The Tragic Death Of Sable Starr

The early '70s were a fascinating time in rock music. Coming off the buzz from the free-loving hippie movement of the '60s, most young folks of the era were fearing draft notices for the Vietnam War in their mailboxes. Rock music reflected that change, taking a hard turn down "Excess" and "Party Hard" Avenues. Tales from the early '70s are fueled with drug use and debauchery, and one of the most infamous stories involves a very young teen — Sable Starr.

Born Sabel Hay Shields in 1957, Sable Starr grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Getting involved in the scene at a very early age, Starr claimed throughout her life that she lost her virginity (in other words, was legally raped) to Spirit guitarist Randy California at the extremely young age of 12, far below the age of consent (via Rocks Off).

Sable Starr's later life

It wouldn't be too much later when Starr would get involved with the lead singer of the Stooges, Iggy Pop. Pop, who was 23 at the time, disturbingly acknowledged the event, and the fact that Starr was a minor, in his 1996 song, "Look Away," where he referenced her age (13) and that her parents were too rich to do anything.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sable Starr's story has a tragic ending. After running away from home at the age of 16, Starr would find herself in New York involved with Johnny Thunders, guitarist for the New York Dolls. Theirs was a tumultuous relationship filled with violence and drug abuse, and the relationship ended with an abortion.

Starr would eventually move to Nevada, becoming a card dealer at a local casino. Living the next two decades out of the limelight, Sable Starr died in 2009, at the age of 51 from brain cancer, survived by her daughter, Allie, and son, Christian.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).