The wild life and times of rock supergroupie Miss Pamela Des Barres, 69, who had drug-fuelled sex with The Who and Led Zeppelin

AS the band struck up the intro to Burning Love and leather-clad Elvis swaggered on to the stage, Pamela Des Barres could hardly believe her luck.

Not only did she have front-row tickets for the Las Vegas gig but she was sat sandwiched between Led Zeppelin rock gods Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

“I’ll tell you,” she says with a Cheshire cat grin, “I had the best seat in the house.”

Being rock and roll’s most famous groupie in the late Sixties certainly had its privileges. Pamela had drug- fuelled liaisons with some of music’s biggest icons, including Mick Jagger and Keith Moon.

But it’s Led Zep guitarist Jimmy she counts as a “true love”.

She says: “He was so romantic. He made you feel like you were the only woman alive.

“And he took me everywhere. I’ll never forget that night at the Elvis concert — or the hours spent with Jimmy afterwards on a huge bed up on a pedestal.”

Jimmy also took “Miss Pamela” on tour — and she fondly recalls: “One time I was on the side of the stage as Jimmy entranced 80,000 fans with his guitar playing.

“From my vantage point, sitting on Jimmy’s amp, I almost felt like one of the group.

“Girls in the audience looked up at me and wondered which one I was sleeping with, and I was so proud.

“I was exactly who I’d aspired to be — the girlfriend of the lead guitar player in the world’s biggest rock and roll band.”

When Pamela wrote her rock memoir I’m With The Band 30 years ago, readers were stunned at how freely she was prepared to talk about sex.

She was described as a slut and a whore, but Pamela, now promoting the book’s republication, rolls her eyes at the suggestion.

She says: “It’s judgmental bulls**t. People are so uptight about sex, it’s terrible. I wasn’t some little victim, I got a lot out of those relationships.

“Any woman who gets out there, looks on stage and goes after someone who inspires her, that is the ultimate feminist act, surely?

“To me, great sex is like touching God, and I was lucky enough to have experienced it to the hilt and wrote about it freely, openly and joyously, when not many other women had.”

At 69, with flame-red hair, rouge lipstick, black lacy top and chunky cowboy boots, Pamela exudes vampish rock and roll.

But back in her teens, in Los Angeles, she had an almost virginal image as a Sixties flower child who favoured long blonde hair and bohemian dresses.

Her rock star encounters began after a school friend introduced her to his cousin, rocker Captain Beefheart. He took her to meet other music stars, such as The Who’s drummer Keith Moon, who quickly fell for her charms — and her willingness to indulge his kinky side.

Pamela says: “He liked to dress up. One time I’d be a rich older lady in pursuit of a gorgeous young steward, another time a hooker accosting a virginal kid from Connecticut.

“Our racy little improvisations went on long past many dawns. We took handfuls of pills and he drank vodka like he was dying of thirst. He could be light and silly but he had this terrible dark side.

“One night when we were in bed he broke down and started to cry, calling himself a murderer.”

Keith, then 23, confessed he had crushed a chauffeur under the wheels of his Bentley during a fracas outside a disco in Hertfordshire in 1970. The inquest verdict was accidental death but Pamela says: “Keith told me he was to blame because he was stoned.

“He would wake up screaming. It was so sad because it was obviously an accident but he blamed himself.”

Another chapter from Pamela’s racy past is dancing in a short film for Jimi Hendrix’s band. She recalls: “I was the Foxy Lady. I had this skimpy little dress on and danced all around the band.

“Hendrix hit on me and it’s impossible to describe his charisma, it was huge. I didn’t sleep with him though — I was only 17 and way too young.”

At the same age she had another memorable encounter, with Doors singer Jim Morrison, which led to a more intimate conclusion.

She recalls: “I heard the Doors song The End playing from a house nearby. It hadn’t even been released yet, so of course I was curious.

“I wandered over to this house to find Jim standing next to his refrigerator in unzipped leather pants, no shirt, looking the epitome of rock god, singing along to his own record.”

Backstage after a Doors gig later that night, Pamela remembers “making out passionately” with Morrison on her “crazy muskrat coat”. She says: “I remember thinking, ‘This is the most beautiful man I have ever seen’. He was so gorgeous, everything about him was just perfect.”

At one point Pamela was in a girl group, The GTOs, and a fellow member known as Miss Christine fell for rocker Alice Cooper.

On Pamela’s website she writes: “Christine was aflutter over Alice in 1968 — a skinny, caved-in guy from Arizona whose real name was Vince.
‘Outrageous make-up’

“They held hands and gazed at each other sideways, this tall, skinny girl we called the Dr Seuss character of the group and Vince/Alice, soon-to-become idol of millions.

“I don’t know if they ever had sex, but they were clearly in love and made for each other at that precise moment in time.

“She gave him an outrageous make-up job and threw some of his clothes together into an outfit that defies description.”

Pamela’s wild days came to an end in 1973, when she married Michael Des Barres, who was in a band called Silverhead. They had a son, Nicholas, in 1978, a year after they married, but divorced in 1991.

Her whirlwind life is said to have been the inspiration for the 2000 movie Almost Famous, about the underside of the rock business.

But Pamela was less than happy with it, and hopes to make her own film soon focusing on the story of her fling with Mick Jagger.

She has also decided who she would like to play the Rolling Stones singer — Harry Styles.

She says: “If I were 19 again he’s who I’d be going after. I think he’s talented and I think he’s in it for the long haul, which is so rare in the current crop of kids.

“He’s also got that easy femininity I’ve always liked and he seems quite adorable. He’s also mysterious about his sexuality, which is fabulous — I love that.”



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These days Christian Pamela lives alone in the LA hills and works as an author and journalist, as well as conducting writing seminars worldwide — and proudly claims no one has ever sued her about her revelations in the book.

She also says she is happy being single and adds: “I’m very picky these days.

“It’s going to have to be a very brave guy who wants to be with me, someone who’s very sexually open.”

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