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The Real Penny Lane Has a Few Things Left to Say About Almost Famous

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Pamela Des Barres (right), one of three women who is rumored to have inspired Cameron Crowe’s character, has been trying to redeem the word “groupie” her whole life.
Photo-Illustration: Vulture, DreamWorks and Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

A young Kate Hudson is waiting in a dark parking lot outside a fictional Black Sabbath concert, sporting purple-tinted glasses, carrying a tackle-box-turned-bag, and wearing what must be one of the most memorable coats in cinematic history. She’s met by Patrick Fugit, playing a young journalist on assignment in Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical paean to rock and roll, Almost Famous, who quickly insists he’s not a “groupie” like Hudson’s Penny Lane. “We. Are. Not. Groupies,” she coos in response, secreting effortless cool as the queen of the young female rock acolytes around her. “We’re here because of the music,” she explains. “We are Band-Aids. We don’t have intercourse with these guys. We support the music. We inspire the music. We’re here because of the music!”

“What a pussy line!” Pamela Des Barres yells at me, speaking from her bedroom in Reseda, Los Angeles, 20 years after Almost Famous first debuted in theaters. Des Barres is better known as the real Queen of the Groupies, the woman who actually hooked up with Mick Jagger and Jimmy Page (not to mention the Who’s Keith Moon; Jim Morrison; Jimi Hendrix’s bass player, Noel Redding; Waylon Jennings; and more). “And ‘pussy’ in a bad way. I hate that the word is used in a negative way, but anyway — [Penny Lane] was not owning herself, not owning groupiedom and what it actually means.”

This is just the beginning of the movie’s problems for Des Barres, the now 72-year-old, flaming red-haired author, former groupie, and musician, who is widely considered to be one of the primary inspirations for Kate Hudson’s character, alongside groupie Pennie Lane Trumbull and singer Bebe Buell, Liv Tyler’s mother.

It’s not that Des Barres dislikes Almost Famous. In fact, every time she bashes it during our conversation, she is careful to remind me that she doesn’t want to sound like “a bitter old jerk.” “I’m not saying it wasn’t a good movie,” she says, right before making an argument for why it’s not a good movie. In reality, all of her actual groupie girlfriends love Almost Famous, mostly for characterizing them as more than stupid young girls who’d throw themselves, lemming-like, off any stage for a man who asked them to do so. According to Des Barres and her girlfriends, “groupie” used to carry an intensely negative connotation — something to do with the “uptight sexual nature of America” — but Crowe’s movie pushed back on that. “It was a positive look at the groupie-muse,” Des Barres says. “And I’ve been trying to redeem the word ‘groupie’ for most of my life.”

For Des Barres, all her troubles with Crowe’s story began at its premiere in 2000, which she says the director invited her to attend. “I was actually dumbstruck,” she says of seeing the movie for the first time. “Because that character was basically more me than Bebe Buell or Pennie Trumbull. She looked way more like me.” Her suspicions were confirmed when she ran into Kate Hudson at the afterparty, and Hudson told Des Barres that she read her book, I’m With the Band, for research, and even hung photos of Des Barres around her dressing room.

Truthfully, Des Barres found herself upset that she, the actual Groupie Goddess, hadn’t been invited to tell her own story. “It made it impossible for me to sell my film,” she says, noting that she’d written her own script for a project that she still “can’t talk about” to this day. She was frustrated that someone else had created the lasting cultural image of the groupie — at one point, she even describes the character of Penny Lane as “stolen” and “ripped off” from her.

“I confronted [Crowe] after this film came out, and he basically dismissed me,” says Des Barres. “But then I saw him a few years ago, and he sort of apologized. He actually said, ‘What can I do to make it up to you?’ I said ‘I should have been a consultant.’” (Appropriately, this all took place at a Duran Duran concert.)

Disappointment aside, Des Barres doesn’t linger in the negative, recalling how she first met Crowe when he was 15 years old in a doting, grandmotherly way. “I was hanging out with Zeppelin. I was always hanging out with them, even after Jimmy and I broke up,” she recalls. “Cameron was around. He was writing his first piece on them. He saw me in action. I was very, very close with Robert Plant. And I was invited to everything.”

This is another tendency of Des Barres’s. She likes to remind you of all of the people she knew and slept with. She runs off on beautiful, captivating, voyeuristic tangents — much like her books — to tell you about seeing Elvis from the front row (between Plant and Page by the way), or about her 50-year friendship with Alice Cooper, or the time she was dating Keith Moon and Waylon Jennings at the same time, but ended up hitting it off with her eventual husband, actor and singer Michael Des Barres. Part of her appeal is the bedrock of Crowe’s film. Des Barres really was almost famous. And we all want to be close to fame.

