Let’s get our rock and roll on! Next Rock Tour rolls around August 20th, 2017! Sign up and experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of seeing Los Angeles through Pamela’s eyes.
UPDATE: We meet in front of Amoeba Records, at Cahuenga and Sunset.
- Join Pamela on an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime tour of Hollywood and Laurel Canyon. On the tour you will visit many of the sites mentioned in Pamela’s best-selling book, I’m with the Band and Pamela will read excerpts of the book at each location.
Read the newest reviews from previous Rock Tour participants!
Pam’s tour review
When my boyfriend and I decided to tie the knot in Vegas this year we planned a retro American vacation in LA, Palm Springs and of course Vegas. Miss Pamela’s rock n roll tour of LA was suggested by dear friends of ours who are also called Steve and Jo and also from Australia. This tour was one of the top three highlights of our holiday. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in the days when music was man (or woman) made and computers were for computer nerds and NASA. The four of us Aussies plus some other fans from all over the world embarked on a pilgrimage with Miss Pamela into the heyday of rock band groupie-dom and rock n roll music fan-dom. Miss Pamela’s rock n roll tour was relaxing, fun, informative and culturally significant. It includes all the highlights that you are familiar with from songs and literature written in or about that time. It visits the key streets, clubs, houses discussed in her book called ‘’I’m with the band’’. There are many photo opportunities. Miss Pamela was an excellent tour guide along with her driver who had some really great stories of his own to tell but you will have to do the tour to hear about them. During the tour you can ask Miss Pamela ‘’anything you like’’ expect who was the biggest and who was the best. Well, if you are anything like me then you won’t need to ask that question because the answer is always going to be Miss Pamela!
PS – I can’t put “Let’s Spend The Night Together’’ down!
– Joey DollSquad, Melbourne – Australia.
Girls in the Garage
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.