Nardwuar: Who are you?
Pamela Des Barres: Pamela Des Barres!
Pamela, show me your book right now. It has an extremely hot cover. Certainly, here it is.
[Pamela shows her book]
And what book is this for people that don't know?
It's called I'm With The Band: Confessions Of A Groupie. It came out originally in '87 and it's just been republished with a new intro by Dave Navarro, who's pretty hot, and with a bunch of new pages that I wrote addendum.
Pamela, looking at the cover of the book, it's censored isn't it? What happened there?
Well, I was naked. I was a naked hippie girl and unfortunately in America they have to hide the titties so, this is the original of it. In England this is the cover. They didn't hide the titty in England. They probably wouldn't in Canada either, but in America this is what you get.
They get Pamela—
What? Des Barres.
Yes… Ha ha!
Pamela, what did The Beatles smell like?
I never got close enough, unfortunately, to smell them.
I thought you could smell them like you were looking for them and you could smell them?
Well, no, I never got close enough to smell them. I actually got to meet Paul McCartney recently though and I tried to get a whiff but that girl Heather was too close by.
Pamela, you've probably said that a few times haven't you, "That girl was a bit too close by?"
[laughs] No, because I was never a cheater. I was never with married guys. I was always wanting to marry one of 'em, but I didn't want to steal one away from someone else.
You are the most famous groupie in the world and yet you've never ever had a one-night stand?
No. I was willing to have a one-night stand with Waylon Jennings but it turned into two years so… but I was willing! Because he was sort of out of my realm. He was a country star and I was in the rock world but he turned me on!.
Now Pamela, one of the people you did get intimate with was Led Zeppelin. What did Led Zeppelin smell like?
One of the people? There were four people in Led Zeppelin. But I was only with Jimmy Page and he smelled divine.
Pamela, your new book, I'm With
Recently reissued with censored cover.
The Introduction is done by...
So the question arises Pamela...
What does he smell like? HA HA HA!
No, actually, a bit more than that…
No, no, no, we're just friends.
What did Dave Navarro taste like?
I'm not gonna say. I'm not tellin'.
What does he smell like then?
He smells very sexy, sort of like hippie oil. What is that? Musk... yeah.
Pamela Des Barres, I think this quote is attributed to you, "Hey, I went after what I wanted and I got it. Gloria Steinem can kiss my ass."
[laughs] Something like that. Because she sort of put me down when the book came out because of being anti-feminist, which is so lame because I was a woman doing what I wanted to do. Isn't that what feminism is? That's what I think. So yeah, I said that probably.
Pamela Des Barres, is there a male version of Pamela Des Barres?
Actually, yes there is. I just met him recently. He's in my new book. His name is Pleather. And that's because he has certain attributes that show up in his pleather pants. And he has slept with everybody from Courtney Love to all of L7. Anyway, he's in my new book. It's called Let's Spend The Night Together. It's coming out in a year.
Pamela Des Barres, one of the interesting things about you is not only are you arguably the most famous groupie in the world, you were also in one of the first all-girl punk bands, The GTO's.
I guess you could call us punk. We were more performance art. It was 1968, '69, '70s, so it was very pre-punk. But yeah, we were the first all-girl group backed by the Mothers Of Invention, Frank Zappa produced us. It was pretty far out.
Now were there any other all-girl groups at that time Pamela?
There were a couple. Fanny was a girl group. They were a band, they played instruments and I think that was it. I think it was just us and Fanny at that point. The Runaways came much later.
Pamela, one interesting thing about The GTO's, you had John Bonham play the drums for you. What was it like having John Bonham of Led Zeppelin carry on the bottom end?
It was amazing and the same night he played drums for us, we had Noel Redding on bass, who was Hendrix's, you know, bass player, so it was a pretty amazing band. And we had Lowell George play on the record. Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart sang back-ups. It was pretty intense. And we were just teenage girls you know?
Pamela Des Barres, were there special groupie codes for getting to rock stars? What were the secret codes? I know Cynthia Plaster Caster had special codes Did you have a special language that you talked when you talked to a rock star?
No, they usually approached me to be honest. I was in this particular scene. I didn’t have to go knock on backstage doors and all that stuff. They kind of came up to me and wanted to meet me and I never really had to have any kind of code. I mean, there was a code of honour with me. I would never go after a band member that my girlfriend was crazy about, or I wouldn't be with two members in one band. That was a code.
Pamela Des Barres, what about your connections to Canada? Very important in the Pamela Des Barres story isn't it?
Well I love Canada, but do I have a special connection that I don't know about? I mean I've been there, I've been on TV shows, I've toured there. I love Toronto. Anything else that I...
Well, Pamela Des Barres, you lost your virginity to a Canadian!
No I didn't. He's German.
No, he's from Canada!
Nick St. Nicholas?
Yes he grew up in Canada!
Oh that's right! Ha Ha! Well he's German originally, I always think of him as German. Yes he did! He's still a good friend of mine. That's another thing about me, I stay friends will all my liaisons, it's very important to me.
