Review: “I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie” by Pamela Des Barres
It begins a little slowly, going into detail of Pamela’s obsession with The Beatles (especially Paul) during the 1960s and the early beginnings of adolescent lust-type feelings. She has a few high school boyfriends, always preferring the unwashed rock stars closest to her.
She soon graduates to the likes of Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Don Johnson, Keith Moon, Noel Redding and works as a nanny for Frank Zappa‘s children. She brushes up against fame with her girl group, The GTOs and searches for love endlessly, worshipping the souls and bodies of rock stars until she finds a man who loves her as much as she loves him.
The character of Penny Lane from Almost Famous (one of my all-time favorite movies) must be inspired by Pamela Des Barres, at least in some way. (And if someone tries to tell me otherwise, I won’t believe it.)
The writer spends a lot of time going deep into detail about how fixated she feels about certain people and then doesn’t let them in with the juicy details the reader so obviously wants. (Or maybe it’s just me…) Anyway, in this matter, I felt like Des Barres was being a bit of a tease. But perhaps she is keeping these sacred, delicious details for herself. I suppose some things are meant to be kept private.
(But when a former rock groupie writes a tell-all, one might assume they’d go all the way…)
The insights into this groovy, vintage world were well-written, and the book definitely kept me turning the page. I think I would have been happier if Pamela had ended up with someone who made her heart soar from the very beginning and not someone she would end up divorcing in the ’90s. (Sorry for the spoiler.)
An interesting dip into a sultry pool of a sexy life, I would recommend this book to a 1960s music lover with a mischievous mind.
Jillianne Hamilton is the author of Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, its two action/comedy sequels, and The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII. She is also a graphic designer, a hoarder of podcasts and a history enthusiast. Learn more.