I'm with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie

I'm with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie❰Reading❯ ➶ I'm with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie Author Pamela Des Barres – Heartforum.co.uk The stylish, exuberant, and remarkably sweet confession of one of the most famous groupies of the s and s is back in print in this new edition that includes an afterword on the author's last years of The stylish, the Band: PDF/EPUB ä exuberant, and remarkably sweet confession of one of the most famous groupies of the s and s is back in print in this new edition that includes an afterword on the author's lastyears of adventures As soon as she graduated from high school, Pamela I'm with ePUB × Des Barres headed for the Sunset Strip, where she knocked on rock stars' backstage doors and immersed herself in the drugs, danger, and ecstasy of the freewheeling s Over the nextyears she had affairs with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, Waylon Jennings, Chris Hillman, Noel Redding, with the Band: PDF/EPUB æ and Jim Morrison, among others She traveled with Led Zeppelin; lived in sin with Don Johnson; turned down a date with Elvis Presley; and was close friends with Robert Plant, Gram Parsons, Ray Davies, and Frank Zappa As a member of the GTO's, a girl group masterminded by Frank Zappa, she was in the thick of the most revolutionary renaissance in the history of modern popular music Warm, witty, and sexy, this kissandtell–all stands out as the perfect chronicle of one of rock 'n' roll's most thrilling eras.

Pamela Des the Band: PDF/EPUB ä Barres aka Miss Pamela born Pamela Ann Miller on September , is a former rock and roll groupie, author, and magazine writerDes Barres was born in Reseda, California Her mother was a housewife and her father worked for Anheuser Busch and occasionally worked I'm with ePUB × as a gold miner She idolized the Beatles and Elvis Presley as a child, and fantasized about meeting and dating her favori.

I'm with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie MOBI ☆
    Import EPUB to the Program Import EPUB in sin with Don Johnson; turned down a date with Elvis Presley; and was close friends with Robert Plant, Gram Parsons, Ray Davies, and Frank Zappa As a member of the GTO's, a girl group masterminded by Frank Zappa, she was in the thick of the most revolutionary renaissance in the history of modern popular music Warm, witty, and sexy, this kissandtell–all stands out as the perfect chronicle of one of rock 'n' roll's most thrilling eras."/>
  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • I'm with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie
  • Pamela Des Barres
  • English
  • 06 September 2019
  • 9781556525896

10 thoughts on “I'm with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie

  1. Madeline says:

    Pamela Des Barres grew up living a comfortable middle-class life in Reseda California. She had loving parents and a stable home life, and all signs pointed to her leading a perfectly ordinary life. But somewhere along the line, Pamela Miller became Pamela Des Barres, one of the most legendary groupies who had a front-row seat (or, more accurately, a backstage pass) to the greatest era in rock and roll history. I'm With the Band is her story. If you've ever watched Almost Famous and found yourself wishing that Penny Lane had written a memoir (or better yet, Sapphire - Does anyone remember laughter?!), here it is.

    Des Barres takes us through her life, beginning with her as a teenager, trying to sneak into the Beatles' hotel with her friends; ending with her reflecting on a lifetime spent among musical legends. It's a well-documented memoir, with photos, diary entries, and letters giving the reader plenty of detail into this period of Des Barres life. (It helps, too, that Des Barres was never hugely into drugs and alcohol, enabling her both to survive long enough to write this memoir and to remember everything clearly) Under the tutelage of Frank Zappa, she and four other girls formed the GTOs, the “music group” (sarcastic quotations because they really never had much of a music career) that became the most legendary groupies of their time. Think of a musician from the 60's or 70's. Which one? Doesn't matter - Pamela Des Barres has seen him naked, or at least knows someone who has.

    I started out HATING this book, and it's almost entirely due to a laughably misguided introduction by Dave Navarro. Before you read the following quote, please do yourself a favor and look up a picture of Dave Navarro. Seriously, I'll wait. I want you to picture his face saying the following, and suffer as I have suffered.

