Posts Tagged ‘Elvis’

Q & A from Premiere, 12/13/2010

December 17, 2010

Here is the video of the Q & A that followed the premiere screening of Pamela’s new VH1 Rock Doc, Let’s Spend the Night Together!

PLEASE NOTE: Web mistress apologizes for the shaky, Blair Witch quality of the video.  It was her first time with the flip camera, and she really needs a tripod!  It does get a little better as it goes along, but at least the sound quality is good! If the shaking gets to you, maybe you can just listen in. . .

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ROLLING STONE COLUMN #73: REFLECTIONS ON AMERICA’S FIRST TEENAGER

September 21, 2009

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today. . . .” –James Dean

When I had just turned eight years old, I was riding along the perfect new L.A. freeway in our ’48 Ford, my head in my mama’s lap and my feet in my daddy’s. It was dusk and the sky was turning pale violet, and this little girl didn’t have a care in the wide, wide world. Frank Sinatra was crooning on the radio when suddenly a voice broke through, shattering the perfection, “I am sorry to have to report that actor, James Dean was killed in a highway accident this evening on route 446.” It was September 30, 1955. My mom shook her head sadly, “Oh, how sad, he was so young…”

“Who was James Dean, mama?”

Good question. People have been trying to figure that out ever since. At such a tender age, I had not yet experienced death, and was instantly curious about the young actor, this shooting star who was important enough to stop Sinatra in mid-croon.

For the next few weeks, all the silver screen magazines had James Dean’s glorious high-cheekboned puss plastered on their covers and I bought every one of them. The stories inside held intriguing facts about this audacious outsider from a tiny town in Indiana, who came to shake things up and change acting forevermore. He had only been in 3 films, “East of Eden,” Rebel Without a Cause” (which cemented his eternal teen rebelhood) and “Giant,” which he had barely finished before his little silver Porsche Spyder was hit head-on by a big bulky station wagon driven by a sorry fellow with the hapless name of Donald Turnupseed.

There are only a handful of icons that continue to make zillions after their demise – Elvis (of course), Marilyn Monroe…and James Dean. His moody visage brings in about 5 million every year. He still inspires creative souls to take chances, take risks, take the bull by the horns and climb on. Apparently Elvis was such a massive fan that he knew every single word of Dean’s films, and whenever he uttered a line, the King expected his cronies to respond with the very next line-or they were in Trouble with a capital T. So besides raising the bar in acting, it’s very possible that James Dean also helped create rock and roll.

In 1956, the first book (of many) about Dean was released, “James Dean” by his former roommate, William Bast. I chewed and swallowed every word about his short, troubled, determined life and stared at the photos with bleeding teenage sorrow until I couldn’t breathe. I was devastated by this huge loss and carried a tattered photo of his headstone around in my pink plastic wallet for years, dreaming of the day I could put flowers on his grave in the small Midwestern town of Fairmount, Indiana. The goofy, gangly boys at my Junior High School could never measure up to the dead, holy perfection of James Byron Dean. 1931-1955.

Long before every household had a VCR, I would set my alarm whenever one of his movies played on TV in the middle of the night, and swoon all by myself in the dark, wishing I could be Julie Harris or Natalie Wood. “I Looo-ooove somebody” she whispered, gazing into the rebel’s dreamy blue eyes. And so did I.

I have always felt a cosmic connection to James Dean. When my son was born in 1978, we called him Nicholas Dean Des Barres, not even realizing that the day he came into the world was September 30.

It took me decades, but ten years ago, I finally made it to Fairmount, Indiana. I had finished three books, and decided to do some kind of James Dean project, which eventually turned into a short story in the collection, “Carved in Rock,” and a screenplay called “Kills the Cat.” I had interviewed many of his friends, even spending an entire week with his best chum, Lew Bracker, in Kansas City. By this time I was calling him “Jimmy,” like all of his pals did. I had been having intense dreams about him, in which he invited me into his psyche, divulging his acting technique in a very personal, humorous and vivid way. I had his signature tattooed on the back of my neck, and it felt like I’d been branded.