I just think it's great that Canada can play an important part in I'm With The...
With Pamela... Des Barres! Pamela Des Barres, the drummer from Three Dog Night, was originally from Vancouver. What can you tell me about the Three Dog Night singer who apparently had so much sex his cock split.
Are we talking about Danny Hutton or Cory Wells? No, Corey Wells was married. He was the guy I had a crush on but we never did anything. I sat on his lap a few times but he was married so you know...
I guess I'm talking about groupie injuries. Like people screwing so much that a cock will split.
I never heard of that. I was just, I was a one-on-one girl. I didn't do weird things. I heard about weird things, I never did weird things. I never saw weird things.
Nothing weird happened in front of you?
No, no, not in front of me. I heard about the weird things.
It was Chuck Negron and apparently he was screwing so much his cock split. He had to go wrap it in a towel and then he had to go tothe hospital.
Well, did he say that in his book? Is that part of his…
Yes, in his book Three Dog Nightmare.
Ha Ha Ha! Wow.
That was one hell of a nightmare.
He's sober now so it's wonderful. He's probably doing much better now.
Pamela Des Barres, one person you did come in contact with was Jim Morrison.
Yes, I did.
Now can you confirm this at all Pamela Des Barres? Was it true he liked to shit on girls?
I've never heard that. He was always a perfect gentleman with me. I think that's just one of those ridiculous rumours like Frank Zappa taking a dump on stage and stuff. It just didn't happen I'm sure. He was so young! My god, who would have thought of that, that young I don’t know. He was a gentleman with me. All we did was make out. I was a virgin at the time.
Pamela Des Barres, you were with the rock 'n' roll singer known as Mick...
Mick Jagger, yes.
Mick Jagger. But what about Bill Wyman? I heard that he once had 265 girls in two weeks. Is that possible?
[laughs] Did he say that? It's probably in his book right? I don't know. I didn't get to know Bill very well. I was just hanging around with Mick really.
What were the other Stones like, you know, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts? What were they like? 'Cause we don't hear a lot about them, but they've lived some pretty wild 265-in-two-weeks years.
Well Charlie Watts has been with the same woman since The Rolling Stones started. So I don't know, he didn't get up to much. But Mick used to bring him over to my house in London and one time I was getting out of the bathtub and he literally covered Charlie's eyes. So he's a quiet type I think.
Pamela Des Barres, what about Tiny Tim? Is it true that he showered 10 times a day?
Yes, it is. I'm a witness to that. I mean, I wasn't in the shower with him, but he would leave the room and go take many showers. He got all hot and bothered. He was all "aaaaaahahah." [makes high pitch noise[ He couldn't take it. The GTO's were just too much for him. We would just sit on his lap and play with his hair and everything and he kept having to go take a shower.
Pamela Des Barres, what about Joe Cocker and cheeseburgers? Did you hear anything about Joe Cocker and cheeseburgers? He loved cheese burgers.
No I did not hear anything about Joe Cocker and cheeseburgers.
Pamela Des Barres, how into satan was Jimmy Page?
He was not into satan. That's just bullshit.
Did you notice anything though?
No. He liked Aleister Crowley. He really liked him. He admired him and respected him. I helped him purchase a manuscript that he'd written on. He was very happy to get that. He bought his cape, he bought his mansion in Scotland, but there was nothing dark about it. They never sold their souls to the devil or anything like that.
Let's go back for a second, you bought an Aleister Crowley manuscript? That sounds fascinating. A first edition? Where'd you find that? What's that about?
Well that was 1969, so it was a long time ago and I remember Jimmy sent me a $13,050 wire. That was a lot of money then.
But can you imagine what that's worth now?
I mean yeah, it wasn’t even a manuscript, with the scribbles and crossouts, the first original manuscript from one of his books.
Pamela Des Barres, what about the thought that Altamont was a pre-planned satanic ritual? You were there weren't you at Altamont? Or were you around? What do you know about Altamont being a pre-planned satanic ritual?
No, I was with the Stones there. So un-preplanned. It just happened to be, they gave too much power to the Hell's Angels and they caused a really negative energy in the air. It was very bad vibes. I left even before the Stones came on and met up with Mick afterwards at the hotel. It was just such horrible energy, but it wasn't satanic or it wasn't pre-planned either.
Pamela Des Barres, you married Gram Parsons' daughter.
Yes I did!
You married Gram Parsons' daughter!
Well, she's my goddaughter too. And she just had a baby girl and I'm her godmother as well, but I married her to her husband. I'm a minister so I can do that.
Yeah, so how and why did you become a minister?
I'm a very deeply spiritual girl, I try to live in the moment. I love everybody. I've got Jesus tattooed on my back. It just made sense that I would go in that direction. I do rock 'n' roll weddings. I use people's lyrics from songs they love and weave them into the vows and stuff. If anybody wants they can send for me and I'll marry you.
That would be pretty cool. Who has been married by Pamela Des Barres so far? Gram Parsons' daughter...