    ...did you do it? I'm serious guys, you're not going to want to miss out.

    Anyway, now that we all have that mental image in our heads, here's how Dave Navarro decided to end his introduction to I'm With the Band:

    “My personal advice to the readers: Men, keep a box of tissue handy while reading this book. Women, try to keep your deep feelings of jealousy and hostility at bay...you know you wish this was your story.”


    Actually, Dave Navarro, I DON'T wish this was my story. Because unlike you, I don't think it's a compliment to have my life story reduced to future spank-bank material for some dude who looks like Dracula's gay hairdresser. But thanks for playing, and fuck you very much.

    After that noxious excuse for an intro, Des Barres throws us right into the hedonistic drug-fueled world of rock and roll in the 1960s. Throughout all of her adventures, Des Barres is constantly surrounded and supported by her fellow groupies, and frankly that was refreshing and surprising. Even the women who are fighting Des Barres for some rock star's attention eventually become Des Barres' friends, rather than becoming the villains. Even when a girl steals a man's attention from her, Des Barres has nothing but nice things to say, and the way these women (who, you'll recall, were all in their teens or early twenties at the time) support each other is fucking inspiring. What Des Barres seems to be saying, without having to come out and state it plainly, is that she and the other groupies bonded out of necessity - they had to love and support each other, because they knew that the men they were sleeping with would not.

    Considering that she's writing about a time when ugly sexism in the music industry was not only tolerated but encouraged, it's a surprise and a relief that I'm With the Band contains absolutely no internalized misogyny from the author. Des Barres, for all her faults, seems to have flatly rejected the mentality that other women are competition - a mentality that Dave Navarro oh-so-subtly tries to instill in the readers with his 'try to contain your raging jealousy, ladies.' Once more with feeling: fuck you, Dave Navarro)

    The writing itself is...not great. When I was starting this book, someone warned me about it by telling me that Des Barres wrote like a toddler with a head injury and unfortunately that description isn't far off. The worst bits come from Des Barres's diary, which is quoted at eye-rolling length. But at the same time, I have to give credit where credit is due: let them who would allow their teenage diaries to be published in a best-selling book cast the first stone.

    Speaking of the writing, remember how Dave Navarro pitched this as some kind of literary porn (that only dudes are allowed to masturbate to, because Dave Navarro sucks)? His criteria for erotica must be pretty fucking wide, because the sex scenes in this book are almost the opposite of sexy. Take this excerpt from Des Barres's diary, when she recounts the time she banged Noel Redding:

    “October 2...I CAME! How do you like that? ...Lovely romance, we played around for awhile and then he made love to me. AMAZING! I was totally under his control. He put me in a hundred positions and did such stupendous things! It's doubtful that anyone could surpass his proism. It was like being caught in a web, unable to free myself – wanting to get more tangled.”

    Oof. Look, Pamela, just because you write openly about your sex life doesn't make you Anais Nin. Granted, that excerpt is from a diary entry she wrote when she was nineteen, but sadly her writing doesn't seem to have improved with age. Although apparently the grownup Des Barres makes her living as a journalist, so what the hell do I know. Des Barres also seems aware of how ridiculous she comes off sometimes in her diaries and letters, and you can almost see her rolling her eyes behind the page as she quotes some passage where her teenage self gushed shamelessly over some rock star.

    That's about as far as the self-reflection goes, however. The closest we get to any sense of disillusionment with her chosen lifestyle is when Des Barres describes being snubbed by the new, younger groupies:

    “The rock and roll girls were getting younger, and I was no good at competing. They hated me because I had been there first, and they called me awful names at Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco, 'old' being the most popular odious declaration of loathing. I let them get to me; they told me I was over the hill, and I looked in the mirror, inspecting my twenty-five-year-old face for early stages of decrepitness. ...I believed the GTO's had paved the way for these infant upstarts, and I thought they should show me some kind of respect, or at least recognition for my groundbreaking Strip-walking efforts. Needless to say, they didn't show me jack-shit.”

