Douglas soon realized that “if you want to survive, you give what you get”, learning to become one of the boys. “I realized early on that there were different things I would be held accountable for,” she says. “I deliberately didn’t wear dresses or makeup or anything like that on days off. I thought that would send mixed messages.
While Douglas and AC/DC songwriter Malcolm Young slept together when she was 16, she otherwise avoided relationships with band members. “After that, I decided I couldn’t do this. Still to this day, if a male member of the team picks on one member of the group, he’s a hero to the rest of the guys. But if a girl does it, it’s like she’s a gold digger.
Still, many took a chance – mostly married men whose wives were back home, like George Harrison and Johnny Hallyday. Harrison ditched a stripper lapdance to talk to Douglas, and even proposed to her on the condition that she quit smoking. “I had no idea how to respond to this and was a bit embarrassed,” Douglas writes. When she ignored him, she received several messages “via a chain of personal assistants”, all of which Douglas refuted. “Some saw me as a therapist, some as a pal or buddy, some as a conquest. How could I tell which ones honestly saw me as a long-term partner as opposed to a touring romance?”
However, Loud is not a diatribe. Instead, Douglas offers a compassionate look at rockstars beyond the limelight, revealing that most of them are young men under pressure looking for a good time. Although their behavior was evil, their intentions were often not. She humorously writes about how Francis Rossi’s joke idea was to demand a new guitar pick while performing with Status Quo. Douglas went to rummage through the guitar tech’s pocket, only to find his hands shoved into the side slits of his suit, under which he wore no underwear. Recalling the story, Douglas roars with laughter. “I was mortified! I was so embarrassed! But I got off pretty easily, really. I was so naive, and it didn’t come from a bad place. They just wanted to piss me off. She admits, however, that if such a coup happened today “it would probably end up in court”.