The woman formerly known as the ‘Butter Queen’ groupie died in a house fire

(Facebook/Barbara Cope)

Barbara Cope, the woman who found fame in the music industry in the sixties and seventies as the legendary “Butter Queen” groupie, has died in a house fire in Dallas, Texas, NBC 5 and WFAA report.

The fire reportedly broke out in the early hours of January 14 in the single-storey Dallas home that 67-year-old Cope shared with her 93-year-old mother. A neighbour, 45-year-old Eduardo Flores, reportedly managed to help Cope’s mother out of the property, and she is recovering in hospital.

However, NBC 5 reports that by the time Flores returned to the house to attempt to rescue Cope, the fire had spread too much to allow him to access the property. Cope’s body was reportedly found near the front porch of her home.

“I grabbed my phone, and then I woke my parents up,” Flores’ 21-year-old daughter Veronica told WFAA. “He didn’t even put on any shoes or anything, he just ran out of the house and headed that way,” Flores said about her father.

(NBC 5)

Cope was known in the music industry as the “Butter Queen” groupie who socialised with rock musicians as they travelled through Dallas. She is said to have gained her nickname from her habit of using a stick of butter as an aide for sex acts.

Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant dedicated the song “Dazed And Confused” to Cope when the band performed in Fort Worth, Texas on May 19, 1973.

“We’d like to ah, in fact it’s got nothing to do with we. It’s got something to do with me. I’d like to dedicate this next one to ah, an old friend of mine, if she’s about anywhere. The Butter Queen. The Butter Queen. Fantastic. Do you know what it’s like? Far out. She is too much really, and so we’re , we, and this is an old one. An oldie, but goodie.”

That on-stage remark from Plant lead to a 1996 bootleg release of the show to be named “Tympani For The Butter Queen.” Her nickname also featured in several other bootleg titles including “The Revenge Of The Butterqueen,” “The Sex Machine & The Butterqueen,” and “The Butterqueen.”

Plant also mentioned Cope on stage in Dallas on March 4, 1975. “Whatever happened to The Butter Queen?” he joked. “She got cheap and started using margarine!”

Cope was also friendly with members of The Rolling Stones, and she’s mentioned in the lyrics to the band’s 1972 song “Rip This Joint.” “Down to New Orleans with the Dixie Dean,” Mick Jagger sings on the track, “‘cross to Dallas, Texas with the Butter Queen.”

Cope’s Facebook profile included a photograph of what she said was an autograph from Jimmy Page while he was a member of The Yardbirds. “To my dearest Barbara, over under sideways down,” the note reads, which is a reference to the 1966 Yardbirds song.

(Facebook/Barbara Cope)

Cope was profiled in a Los Angeles Times article in the newspaper’s June 18, 1972 edition. 22-year-old Cope told the newspaper at the time that “I dislike being a freak in a circus.”

“That’s what people think I am. They think – ah ha, a groupie, a camp follower. But it isn’t so. I’m just a friend to the rock stars. The reason I’m at the top – and man, this is a very competitive field – is that I treat them as a friend. And I always have a lot of young girls and drinks around for them.”

(The Los Angeles Times)

You can read that Los Angeles Times article in full here.

Cope was also featured in a 1987 episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 1987.

David Cassidy wrote about his experience with Cope in his 2007 book “Could It Be Forever? My Story”:

“After a concert in Dallas, I was visited by one of the most celebrated groupies of the era – a woman known as Barbara the Butter Queen, who liked to cover her conquests in butter before performing a particularly intimate act.

If you were a rock star – or close to one – Barbara went with the territory. She serviced countless rockers of the Sixties and Seventies and I’d heard her name in connection with Joe Cocker, the Rolling Stones and others.

The guys in my band and crew just gasped when they heard that Barbara was coming to ‘do’ them all. They were shaking with anticipation.

She turned out to be a rather tired-looking woman with a heavy Texas drawl, around 30 years old and by no means a beauty. But it was still a memorable evening.”

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15 Comments on "The woman formerly known as the ‘Butter Queen’ groupie died in a house fire"

  1. Sad she had to burn but her lifestyle had no morals or self worth. Sounds like she may still be burning. To be known by your sexual escapades is really sad. Using “Butter Queen” for her name would have been no different than saying she was the “K-Y Groupie Queen.” Love Led Zepplin’s music & Joe Cocker’s music, but why taint the musicians’ reputations by talking about having sex with her and her lubrication of choice for lude sex acts? Is that all music is about anymore– sex, booze, weed, and loose women? Really sad!

  2. Duedrop – does insulting people who recently died a painful death make you feel good? Does it get you into heaven?

  3. She was a good lady at times, other time, not so much. But she was infamous. She cried, she hurt, she laughed, just like any of us. Her life was condensed to a box of memories. But oh, what memories. As she always told me, “don’t believe everything you read”

  4. Rock on, everybody wants to be a Rock Star, and back in the day people enjoyed living their own way. She did it how she wanted to do it even if she used butter. Rock on Butter Queen, gone but not forgotten

  5. Livingonadream | 17th January 2018 at 5:13 am | Reply

    Duedrop Wow what harsh words from you to someone you don’t even know. Nor you now will never know. She was my neighbor and friend. We knew her past but could care less. She was a kind sweet soul. She took great care of her elderly Mom. She was simply know as Barbara. She shared her past with no apologies. Do you have a past? My dear Duedrop we all do. You should feel ashamed of your unkind words about Barbara. May she rest in peace. Had you really know her then saw for yourself the tragic end I hope you would feel differently. Probably not bless your soul as well.

  6. Rest In Peace Butter Queen!! You will be missed and always remembered.

  7. RIP Barbara.

  8. I was sitting in the audience of a concert in Dallas when I saw what was obviously a very confident free spirit sort of skip past in front of the stage sprinkling her magic fairy dust and sharing in the sheer joy of the rock experience. She was mesmerizing. In complete awe of her charisma, I asked people around me who she was. “That’s the Butter Queen,” I was told. “The greatest rock groupie around.” I never forgot that moment. It was a beautiful part of my rock concert experience. She was a regular Dallas girl who achieved greatness in rock iconography. I am so sad that she never wrote her autobiography. I am sure it would have been filled with the outrageous memories that only a rock groupie queen would have of some of the greatest musicians of all time. Rock on, Butter Queen. Your particular brand of magic is secure in the memory of people like me who can only dream of being s person like you!

  9. Jeremy James Todd | 26th January 2018 at 1:05 pm | Reply

    In his book, Cassidy says he and his friend never let Barbara suck them; Cassidy was turned off by the whole butter thing and joked, “Pass the popcorn!” and he and his friend had to leave the room they were laughing so hard.

  10. Double Standard Groupie Rock Chick Easy to cast stones and Judge. Would Jesus Cast her down to Hell for being with Zeppelin Cheap Shot. FYI Not Cool.
    Your Zeppelin Membership has been Revoked.
    Celebrate Her life. To burn in Any Home fire ASK any Fire Fighter.
    Ramble ON Folks.

  11. Just watching Joe Cocker’s road movie ‘Mad Dogs And Englishmen’ and had a “”wondering what they’re doing nowadays” moment, Shocked and sorry to learn of her awful death. May her God welcome her wherever. X

  12. Hey – no-one listened to the Three Man Army song – Butter Queen? If your name is Barbara, why do they call you butter queen’ check it out on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOtkvc_lNhA

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