    Of course right after this she makes sure to quote some rock star saying essentially the same thing in Rolling Stone, because God forbid the readers dismiss her as some jealous hag without knowing that a famous man felt the same way, which makes her feelings legitimate.

    It's also a little strange that, for a memoir focused entirely on the music scene in the 60s and 70s, there's almost no actual music. I was waiting for some description of how Teenage Pamela felt the first time she heard a Beatles song, or what it was like seeing Jimmy Page play in person. But there's not really any discussion of the actual music these guys were making, and you get the sense that the Rolling Stones could have been a barbershop quartet and Des Barres wouldn't have cared, as long as they were the most famous barbershop quartet in the world. But where Des Barres fails to encapsulate what was so interesting about the music these guys were playing, she succeeds in painting detailed, intimate portraits of some of the greatest names in rock and roll. And it makes sense – after all, Des Barres had affairs with all of these men, and saw them at their most vulnerable. Sometimes it's funny, like when she's describing the bedroom preferences of a certain Led Zepplin frontman; sometimes it's disturbing, like when she shrugs off the fact that one of them (I forget which, but it doesn't really matter) liked to slap her around in bed and she wasn't really into that; and sometimes it's just tragic, like her description of Keith Moon:

    “He was happy being anybody but himself. At night he would wake up ten times, bathed in medicine-smelling sweat, jabbering about running over his roadie and burning for eternity. He couldn't wait to pay for that horrible mistake. We took handfuls of pills, and he drank vodka like he was dying of thirst.”

    I got frustrated with Des Barres because there was no second-act realization, no turnaround in her wide-eyed adoration of rock stars. Where is her anger? I thought as I read through yet another breezy description of being used and tossed away by some famous dick with a guitar. I wanted her to rage at these men who had treated her like shit. Where was the regret? Where was the condemnation, the rage at these adult men who fucked thirteen-year-old girls and got away with it? Doesn't she realize that she's getting all her self-worth from other people? Doesn't she know that these guys view her as completely disposable?

    And here's what I realized: Pamela Des Barres knows that none of these men really loved her, or ever saw her as anything more than a piece of ass. Pamela Des Barres knows, and she does not care, because Pamela Des Barres is too busy having fun. And that, readers, is her great secret: no one, not even the biggest rock stars in the world, can make you feel used and used up if you are having a good time. So what if these guys were just using her for sex? Teenage Des Barres once wrote a list of life goals, and one of the items was “have sex with Mick Jagger.” She might have been just a notch in these dudes' belts, but baby, that road goes both ways. It was a fascinating roller coaster, watching Des Barres go from Feminist Nightmare to Feminist Hero? in my mind as I read.

    And then, to my complete surprise, at about the two-thirds mark, I found myself sympathizing with Des Barres. I felt sorry for her, and not in the “oh god why did no one teach this child self-esteem?” way that I had originally felt. I began to sympathize with Des Barres because I realized how badly the men in her life actually treated her, and how badly readers will react to her book. Pamela Des Barres's book is, at its core, the story of a teenage girl who was so insanely passionate about something that she made it the sole purpose of her life. She was obsessed with the Beatles in high school, and that paved the way for her obsession with rock stars, and her need to be part of the inner circle. And if there is one thing society cannot abide, it's teenage girls getting really interested in things. Pamela Des Barres is not a musician, she is a groupie. And that word, in most people's minds, automatically makes her an object of ridicule. I was supposed to hate Des Barres, and that made me love her.

    We sneer at the women (or, more accurately, girls, since most of the groupies in this book are only teenagers) who devote themselves slavishly to their rock idols, but we never have any disdain left over for the men who were the cause of this. We criticize and mock the star-struck teenagers, but not the grown men who used these girls and tossed them aside and played songs like Under My Thumb and wrote memoirs gleefully documenting how many chicks they banged in a night. It's easier, after all, to mock the results of a toxic culture rather than examining its origins.