Pamela Des Barres with her “hero/friend” Todd Snider.
Photo: Courtesy of Pamela Des Barres

Talk of all these exploits brings up another key difference between Crowe’s depiction of groupies and the life Des Barres lived. To her, Almost Famous is “tepid” and “whitewashed” — a Disneyfied version of what she was doing back in the day. Recalling the infamous scene where the cast sings Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” in a moment of much-needed onscreen unity, she growls, “That would never happen.”

What would have happened if she were on the bus? “Well, I was a groupie before there were bus trips. I was on jets,” she says. “But that was too cutesy and too clean for what really would have happened in that bus had I been on it.”

On the one hand, Des Barres understands Crowe’s sterile, PG-13 treatment of the early ’70s. The movie is, after all, an interpretation of the rock and roll world from the perspective of the director’s younger self, when he was 15 and watching “Miss Pamela” seduce Zeppelin. On the other hand, it’s also a naïve fantasy skewed by Crowe’s gender. This, at the end of the day, is Des Barres’s most significant qualm.

Near the close of Almost Famous, after Penny Lane has gone through a torrid affair with an up-and-coming guitar player, Russell Hammond (played by Billy Crudup), he breaks her heart, infamously trading her away in a poker game to Humble Pie for $50 and a case of Heineken. In response, Penny Lane runs off and nearly kills herself after taking too many quaaludes. So much for being a “Band-Aid” for the “music” and the “inspiration.” Rather, when rejected by a (shitty) man, the movie’s heroine nearly ends her life because she doesn’t see a path forward without his love.

That doesn’t sit well with Des Barres. She calls it a “horribly misogynistic look at what a groupie-muse is” and vents, “That made me so angry. This character, the groupie like she’s portrayed, is pathetic. I knew all the main groupies in the heyday of groupiedom. None of them would have done that. There was always someone else coming to town. That really turned me off. No actual music-loving goddess-groupie would do such a thing.”

Des Barres is no stranger to misogyny. After all, she’s a complicated figure, known by classic-rock lovers primarily for her penchant for sleeping with rock gods and documenting her experiences in deliciously horny tell-alls, rather than for her music (as a member of the GTOs) or her talent for writing. Looking back from the political moment of 2020, her work can spark nauseous feelings about a teen adored by older men. But Des Barres has always insisted it was never “that way.”

“I was always of age. I was always taken care of. I was always treated well,” she says of her sexual pursuits. “Everyone I was with was wonderful to me. [But] sometimes they were completely stoned out of their mind.”

At the time of her first book release, she says she was painted as submissive, subservient and anti-feminist by critics. She doesn’t see it that way, though: “I was a woman doing what I wanted to do, period. And that was feminism to me.” A few decades later, in a world that understands female sexuality a little differently, she is more likely to be received as a pioneer of feminine sexual agency instead — someone who wasn’t afraid to share her stories of men and sex and orgasms and famous cocks.

And yet, the most famous account of a ’70s groupie remains a fictional one, imagined through the eyes of a man. Undeterred, Des Barres continues to write about her life online, in addition to making podcasts and teaching women’s “mem-wahhh” over Zoom. She’s even started a Patreon and a Cameo, and is working on a book with someone, though she won’t say who.

By the end of our conversation, it’s still hard not to see Penny Lane in her. Or, more correctly — her in Penny Lane. They were both blessed with the power of magnetic attraction, able to woo and impress and entertain. Like rock and roll, and Almost Famous, and the lyrics of Zeppelin’s “The Rain Song,” they all promise you something special, a proximity to fame and stardom and divine rock knowledge unlike anything you can find anywhere else.

Asked if rock and roll can save the world, Miss Pamela replies, “It already has.”

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Christina Anstead’s Ex Tarek El Moussa Is Being ‘Very Supportive’ Amid Her Split From Husband Ant

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Someone to lean on. Flip or Flop star Christina Anstead‘s first ex-husband, Tarek El Moussa, is “being very supportive” of her amid her split from estranged second husband Ant Anstead, a source exclusively tells In Touch.

“Tarek was shocked too,” the insider reveals about his reaction to the couple’s breakup news. “He’s there for her and so is his fiancé, Heather [Rae Young], who feels bad for Christina and completely understands Tarek supporting his ex during this time. Tarek loves Hudson like if he was his own.”

