Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I'm not sure how I feel about Miss Pamela after reading I'm With the Band. On one hand, I respect her because she did exactly what she wanted to do. Her life was enviably wild and free. Who am I to judge her, especially when reading her stories is so endlessly fascinating? However, it rubs me the wrong way how she organized her whole world around men. Not only did she love to service them sexually, but she ironed their shirts and darned their socks. And she believed she was getting the best deal because they had deigned to grace her with their presence. I imagine most of the musicians she courted genuinely liked her, but I doubt any of them looked at her in the awe-struck way she looked at them. Most of these men were all too ready to jet off somewhere new, forget about her, and fuck dozens of other women.
Pamela Des Barres has lived an amazing life and has very astute insights about rock and roll. She's adorable and sweet, and it shows in her writing. But it took her decades to even become a real writer, because she was so busy catering to her rock star lovers. Her stories are fun and juicy, but I just don't know if her experiences were as empowering as she would like to think. I've decided that I prefer the memoirs of other women from the rock and roll world, like Marianne Faithfull. Miss Pamela was just a bit too fawning and accommodating for my tastes.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
I have just whipped through Up and Down with the Rolling Stones by Tony Sanchez (and most likely his heavy-handed ghost-writer). This book by Keith Richards' former friend/ personal assistant/ drug dealer is very interesting. The dates are iffy and a bit confused and some of the details are blatantly wrong. It's melodramatic, sensationalized, and riveting like a soap opera. Yet I get the feeling that in general, most of what Tony Sanchez says is true. So here are some of the more striking quotations from the wild but undeniably fun read:
Brian Jones: "Our friends are questioning the wisdom of an almost blind acceptance of religion compared with total disregard for reports related to things like unidentified flying objects which seem more real to me." Whoa.
"Keith Richard had discovered very quickly that money really could buy just about anything. After he had been fined for driving without a license, he had had a long, huddled conversation with one of his drivers. I never found out exactly what happened, but Keith bounced up to me one day, showed me his pristine driving license and announced 'Look Tony, I've passed my test.'" Bahaha.
Keith decides he wants a Hovercraft. Tony remarks, "I had learned long before that in the millionaire world of rock superstars every whim rapidly becomes reality, so I agreed that a personal Hovercraft sounded like an excellent idea." And so Keith of course got one and used it until it bored him.
Mick Jagger: "There should be no such thing as private property." Hah! Oh, Mick. Please.
"Many of Mick's closest friends are men who, he knows, want to go to bed with him."
Anita Pallenberg on her baby son: "It's beautiful that Keith is so crazy about Marlon. But sometimes, just sometimes, it seems as though he loves him more than me."
Bianca Jagger v. reporters: "I have no name. I do not speak English." So much for that.
A priest, Father Baud, on Mick Jagger: "He has a great sense of religion, that boy. He really has a feeling for it." Tony remarks, "The priest liked Jagger." And why not?
"Anita's latest game was slipping sleeping pills into the Pimms cocktails Keith drank after dinner every night." Yikes. That's not good.
Mick Jagger's birthday: "Keith was taking the event extremely seriously; not only had he bought Mick an expensive piece of jewelry, but he was even wearing a suit..." That's sweet... but I don't know what to make of it.