PAMELA DES BARRES - Take Another Piece of My Heart
Chicago Review Press 2008 - Revisited Edition
There is something interesting about reading one or two of these books. One begins to wonder if (and when) we behave in a way that is not considered the norm by a society that believes that sex is a horrible thing (let's not talk about those religions that support all those children!), when in fact, it is one of the things that excites and makes us happy in life, and more often than not, it is the difference between the good times and the bad times that we EVER had. We remember the good times, and we bury the hard times and the moments that were not exciting, or worth while for whatever reason.
When I first read the original book many years ago, I was not shocked and I was not crazy over it, although I really thought that there was a lot more going on than we know or will ever hear and Pamela might not be as open or honest as she could, due to the social conditions and such. For someone to be published and have some kind of success in the national media and be wanted as a guest or speaker here in there, means that you have to be squeaky clean, even if you were not at first.
Pam's 2nd book starts with her marriage to Michael des Barres and their child, Nick. And for 200 pages, it sloshes a whole lot on it, and after a while you want it to be over and let us hear some content that is much more important to the truth of the events and persons. After all this is the world of rock'n'roll and it is not exactly known for being celibate and clean, while also carrying around some scratching moments here and there, and I don't mean just your head!
It is nice to see what one goes through what amounts to be about 12 to 15 years in that book, but in the end, it does not add a whole lot to the musical scene, or the people around it, and it has a tendency to hide it under a marriage, although getting a Polaroid shot of some of the people and stars in the scene is interesting and sometimes revealing, but I doubt that so many people's sexuality is as big a deal today as it was 20 years ago, or even 40 years ago. In fact, the 70's in Santa Barbara at the University were raunchy and rather overblown, and many times it was more the talk than the reality, although the line then was about how many butts you could score and the gender was not an issue. It was almost like a complete meat market, and in some cases it was ugly, with the professors also involved and one even cast his girlfriend on the main role of a play!
You get the idea. Some things have never changed in the world of film and theater, and how it works.
I do not want judge these things. I think that people do what they do, and if it brings them joy, then it's fine, as long as it is not about hurting anyone, but the Hollywood cat and dog scene can be nasty and competitive and sometimes down right boring! But it helps the bands get somewhere, though I still say that 95% of them all were had in one way or another for someone else's benefit, and we don't have to think it's just the girls either!
The book, towards the end, gets more interesting as you get to see a few of the media monsters that are exactly that, and we think that they are stars because they are famous and some of them have no class and it is all about the ego and the money they make, and Pamela does not exactly discuss that side too well, although it is pretty obvious the last 100 pages that she is cavorting with the big time stars in the West Coast.
I don't think that it is necessary to be complete, but I am not sure that a superficial story about these things is good for the time, the place and the artistic scene. In the end, it was the sleaziness and the ugliness that helped us forget what it was all about and why. It reminds me of the film "The Trip" and his comments towards the end about his friends and many people. Pamela, could be said to have made it through OK while others went back to the scene that they originally were fighting against. In the end, it all died, and I can see many of these people in front of me today, my age, that still look at those days as "teenage days" and do not think that it had any value whatsoever for them. It's like nothing happened. Which is bizarre, because it did, but some folks weren't looking.
It's a good book to read, specially getting a good look at the
emotional highs and lows and how Holly wood and the music business can hurt you
so bad by people that have no ethics whatsoever, or interest in anything except
their own personal gain. It's a score, and the age of "greed is good" became the
rule, and in some ways, it STILL is! And you get the idea real quick that the
majority of folks behind it, should not been there, but then, Hollywood has
never been the land of the pious, unless they are a "star".
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