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Episode 144 : Pamela Des Barres on the GTOs + Peter Asher audio + Jeff Beck R.I.P.

16 January 2023

In this episode we welcome the truly legendary Pamela Des Barres, all the way from her native San Fernando Valley, and invite her to reminisce about the all-girl GTOs, Frank Zappa, Lowell George... and plenty more besides.

The bestselling author of 1987's groupie confessional I'm With The Band describes how she entered the Laurel Canyon orbit of ringmaster Zappa, and how the motley troupe he christened Girls Together Outrageously came into being. The former Miss Pamela talks about her fellow "Misses" Mercy and Christine, then describes the sessions for the group's unruly 1969 classic Permanent Damage. This leads on to a discussion of the Groupie phenomenon and its problematic nature in the #MeToo era. In passing, we hear about Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco and 1974's Hollywood Street Revival and Trash Dance show.

The somewhat different — yet not entirely unrelated — L.A. domain of the canyon singer-songwriter crowd is considered as we hear clips from co-host Barney Hoskyns' 2003 audio interview with James Taylor/Linda Ronstadt producer Peter Asher. Following discussion of Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell and their mutual paramour John David Souther, we circle back to the GTOs and the guest appearance of the late Jeff Beck on Permanent Damage. We then pay extensive tribute to Beck's eclectic genius and unique technique.

We conclude with quotes from notable RBP library additions, including pieces about Bonnie Raitt recording at Bearsville, L.A. session bassist Carol Kaye and apocalyptic jazz trio Comet Is Coming.

Many thanks to special guest Pamela Des Barres. Visit her website at for details of her podcast, books and more.