By PDX People
PORTLAND, Ore. – Pennie Ann (Pennie Lane) Trumbull is one of the most famous people from Portland Oregon because she played an influential role in 1970’s rock music history as a band promoter for some of the most influential rock bands of the 1970’s.
Her story was brought to life in the 2000 film Almost Famous. Starring Kate Hudson, Almost Famous chronicles some of the wild times that she enjoyed during that brief period in the 1970’s when she was as well known in rock music industry as many of the top bands of the day.
About Pennie Ann Trumbull
Born on July 3rd, 1954, Pennie Ann Trumbull grew up in quiet Portland Oregon but after going to Roosevelt High School and living the life of a typical teenager she fell in love with music and decided to move to Los Angeles at the age of 17 to get involved in the music industry.
She changed her name to Penny Lane and along with a friend they decided to dedicate the next 3 years of their lives to the music world and they became the most in-demand promotors for many of the top bands of the day.
What most people don’t know is that by age 20 Penny gave up her life in the music world and returned to Portland to go to college, get her bachelors degree and settle into a successful marketing career.
By late 1999 Penny thought she was long forgotten in the music industry, but she wasn’t, because Cameron Crowe contacted her about a script that he was writing about his time as a teenage reporter during the 1970’s and he wanted to create a character about her in the movie.
“Almost Famous” is the film; a coming of age story told through the eyes of William Miller in 1973 San Diego. William, a shy 15-year-old, sits on the fringe of teen society. To compensate for a lack of community, he turns to writing and rock and roll landing a plum assignment covering an up and coming band. William ends up on the tour bus to get his story, guided through his adventure by the lovely Penny Lane, a groupie, and leader of the “Band-Aids.” Like the character William, Crowe himself was shy and highly intelligent, finishing high school early at the age of 15 in 1972. He wrote music reviews for an underground publication based in San Diego, corresponded with rock journalist Lester Bangs and worked for Ben Fong-Torres at Rolling Stone before turning his attention to screenwriting.
The storyline could be referring to William Miller, the boy whose coming of age is at the heart of “Almost Famous,” or it could be a page out of the life of the film’s creator Cameron Crowe. Like his young protagonist, Crowe had gotten his start as a rock journalist at the age of 15. In 1973, when he was just 16, he joined the staff of Rolling Stone magazine, where he eventually became an associate editor. While still in his teens, the young writer and avid music fan profiled many of the era’s most influential artists. The experience had a profound effect on Crowe, and over the years, as he turned from journalism to film making, he attempted to bring the essence of that story to the screen.
Portrayed by Kate Hudson, Penny Lane was brought to life on the silver screen and she quickly became sought out by film buff’s and rock music fans because they all wanted to know more about her unique story.
18 years later, Penny is still in demand as she still gets asked to speak at film festivals across the country to discuss her unique experiences as a rock promoter in the 1970’s.
Today she happily lives on her Sauvie Island ranch growing grapes and occasionally officiating marriages there since she is also an ordained minister.