    Unfortunately, Des Barres doesn't seem too interested in examining the misogynistic culture she idolized, or circumstances that led to her belief that sleeping with a famous person is just as good as being famous yourself. That was what I wanted from this memoir. I wanted Des Barres to end with this simple lesson: creativity is not acquired through proximity. Surrounding yourself with artists is great, but it doesn't make you an artist yourself. It's not enough to sit back and applaud while you watch other people create; you have to create something of your own. Pamela Des Barres spent her life sitting on amps and watching famous men play music; I wanted her book to end with her learning to make her own music, if only metaphorically.

    But, as some dick with a guitar once said, you can't always get what you want.

  2. Genevieve says:

    her description of paul mccartney's balls is priceless.

  3. Vanessa says:

    I get the whole worshipping at the altar of the rock god but this often bordered on ridiculous obsession. I was impressed by the creative means Pamela went to make her rock wet dreams come true. She really puts herself in the midst of the scene, time after time. Ruthlessly pursuing the latest shiniest hip swivelling rock star to catch her attention. I’m equally grossed out and in awe of her...or maybe just a little bit jealous!Although this book is not about the writing, it’s atrocious at times, (but also bizarrely insightful!) I also knew what I was getting into and it had all I wanted and much much more. By the end I felt so enamoured by Miss Pamela because amongst all the revelry she showed signs of insecurity and if there’s any finer example of fake it til you make it then I’ll like to know! She lives and breathes the rock star aesthetic and I kinda dig her dedication to pursuing all her wild dreams, plenty of times she happened to be there at the right place at the right time. That’s Hollywood for you. She got to experience some of the most spectacular rock star moments right at the time when rock was burgeoning into something extraordinarily exciting. Wow stuff indeed. This memoir is one for the fans of the groupies that set the tone and the scene for whatever was happening up on stage. Although this could easily be dismissed as a sexual bragfest I honestly believe that Pamela deeply cared about these musicians many she kept in contact with, actually just about ALL of them, that’s pretty darn awesome in my eyes. While she fell in and out of lust and love with many of these rock stars she was always actively on the lookout for true and lasting love she just happened to be searching in all the wrong places always believing she would come across her real life Prince Charming...maybe just one with eyeliner and tight pants! Incredible stuff and I was in complete groupie fan heaven reading this book.

    4.5 stars for the sheer enjoyment of being able to live through these exciting times through the eyes of the amazing Pamela!

    This book is commemrorating 30 years being in print and is being rereleased to celebrate the occasion. Thanks to Netgalley and Omnibus Press Team for my review copy.

  4. mark monday says:

    the main thing that i remember about this book is the image of timothy hutton leaving a bathroom with a trail of toilet paper emerging like a banner from between his asscheeks. oh the humanity. this short bit acts as a capper on the basically contemptuous timothy hutton sequence. the tone throughout the rest of this sexual travelogue is less contemptuous and almost wry, deadpan. but if you are looking for any actual insight into the various celebrities, look elsewhere - this book is not for you.

    what is it with starfuckers? why do they do the things they do? i suppose it is just the logical end result of the human desire to create and worship celebrity, to capture some of that golden celebrity warmth, to keep some of it close, some small bit of it. oh, humans. silly silly humans.

    but hey wait a minute, do reality tv stars count as celebrities these days? because if so, then i'm a starfucker too, yahoo! gosh it feels so good. i actually feel completely different now, and better, cooler, mere moments after realizing that i am only one person removed from being on tv. that's practically being an actual celebrity! i feel so much more connected to the golden power of celebrity now. yeah, celebrities! i should write a book.

  5. Sarah says:

    I'm ashamed to admit I read this book, but it's nearing the end of the year, people, and I need to knock out the rest of my Gilmore Girls list! This book was horrible. Absolutely horrible. I came into it with high hopes. I was expecting it would be like Almost Famous, and was excited to read about the real-life Penny Lane.

