Friday, February 5, 2010

dandelion don't tell no lies, dandelion will make you wise, tell me if she laughs or cries, blow away dandelion


After being royally gypped in Almost Famous, Zooey Deschanel has finally gotten her chance to play a groupie. According to HBO, Deschanel will produce and star in an adaptation of Pamela Des Barres' epic memoir I'm With the Band. Though she's published other accounts of her life, I'm With the Band is my personal favorite and I'm glad to see this one going into production.
Miss Pamela (born Pamela Ann Miller in 1948) was a girl just like all the rest of us - she had dreams about musicians that she deemed too fantastical to come true, the only difference is that one day she decided to make them come true. A Southern California resident, Pamela spent her teenage years hanging out with groups like the Byrds, content to be friends with musicians, until she befriended Captain Beefheart, who introduced her to several of the Rolling Stones and Frank Zappa. Zappa would play an influential role in the rest of her life - she would become the live-in nanny to his kids and he would be the creator of her group the GTOs. During her years as a groupie, Des Barres famously bedded Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Noel Redding, Jim Morrison, Nick St. Nicholas, Gram Parsons, Brandon de Wilde, Chris Hillman, Michael Richards, Keith Moon, and a pre-Miami Vice Don Johnson.
Pamela Des Barres had the most gorgeous late-sixties hippie child fashion sense. She was oftentimes seen wearing ankle-length Victorian style dresses or tight minidresses in loud prints. She loved to draw small stars and hearts near her eyes, and painted her eyelids like they were half-moons. With light blonde hair that fell in soft waves, she looked utterly angelic frolicking around California with hippies and musicians. My favorite quote about her style comes from Miss Pamela herself in I'm With the Band:
  • "A hippie was sort of the unwashed, unkempt kid. A freak was someone who put a lot of cure and intention into their appearance, wanting to stand out instead of blend in. I was a combination flower child-freak, because the former was all about love and sharing and adoring each other and having flowers in your hair, literally, and lace and feather and all that. I never considered myself a hippie. She'd be wearing one of those Indian madras-type skirts with her hair split down the middle, no makeup, sandals, braless - of course, we were all braless. I would have on an old vintage lace tablecloth with ribbons woven through it, feather in my hair, loads of makeup, sequins stuck all over my face, and spike heels."
I found her book refreshing -- as opposed to a trashy tell-all by desperate hanger-on, or an impersonal history by someone who inserts themselves into a world more so than perhaps was true, or an ode to your own fabulosity (which for instance though I'm a big Bebe Buell fan, I found moments of Rebel Heart to show her to be way too cool for me to really relate to), Des Barres is candid, sweet, and completely guileless. There are no pretensions and she is not trying to impress us. She talks openly about her lack of cleavage, her embarrassing habits (remember her daily Paul McCartney rituals she kept while growing up?), and concentrates as much on the aftermath of a relationship as the dirty little romantic details. She gives her story to the reader as deeply as she gave her hearts to her favorite rock stars. A breast cancer survivor, a fanatical James Dean fan, the alleged inspiration behind Penny Lane in Almost Famous, the star of the world's only 'groupie group' the GTOS, I'm glad to see Miss Pamela receive some mainstream adoration.
And, with the fantastic Miss Deschanel involved, my interest is further piqued. But my question is - at 30 years old, is Zooey too old to play the free spirited girl-child? And who is going to play the famous rock stars (Mick, Jim, and all)?

10 comments:

オテモヤン said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I loved Catherine James' book Dandelion. I don't know if I agree with comparing any of these books though. I'm With The Band was released in 1986 or was it 1987? There will be autobiographies written by famous girls who were model and actress- that is where the Bebe Buell book falls. The Peggy Lipton book too.
Its mean to single out Rebel Heart as a bad book just because it isn't a groupie book written from the viewpoint of a California teenager.
I enjoy reading bios in general and they all have something unique to offer me.
Dandelion was the best of the best. Much better than I'm With The Band.

Queen Jane said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Anonymous -

I agree with you about Dandelion - it's a great book because its so much about Catherine James life, from her childhood to now and her relationships are secondary to her own amazing story. But that is also the reason I wrote a post about it almost a year ago. The reason I am writing about I'm With the Band right now is because the recently news that Zooey is bringing it to HBO.
I've read Rebel Heart, and a lot of other books of this sort (memoirs of the sixties) and if you've ever read any of my previous posts, you will know that I am generally very fair in my assessments and really do love a lot of these books.
I really didn't enjoy Rebel Heart - it was very self-congratulatory and Miss Buell focused so much of the attention on how great she was that it sort of rubbed me the wrong way. THAT is the reason I am singling out Bebe Buell's book. Not because she wasn't an average gal who got caught up in the crazy world of rock and roll. I don't give a darn about that and would never hold that against anyone's story. Everyone's life story is unique and that is what makes it interesting. I love Bebe otherwise - I think she's absolutely gorgeous and a badass rock and roller these days, just her book wasn't MY cup of tea.
I liked the Peggy Lipton book, though some parts were more interesting than others - I appreciated her insight and her candidness. She's a beautiful human being inside and out, and if you've read her book you'll know that it wasn't one of the autobiographies "written by famous girls who were model and actress" - she very much presents herself as an extremely fortunate girl who became an actress and model only along her way to find understanding and enlightenment.

