A Review: Pamela Des Barres, Let’s Spend The Night Together

November 10, 2008

 

A Review

Let’s Spend The Night Together

by

Pamela Des Barres

Review by R.E. Prindle

Des Barres, Pamela, Let’s Spend The Night Together, 2008 Chicago Review Press

Wild thing,

You make my heart sing.

Wild Thing,

You make everything,

groov-eh.

Chip Taylor

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may

For tomorrow brings but sorrow,

The girls that are so sweet today

Will be mothers-in-law tomorrow.

College Humor

Pamela

 

     Pamela Des Barres having apparently exhausted what appeared to be an inexhaustible fund of rock n’ roll memories returns to the publishing fold with a whole book full of other groupies’ memories.  She introduces some twenty-four supergroupies to tell their back stage secrets of rock gods.

     If you’re into titillating sexual stuff you’ve just found the Dutchman’s lost gold mne.  For those into this stuff Cynthia Plaster Caster is pictured fondling the immortalized member of Jimi Hendrix.  At least we know that one’s true.  However some of the memories recorded seem to be sort of stretchers to me.  Making a good story better is OK but pure invention is something else.

     I did catch one of the girls, women, mothers-in-law, almost all grandmothers, in a fabrication or, shall I say, a delusion.  I don’t want to be unkind because the lady in question, Catherine James, did time in the orphanage while having one of those mothers from hell.  I can sympathize, a double whammy like that can do things to you.  I had a number of issues with my mother, who has now gone to her greater reward wherever that may be, while she too put me in the orphanage. So, as I say, I can sympathize.

Catherine

     Well, Miss James says she quit the groupie game in 1971 at the age of nineteen while she began at age thirteen.  That would have made her beginning in 1965.  As she tells it those six years were eventful enough for any busload of wayward girls.

     As I read my eyebrows kept going up.  This was too amazing, it seemed, to be true.  After reading her chapter I put the book down while my eyes were spinning around in my head.  Then I began going over the details looking for that fatal flaw.  As there was no way I could contradict her stories based on her revelatory details, I would have to examine dates and when I did I found that flaw. Not gentlemanly, but I do have that inquisitive mind that just won’t be satisfied.  As it happened the flaw involved the ‘spokesman of his generation’ Bob Dylan.

     Miss James says that she met Bob, as I gather he was the first, at thirteen.  As she tells it Bob gave her some good soul saving advice about her mother; otherwise she might have been driven mad.  I can dig that, too.

     But there was a problem with that.  Miss James lived in the LA area.  She says she met Bob in California between the recording of Bob Dylan and The Free Wheelin’.  That would probably have been about the time Bob was heavy with Suze Rotolo in NYC.  At any rate in ’62 Miss James would have been about ten years old not thirteen.

     Miss James who has extraordinary faith in the art of cosmetology believes that at thirteen she could make herself up successfully enough to fool a guy into thinking she was minimally legal.  That alone seems like a mega stretcher to me.  But what are cosmetics going to do for a ten year old?

     Quite clearly Miss James could not have met Bob when she was thirteen in LA.  She would like to have met Bob and gotten that good advice but she couldn’t have.

     Making a good story better she compounds the delusion by saying that still at thirteen she made the pilgrimage to Greenwich Village to be with Bob.  In an interesting dream sequence she describes arriving in NYC broke, not unlike Bob, with no place to stay.  Talking to some young people in the Village she told them she was there to visit Bob.  Naturally this admission was greeted with snickers.  But, lo and behold, who should drive up to the street corner at that instant but Bob himself.  She ran over to greet him.  He rolled down the window to say he was off to a concert and drove away.

     As I say I don’t wish to cause Miss James distress and I’m sure she ins’t any less truthful than any of these girls, women, mothers-in-law, but much of this stuff requires that extra grain of salt.

     The opening chapter concerning the adventures of someone called Tura Satana and Elvis requires some documentation.  But, why go into it.  As Samuel Johnson said who but a blockhead wouldn’t write for money.  I presume that Miss Pamela would like to see a nice fat royalty check.  Lord knows Frank Zappa left Miss Pamela short when she was a member of the GTOs, so buy a copy if you like this stort of thing and make that ageing Wild Thing’s heart sing.  She’s got it coming, believe me.

3 Responses to “A Review: Pamela Des Barres, Let’s Spend The Night Together”


  1. Ha, You need to reread. I met Bob in 1963 when I was 13… He was NOT a boyfriend, and I don’t make things up. Read my book.

    Catherine James

  2. reprindle Says:

    Catherine: Thanks for reading my review and taking the time to comment.

    I wasn’t aware of your book but I’ll give it a read and probably write a review. The book promises to be interesting.

    You might also reciprocate and buy a copy of my book: The Sonderman Constellation by R.E. Prindle. As I note that your book is listed by Amazon at about 100,000 on their best seler list mine is down around 5,500,000 so I could use a sale or two, pop me to the 2,000,000 range or so. Help a guy out and tell your friends and acquaintances too.

    If you were 19 in 1971 you must have been born aout 1952, right?

    Give me a couple two or three weeks to get a copy of your book and write it up. Should have something for you then.

    Best to you and yours and thanks for the read.

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