    Nope. It was just gross. First of all, Pamela Des Barres can't write to save her life. She would throw in random quotes from rock songs (i.e. Girl, we couldn't get much higher) to prove, I was there! I was SO in the rock scene! And she's crass. Near the end, when she meets her (now ex) husband, she talks about how she knows he's THE ONE when he gives her an, um, intimate disease, and she doesn't even care. EWWW. And as my friend Jenn mentioned, she just never grows up. She never matures and moves past this high school mentality of needing attention. I'm frustrated that this book is as popular as it is (and what's worse is the fact that she's published MULTIPLE books.)

    Anyway, I'm now reading the Unabridge Journals of Sylvia Plath. I feel the need to cleanse the palate...

  6. Tassa DeSalada says:

    Pam deBarres is the quintessential party girl. She’s had a wonderfully fulfilling life meeting all sorts of rock stars because she knows how to meet them. Throughout her life, she slowly learned how to approach them, and to present herself in such a way that these rock stars can’t say no to her. What fun!

    Her lifestyle is extreme, and I would have held back long before she went that far. But that’s why I read her book. She shares her stories with her readers. She has the personality, the looks, the youth, the wanderlust, the location (Los Angeles, California), and the time (the sixties). It’s the perfect mix for a sexually adventurous book. This is an awesome book!

  7. Eileen says:

    This book was unexpectedly inspirational for me in my formative years, I think because I hadn't heard of many women who managed to participate in the world of rock without losing their voices. Does that sound odd? It isn't when you think how many women are treated as accoutrements or decorations in that world. Pamela des Barres may have participated in that, but she did it on her own terms and created a unique and interesting identity.

    This isn't a feminist text, but it isn't actually anti-feminist either and it strikes a blow for the right of women to control and enjoy their sexuality just as much as their male compatriots do. It's great fun to read too. So there.

  8. Chantel Worley McCray says:

    Miss Pamela attached herself to absolutely anyone on the rock scene, so there is some good gossip here. She brags about her sexual exploits with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Jim Morrison, Mick Jagger, among many, many, many others. The narrative is interwoven with excerpts from her diary, the parts of the book I found it hardest to read. In them she just seems like such an insecure, immature idiot. Absolutely anything a musician would do, no matter how disgusting, degrading or idiotic, was inspiring to her. Her revelations are dishy, but I found it shocking and sad what she was willing to do and the horrible treatment she was willing to put up with, just to be associated with the world of rock. In 1964, the author and her friends, at the time just young girls, have stalked the Beatles to the house they are staying at in LA while on tour. John Lennon pulls up to the house and looks at the groupie and her gang with a face full of contempt and sorrow. and I can easily understand why. I found the book more sad than entertaining.

  9. Melissa says:

    I listened to the Audible version (read by the author). I expected a really exciting tell-all about a magical and turbulent time in American pop history and some of the big personalities that inhabited my Los Angeles stomping grounds 20 years or so before I came on the scene. I was interested in a little behind the scenes 411 about Jim Morrison, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa, etc. Instead, this was a vapid, nearly 11 hour long monologue which was, for the most part, devoid of anything fascinating. Imagine that friend of a friend that you stealthily avoid because she just talks too f*cking much, drops names, peppers her conversation with song lyrics, and then tells you too much about the not much that is going on in the empty space between her ears. Yep, that one. Okay, now imagine this same little energy vampire talking to you in her giddy voice for nearly 11 hours, and you'll know all you could ever want to know about this book. The confessions of this groupie aren't particularly tasty; kind of like ordering something that sounds delicious and gourmet and then being handed a saltine. I have some song lyrics too, for starters So What, by the Anti Nowhere League comes to mind: ...I f*cked this, I f*cked that...So what, so what. So what, so what, you boring little ****. (So bad....LOL.)

  10. Kerstin says:

    This was my bible for a long time. Despite how it is marketed, it is less name-dropping, gossipy chick lit and more the unapologetic, heartfelt diary of one teenaged girl's sexual awakening. Granted, this particular teenaged girl happened to find herself in circumstances vastly favorable to your run-of-the-mill, zitty-boy-next-door scenarios during said awakening, but still--it's a thoroughly engaging, lovely story. Involving penii of famous dudes.

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