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I really, really loved this book when it came out. A wild sordid story of one girl living an unconventional life in the 60's when California rock was being born. I read and re- read it and was SO excited to revisit it on audible. Miss Pamela ruins her own story by not out sourcing the reading to someone else. Her over dramatic and breathless reading, not to mention the need she feels to sing off key bits and pieces of songs allowed me to stomach about 40 min of this recording. I kept hoping and praying she would return to a normal voice once she got past her adolescence to no avail. It's really disappointing that the person that produced this didn't reign her in so that her amazing story could be told in a less distracting way. If you really want to experience this book, buy it and read it.
24 of 25 people found this review helpful
I listened to the Audible version (read by the author). I expected a really exciting tell-all about a magical and turbulent time in American pop history and some of the big personalities that inhabited my Los Angeles stomping grounds 20 years or so before I came on the scene. I was interested in a little behind the scenes 411 about Jim Morrison, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa, etc. Instead, this was a vapid, nearly 11 hour long monologue which was, for the most part, devoid of anything fascinating. Imagine that "friend of a friend" that you stealthily avoid because she just talks too much, drops names, peppers her "conversation" with song lyrics, and then tells you too much about the not much that is going on in the empty space between her ears. Yep, that one. Okay, now imagine this same little energy vampire talking to you in her giddy voice for nearly 11 hours, and you'll know all you could ever want to know about this book. The "confessions" of this groupie aren't particularly tasty; kind of like ordering something that sounds delicious and gourmet and then being handed a saltine.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
What other book might you compare I'm with the Band to, and why?
The audio style is less like reading a book, more like having a friend on the phone. Most of the book is diary excerpts and she acts them out with breathless teenage excitement. The style might not be to everyone's taste, but bear with it because once you get used to it, it really adds to the naive wonderment of a teenager entering the world of rock and roll. You get to be right there with her and you begin to recall your teenage self.
What does Pamela Des Barres bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
What does really work with this conversational style is that Pamela add asides, clarifications and other thoughts and memories that you would get from the book alone. She also adds a lot of texture, fleshing out the many characters we meet along the way.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
It gives a great feel for what it was like to live in Los Angeles in the 60s and 70s. Obviously there are many famous names mentioned, but her recollections of them vary considerably - some passionate, some friendly, some a pointed dislike. Some of her reflections are touching and on occasion achingly sad, the section about Keith Moon especially. She saw them in a way that the public never did and appreciated them as the men behind the fame.
Any additional comments?
This would appeal to anyone who can remember what it was like to be excited by songs and the bands that played them.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This is very well read and Miss Pamela's asides in the recording booth are absolutely hilarious, adding touches that weren't in either the original or the updated editions. There are some very poignant moments too such as when she reflects that a lot of time has passed since the last paperback version went out and a lot more people aren't around anymore. If you're into the music of that time, particularly the '67-'75 L.A. scene then you've gotta love this!
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
Not having the author read the book
Has I'm with the Band put you off other books in this genre?
No but buy this author most definitely
How could the performance have been better?
Someone else read it.