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24 September 2014

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Nobody did it better....
Pamela Des Barres and Girls Together Outrageously
The first stirrings of Girl Power? Pamela Des Barres in the all-girl rock group Girls Together Outrageously

Aahh, the innocent 60s: drugs, rock n roll AND loadsa sex. Lord Crowley re-reads a classic groupie memoir...

audioLISTEN to music from Pamela Des Barres' backpages below!

our music critic gary crowley is on air on Wednesday evening - and on Saturday too on 94.9 audio
find out more


One book I'm getting a tremendous kick out of at the moment is Pamela Des Barres' classic, voyeuristic read I'm With The Band, her groupie memoirs (first published back in 1987) detailing her time in this crazy business we call show.

"Where she really excels is in painting a picture of a magical time in LA's musical history, while also capturing the freewheeling spirit of the time..."

If you haven't read it, it's a fascinating account of her adventures within the LA music fraternity - and all who sailed through her (well almost!) from the mid 1960s onwards.

Growing up in Reseda, California and besotted with music and pop stars from an early age, Pamela began with an unrequited love for Beatle Paul and subsequently developed a penchant for musicians of the English variety.

different variations

Along the way she became 'special friends' with Mick Jagger, Keith Moon, Noel Redding, Byrds man Chris Hillman, the great country rocker Gram Parsons, Jimmy Page and actors such as Brandon de Wilde and Don Johnson.

Her speciality was oral sex and legend has it, to quote a Carly Simon lyric, 'Nobody did it better'!

She was also a member of Frank Zappa's notorious all-girl group, the GTOs, which stood for Girls Together Outrageously but also had many different variations.

Pamela Des Barres
Nobody does it better (allegedly): Pamela Des Barres, groupie superstar

The GTOs were a group of ladies with names like Miss Pamela, Miss Mercy and Miss Christine, who recorded songs with evocative titles such as 'The Captain' s Fat Theresa Shoes' and 'Do Me In Once And I'll Cry, Do Me in Twice And I'll Know Better'!

Their philosophy in life was, quite simply, like the boys from Spinal Tap, to "have a good time, all the time"!

magical time

Where Pamela des Barres really excels in the book though is in painting a picture of a magical time in LA's musical history, while also capturing the freewheeling spirit of the time at a stage when the dreaded AIDS hadn't even been thought of.

It's a view that we rarely get to read about so candidly, and I can't wait to see the TV movie based on Pamela's life which is planned for release later this year.

(I'm With The Band by Pamela Des Barres has been reissued by Helter Skelter books)

audiolisten hear Gram Parsons and 'A Song For You' from GP/Grievous Angel click here (listen in Windows Media Player - need help?)
audiolisten hear Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention and 'Dog Breath In The Year Of The Plague' from Uncle Meat click here

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pamela des barres: official site

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