Pamela des Barres was dubbed Queen of the Groupies for her relationships with the likes of Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page and Jim Morrison. She tells us she has “zero to repent” about her “wild and crazy” life…
By 16, I stood out like a beautiful, rosy red, sore thumb. I wore white tights and red patent leather flats and a little white dress. I looked so different from everyone. I’d tell my younger self – keep doing that, keep expressing yourself! I was very hopeful – I still am. It’s done me well through this wild and crazy life I’ve had.
When I was 16, I had a boyfriend called Bob Martine, he was a greaser boy. I always loved a bad boy. But he went to New York and during that time I met a guy called Victor Hayden. He was Captain Beefheart’s cousin and was later in the Magic Band. I met Don [Van Vliet, Captain Beefheart], when I was in high school, and became the Valley chapter of his fan club. It was a very new reality I started living at that time. I saw that there was an alternative to the life I had been living. Going into Hollywood was like going to Oz from Reseda, California. I started seeing a lot of local bands – but, of course, later they became huge – like The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Love and The Doors.
I could have been Hillary Clinton if I had focused that energy on a political career
I had a lot of insecurity. I’d tell my younger self, hey, guess what – you’re going to meet all four Beatles. And you’re going to have a wild affair with this new, big-lipped character that you’re obsessed with… so, go on girl! Yes, you’ll have your heart broken by a lot of famous people. Your heart will take longer to heal because you’ll keep hearing them on the radio. But it’ll all be worth it.
I’d warn my younger self about Jimmy Page. I wouldn’t stop my young self from falling in love with him. But I would say, don’t believe every word he says! I actually believed that he was going to take me to England and take me to Pangbourne and we’d see the peacocks out the window. I thought he would send me a white chariot and that chariot never arrived. So, I would probably say, have more fun with him and try not to fall so madly in love.
That’s what I did with Mick Jagger. I realised, I’m not going to end up with Mick Jagger, so I just had several joyous, fun romps with him. He was the prettiest thing in the world. He was sexy, he was so happy to be who he was, doing what he was doing. You can tell, from looking at him now, what a great life he’s had and how unrepentant he is. I’m unrepentant too. I have zero to repent.