GTO's—Permanent Damage

Release Information

GTO's—Permanent Damage

Patrick Neve

The GTO's also appear on the compilation, Girls in the Garage Vol. 4.


FZ, interviewed by Argus, Ann Arbor Argus, June 19, 1969

ARGUS: Why are you getting into the GTO's so much?

Zappa: Why am I getting into the GTO's? That's a very personal question. I don't spend much time working with the GTO's at all. I finished their album and my partner in the record company heard it for the first time the night before last and he just shit his pants. He said we can't put that out. He says there's no distributor in the world who would ever take that record.

ARGUS: Are they good musicians?

Zappa: Of-course not. But they write interesting material and they have something to say. They're about as good as any other girlie type rock 'n' roll, and they're generally weird.

GTO's filmography:



Original Album Credits & Liner Notes

Girls Together Outrageously


The GTO's to me, dear friends, are somewhat of a way of life—at least we have been a way of life for over a year now. I'm so in love with everything, everything I see, hear, feel, or think, because I think everything is joyful. There are low points of joy—perhaps dark blue—high points—pure white. The GTO's are all different shades. I love green. Pale lime green. Everything is a color, isn't it? Tra La. Tra La. Tra La. I love people and their smiles. The GTO's smile at people and they stick their tongues out at us. It's OK though, I'm used to it. I love you, everyone—I love you. Hugs and Kisses. Kisses and Hugs.

Miss Pamela.

The GTO's, a color with five schizophrenic hues, a complete personality clash. A travelling caravan of players, masqueraders. 620 lbs. that came together last year by way of many things including the log cabin, now taking different forms, waiting for their big debut (as usual), wondering where it will be this time.

Miss Sandra.

The GTO's are a menace to American maidenhood. Watch out that your teenage daughters don't get their hands on any of the GTO's literature promoting gayety, kinkyness and flamboyancy. The GTO's are out to corrupt your children. Watch out! There may be one lurking in your neighborhood.

Miss Cinderella.

The GTO's came together occasionally on the victory slpes of Laurel Canyon. This made things official. We're in the entertainment business, that's as good a reason as any. Girls together occasionally often and only—depending on availability. Outrageously, maybe, but only to our mothers. When "clap-trap, mod, you-have-to" days are through, each day will offer an unmentionable something new. New adventures, new transitions, no word today, so no decisions. We want to do more beyond music, beyond rude. We can and will because we don't notice. What would you look like without a reflection? Everyone is special, but why be everyone. The GTO's are Misses. They miss out on a lot of things they see, so they must do them themselves. We try our hardest. We also have a lot of nice friends and memories.

Miss Christine.

The GTO's are to me a combination of the world's beauty and ugliness, we are supreme yet the gutter, that's all, except there's no forever.

Miss Mercy.

Side One

1. The Eureka Springs Garbage Lady
2. Miss Pamela and Miss Sparky discuss STUFFED BRAS and some of their early gym class experiences
3. Who's Jim Sox?
4. Kansas and the BTO's
5. The Captain's fat Theresa Shoes
6. Wouldn't It Be Sad If There Were No Cones?
7. Do Me In Once And I'll Be Sad, Do Me In Twice And I'll Know Better (Circular Circulation)
8. The Moche Monster Review
9. TV Lives

Side Two

1. Rodney
2. I Have A Paintbrush In My Hand To Color A Triangle
3. Miss Christine's First Conversation With The Plaster Casters of Chicago
4. The Original GTO's
5. The Ghost Chained To The Past, Present, And Future (Shock Treatment)
6. Love On An Eleven Year Old Level
7. Miss Pamela's First Conversation With The Plaster Casters Of Chicago
8. I'm In Love With The Ooo-Ooo Man

The girls want to dedicate this album to the following:
Miss Pamela: Jimmy Page, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Jesus.
Miss Mercy: Joe Bryath and Brian.
Miss Christine: Brother Jimmy, the Billiard Den and Doug Kirshau.
Miss Cinderella: Larry and Barry.
Miss Sandra: Raven, Klondike Car Owner, Magic and Jesus.

Girls Together Outrageously


The G.T.O's write all their own lyrics lyrics & no subject matter covered by these lyrics was suggested by any outside source. The choice of subjects is a reflection of the girls' own attitudes toward their environment. The G.T.O.'s hope you like their album.

