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The GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by george nadara, Jan 7, 2010.

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  1. george nadara

    george nadara Forum Resident Thread Starter

    At Christmas I gave an audiobook of Golf Monster read by Alice Cooper to a friend who collects Cooper recordings but who had never heard of the GTOs, an act discussed in one chapter. In attempting to describe the group, I kept confusing them with the Plaster Casters, so a little research…

    Wikipedia edits (including biographies of the two most prominent members):

    The GTOs were a “groupie group” [that] hailed from the area around Los Angeles in the late 1960s, with most of the girls being denizens of the Sunset Strip scene. Their only album, Permanent Damage (Straight Records), was produced in 1969 by Frank Zappa with the assistance of Lowell George (tracks 7 and 11). The songs are mixed in with conversations between members of the group, friends, and others, including Cynthia Plaster Caster and Rodney Bingenheimer. The album features songwriting contributions from Lowell George, Jeff Beck, and Davy Jones. Permanent Damage was re-issued on CD in 1989 by Enigma Retro.

    Miss Pamela (born 1948) is the most famous and successful of the GTOs. Prior to joining the group she had been a member of Vito Paulekis’ dancing troupe. Des Barres is the author of three memoirs with the first, I'm With the Band, based primarily on a diary she faithfully kept from high school through her eventual marriage, due, in part, to the encouragement she received from Zappa. All of the books describe life during the 1960s and the groupie scene, which Des Barres’ book, Let's Spend the Night Together, a collection of interviews with fellow rock groupies (2007), defends. Miss Pamela married and divorced musician Michael Des Barres. Together they have a son, musician Nicholas Des Barres, born in 1978.

    Miss Christine died on November 5, 1972, of an overdose in a house in Cohasset, Massachusetts that was being rented out by Jonathan Richman and his original group, the Modern Lovers. Her death occurred shortly after she had spent close to a year in a full body cast to correct her crooked spine. She appears on the cover of Frank Zappa’s album Hot Rats. Christine also dated Vincent Furnier from labelmates Alice Cooper, as well as Todd Rundgren and members of the Flying Burrito Brothers.

    Miss Christine was the live-in nanny for Zappa’s eldest two children, Dweezil and Moon Unit, before Miss Pamela took over the position during the late 1960s.

    Has anyone heard Permanent Damage? Thoughts, impressions? What about I'm With the Band or another of Miss Pamela’s books, are they worth reading?
  2. elvismcdouglas

    elvismcdouglas Forum Resident

    bay area, ca
    I'm With the Band is a fun, easy read, especially if you enjoy rock lit.
  3. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    As a Zappa completist, I have a prerecorded cassette of Permanent Damage. Lousy IMO. I could not take listening to it more than once, which was a long time ago so I can't give a lot of details.
  4. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    The GTOs album is an artifact of the time. For anyone with a deep interest in that time and the people involved, it's probably worth a single listen. But once you have, you probably won't feel the need to hear it twice. I wouldn't pay collectors' prices to own it, that's for sure.
  5. 120dB

    120dB Forum Resident

    Baltimore, MD
    "Permanent Damage" is the ultimate musical 'in-joke' of the late 60s. If you weren't an
    L.A. 'Strip rat' you'll miss half of the references (reading Ms. Des Barres' books will help),
  6. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    The Des Barres book is recommended and is WAY WAY WAY more enjoyable than the record.
  7. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Senior Member

    Not unlike Zappa's similar presentation from the same period - 'An Evening With Wild Man Fischer'. Its one of those albums that's interesting to listen to once or twice. "Merry-Go-'Round, Merry-Go-'Round, Merry-Go-'Round, Merry-Go-'Round, Merry-Go-'Round, Merry-Go-'Round..." :laugh:

    A guy I know had a funny story to tell about the Wild Man Fischer LP. Most people can only take a side or two before they 'need some air', but a well dressed chap walked in his store one day, a professor at the local U., who examined the album carefully then asked to listen to it. Side 1....side 2...side 3...all the way to the end. He calls his wife and they discussed for some time whether to get it. She apparently agreed, so he walked out with it, explaining they'd need to explore this peculiarly fascinating LP further.
  8. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    I've always had a problem with the Wild Man Fisher album. We all know WMF is talentless and mentally challenged. I feel uncomfortable putting him on a stage so that all the world can giggle, even if WMF himself wanted to make the record.
  9. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    You know, I got this when the Enigma/Bizzarre CD's all came out (along with "Lick My Dicals..", "The Berkley Concert" & a host of others..) After finally hearing The Shaggs album, I assume Frank wanted to make something as good as THAT was/is! Also, after watching "The Mayor Of The Sunset Strip", it's sad to think that Rodney's TRUE TALENT was missed by ALL AROUND HIM! He could've made a wonderful A&R man for the BIZARRE/STRAIGHT labels; all those bands he championed the following 10 to 15 years after THIS 'thing' was released..... what a shame!
  10. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Senior Member

