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Had she gone to law school instead of on tour, tended to the needs of the underserved rather than the overexposed, well, Pamela Des Barres might be running for president.
“I don’t believe in regret, of course, so I don’t wish I had followed another path,” the self-described “legendary groupie” said the other day. But if I had put the same focus and determination and dedication into politics that I had for getting next to those people, I could be Hillary Clinton right now. Instead, I was with the band.”
Was she ever. Des Barres, now 67, has made a career of her adventures, romps and relationships with rock icons like Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger and Keith Moon.
Myriad books have been written about the birth of punk, its cultural godparents in the Warhol Factory and Detroit, and distaff cousins in the United Kingdom, where Margaret Thatcher was punk’s evil stepmother. Yet with a few exceptions, punk’s gold-sequined older sibling, glam rock, has mostly been ignored by the critical establishment. Simon Reynolds’ “Shock and Awe” goes a long way to fill that void. If David Bowie’s death inspired more writers to tackle the subject, they’ll be hard-pressed to surpass Reynolds’ work.
I love bitches. Or, rather, I love the women in film that we have come to call bitches; unrepentant, confident, cunning women. We call them bitches because that’s our word for when a female character behaves anywhere near as badly as the men on screen who have sex and murder and act without emotion—the men we often call anti-heroes. My love of these characters doesn’t come as a surprise, though; in a world where we are often apologetic and attempting to make ourselves smaller, it’s so freeing to watch a woman behave badly.