Movie Character Monday / Penny Lane

   Penny Lane flip off almost famous Screen shot 2013-12-02 at 10.53.52 PM

“It’s All Happening!”

Ah, Penny Lane. It was Kate Hudson’s sunflower curls, slow smile and smooth middle finger that were responsible for planting wispy dreams of travel in my head. Almost Famous is the coming of age film about  William Miller, an awkward fifteen year old reporter who goes on tour with a rock band on the brink of fame to write their cover story for Rolling Stone.

Along the way, he meets the luminous Penny Lane, leader of the Band Aids, who explains; “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.”

She is also partly responsible for my favorite scene of all time, ever:

Penny almost wins the fantasy over real life, coaxing William to join with her…“Hey, when we go to Morocco… I think we should wear completely different clothes… and be completely different people.”

pennylane08Kate Hudson Penny Lane

And at fifteen, I may have identified a little too much with her wanderlust reasonings. The story is achingly real for a tale of rockstars, and Penny, in her battle to shut out the real world, epitomizes it. She wants to heal the hearts of rock and roll..only for them to “sell” her for a case of beer. She is a young boy’s first love, but only a summertime lust for a troubled rocker. And if that isn’t the classic love triangle, what is, really?

In a film about being almost famous, nearing the energy… Penny Lane, always just offstage, is the one who steals the spotlight-finally boards her plane to Morocco…and in the end, slips away, leaving behind a trail of rose petals for those to remember her.

Penny Lane Almost Famous

“I always tell the girls, never take it seriously, if ya never take it seriosuly, ya never get hurt, ya never get hurt, ya always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends. “

…Cameron Crowe, who directed this quasi-autobiographical story, created this character (in part) from his friend at the time, Pennie Lane. You can check her out here. 

4 thoughts on “Movie Character Monday / Penny Lane

  1. I enjoyed Almost Famous, and in particular the Penny Lane character, who was a classic in every way. As you rightly pointed out, the character is based in part on Pennie Trumbull, who by all accounts appears to be a very nice and intelligent woman. The other two women the Penny Lane character was based on are Bebe Buell and Geraldine Edwards. Bebe Buell, as most folks know, has been a rock muse, and is also a musician, writer, and the mother of the actress Liv Tyler. She had been married since 2000 to her second husband, musician Jim Wallerstein. Geraldine Edwards was a well known rock muse in the seventies, and the fiancee of singer Robert Palmer before his death in 2003. She also dated Eric Clapton on and off from 1977 to 1999, and was involved with many high profile musicians, including Roger Daltry. Like Cameron Crowe, she was raised in San Diego, where they met one another. She is now a successful Los Angeles based businessperson and entrepreneur. She has been married since 2006 to her husband, British born businessman, J.D., and M.D., Anthony Flemming-Mueller. The two own and operate a legal practice in Los Angeles, where their main residence is located. I’m glad to say that all three of the women that Penny Lane was modeled after are great ladies, all living commendable and interesting lives today.

  2. Penny Lane is definitely an inspirational character. I always loved Almost Famous, and have seen it many times. As you have said, Penny lane is partially based on Pennie Trumbull. The other two ladies she is based on are Bebe Buell and Geraldine Edwards. This blog is a nice remembrance of times past.

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