Gram Parsons' daughter and some other good friends of mine, some publicist people. I've only just started. I've got two more weddings lined up this year.
Pamela Des Barres, your husband, Michael...
He described how in the mid-'70s the music moved from fuck music to fuck you music.
Well, of course it did with The Sex Pistols and all that and it needed that. It was getting too, I don't know, lame. It needed a kick in the ass and they gave it the right kick in the ass.
Pamela Des Barres, what happened to groupiecentral.com. It was such a great website but now it's gone. Was it shut down because there was so much dirt on it?
Yes. Bebe Buell had something to do with that. Bebe Buell, they were talking so much shit about her I think, she really had something to do with shutting that down. I think she did, she complained so much. So people are going to have to buy your new book to get the dirt. She's in the new book, yeah. All the famous groupies are in the new book.
Pamela Des Barres, who's still doing it? Who's still doing the groupie thing? Like I mentioned Cynthia Plaster Caster, Winona Ryder, youself, who's still doin' it?
Well they're all different girls, new girls. They're all over the world. It's all still going on. The girls that used to do it way back when don't do it so much anymore. And I don't really do it anymore. I mean, you know, I'm with a musician now and I'm in love and everything, but I don't consider myself a groupie anymore. I'm really more part of just the scene and I really always was. It's just that word came along and it shouldn't be negative. It wasn't negative back then.
Pamela, how do you keep healthy? Because you've had some health scares in past years. How do you keep healthy?
I had breast cancer, but I think it's all gone now. I went through surgery and radiation and everything. I just eat healthy and I exercise. I do yoga. I do Kundalini yoga, I have a lot of facials, I run, I do all kinds of things to stay healthy and I'm a vegetarian. I'm 57 years old, so something's working!
You know, as I said earlier, you and Cynthia Plaster Caster look amazing. What's the food that you injest? I mean rock 'n' roll and food, what can you recommend?
She (Cynthia) works out a lot too. We work out, we stay very, very active. Dance like crazy. I don't eat meat, haven't had meat in 35 years. I think that has a lot to do with it. It takes three or four days to digest so I don't have to go through that. I think that has a lot to do with it and very good thoughts. I think positive thinking and optimism and living in the moment has a lot to do with it too.
Quickly here, Pamela Des Barres, Tim Buckley, Red Krayola, Brian Wilson. Any memories of those individuals?
I saw Tim a lot at the Troubador. He was on the same label as me. He was my labelmate so I went to see him play a lot. I didn't know Brian Wilson at all. I love him and admire him, but I don't know him. I met him pretty recently and he was pretty out there.
Pamela Des Barres, Ally Sheedy as Pamela Des Barres, wasn’t Ally Sheedy going to be Pamela Des Barres in your book?
She was the first person to option my book for a film and it just didn't happen. You know, she had the option for three years. I've been trying to get this movie made for 18 years now, so it's gonna happen. It is gonna happen.
So any hints as to who will be Pamela Des Barres when the movie version comes out? Any hints?
No, just some gorgeous young girl. Some sexy hot young girl.
And onto the future Pamela, this book you're putting out has a chapter on the girl from Faster Pussycat Kill Kill. What can you tell the people about her? She sounds fascinating! The King!
She is. Tura Satana was a Japanese American stripper in the early '50s and she met Elvis in the south and she says she taught him how to do everything. Not only to have all various types of sex, but to dance. And the first chapter of my new book, Let's Spend The Night Together, is about her. It's pretty great.
Pamela, winding up here, what was it like to be on Larry King? What's Larry King like?
Oh, Larry King was so respectful. My first two TV appearances were on the Today Show, which is a very big show in America and Larry King. So once I got those two out of the way, I could do anything. And Larry was wonderful, he talks to everyone the same way. Everything is very serious. All the stuff he asked me, he asked Jesse Jackson who I had to follow one day. I've done Larry twice. It was great.
Have you had any fun times with any politicians at all?
No, but I think Bill Clinton is hot.
And lastly here, Pamela Des Barres, what's your favourite Duran Duran side-project? Arcadia or Power Station?
[laughs] Of course it's gotta be Power Station because my husband sang with them for a while. Replaced Robert Palmer. He got to do Live Aid. It was so cool to see him sing in front of a billion people.
And what do you think about Cynthia Plaster Caster moving now from casting penises to casting breasts?
Oh god, I'm so thrilled. She's supposed to do mine. I'm hopefully going to be her next cast. I'd love it.
Anything else you wanna add to the people out there at all Pamela Des Barres?
No. Thank you, I think you've covered it.
Or people can buy the book!
Please buy the book.
Well, thanks so much Pamela Des Barres. Why should people care about I'm With The Band and Pamela Des Barres?
Because the time I lived through in the '60s and early '70s, music was revolutionary. It's never gonna come again and I was right in the middle of it.
Well, thanks so much Pamela Des Barres. Keep on rockin' in the free world and doot doola doot doo...