Christina, 37, announced she and Ant, 41, were calling it quits after nearly two years of marriage via Instagram on Friday, September 18. “Ant and I have made the difficult decision to separate,” the Christina on the Coast star captioned a photo of her and the U.K. native walking on the beach together. “We are grateful for each other and as always, our children will remain our priority. We appreciate your support and ask for privacy for us and our family as we navigate the future.”

The couple started dating in October 2017, nine months after her split from Tarek, 39. The couple never announced their engagement but tied the knot in December 2018. The following March, they announced they were expecting their first child together. Christina and the Wheeler Dealers host welcomed son Hudson in September 2019.

Courtesy of Christina Anstead/Instagram

Their relationship seemed to be going strong before announcing their separation, and the Craft It Yourself alum even gushed over Hudson’s “beautiful mummy” in a tribute to their son on his first birthday. But an insider revealed to Life & Style that ultimately, the couple “grew apart” which is what led to their split.

“They’re very different people from totally different backgrounds, and that definitely played a factor,” the insider continued, while adding, “The crazy thing is that on the outside they looked like the perfect couple. It just goes to show that you just never know what’s going on behind closed doors.”

This isn’t Christina’s first public split. Tarek and Christina went their separate ways in December 2016 after seven years of marriage. The Flipping 101 star filed for divorce in January 2017 and it was finalized in January 2018. They share two kids together, daughter Taylor and son Brayden. Tarek started dating Selling Sunset star Heather, 33, in July 2019. They got engaged on their one year anniversary.

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Jean Shafiroff made fast change in restaurant bathroom to make fashion event

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Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff was so determined to make it to Times Square Fashion Week, she got ready for the event in a restaurant bathroom.

Her husband took a wrong turn en route, landing the couple in traffic. Running out of time, Shafiroff — who also served as the event’s emcee and guest of honor — was forced to pull over and change in the ladies’ room of a Lexington Avenue eatery.

“I would’ve never made it otherwise,” said the socialite.

Fashion insiders and VIPs gathered to watch presentations from seven designers at the first live event to be held in Times Square since the lockdown began. We hear that Shafiroff also just interviewed bitcoin billionaire Brock Pierce for her Hamptons TV show.

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Blood & Treasure Season 2: Release Date, Cast, Plot And Every Latest Update Here !!!

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Blood & Treasure is an American action-adventure play television series which is shown on CBS. The series is inspired by 2 other shows of the exact same genre- Indiana Jones and National Treasure. It provides a new action-packed, thrilling experience to its audiences in its 38-83 minute running time.

The show centers around two distinct characters – it’s a brilliant antiquities expert, and the other is a cute art thief. They combine together to catch a devastating terrorist who funds his attacks through treasure that was stolen. They travel around the globe to hunt down their goal, but little did they know that they are stepping down deep into the epicentre of a two-hundred-year-old struggle for civilization’s cradle.

The show was valued for its globe-trotting adventure with the captivating mix of action, humour, and drama. The series is written by Federman and Scaia and can be distributed by CBS Television distribution. Taylor Elmore, Ben Silverman, and many others take part in the creation of the show.

When it’s release?

The season 2 release  date for its new run of this suspense series has not yet been shown. Also, if the coronavirus outbreak does not affect the creation, it does not start. In the event the new season confronts a distraction, at the point, it will affect its arrival, and we want additional seats for it. At the time of the series announcement, it had been made clear that the next few seasons could be sent this season, and should it face any delays, it would likely reach enthusiasts in 2021 at the time.

Cast?

This series’s fans are anticipating seeing these stars in the upcoming season of the suspense series: Matt Brar as Danny McNamara.

  • Sophia Pernas as Lexie Wazir
  • Michael James Shaw as Aiden Shaw
  • Katya Winter as Gwen Carlson
  • James Kallis as Simon Hardwick
  • Dr. Alicia Coppola as Ana Castillo

What’s Blood & Treasure Season 2 Plot?

The direct cast team of this series provides the action and romantic interest to the sequence. We behold Sofia Pernas from the series, who’s a Moroccan-Spanish actress. Her other notable roles have been featured in the Young and the Restless,” Jane the Virgin,’ and’The Brave.’ She steps into the role of Lexi Vaziri in the present show.

Matt Barr plays the role of Danny McNamara from the series. He’s an American actor and features ‘Commander in Chief,”’One Tree Hill,’ and Hellenes.’ Other members of this cast crew include Katia Winter as Gwen, Michael James Shaw as’Shaw,’ and Anna Silk as’Roanoke.’

 

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