Frank Zappa

Special thanks to: Jimmy Carl Black, Roy Estrada, Ian Underwood and Craig Doerge who played on Eureka Springs Garbage Lady, Ooo Ooo Man, Shock Treatment, and Captain's Fat Theresa Shoes. Also to: Jeff Beck who played guitar on Eureka Springs Garbage Lady, Shock Treatment, and Captain's Fat Theresa Shoes; Nicky Hopkins who played piano on Shock Treatment; Rodney Stewart who sang on Shock Treatment; Frank Zappa who played tamborine on Ooo Ooo Man; Don Preston who played on Television Baby;

Side One


words by: Cinderella
music by: Cinderella, Craig Doerge & Nicky St. Nicholas
lead vocal: Miss Christine

She creaked down the lane
As sane as you make her
Rake held proudly in her hand
Loudly singing her song
To you, to you, to you, to you.

She puffs on her old corn pipe
Griping about dusty heat
Her feet
swing bare in the rubbish

So high and mighty on her throne
Her bony hounds by her side
Gone with the rush of time
The Eureka Springs Garbage Lady
shall ride no more

A-aaah, a-aaah, a-aaah, a-aaah
She's a school teacher from Dakota
Diploma in her shack
Back with the folks at home
She's in love with the Blacksmith Harry
Caring for his trash
Dashing by as fast
As her sway-back hag will go-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o
(Clap clap)
Will go-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o (clap clap)
Will go-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o (clap clap)
Will go-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o (clap clap clap)

La la la la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la la la

The town seems empty without her
Around the cobbled streets
Neatly raking
Making the town nice and clean
And dreamin' and hummin'
As she goes oh-oh-oh-oh
A-aaah, a-aaah, a-aaah, a-aaah, etc.

This song is about a school teacher with a college degree in a small Ozark town who wanted to get it on with the local blacksmith (Harry). She was too shy to let Harry in on the idea, so, in order to get a little closer to her dream goal, she became a garbage collection . . . just so she could pick up Harry's trash. This is a true story according to Cinderella.

2 . . . Miss Pamela & Miss Sparky discuss STUFFED BRAS & some of their early gym class experiences.

3 . . . WHO'S JIM SOX?

words by: Miss Christine, Sandra & Cinderella.

How embarrassing it is at only 13
To have to take showers
In front of a dyke gym teacher
Who drools at the sight
Of your pectoral muscles flexing, smelling of
Four laps around the track
50 push-ups multiplied by 200 girls
The cracks of backs hitting cement floors
As we strained our bodies into womanhood

Room 323
Stagnant Sox
Sweaty girls
Broken locks

Two by two to the opposite gym
Our nylons rolled under our sox
Today is the day of heavy socializing,
Heavy socializing, heavy socializing
Finally getting to The BTO's

Spoken: A B.T.O. is the opposite of a
G.T.O. only they get in there more—
sexually, than we do. It means,
Boys Together Often, Only, Occasionally,
Organically, Outrageoulsy. All those

4 . . . KANSAS & THE B.T.O.'s

Mr. Kansas was formerly road technician for THE MOTHERS. He happened to be in the studio one night while I was working with the G.T.O.'s & I asked him to conduct this interview from the standpoint of Mr. & Mrs. Middle America.


This is a song about a pair or crazed shoes CAPTAIN BEEFHEART wears.

words by: Miss Pamela, Sparky, Miss Christine, Sandra & Cinderella
music by: Davy Jones

A brown felt top hat wrapped with a bow
Yellow wrap around girl-watchers that never show
His blue eyes, his blue eyes
What a fantastic disguise
He's so grand and fantastic, so wonderful.

The T of his T-strap stands for Tippie-Toes
His Tippie-Toes fit him to a T,
Oh C.B. do a tap dance for me
With your bigga fat Tippie-Toe Theresa Shoes

A jacket with virgin, virgin button holes
Reaching for experienced buttons
Thin striped chords that circle his
Porcelain ankles funneling down to
The Captain's fat Theresa shoes

The T of his T-strap stands for Tippie-Toes
His Tippie-Toes fit him to a T,
Oh C.B. do a tap dance for me
With your big fat Tippie-Toe Theresa Shoes

His blue eyes, his blue eyes
What a fantastic disguise
He's so gay and fantastic, so wonderful
The elevated plastic heels
That wish they could, look like wood
That wish they could, look like wood
Shuffle on the floor and do so very much more
Than other shoes, than other shoes,
Than other shoes ever could.

