Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's Just a Shot Away

Pamela Des Barres (pictured left, center) is famous, if she, VH1 and the internet are to be believed. Not to be a cynic here, but I am of the opinion that individuals who base said infamy almost solely on simply being in the company of folk who are, you know, *actually* famous is kind of mind numbingly pathetic.  I won't act all high and mighty and go so far as to claim I didn't enjoy I'm With the Band, Ms. Des Barres ode to her sexual exploits with Jim Morrison, Keith Moon, Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Waylon Jennings et al.  I could most certainly relate to her unabashed honesty about sex, music and mania....I even thank her for it because it brought several incarnations of a smile to my face. I actually think the concept of 'groupies' in the true, 1960-70s sense of the term is equal parts fascinating and sad.  Who doesn't get at least mildly curious as to what these legendary, unnatainable people are really like behind closed doors? The truth is kind of sickening, but we as a culture breed this kind of interest, the kind of obsession that drives tabloid magazines and TV shows. We look down on it and we can't get enough of it. We live in a society that makes Pamela Des Barres famous. Now let's get the facts straight shall we? Miss P. as is she known, states in her book that she believes she is the embodiment of female liberation as it was at the time because she was doing 'exactly what she wanted,' which was crossing off some very famous monikers from her sexual wish list. High fives to that, sister. I actually find it maddening the pseudo-logic behind women's liberation somehow equalling the destruction of femininity and labeling it oppressive, and basically saying that to be a strong, successful woman you essentially have to be, well, a man. But that's another subject, think about it. Back to the subject at hand, call yourself a feminist or whatever the hell you want all day long, but being a slut doesn't make you famous. (or I guess it does in this demented society, but I digress) Now, I have no problem with sexual freedom. If you want it I say do it and enjoy it, whatever makes you happy. I decided after reading this book that what I do have a problem with somehow basing an entire career on talking about your relationships with people who actually achieved something to be famous. If someone can write some of the most classic songs and create some of music's most lasting works, and then someone else can simply roll around in bed with that person, how do BOTH people come to acquire the 'fame' label??? It's even worse these days between reality shows where any idiot with a fake tan and a bad attitude can have their 15 minutes. The whole thing depresses me. Throughout I'm With the Band, Miss P. tries in vain to realize creative pursuits of her own and the furthest she gets is a few bit parts in movies and a short lived stint in a 'groupie group' called the GTOs under Frank Zappa's wing. She seems more than content to milk the cash cow that is writing about and appearing on VH1 countdowns about her heyday screwing rock royalty. I suppose that while I can completely understand the sentiments and love of the experiences, I fail to comprehend being totally defined by them. 

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