I’m With The Band: Confessions of a Groupie by Pamela Des Barres

From Goodreads: “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. She traveled with Led Zeppelin; lived in sin with Don Johnson; turned down a date with Elvis Presley; and was close friends with Robert Plant, Gram Parsons, Ray Davies, and Frank Zappa. 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.”

I’m a sucker for rock n’ roll memoirs. Especially those surrounding the 60s-80s. There’s something about the sex, drugs, and promiscuity that has me entranced by their lives. Pamela Des Barres has all of that and more! Her story starts off as a boy band obsessed child who wants nothing more than to marry Paul McCartney. Not fitting in with her small town roots she relocates to the Sunset Strip where her new life begins. That life is one of a groupie.

This isn’t an ordinary ‘famous people I’ve slept with’ story. This is a tale of a girl who falls madly in love with the men she idolizes. She pictures herself as an endearing wife who supports their careers and takes care of their children. Unfortunately they only want her for sex. Mixed in is her adventures with drugs, the GTO’s (her short lived girl group,) and guidance from The Zappa’s. She has a whirlwind of friends who guide her through rough times by accepting her into their homes and helping her get back on her feet. But she just keeps on falling. Falling in love with the wrong guys who use her and abuse her. She is somewhat naive but this naivete leads to a great story.

I was impressed with this book. The name drops were fun to see. She’s lived an amazingly interesting life and I’m glad she took the time to write it out. I was also glad the story ended on a happy note as I found myself rooting for her the entire journey. She was like a lost puppy who finally found her way. She holds no bars as she recounts this tale and has no shame over her past. The journal entries from her childhood were a nice addition to this. It was nice to get a glimpse of the person she used to be.. before the Strip.

If you love rock memoirs check this book out. Its nice to hear from the other side of the music world, that of the Groupie!

Rating – 3.5/5


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