.
Polexia Aphrodisia: “Forgive me Father, for I may sin tonight.”
I’m not sure about this, but I don’t think Polexia (Anna Paquin) has ever read the bible…
Lester Bangs: “Friendship is the booze they feed you on. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong.”
A brilliant nugget of life advice from William’s mentor which can be applied to any group of people in any walk of life.
Penny Lane: “Maybe it is love, as much as it can be.”
I’m pretty sure you’ll be as heartbroken as Penny when she utters this line.
Lester Bangs: “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.”
Another great life affirming quote from Lester; consider it every once in a while.
Polexia Aphrodisia: “Act one, in which she pretends she doesn’t care about him. Act two, in which he pretends he doesn’t care about her, but he goes right for her. Act three, in which it all plays out the way she planned it. She’ll eat him alive.”
Polexia chronicles a night between Penny and Russell and their on-off relationship.
Dennis Hope: “If you think Mick Jagger will still be out there trying to be a rock star at age fifty then you are sadly, sadly mistaken.”
I believe it is you who is sadly, sadly mistaken, Dennis Hope.
Penny Lane: “It’s all happening.”
It is all happening all around us all the time and this was Penny’s mantra, her way of saying that you should always live in the moment. Those are words to live by!