One Night Bands

As “the world’s most famous groupie,” I have very personal access to the rock muses of this world; they love to open up to me and reveal their deep down yummy secrets. My 4th book, “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” was over-long (imagine that!) and this scintillating chapter had to be excised. But here it is in all it’s naughty, bawdy glory: the untold tales of groupies and their one night romps with rock gods.

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I’m With the Band

Originally published in ’87, the New York Times bestseller, “I’m With the Band” has been republished many times throughout the years, in the US and all over the world. The story begins with her early obsession with Elvis, Beatlemania madness, and her fiery determination to meet the musicians that rocked her world. Before she settles down with the glitterglam prince, Michael Des Barres, Pamela has scintillating encounters and wild affairs with mythological gods such as Jim Morrison, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Ray Davies, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, and Keith Moon. Not a kiss and tell just to kiss and tell, “I’m With the Band” is the honest story of a woman growing up in the thick haze of the rock revolution, and coming out the other side with joy and aplomb.

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Take Another Little Piece of My Heart

Her second book, “Take Another Little Piece of My Heart – A Groupie Grows Up,” continues the Des Barres saga into the rise and fall of a rock & roll marriage, the raising of a gifted, troubled son, the loss of her beloved daddy, O.C. Miller, and her best friend, Michele Myer, to breast cancer. It also tells the story of the relentless shenanigans of the ‘Face-Pack,’ Pamela’s group of goofy, glamorous celebrity best-friends. This book also delves into her ongoing spiritual quest.

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Rock Bottom

“Rock Bottom – Dark Moments in Music Babylon” took Pamela 3 years to write and research: 26 chapters of rock & roll excess and tragedy, featuring old friends and long-lost heroes such as Eddie Cochran, Syd Barrett, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham.

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Let’s Spend the Night Together

“Let’s Spend the Night Together” twenty-five tales of groupiedom at its finest, chronicles love affairs, one-night stands and long-term romances between rock’s high-priestesses and their incandescent Rock Gods.

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  1. I first heard about Pamela Des Barres from the Girls in the Garage (Volume IV) compilation on Romulan Records. This compilation album featured a song about Brian Jones entitled ‘love on an eleven year old level’. I loved the zeitgeist captured by that spoken word ‘’ song-poem’’. There are many songs that capture the mid and late sixties vibe written by men e.g. Bob Dylan, Scott McKenzie etc. There are myriad songs penned by male garage punk bands from that era as well. Comparatively less exists from the ‘’female perspective’’. I really didn’t dig Joan Baez or Joni Mitchell much. I liked them but they didn’t really strike a full chord with me, just a few notes here and there. But the GTOs were really something special to me. It was like The Runaways before The Runaways. I think the GTOs were contemporaries of Goldie and the Gingerbreads, Daughters of Eve and the mind rockin’ She. These three bands are among my all-time faves. They are also more traditional (for want of a better word) all-girl-band formats. The GTOs were very different. They were intimidating in a thrilling way. They were even more confronting and even more enigmatic and they were musical novices. That sweet naivety is what is so endearing and enticing about their material and what makes it a great work of art for me. Listening to the GTOs on my little vintage dancette felt like the female flower generation had just distilled itself into a two minute song and sprayed its scent straight into the garden of my mind. The breathy adulation evident in their voices coupled with the teenage angst that laced the words being spoken was dynamite. Why didn’t this stuff take off? How did we become stuck with the likes of mass processed rubbish like Kylie Minogue, Brittney Spears and whatever? The GTOs recordings were the best thing Frank Zappa could have done for ”grrrl rock”. They call to my mind the famous quote from E.E. Cummings: ‘’a pretty girl who naked is, is worth a thousand statutes’’ or in today’s currency a thousand ‘’pitch correction’’ machines! For years I yearned to know more and see more of the GTOs but this was the days before the world-wide web and so their mystique just grew stronger. When I finally read Miss Pamela’s book I’m with the Band, I really enjoyed the frank, sometimes heart breaking, often funny and free spirited stories she had to share. This woman cannot be stamped, indexed, categorised, classified, filed or stereotyped. She is a rock n roll grrrl, an earth mother, an artist’s muse, a siren, a music lover, a teacher, an author, a hippie, the erudite and so much more. She writes well and she is attractive, smart, emotionally intelligent and charismatic. I respected the fact that her first book was not gossipy or bitchy in any way. I am certain there is a whole lot more to tell but Miss Pamela is a Lady about everything and I think that is why so many women are drawn to her story. There is nothing vulgar or immoral here. It is like John Berger said, there are many different ‘’ways of seeing’’ and how someone chooses to ‘’see’’ Miss Pamela speaks volumes about the person but much less about Miss Pamela. The author offers us a playful glimpse of 60’s rock iconography through the eyes of an innocent rock n roll dreamer who was and still is a beautiful free spirited nymph. As E.H. Carr said; words (like ‘’Groupie’’) are just neutral and empty sacks and you fill them with your own prejudices, conventions, morals, habits and beliefs. Pouring over the pages of her first book I felt like I had a life-line directly into the aorta of glorious retro America. The ‘’America’’ I missed out on because I was a bit too young and also on the wrong continent. There are many women around my age worldwide that I think feel the same way. Miss Pamela’s book really did satisfy the longing and nostalgia I have for the ‘’vanishing’’ America of the space race, sixties garage punk, Continental juke boxes, Paco Rabanne chain mail dresses, the Chemosphere house, Captain America comics, détente, Pandora’s Box, the cold war, James Bond, the Googie building, the English Disco, The Whisky, Frank Lloyd Wright, Paraphernalia, ‘’Riot on Sunset Strip’’, Sunset Tower, Tiger Morse and so on. I make no apologies here that my view of that particular time period is utterly romantic and idealistic! Everyone needs an escape route and the 60’s has always been mine. On a more serious note, Miss Pamela’s memoirs have undeniable historical significance. I graduated from university with a double degree in Law and Politics. I also did a minor in modern history and the most memorable professor of all for me was Professor Bosworth (an American) who always told us history is everywhere you look and everything you read from the time. It is not one single text, or one single book or essay. History is a combination of various resources that make up the jigsaw puzzle we call ‘’truth’’. A letter is history, a photograph is history, a painting is history, a diary is history, and a telegram is history. None of the resources are any more significant or important than the others. Miss Pamela’s books give us another layer of truth and to deny the socio-political significance of her work is stubborn, especially if you are a feminist. As feminists women should look to defend and protect their own not cut them down and reinforce a ‘them’ and ‘us’ mentality which mirrors the male ‘’virgin / whore’’ dichotomy. You don’t see any men doing that to other men do you? The other point illustrated by Miss Pamela’s books is that the age of the free-wheeling super-groupie of Miss Pamela’s brood is long gone because in today’s litigious environment can you imagine someone like Pattie Boyd (for example) just walking out on George Harrison or Eric Clapton without asking for half the assets or at least something for her trouble? That would just not happen today. We live in a different world now but thanks to Miss Pamela we have proof it was once innocent and undemanding.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I’m currently reading ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’. I’m very intrigued by the different stories & experiences.
    Does Pamela know anyone who ever ‘hooked up’ with Dave Edmunds? I would love to hear their story.
    Thank you