When my friend and I pulled up at the small graveyard in front of Jimmy’s small headstone in Fairmount, it was dusk once more, and there were two people tending the grave, who turned out to be his cousin, Marcus Winslow and his wife Mary Lou. Marcus takes care of Jimmy’s estate and still lives in the house where Jimmy grew up. The timing was impeccable which didn’t really surprise me. It was Jimmy at work. I could just see his sly dimpled smile up there in rebel heaven. Marcus invited us to the farmhouse where I got to sit in Jimmy’s childhood room. With my heart pounding I held his record albums, (One was “Hello Young Lovers” by Sinatra) and looked through his writing and artwork. Touching his things, my hands throbbed and felt like they were on fire. It is one of my fondest memories in this lifetime or any other. I had finally made it to James Dean’s bedroom.

Since that first trip, I have been to Fairmount at least 20 times. I can’t get enough. I have made forever friends with many of the locals, and actually consider the town my home away from home. I’m making another trip there next week, for the annual celebration of his short life. I’ll check out all the 50s cars, don my dancing frock and hang out with all my Dean pals–but when evening falls, I’ll walk through the violet dusk to Jimmy’s gravesite, I will lay down in the grass and commune with the ghost of my favorite rebel, America’s First Teenager.

“I think there is only one form of greatness
for man.  If a man can bridge the gap
between life and death. I mean, if he can live
on after he has died, then maybe he was a great
man. To me the only success, the only
greatness, is immortality.”

–James Dean

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

September 7, 2009

Greetings my dear dolls!

I had a small gathering of my darling doll-pals to celebrate my birthday a few days early last night, and it was such a comfy sweet groove. I adore my girlfriends. . . yummy red velvet cake was gluten-free and deee-lish! Lots of tasty potluck and thoughtful gifts. My friend Vicki made me some ‘bottle art’ and included a photo of me and my new fave-rave, Jack White. Talk about Yum. Loads of Elvis prezzies – my girls know me well! One of them asked about my Top 5 and it’s actually 6.

1. Jesus

2. Elvis.

3. Walt Whitman

4. James Dean.

5. Mary Magdalene

6. Bob Dylan.

In no particular order except Numero Uno! Rounding out the Top Ten would be All Four Beatles and William Blake. Eleven, but who’s counting? I leave before dawn tomorrow to visit Mike Stinson, my bf of over 5 years. We visit his mom on the Eastern Shore often, and I just found out it will be pouring with rain on my actual birthday, 9-9-09! I am meeting him at the Houston airport and will be stunningly excited, as I haven’t seen him in 2 months! He moved away, alas, to pursue his music career in Texas, where it is already going swimmingly for him.

My next Rock Tour of Hollywood and Laurel Canyon is October 3–come see where I rolled around with Jim Morrison! And I just decided to hold a writing workshop in Fairmount, Indiana on my annual trek to James Dean holy ground. It will be at my dear pals, Dave & Lenny’s James Dean Gallery September 29. Let me know if you can attend! I feel so at home in that tiny midwestern town. I love to loll and laze at Jimmy’s grave and catch him up on all my latest shenanigans. I also have a 2 nighter coming up in Austin, Oct 16-17, and another in Manhattan Nov 2-3. Come meet me and get your muse to wake up and scribble! I am also one of the guests at the upcoming Chiller even in Jersey Oct.30-Nov.1, and will be selling GTOs cds, photos, shirts etc. Ann Margret is going to be there. Wowie! She touched the king, she shimmied with him Viva Las Vegas, baby!

Every day I still wake up and say ‘Yay!’ I am always excited about something and that’s the way it should be. Remember dolls, we’re all in this together.

Shake rattle and roll . . .

