Pamela Des Barres: Read an extract from I'm With The Band by the legendary groupie and author
Pamela Des Barres, 26 April 2018
Ok, I’m pushing 70 and I’m doing pretty well. I was thinking earlier today, when I couldn’t sleep – look at this stuff I’m still doing! It’s pretty amazing, when I remember what I tried to imagine myself as at 70, it certainly wasn’t this. I’m very single and I’d like to meet someone who can deal with me. It takes a strong guy, really, someone pretty fearless.
The things that happen in I'm With The Band aren't 'now', and people don’t quite understand that. I wanted to be there. And so people have got quite bored with my answers when they ask about consent and #MeToo, because they’re looking for some kind of new scandal. And it wasn't like that for me. Someone the other day pointed out about Noel Redding leaving me downstairs – well, these things happen! He forgot, he was so stoned he forgot I was even down there. But, of course because I was young I took it very personally. I didn’t hold back in the book, I don’t hide disappointment. Everybody in this world has relationships that fall apart.
Even the heartbreak was intense, and electrifying. And I was so dramatic! Of course you are in your teens and early twenties. And I didn’t know I was writing for anybody, then.
Extract from I''m With The Band' by Pamela Des Barres ("It's A Gas Gas Gas") - 18 - 25 November 1969
Mick Jagger was really a very intelligent person, but I wanted to treat him like a stud, and maybe even get into a little dehumanizing. My new friend, Ray Davies, was playing with his group, The Kinks, at the Whisky, and I dressed up like a cream-puff coquette, heady for conquest.
I knew the Stones were leaving town the next day and would most likely be luxuriating in the red plastic booths; swigging down the overpriced cognac, leering and bleary-eyed, cheering on the British. I was right. Leering the least, however, was the highly dignified Mr. Jagger, who was wearing a two-tone velvet suit from Granny Takes A Trip, the trendola trippy hip shop on the Kings Road in London.
I passed right in front of them, pretending I had no interest in whoever might be occupying booth number one (it was always someone very interesting), and what I was hoping would happen did.
"Why, if it isn't Miss Pamela, looking just lovely..."
I was invited to squeeze into the booth next to Mick, and no bomb threat, no terrorist action, no fervid groupie manoeuvrings, no desperate urge to pee, could have convinced me to remove myself from his presence. He ordered me two Harvey Wallbangers at a time, and my hands developed a mind of their own. Under the table I got a hold of the inspiration for the abstract oil painting that got me an A in my Cleveland High School art class. I slunk down in the seat, transcendental with desire, glancing up at Mick, who was all dimples, and I knew I would finally see his trousers down around his ankles. In my teen dreams they had always been corduroy, but velvet would so just fine.
He gave new meaning to giving head, which did not surprise me in the slightest; those lips!!! Please!! But looking down and seeing Mick Jagger between my legs kep me from surrendering with the wild-animal abandon I had anticipated. We made love for hours, but I kept flashing back to squatting in front of my hi-fi, touching myself for the first time while Mick groaned about being a Kingbee coming inside, and here he was, right on top of me, doing just that. It was all too much. I was dizzy of the reality of that very instant. I was dying for him to say 'Let me put it in, it feels alright', but it probably would have left me comatose.
November 25... I am extremely happy. I left with dear Mr. Jagger last night, and we got along so well; honesty, freedom and joy. Genuine. I helped him pack his seven suitcases, and he gave me some lovely clothes. One is a black velvet beauty that was made for me. The sexual experience was quite a joy. The most luscious 'plating' and kisses. 'You're warm, Miss Pamela... I really like you, you're a sweet, kind lady. I wish you had decided to stay with me weeks ago. Think of all the time we've wasted.'
All I really care about is the fact that he LIKES me, genuinely. He told me about the craziness of the road... Detroit tonight. There was a mad rush for the plane, Gram took Keith to Nudie's on his motorcycle, and they came back late. Keith scares me, he's like a foreign object, and my sweet Gram is becoming his clone. Such a beautiful, wonderful time I've had, but I wish I had someone to cuddle with every night. If only I could settle for some normal groovy guy. Good Heavens, he'll have to be some super-human person because right now, the only people I could see myself being with are (get this...) Mick (how absurd), Jimmy (useless), or Chris (totally unthinkable). What a pathetic case. Why can't I meet a nice engineer or CPA? It's too late now.
I'm With The Band is out now via Omnibus Press