Sexy '60s romps & rocking with Beatles, Stones, Dylan
By SUSANNAH CAHALAN
September 20, 2009
Meet the grooviest groupie of the '60s.
She shagged Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger -- all married men
-- at the height of their stardom.
Starr and George Harrison wrote songs about her, while
singer-songwriter Leon Russell penned the tune "Pisces Apple Lady" for her.
She snorted coke with Harrison and his wife, Pattie, did a drug run
for Keith Richards and tripped on acid with the Hells Angels.
Chris O'Dell, 62, lived every baby boomer's fantasy as the sexpot
assistant to the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. And now
she'll dish on her long and winding road in a tell-all book, "Miss
O'Dell," out Oct. 6.
In an interview from Tucson, Ariz., she told The Post she decided to
write the book after Harrison's death in 2001.
"I felt an enormous loyalty to him," she said. "When he died, I
realized that I couldn't rewind the tape and go back to where we once
were. So I decided it was time to write my book."
It was sheer luck that brought the 20-year-old from Hollywood, where
she worked at a record club, to London's Apple studio. A close
friend, Derek Taylor, had also come from LA to work for the Beatles
as a press officer and insisted that O'Dell come along.
Soon afterward, she took up odd jobs for the Beatles -- getting their
lunch, picking up phones, driving people to the airport -- until she
became a regular in the studio. She even played host to the Hells
Angels when they arrived at Apple, tripping on acid with three of the bikers.
She was there when the Beatles recorded "The White Album," "Abbey
Road" and "Let it Be" -- and she sang in the chorus of Paul
McCartney's "Hey Jude." She sat alongside Pattie Boyd, George's wife,
and Maureen Sharkey, Ringo's wife, at the Beatles' final concert in
1969 on the roof of Apple's headquarters on Savile Row.
Pattie and Maureen were cold to O'Dell when she first started hanging
with the Fab Four -- but George immediately connected with her.
"He was very open," O'Dell said. "We were both Pisces. We both liked
to have fun and laugh. He was also a flirt, which was what originally
brought us closer."
But when Harrison wanted to do more than just hold her hand, she rebuked him.
" 'Stop that, George!' I'd say, raising my eyebrow as if I were
scolding a little boy," she wrote in her memoir.
Although Harrison and O'Dell were never intimate, he was inspired to
write a song for her after the Beatles disbanded called "Miss O'Dell."
"I can tell you nothing new has happened since I last saw you / Won't
you call me Miss O'Dell?" the song goes.
O'Dell said: "It blew me away. It was so unexpected. He told me,
'I've got a surprise for you. I'm going to make you famous.' "
He strummed the song to her on his acoustic guitar as he sat next to
her on the couch in his house in LA.
Harrison even invited O'Dell to come live with him and Pattie at
Friar Park, their 120-room mansion in England. After Pattie got over
her initial distrust of O'Dell, they became fast friends.
"George, Pattie and I drank scotch, snorted coke and played pool in
the game room off the main halls," she recalled.
Soon enough, O'Dell was playing the unwitting go-between for Pattie's
and Eric Clapton's secret love affair. Clapton would pretend to come
to Friar Park to see O'Dell -- while he was really fervently in love
with Harrison's wife, the object of his desire in the song "Layla."
Pattie wasn't the only one fooling around. O'Dell watched in horror
as Harrison admitted to Starr that he was sleeping with Starr's wife, Maureen.
"You know, Ringo, I'm in love with your wife," Harrison told Starr.
"Better you than someone we don't know," Starr responded.
Soon after, Starr found solace in O'Dell -- for three months the two
were a hot and heavy couple.
She spent three weeks in the spring of 1974 with Starr at John
Lennon's beach house in Santa Monica, Calif., with May Pang, Lennon's
Her fondest memory of Starr was when they went to Disneyland together.
"We went to a bar there and drank and then went on rides. We had a
really good time," she recalled. "He was a great deal of fun. That's
what I remember about it. We'd go out, and we'd laugh a lot."
But she felt tremendous guilt about Maureen, even though the wife had
cheated on Starr with Harrison. O'Dell started knocking back alcohol
to forget about her friend until one day when Maureen approached her
and asked her, "Are you sleeping with my husband?"
Surprisingly, O'Dell and Maureen were able to salvage their
relationship and remained close friends until Maureen's death at 48
from leukemia in 1994.
After the Beatles, O'Dell took a job as a personal assistant to the
Rolling Stones, where she continued her drug use and even picked up a
sackful of drugs from a dealer for Keith Richards.
While on tour with the raucous rock group in the summer of 1972, she
started sleeping with Jagger.
"He was more like a brother to me than anything else. He was like a
kid, a little imp," she said.
Although she respected his then-wife, Bianca, for being a "strong
woman," it didn't stop her from sleeping with the singer.
"If there had been a job description being employed by the Stones
back then, I'm pretty sure it would have included a proviso that went
something like this: Sleep with Mick whenever he asks," she wrote.
Two years later, she worked for Bob Dylan as a personal assistant
overseeing his daily activities.
Even though he was married to the love of his life, Sara, it didn't
stop the folk singer from sleeping with his assistant.
They first shared an erotic moment at a Howard Johnson hotel in Maine
while on tour. He asked her to dance.
"I felt Bob's breath on my neck, his hair against my cheek, his lips
brushing lightly against my ear," she wrote.
"You smell good," he whispered in her ear.
Later, he made the move with a surprisingly hackneyed pickup line:
"You want to go to my room? I have some cigarettes there."
She was surprised by how attracted to him she was: "He had a real
sexy way with him. He has a magnetism about him. It was like being
pulled in like a magnet."
O'Dell now lives in Arizona, where she works as a substance-abuse
counselor. She's still in touch with Pattie Boyd. Starr is godfather
to O'Dell's 23-year-old son, William, by her ex-husband. O'Dell
married a fellow substance-abuse counselor this year.
"Each one of them, working with the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan,
was an amazing experience. I can't say I had a bad time during any of
it," she said. "And all that craziness has brought me to where I am now."