Study Guide

Almost Famous Scene 8

Scene 8

Scene 8

"Paranoid"

  • "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath plays as Elaine drives William to the concert.
  • "Look at this," Elaine says, eyeing the motley crowd of concertgoers. "An entire generation of Cinderellas, and there's no slipper."
  • "Don't take drugs!" Elaine yells as William exits the car. Our friends over at Shmoop History tell us that moms were pretty much never not completely embarrassing.
  • We cut to William as he tries to get into the back entrance of the venue. He is continually denied by the large, not very friendly-looking bouncer manning the door.
  • After his rejection, William meets a group of several young women who have begun to congregate outside. Here he has a brief exchange with Estrella Starr, one of these women, whom he calls a groupie.
  • Enter Penny Lane, an alluring and mysterious woman, dressed in her iconic garb: a fur coat and sunglasses at night.
  • Penny explains to William that she and her friends are not, in fact, groupies. "Groupies sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous," she tells him. "We are here because of the music. We are Band Aids."
  • Soon another Band Aid, Sapphire, appears at the door with passes for everyone. Penny tells William that she will try to find him one.
  • Still outside, William watches as a rather downtrodden-looking bus rolls to a stop. A bunch of scraggly dudes jump out and wander toward the entrance. It takes a moment for William to recognize these individuals as the band Stillwater.
  • William introduces himself as a rock journalist. "Ah, 'the enemy,'" lead singer Jeff Bebe remarks. "We play for the fans, not the critics," guitarist Russell Hammond says.
  • William pauses for a moment, then addresses the entire band by name, complimenting them and their music, as a fan would do. "And Russell, Russell, the guitar sound is in-sind-iary," William explains. "Incendiary."
  • Won over, the band invites William in.