Pamela Des Barres, the most famous groupie in rock history, famously immortalized her wild adventures in the ’60s and ’70s with legends like Mick Jagger, Keith Moon, Jimmy Page, Chris Hillman and Jim Morrison in her best-selling book I’m With The Band, first published in 1987. On top of hitting the road with some of the biggest names in music, she was also the nanny to Frank Zappa’s kids, a member of the girl band the GTOs and a dear friend to icons like Gram Parsons and Robert Plant. Is it any wonder she inspired Kate Hudson’s character in Almost Famous? We’re thrilled that Des Barres will be in Toronto at the Drake Hotel, November 19th, reading some of her most intimate and entertaining tales from her life on the road during the most awe-inspiring period in rock. The reading starts at 6pm, but word is she’ll be there by 5:30pm to meet her fans. After all, a legendary groupie like Pamela Des Barres clearly has her own groupies.
Don’t Miss: Pamela Des Barres Reads From I’m With The Band at The Drake Hotel, Nov. 19, 2013, 6 p.m. (Though arrive at 5:30 for meet & greet/signing). For more information, click here.
Which rock stars do you get asked about the most?
Jim Morrison and Jimmy Page!
Are there certain moments in rock history that you still can’t believe you were there to witness?
Loads of them, mainly shows at the intimate little club, the Whiskey a GoGo. It was like my second living room, I was there so often. I saw the Who, Hendrix, Zeppelin, and the Doors dozens of times. I could lean up against the stage and swoon.
You used to be able to just walk backstage to meet musicians. Can you tell us about a couple first encounters that stand out?
When I was 16, I was obsessed with the Byrds, Chris Hillman specifically. (I always loved bass players…Paul McC anyone?) and the doors to the club Ciro’s on the strip, faced the boulevard so I just knocked on the door, Jim McGuinn opened it , offered me a joint and motioned me inside. That’s how easy it was. No one was trying to get backstage then! Backstage with Zep was always a heady experience. Pretty quiet actually, only the band, roadies, manager and the few lucky dolls seeing the band. Sometimes it was only me, as the married members weren’t so flagrant early on.
All of the rock legends you met, who did you have the deepest/longest relationships with?
Funnily enough, they weren’t romantic relationships that lasted the longest. I am very close with Robert Plant. We spent a lot of time together and have a lot in common (we are both Dion fanatics) and the late Gram Parsons. We were just friends. Sometimes it’s a good way to go!
Did you always keep a diary and how and how did you end turning your unique stories into your first book?
My mom got me a diary for Christmas when I was eight years old and I felt obligated to write in it, then found I enjoyed it. By the time I was hanging with bands, and forming my own group, The GTOs, I knew that what I was chronicling daily would one day be important musical history. A woman’s POV, much needed!
In your opinion, are there any true rock stars today? If so, who?
They’re out there! It’s not like it used to be when record companies promoted bands and made sure they were seen and heard. Only a few ever get that kind of treatment anymore. I LOVE Jack WHite in all his incarnations. I have a 25 page interview with him on my site, www.pameladesbarres.com. It’s a humdinger! There’s anew band in LA that I adore, Nightmare and the Cat, just signed to Capitol. I am mad for Todd SNider, he’s so insightful, and Rhett MIller’s solo stuff, Old 97s too…
What are you currently working on?
I teach women’s memoir workshops all over the country. I take busloads of fans on I’m With the Band Rock Tours in LA, I am working on a third memoir, Sex, God and Rock & Roll, I just finished a screenplay for Band, (finally, a movie!) my clothing line is up and running at www.groupiecouture.com, and I have several other projects in the works!