XP

Miss Pamela’s Rock Tour, Sunday July 12–$100 per person

July 2, 2009

Hi De Ho Dolls!

The sorrowful MJ saga goes on…I wrote a little note on my Facebook page, “Poor little manchild off to Heaven…” with the incredible J5 song, ‘Who’s Loving You,’ and I got 62 wild responses! Lots of opinions flying around cyberspace. A few people didn’t think he deserved to go to upstairs due to the pedophilia charges and one fellow even accused me of racism, ‘gwine to hebben.’ Can you believe that? His statement provoked loads of angry responses I’m glad to say. ‘Judge not lest ye be judged’ sayeth one of my most beloved dudes, Jesus of Nazareth. I don’t even remember Elvis’s death provoking this kind of worldwide mania. A few of MJs albums have been selling 100,000 copies a day! I’m sure wherever he’s flown off to, he is enjoying the attention, which will hopefully focus mainly on his brilliance in the weeks and months to come. I knew there were drugs involved, but it sounds like he has even surpassed the King in that department as well.

Aaaahhh, the glory of fame, eh? Even though the entire world wants to sit on your lap and inhale your pheremones, the escape route looks like a better option. Elvis was shooting Dilaudid into his groin and Michael was searching for injectable drugs that would basically render him comatose. I wish I could have reminded them of their glorious Higher Selves, waiting patiently within. (Maybe even sitting on their laps at the time. Ha ha.)

I hear you knocking…Actually, I believe we create our own ‘Hebben’ and Hell right here on this beautiful spinning planet we inhabit. For a loooooong time now I have been watching my thoughts, words and deeds, attempting to stay in tune with the goodness of the Universe. When I was moping around here a few days ago, I actually FELT the energy slow down and almost stop. It seemed like I was walking through a thick sludge, and I was making it happen it with my drudgey mood – created by my woe-is-me thoughts. I stopped in my tracks and reversed that ‘stinking thinking’ (as my teacher Light calls it) and suddenly the air around me was smooth as silk. Amazing how instantaneous it is.

I have another Rock Tour of Hollywood & Laurel Canyon coming right up on Sunday, July 12! It’s my 6th outing and the tours get better every time. The concept started when a gent from England called and asked me to take him and his best friend around to the the hotspots in I’m With the Band for his pal’s 40th Birthday. It seems every year they try to ‘one-up’ each other, and I was the birthday present last year. They picked me up in a Rolls Royce limo, took me to dine at Spago, and handed me $5000 in cash. Zowie! We toured Jim Morrison’s funky pad, the Zappa cabin, The Whiskey, the site of our long lost hippie club, Pandora’s Box, Chris Hillman’s once fairytale pad at the top of Kirkwood. They were thrilled and entranced and it made me realize that I had a lot to share with rabid rock fans…I lived within and amongst the musical greats during the rock renaissance and (somehow) lived to tell the outrageous tale!  You can get in on the same tour for only $100 per person.

So why don’t you join me this time around? I usually take between 10-12 music/pop history lovers all over Hollywood with my very super duper driver, Kip Brown. We meet in front of Amoeba Records on Sunset at 1:30 and I drop you back off around 5 PM. It is an exhausting wild ride, as I read pages and pages from Band and answer any and all (almost) questions posed to me. We have a blast! To let me know if you’d like to come along, drop me a line at tours@pameladesbarres.net!!!  In case you dolls didn’t know, I am a collector of many things…some of the photos on the site feature rooms (and walls) in my little beach cottage. Very colorful, eh? I love to find treasures so very much that I dig them up and put a lot of my finds on eBay. I’ve been selling under then moniker Bonbon22 for years.

Please check out my items ~ I’m sure there is something for everyone! For instance . . . (click here for some of my fab stuff!)

and more fab stuff!

I have such a ball discovering treasures. It started when my dear old daddy, OC Miller, took me to swap meets and garage sales. The bug bit me and hasn’t backed off…
Luv,Miss P