From Publishers Weekly
A groupie is to a rock band as Mary Magdalene was to Jesus, asserts L.A. rock author Des Barres (I'm with the Band) in this eager, self-congratulatory attempt to rehabilitate the term groupie through two dozen fun and well-documented examples of rock muses since the 1960s. Des Barres steers her interviewees to underscore their important role in making their rock star boyfriends look good and play well, such as Tura Satana, given the dubious title Miss Japan Beautiful, who met awkward young Elvis Presley on the burlesque circuit in the mid-'50s and taught him his shimmying moves. Des Barres recalls her groupie rivals back in the day, including Patti D'Arbanville, Bebe Buell, Lori Lightning and Catherine James. Cynthia Plaster Caster, the Rodin of Rock, shares her descriptions of her plaster replicas of rock stars' penises (including that of Jimmy Hendrix), while Dee Dee Keel spills tales of her oral exploits for British rockers with deplorable bathing habits, and male groupie Pleather relays Courtney Love's shaky self-esteem. In the end, it's all about the music, or as Pleasant Gehman sums it up blithely in this breathlessly gossipy scrapbook: Being a groupie is like worshipping at the church of rock and roll—and you are the high priestess.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Des Barres' popular first book, I'm with the Band (1988), cemented her reputation as a pioneering groupie. Here she interviews 24 other women, including Gail Zappa, Bebe Buell, and Cherry Vanilla, similarly enamored of rock musicians, although the give-and-take between Des Barres and her interviewees often reads more like old friends trading war stories. And there are certainly plenty of stories to go around, with juicy details on the sexual habits of Jimmy Page, Cat Stevens, and Mick Jagger; for the younger set, there are some eye-opening revelations about the likes of Kurt Cobain and J. D. Fortune. Des Barres can sometimes throw a wet blanket on the proceedings with her rather heavy-handed and oft-repeated explication of groupies as "muses" (whatever). And there are a few queasy moments, as when a mother and daughter trade raunchy anecdotes. For the most part, though, these women, especially Cynthia Plaster Caster and Cassandra Peterson (who later became famous as the horror-film maven Elvira), share their unabashed enjoyment of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll in spirited fashion. Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved