24/07/2012

Things I Love Books: I'm With the Band

Confession time: I wish I was a groupie.

Since I've embarked on the adventure of dating a musician, I have envied the women lucky enough to have lived in the golden era of the groupie - the sixties, seventies and a bit of the eighties. I wanted to be one of those joyously free, enviably gorgeous, luminous creatures that by no means lived in the shadow of their adored rock stars - they were stars in their very own right. Like Pamela Des Barres, the author of I'm With the Band - Confessions of a Groupie, one of the very best books I've ever read.






What's so amazing about this book is more than just the decadent, dreamy and rebellious stories of sex-drugs-and-rockn'roll Sixties - at one point I wondered if Miss Pamela had embellished with tales of her own imagination, as it seemed incredible to me that someone could have lived such an amazing life - but also the fact that the book is extremely well-written. Miss P is truly a writer. She speaks of the freewheelin' Sixties and Seventies with a flair for expressing the joyful, the creative, the free. Her writing is brilliant, sassy and sparkling, just like herself.





After graduating high school, Californian teenager Pamela dove headfirst into a dizzying world of music, drugs and decadence, travelling with rock stars and falling in love with the amazing men that surrounded her and her friends from the band GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously/Only/Openly, depending on the mood), the world's first all-girl rock band put together by Frank Zappa. 

This is the woman who has lived the most amazing life in the world.

She was friends with Robert Plant and Ray Davies, she had love affairs with Mick Jagger and Jimmy Page, she travelled with Led Zeppelin. And she was incredibly gorgeous: in every picture of the book, she's the one who stands out, illuminating the entire picture. 

I imagine Miss Pamela as this amazing person who's a pleasure to have around: she seems like someone who truly enjoys life and sweeps others up in her flower-power wave of awesomeness. I bet those rock stars and other groupies loved her so much not only because of her beauty, but also because she's an incredible person. Her way of living freely and joyfully inspires me so much.






I love so many things about this book. I love how star-struck Pamela is by her idols (if I met Jared Leto today, I'd probably feel and act the same way she did at seventeen). I adore her flower-child thirst for freedom and rebellion:

"Wondering what life has in store for me, just about ready to plunge into it (bellyflop?). Am I late? I feel I haven't lived much - and what have I been doing if not living? When shall I begin? Now! My God, I began living when I was born.What can I do except live within the boundaries of my mind? How grand to escape, tho' I'm not as confined as most, all bottled up in their cliches and prejudices. At least I've broken some molds."

 I also applaud the way adult Pamela never apologizes for living her life to the fullest. In the prelude, she talks about initial reactions to the book:

"When uptight women on talk shows chided me for being too free-spirited and sexually open, I told them I was sorry they missed out on the good times and didn't get to sleep with Mick Jagger. It caused an outrage, but I had a ball shaking things up once again...I consider myself an American sexual pioneer, and I still have a ball on a daily basis!"

...if this is not inspirational, I don't know what is.









I'm totally enchanted by this whole era. When reading this book while sunbathing in the park, I always catch myself thinking, "I wonder if I missed out". But then I think, even if I had friends as crazy and ballsy and enlightened as Pamela's when I was 18 and 19, even if I was beautiful, even if I lived on the Strip - who would we follow? Who would our gods be? And I can't think of one single person (except you, Jared; I'd wait outside your hotel any day) that's alive now that I could look up to with the same adoration. That creativity, that rebellion, that search for freedom has been replaced by polished materialism. It's totally true: all the great ones are gone.



Oh, and I made a little Polyvore collage (with only vegan items, of course) to express my idea of the groupie look:


7 comments:

  1. i love this post!!! kisses

    www.lefamilledelamode.blogspot.com

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  2. ciao! su instagram sono cris6582, ho visto un tuo mi piace ad una foto e niente, volevo dirti che sono io. Sembro una pazza da sto commento! ahaha

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    1. ma che pazza, grazie! cosí almeno so dare un nome e un senso ai profili instagram...

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    2. almeno le foto delle gatte del mio profilo dovresti riconoscerle, visto che sono il soggetto di 90% delle mie foto eheheh

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  3. Amo questo libro.
    Anzi, amo tutti i libri di Pamela e "Let's spend the night togeter" è momentaneamente il mio preferito, dato che racconta le avventure di alcune groupie (tra cui Bebe Buell e Cynthia Plaster Caster).
    Credevo di essere l'unica ad apprezzare Pamela e le sue "Storie di Rock'n'roll" ed ogni volta che rileggo i suoi libri vorrei tanto poter vivere nella L.A. degli anni settanta!

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    1. Non vedo l'ora di leggere anche gli altri suoi libri! La trovo fantastica. Vorrei tanto partecipare a uno dei suoi corsi di scrittura, vediamo se riesco a farne uno tramite Skype, li fa in tutto il mondo!

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