    New York, NY
    Frank didn't hear the Shaggs until years after he produced the GTOs album.
  11. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Detroit Mi USA
    I had Circular Circulation on the Zapped comp and I liked the track. The LP ended up as a celebrity cluster ****, and pretty much an unlistenable mess. The put the LPs finest track on the Comp.
  12. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Really? I did not know that! When DID he first hear them?
  13. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al Senior Member

    Long Island, NY
    The only GTO/Wild Man Fischer stuff I own (or ever heard) are excerpts on the WB comp The Big Ball. The GTO's seem useless, and (if I remember correctly) the Fischer thrack was so over the top homophobic it actually made me cringe (y'know - at first I thought it was satirical, but there was no whimsy in it that I recall)....
  14. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Detroit Mi USA
    As far as Wild Man Fischer Goes, 1) I get the dadaeskness of it all, 2) I get that he is also retarded, but that doesn't mean he can't be entertaining(Merry Go Round is a great sing a long), 3) I know that he knows we are laughing at him and doesn't care if you put a dollar in the hat. A Sunset Strip, Hollywood Blvd street performer that Zappa(and by extension Dr Demento)was intrigued by.
  15. Platterpus

    Platterpus Forum Resident

    This album is definitely an aquired taste. I have a cut out on cassette bought for 99 cents. One listen was all I could take. Glad I didn't pay anymore than that to get the CD.
  16. Destroyer

    Destroyer Forum Resident

    SF, CA, USA
    Read the books, she's a charming author.
  17. nightenrock

    nightenrock Forum Resident

    I had (and might still have) a GTOs cassette. I could never really get into it.
  18. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    I'm in the minority! I like this album! It's charming, almost innocent sounding. The girls cannot sing, but for some reason the album really appeals to me. A definite time capsule of the era when some really thought rock stars were like gods.

    Ten or so years ago, I got to meet and talk to Ms. Pamela at one of her birthday parties at the Viper room in LA. She was very sweet and seemed slightly embarrassed about her celebrity! She then had me join her at a booth along with Miss Mercy, Cynthia Plaster-Caster, and Ms. Cynderella (I think it was). Got them all to sign my Permanent Damage booklet. Felt rather privileged!
  19. ronton99

    ronton99 Forum Resident

    I'm wondering if you are confusing Wild Man Fisher with the Ed Sanders track on one of the WB loss leaders - The Johnny Pissoff Credo. It was indeed over-the-top rude and non-PC - even then. Once you've heard it, who can mention lemon pie without continuing with "coffee, coffee, coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee..." to maniacal infinity.....
  20. Ragu

    Ragu Forum Resident

    I went to school with two of them, Miss Christine and Miss Sandra and they were both lovely and intelligent women who are well missed by those who knew them.

    PIGGIES Forum Resident

    I totally agree, I don't listen to it that often, but when I do I just grin like an idiot (maybe thats what I am!) all the way through it.
    Quite a few of the original MOI feature on it as do bizarrely enough Jeff Beck & Rod Stewart.
  22. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Senior Member

    New York, NY
    Sometime in the mid-1970s. A guy at a radio station played it for FZ during an interview and FZ allegedly stole the record from him.
  23. bluesfan

    bluesfan Forum Resident

    For years and years I was wondering, what John Mayall ment when he sang "Where did Moon go? Better call a GTO" in "2401" on his album "Blues From Laurel Canyon". This only makes sense if you know that Moon is Frank Zappa's daughter and two of the GTOs were working as nanny for the family, which I did not.

    Once I read of a Ford GTO, but that didn't solve the mystery. Finally it was a Google-search that dug up the right information.

    The whole song is about the Zappa family as I found out. There are two more references to the GTOs (probably): "In the red room, Pam is planning where to go" and "Miss Christine cooking, looking very gay".
  24. kentb47

    kentb47 Forum Resident

    Hot Springs Ark.
    Picked it up years ago on CD for a coupla bucks. Every once in a while I pull it out and attempt to listen to it. It's got a bit of period charm and novelty value, but in terms of music it's like listening to one of the Manson family records. Which it actually kinda resembles.
  25. Larry L

    Larry L Forum Resident

    Allen, Texas
    Hmm, I wonder if 2401 was the address to their house?
    Here's a little threadcrapping trivia. I saw a Zappa Plays Zappa show recently, and before they played RDNZL, Dweezil said that RDNZL was their car license plate number at one time.
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