First published in 1987, “I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie” chronicles the life of the legendary rock groupie of the 60s and 70s – Pamela Des Barres. Eighteen years later, the sexy story coveted by any serious classic rock lover was re-released with a new foreword by Dave Navarro and updates from the author herself.
Part memories, part journal entries, this memoir reveals the most private thoughts of a girl who not only slept with the biggest rock stars of the time, but loved and idolized them and the music they were making. As Des Barres wrote herself, “This is a story of a young girl stepping into the brave new world of the free-loving, freewheeling ‘60s – an era where anything could happen and it always did.”
As a teenager growing up in Reseda, California, Pamela Miller dreamed of falling in love and marrying a rock star. By the time she graduated high school, she was a regular on Sunset Strip, becoming a part of Hollywood’s local rock scene. “When it came right down to it, rock and roll groups were my life,” she wrote.
Spending most of her nights at the local hot spots, making friends and meeting band members, Pamela Miller soon became known as “the Queen of the Hips and the Rocks” on the Strip. Over the next few years, she would have relationships and brief love affairs with some of the world’s greatest rock stars, including Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Page, Waylon Jennings, Jimi Hendrix’s guitarist, Noel Redding, and Michael Des Barres, the man she ended up marrying.
The readers are given a rare glimpse into the lives of some very famous people and invited to places they could never imagine otherwise. Imagine lying in bed with Jimmy Page, listening to the test pressing of Led Zeppelin II. Imagine touring with Led Zeppelin. Or living with Frank and Gail Zappa. Or making out with Jim Morrison backstage.
Or being a member of a group that makes the centerfold of Rolling Stone Magazine. Des Barres, now called Miss Pamela, joined the GTO’s, a girl group formed by Frank Zappa. Girls Together Only, Girls Together Outrageously, Overtly, Outlandishly, Openly, Organically, whatever fit the moment, were heading the groupie phenomenon and even recorded an album.
Des Barres tells her story honestly and sweetly, revealing all the raw details. Her innocence and neediness come out in her smart and savvy tone as she bares all her secrets. To Des Barres, the drugs, alcohol and multitude of lovers were not to be looked down upon, they were a part of a life striving for love, a generation witnessing a revolution, a time of musical history that will never be matched.
Pamela Des Barres has since written three more books, “Let’s Spend the Night Together”, “Take Another Little Piece of my Heart” and “Rock Bottom.”