Making Money Secrets

Posted by adgag adgadgvadgv on Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The openness and transparency WikiLeaks has given us is invaluable—which is why I’m donating $20,000 to get its founder out of jail.

Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that I have put up $20,000 of my own money to help bail Mr. Assange out of jail.

Furthermore, I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.

We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.

So why is WikiLeaks, after performing such an important public service, under such vicious attack? Because they have outed and embarrassed those who have covered up the truth. The assault on them has been over the top:

**Sen. Joe Lieberman says WikiLeaks "has violated the Espionage Act."

**The New Yorker's George Packer calls Assange "super-secretive, thin-skinned, [and] megalomaniacal."

**Sarah Palin claims he's "an anti-American operative with blood on his hands" whom we should pursue "with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders."

**Democrat Bob Beckel (Walter Mondale's 1984 campaign manager) said about Assange on Fox: "A dead man can't leak stuff... there's only one way to do it: Illegally shoot the son of a bitch."

**Republican Mary Matalin says "he's a psychopath, a sociopath ... He's a terrorist."

**Rep. Peter A. King calls WikiLeaks a "terrorist organization."

And indeed they are! They exist to terrorize the liars and warmongers who have brought ruin to our nation and to others. Perhaps the next war won't be so easy because the tables have been turned—and now it's Big Brother who's being watched… by us!

WikiLeaks deserves our thanks for shining a huge spotlight on all this. But some in the corporate-owned press have dismissed the importance of WikiLeaks ("they've released little that's new!") or have painted them as simple anarchists ("WikiLeaks just releases everything without any editorial control!"). WikiLeaks exists, in part, because the mainstream media has failed to live up to its responsibility. The corporate owners have decimated newsrooms, making it impossible for good journalists to do their job. There's no time or money anymore for investigative journalism. Simply put, investors don't want those stories exposed. They like their secrets kept… as secrets.

I ask you to imagine how much different our world would be if WikiLeaks had existed 10 years ago. Take a look at this photo. That's Mr. Bush about to be handed a "secret" document on August 6th, 2001. Its heading read: "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US." And on those pages it said the FBI had discovered "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings." Bush decided to ignore it and went fishing for the next four weeks.

Supporters of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, hold posters during a protest in front of the British Embassy in Madrid, Spain on Dec. 11, 2010. (Photo: Stringer / AP Photo)

But if that document had been leaked, how would you or I have reacted? What would Congress or the FAA have done? Was there not a greater chance that someone, somewhere would have done something if all of us knew about bin Laden's impending attack using hijacked planes?

“Rock 'n’ roll is art, but it also means sex, so it’s just the perfect combination -- especially for the young teenage girl. I remember when Mick Jagger lit me up when I was 15, and I thought, 'OK, I want some of that.' [But] our relationship was purely sexual.”

Des Barres was motivated to log her experiences, and those of her pals, because she felt the word "groupie" had become something tawdry, especially as reality shows featuring rock stars looking for love in a house full of women looking for fame became the norm.

“For a real groupie/music lover, you’re not in it for money. You’re in it for the thrill of being with someone famous,” she said. “Sure, we loved the little bonuses. Being taken on the road, staying in really cool places, but the main joy was to be with this person. We all fell in love. There were relationships.”

Her cross-country journey took her to Utah to see Tura Satana, the woman who taught Elvis a few tricks in the boudoir; Seattle, where Robert Plant's muse Michele Overman resides; Chicago, the home of iconic groupie Cynthia Plaster Caster; California to meet Cassandra Peterson, who was a well-known groupie before becoming Elvira; and Arkansas, to visit the famous Connie Hamzy, known solely as “Sweet Connie.”

“Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act / She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact,” Grand Funk Railroad sang in its song "We're an American Band."

Hamzy, unlike the other groupies, was never looking to build relationships. She was after sex, and she unabashedly shared intimate moments with virtually every rock star -- even their roadies -- who came through Arkansas.

“Look, we’re not hookers, we loved the glamour,” she clarifies in the film when pressed about her conquests. “We’re getting to hang with celebrities. I’m 55 years old, so I don’t do the things I used to. I don’t look the way I used to. There aren’t women who could do what me or Pamela does. How many songs on the radio have a gal's name in it?”

Sweet Connie never minces her words -- ever. She boasts that she’s bedded -- or serviced -- anywhere from 700 to 1,000 musicians and their crew guys. She says she still gets requests from bands, which she is happy to oblige. Though a lot of her anecdotes can't be printed in this publication, one of her favorite memories is of helping Don Henley join the "Mile High Club" -- with a little bit of help, albeit unexpected.

“I had my eyes closed, because that's what you do when you're making love, before feeling another set of hands on me and it was the pilot. Then I realized, who could be flying this thing? Don tells me not to worry, it’s on autopilot,” she said. “My only complaint is they didn’t ask me how I felt. I mean, it can’t be safe to put the plane on autopilot, can it?”

Hamzy admits she sometimes got attached to some of the stars, including Eddie Van Halen (she also had his brother, “but not at the same time,” she quickly points out).

“I think I let him slip through my hands. I did get attached to some of them. I feel in love with some of them. You build attachments,” she says before catching herself. “But it's pointless. They are here today, gone tomorrow.”

When pressed about relationships with married musicians, she lets out a hearty chuckle. “I was with some and their wives, at one point,  which I didn’t mind. Most of the times the wives detest me. But I will say if they think I’m the only one who’s ever done this with their husbands, then they are very naïve.”

Overman, who also dated a pre-Aerosmith Steven Tyler, puts it differently when she thinks of her teen years with Plant (ironically, they dated at the same time Des Barres was seeing another Zeppelin member, Jimmy Page).

“It was an instant attraction. And he was married, so you know, it didn’t last. But it lasted for three years. I just really liked him,” Overman said. “I really wanted a boyfriend. And when you’re that young, you kinda don’t think about the consequences of that sort of thing. You just think it’s all going to work out the way you want, and you will ride off into the sunset. But it didn’t.”

“Let’s Spend the Night Together: Confessions of Rock’s Greatest Groupies” airs Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. on VH1.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photos: (Top left) Pamela Des Barres and Keith Moon.

(Top middle) Vintage Des Barres.

(Top right) The GTOs, a groupie group created by Des Barres that featured her, Linda Sue Parker, Lucy  McLaren, Christine Frka, Sandra Leano, Judith Edra Peters and Cynthia Cale-Binion.

(Middle left) Vintage Michele Overman.

(Middle right) Jimmy Page with Des Barres.

All photos courtesy of VH1.

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