I'm With The Band: GTOs And Groupies According To Pamela Des Barres

By Cyn Felthousen-Post
Left: Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page accompanied by his girlfriend Miss Pamela (Pamela Des Barres) on June 3, 1973 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images). Right: Rolling Stone, February 16, 1969.

For rock stars, groupies are a fact of life -- and in 1969, with sexual liberation reaching a fever pitch, they became a cover story for Rolling Stone. Pamela Des Barres, or "Miss Pamela," was in a groupie group Frank Zappa had dubbed the GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously) that was featured in the piece. Years later, she revisited her experiences in detail in her memoir I'm With The Band, which became the authoritative inside story of the groupie phenomenon.

Groupies represented the rock star's dream and every parent's nightmare -- these were young women, often very young, who saw themselves as muses and crucial companions to the bohemian performers they idolized. The groupie scene flourished in the late '60s and '70s, in the pre-AIDS, anything-goes era, anything went. Though Des Barres account remains the classic groupie document, the 2000 film Almost Famous and a 2015 book by photographer Baron Wolman, Groupies And Other Electric Ladies, have also shed light on the lurid, often shocking details of how crazy it got in the classic-rock era.