  3. Alionna Ar. says:

    Great thanks for you flourishing, gorgeous books, Pamela. Whould love to live up to your experience. Vita est nobis aliena magistra. Thank you. True Beauty.

  4. Just finished Rock Bottom ..thanks for a definative account of these brief lives..after all the rumors and bits and pieces it’ good to know what actually happened as far as we can tell
    I hope some university is beginning to think of an horourary doctorate in history for you

  5. I so want to kiss you…and of all the people I have encountered ,I feel you most understand just how much I do …

  6. scott warner says:

    Pamela…you and I went into the back of a van at a Love In in Griffith Park in 1969…I could never forget it…to be one of your boys… what a wonderful memory. Love You…Scott

  7. Laure says:

    Hi miss P,

    Why only two of your books are translate in french? I want all of them!!!!!
    Vous êtes GÉNIALE!!

    Love from France

  8. Nancy says:

    Is there any translation of any book in Polish ? If it’s there tell us how to get it…

  9. Elaine says:

    I read I’m With The Band years ago & loved it. I just read it again so many years later on my Kindle & loved it even more. Just purchased Take another little piece of my heart & Let’s spend the Night together. Didn’t want it to end so ill just continue reading….thks for all the great stories. You’ve really lived some hell of a life!

  10. sarah-jayne michel says:

    dear miss p , I as a 30 year oldbritsh woman have to thank you so so so so much for sharing your stories with us. It’s finally refreshing to see that my point of view of wanting to thank band members for making me feel so good through thier music , is a shared one . Now I never actually slept with any of them , but i did like to uhm kiss and play a lot and it is with unfortunate gaze that it wasn’t with anyone as god like as mr page ect but I had a wail of a time and wouldn’t change it for the world !
    Reading your book brought all those wonderful memories flooding back, and also rekindled the first feelings i had when i first met my hubby (my very own less famous jimmy page , plays lead guitar has dark long curls, thin and awkward physique).
    So i just wanted to thank you for being you, being a true feminist, showing that being a ”groupie” is nothing to be ashamed of and shaking off the taboos that follow that tag .
    Thank you , thank you , thank you
    Sarah-Jayne Michel

  11. Courtney Darrough says:

    Loved “I’m With The Band”, and “Let’s Spend The Night Together”! Look Forward To Reading The Others I’ve Missed! Rock On Miss Pamela :)

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