“Music-Loving Muses”

A trailer for the 1970 film Groupie Girl:

Joe Daly interviews Pamela Des Barres, author of I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie:

You’ve met on a very personal, and occasionally intimate level, the biggest of the big in modern music. How did you do that?

I was in the right place at the right time with the right look and the right taste. Mick Jagger came up to Miss Mercy at a Burritos gig and said, “Please introduce me to your pretty friend.” That’s how I met Mick. Jimmy Page’s road manager came up to me at a Bo Diddley gig and handed me his phone number and said, “He’s waiting for you in room 605.”

I didn’t have to go after these people. I was in the GTOs, I had an all-girl group, I was hanging out with Zappa, and I was in the thick of everything in Hollywood. People wanted to meet us. Early on, of course, I chased the Beatles, I tried to meet the Stones—and I did meet a couple of them when I was with Captain Beefheart—but I was just in the right place at the right time, but with the right attitude and the right love of the music, and my appreciation of what these people were doing was completely sincere. …

Before your book the word “groupie” conjured an opportunistic…

It still does. I’m still trying to retrieve that word. My most recent book, Let’s Spend the Night Together, was about a bunch of other groupies. I’m still trying to set that word straight, because all it means is just a music lover who wants to be near the band. Period. That’s all it means, in whatever capacity. Sexual? Sometimes yes, but also friends, helpers, assistants, guides… we wanted to uplift and enhance these people who moved us so much. That’s all that a groupie is. They are music-loving muses.