I always tell the girls, never take it seriously, if ya never take it seriously, ya never get hurt, ya never get hurt, ya always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.
Time to look at rock and roll from a very different angle. The role of “music lover” takes many forms, and thanks to a trio of great books, AND a great movie, it’s time to “meet the groupies!”
GROUPIES, GROUPIES, GROUPIES!!!
If you haven’t read this trilogy of books from Pamela Des Barres, you are missing some of the most fascinating, insightful and well-written books about music ever released!
Pamela Des Barres is rock n’ Roll’s most famous groupie – and I’m not saying that, she is! Pamela has written a series of incredible books about life “with the band”, writing about her fascinating life hanging out with rock stars. Let’s take a look!
I’m With The Band by Pamela Des Barres
The stylish, exuberant, and remarkably sweet confession of one of the most famous groupies of the 1960s and 70s is back in print in this new edition that includes an afterword on the author’s last 15 years of adventures.
As soon as she graduated from high school, Pamela 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 1960s.
Over the next 10 years she had affairs with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, Waylon Jennings, Chris Hillman, Noel Redding, and Jim Morrison, among others. HERE SHE IS WITH JIMMY PAGE…
She traveled with Led Zeppelin; turned down a date with Elvis Presley; and was close friends with a multitude of rockers.
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 kiss-and-tell–all stands out as the perfect chronicle of one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most thrilling eras.
WITH KEITH MOON
Pamela’s honest, revealing autobiography was an immediate bestseller, and she has released follow up books as well…and critics loved her work:
“She charms me every time she refuses to regret. And she regrets nothing.” —Los Angeles Times
“Sunny, uninhibited prose.” —Slate.com
“Her prose is…glittery, raw and real.” —Indie-music.com
“Should spur enough interest…that…her story can be made into the movie it needs to be.” —The WOW Report
“Granted it’s gossipy, but it’s also a worthwhile document of the blossoming of an innocent California flower-child.” —Star Tribune
“Eminently readable, offering all the fun of a trashy read without resorting to sensationalism or mean-spiritedness.” —North Bay Bohemian
Des Barres followed up her bestselling autobiography with a new book, chronicling the life of groupies!
Let’s Spend the Night Together: Backstage Secrets of Rock Muses and Super Groupies
Since rock’s beginnings, there have been groupies. These chosen few women who bed, but not often wed, the musicians of their dreams are almost as much a part of music history as the musicians themselves.
Pamela Des Barres offers an all-access backstage pass to the world of rock stars and the women who love them. Pamela now the spotlight on other women who have found their way into the hearts and bedrooms of some of the world’s greatest musicians. In “Let’s Spend the Night Together”, she tells, in their own words, the stories of these amazing women who went way beyond the one-night stand.
Among the 24 groupies profiled in the book, you will meet:
· Tura Satana, Miss Japan Beautiful, who taught Elvis how to dance and gave him lessons in lovemaking
· Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, who tangled with Tom Jones in Sin City
· Soulful Miss Mercy, who discovered that not only does the rest of the world listen to Al Green while making love–so does Al Green
· Cynthia Plaster Caster, who redefined art and made history when Jimi Hendrix plunged his member into her plaster mold
This is a fascinating look inside rock, no holds barred…and Des Barres followed up this book with another intimate look at her own life:
Take Another Little Piece of My Heart: A Groupie Grows Up
This candid sequel, tracing her life since the 1970s, is another great book – Pamela’s no-holds-barred approach to her life as a celebrity. She candidly discusses a rough dozen years of marriage to singer-actor Michael Des Barres…
Among the other stories revealed: going into labor with their only child at the home of Frank Zappa; spends time with old cohorts Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith and admits she once fell for a woman, comedian Sandra Bernhard.
One note from Amazon: “some readers may skim over the “cosmic” insights, most will sympathize with the plight of her emotionally troubled son and many will welcome the return of this irrepressible, unflaggingly optimistic writer.”
These are honest, fascinating books, and they are terrifically entertaining and well-written…kudos to Des Barres for her honesty!
She currently has a great website – so check it out and relive the free spirit of the early music scene – see what she is up to now, and enjoy the ongoing material she posts on the site – terrific!
And now, onto Penny Lane…
Penny Lane: We are not Groupies. Groupies sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous. We are here because of the music, we inspire the music. We are Band Aids.
Penny Lane is the “music lover” from Cameron Crowe’s terrific movie about his start as a teenaged music writer, “Almost Famous.”
Here is the “Almost Famous” trailer:
William Miller is a 15 year old kid, hired by Rolling Stone magazine to tour with, and write about Stillwater, an up and coming rock band.
The film is director Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical account of life as a young Rolling Stone reporter. The actual group that Crowe first toured with was The Allman Brothers Band. (Gregg Allman was the one who distrusted him and kept asking if he was a narc.) Crowe’s real-life near-fatal plane crash happened while traveling with The Who.
Billy Crudup plays Russell Hammond, who IMDB says is based on Glenn Frey of the Eagles. His relationship with Penny Lane forms the backbone of the film, and Kate Hudson was oscar-nominated for her role….she is terrific, not only in her scenes with the band, but also the friendship that forms with William…
Stillwater’s songs were written by Peter Frampton (who also had a small part in the film), Cameron Crowe and his then-wife Nancy Wilson of the rock band Heart, a fact indicated early in the credits although the music acknowledgments credit Russell Hammond and Stillwater as if they were real authors and performers.
Penny Lane: I always tell the girls, never take it seriously, if ya never take it seriously, ya never get hurt, ya never get hurt, ya always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.
If you haven’t seen this movie, run out right now and buy the director’s cut on DVD or blu-ray, which is called “untitled”, the original name of the film….
A brilliant movie that captures rock ‘n’ roll AND the world of groupies in a funny, touching way…