Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm With the Band

Who knew that a book about having sex with rock stars could be so boring? I was totally expecting more sex and less coming-of-age story. I wanted a tell-all, expose-type of story about what (and who) goes down back stage. Instead I got the memoir of a girl who loves rock and the men who play it.

This is not to say that the book is not worth reading. All I mean is that it's not the kind of book you read in an afternoon. There's more substance than originally anticpated from the naked picture of Ms. Pamela Des Barres on the cover, and that substance is at times uninteresting and difficult to get through.

It is a virtual encyclopedia of the rock 'n roll scene in Los Angeles in the '60s and '70s. I learned more about the history of rock 'n roll by reading this book than I have watching MTV for the past 15 years. (Yes, I realize how stupid that sounds, especially given the Mickey Mouse nature of the VMAs this year.) In all of my years of the study of pop culture, I learned very little about the history of rock 'n roll. I have mostly paid attention to what's happening now (and by now, I mean from the mid-90s to now) - not what happened in the past.

She does hook up with quite a few famous names (including famous people who don't rock, like Don Johnson, who apparently has a very large penis and a nasty temper), and gives a little information on each of them. Copious amounts of drugs are taken, the limits of fashion are tested, and the limits of acceptable behavior are completely broken through. She starts off as a shy, clumsy teen, and works her way through those "barriers" to become completely uninhibited and free-thinking.

In the end, though, it is more of a love song to the attitude of the '60s and '70s. This kind of life couldn't have happened in any other time period. It is an ode to a time when she was younger, more beautiful and the world was a better place. It's pure nostalgia, and it has a very happy, Cinderella ending.

Read it if you want to learn more about rock 'n roll.

Don't read it if you only want to read sex scenes that take place backstage or in hotel rooms afterwards. It will be very unsatisfying.


  1. i heard about that book when it first came out and it didn't seem interesting at all, so i'm surprised you read it. i'm eating haagen-dazs ice cream right now, and it's pomegranate chip, and it's actually really good. you should try it some time.

  2. Well, its always good to know that your english major big sister is disappointed when a book doesn't turn out to be smut.