Sorry you didn't understand what I was trying to get across in my post. Hopefully you can go back and look to see that I have already spoken about so many books, Dandelion and many others. I'm not attacking one book or putting another on a pedestal AT ALL.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I agree that Rebel Heart is not as could as it could have been. It certainly is not as likable as Bebe Buell really is.
She is so much cooler than the book and I hope she writes another one one day that is as cool as the things she pens on her Facebook.
Maybe write another book alone- no co writer like the Victor Bockris man.
Bebe's book does not sound like the actual Bebe sounds.
We agree.

Queen Jane said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I definitely agree with you Anonymous - I think a lot of how the book came off had to do with the co-writer, not Bebe herself. Which stinks, because she's an awfully cool person. There were bits in Rebel Heart that were so amusing and delightful that I knew it was Bebe's true voice shining through. The stuff about Hayley Mills and Mick Jagger being secret twins, and bonding with David Bowie over makeup and nail polish - that sort of stuff couldn't be made up.

I think a lot of people who know Bebe or have read interviews, etc. by her wish that she would come out and write another book. She's really awesome, and such a fierce woman that she really deserves a book as incredible as she is.

laura linger said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Uh oh...I just gave Bebe's book a rave! LOL! I found Rebel Heart to be one of the saddest books I have ever read, and it completely, and I mean COMPLETELY changed the way I view Elvis Costello. You loved her once, you fathered her aborted child, you treated her like dirt, Elvis. Own up to it.

Queen Jane said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Laura - a lot of Rebel Heart I really enjoyed, there were adorable moments where Bebe seemed so completely starstruck by her heroes like Pattie Boyd, and I too found her relationship with Elvis Costello really heartwrenching. But I think where I had trouble with it was the very noticeable voice of the co-writer in the book, who tried to sensationalize every aspect of Bebe's story. I was probably too harsh in this post by saying that Rebel Heart was just "an ode to your own awesomeness" - it IS a lot more than that, but I think that Bebe was bogged down by unnecessary embellishments by Victor Bockris

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Yea, me as well. I feel sorry for Bebe that so many people write all these mean things about her. Her voice was struggling to be heard in Rebel Heart yet when she does an interview or writes a status or blog on Facebook, she is genius. A fantastic writer. Maybe her ADD has prevented her from having the focus needed to write an entire book. I save everything she puts up because it is usually profound in a deep way.
I have a books worth, teehee, maybe I should send my collection to her.
Having read all the books Victor Bockris wrote about Andy Warhol, John Cale, Patti Smith, Ali, et al, it is painfully obvious that he took over the book.
Maybe there were time restrictions. Editing problems. Who knows.
Since it is almost ten years ago I hope Bebe finds the mojo to do this.
I'd like to give her support. With all the mean stuff that everyone writes who can blame her for being a little gun shy.
Why her book is even compared to I'm With The Band is sorta stupid and it just gets the Pam Des Barres fans all riled up at Bebe.
I say give Bebe Buell a break. She is awesome.
Her new album is on constant play in my world. Everyone I know thats heard it agrees. Take a minute and go download it on Amazon MP3 or iTunes, whichever one you prefer.
SUGAR is like a song book. A book of songs. I don't know how to explain it. Grey Girl that she wrote about her dog that died makes me cry every time.
Maybe books aren't her thing. I think to keep beating her up over a book that came out almost ten years ago is not going to help to get a new book which is what I want, lol!
NEW BOOK PLEASE MISS BEBE!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Laura- you aren't the only person to give Rebel Heart a rave review. I have noticed that some people absolutely LOVE the book. Some hate it. Mixed reviews but I do read many many positive things.
I wish people would focus on some of the good stuff. It has almost become a trend to slag Bebe and tout Pam Des Barres.
I almost want to dare someone to point out the good things about the book.
I sooooo don't get it.
Oh, and the Elvis Costello parts are very moving. I cried a few times while I was reading. For all her confidence, she was very fragile as well.
Bebe Buell is a legend. She was a top model and did things ahead of her time.
The main thing that sets her apart is she is a talented singer/songwriter.
She fought the odds and in my opinion has won with this new record of hers. I love the album.
I'm hooked on "Sugar".
Play it every single day of my life.
M.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

PDB says she has no boobs so why is someone with HUGE tatas playing her in a TV show? Just sayin'.
This casting of Zooey is ridiculous in my opinion. Zooey also has HUGE eyes. PDB is always saying she felt insecure in her book about her tiny eyes and little tatas- so they get someone with HUGE eyes and big tatas to play her?
Makes no sense.
Lets see if the pilot even gets picked up. Just because something gets the green light to shoot does not mean it makes it to series.
Just sayin'.
And hey DollyRockerGil- I like your blog but when you say something about another person and include "cough cough" it makes me wonder what your actual intention is. Why do you even need to compare Bebe Buell and her book to PDB and her book?
If you like Pam's book then just saying that would have been fine enough.
I am sick of Bebe getting picked on by the groupies. So what, she isn't a groupie. She is a legend.
Mickey