The T of his T strap stands for Tippie-Toes
His Tippie-Toes fit him to a T,
Oh C.B. do a tap dance for me.


words by: Miss Pamela & Sparky

Miss Pamela & Sparky discuss the manner in which local Hollywood soul brothers make sexual advances in front of the Whisky A Go Go.

Wouldn't it be sad if there were no cones
No, not ice-cream cones
Cones are soul brothers with processed points
at the tips of their foreheads
Some wear lime green phosphorescent
Imitation leather jackets and pants
Others are fairly normal-formal excepting
those flood ankles on their bright orange slacks

"That's a flashy outfit mini-mama,
Hey now, hey now, hey now,
I could kiss your thigh"

They stand in front of The Wiggy-A-Go-Go
Slapping their chins,
We really respect them for their confidence
It's too bad everyone can't be as confident as a cone
(they're great losers)

Do the Skate, Shing-a-ling, Boog-a-loo
"Come on with me an' we'll spin some
fine platters, darlin'."

Oh, cones! You send us with your fantastic lines.

"What's your favorite form of recreation darling?
Hey now, hey now, hey now,
I could kiss your thigh."

"Say Sno-white, can I give you a ride in my
outasight metal-flake Bonneville?
Hey darlin', you come here with me, woman
to my righteous pad in L.A. and we can
booze it up and have some f-i-i-i-n-e lovin'.

Hey now, hey now, hey now,
I could kiss your thigh."

7 . . . DO ME IN ONCE & I'LL BE SAD, DO ME IN TWICE & I'LL KNOW BETTER (Circular Circulation)

words by: Sandra
music by: Lowell George
produced by: Lowell George
lead vocal: Miss Pamela

This is a reasonably abstruse love song with a gentle bum it it.

Muddy Goppup standing there
Roses held by him
Stopped to catch Kee Lee Da Da Do
But the circle would not permit it

This circular circulation
I circle continuously
To prepare myself for memories
And have a talk with me

A mighty burst Muddy Goppup had
To cure him of this fever
The sun came on, the chord came off
His seat became the lever

So what was one to do right then
At fourteen minutes after
I shook his hand, explained the plan
And set stone walls to laughter

Was at this time the power ceased
Yellow darts were flying
A gentle bum rose from the street
Upon which he was lying

It serves you right, Mr. Goppup screamed
Four signs on his window
To let another make your dreams
For the rest of you to show

Can't think for the life of me
Pounds, Do Da Kee Lee
More different than before the start
You cheated and pretended too.

Was at this time the power ceased
Yellow darts were flying
A gentle bum rose from the street
Upon which he was lying



Miss Pamela gives us an insight into the behaviour of "the other breed" who drive "soft cars" . . . the sexual advances they made toward girls while they're hitch-hiking.

words by: Miss Pamela and Sparky

I hope that I shall never see
All the Moche monsters lined up in front of me
True repulse & total disgust
Getting rid of Moche is an imperative must
These are just to name a few
We hope they don't influence you
Moche Monster!

Yonder comes a soft car
Which probably won't take me very far
The organ grinder behind the wheel
Is hoping he can score a feel
His eyes are bulging at your bod
He things you are a free-loving mod
Moche Monster!


words by: Miss Christine
music by: Don Preston

A brief word about television. This song is nearly as absurd and the medium it describes.

I'm a television baby
My father's a knob
And my mother's a tube
When I'm sad my horizontal dips
And my vertical skips
But when I'm glad, my brightness
meter shouts brightest.

Side Two

1 . . . RODNEY

Rodney Bingenheimer is one of the more unique figures of contemporary social history. The G.T.O.'s have put together an unusual piece which includes the voice of Mr. Bingenheimer as he comments on the lyrics which had been written about his particular exploits. This "song" might give you a broad view of the scene in Hollywood as it relates to the Sunset Strip's foremost male groupie.

words by: Miss Christine, Sandra, Sparky, Miss Pamela & Cinderella & Miss Lucy

We have a friend named Rodney Bingenheimer
He has a Dutch Boy hair cut and he's five feet three
He lives down the street from the Hullabalooo
And he doubles for Davy Jones
And he got beaten up by Brian Jones

He's so amazing, you should see his walk
It just screams "Get in there" with the pop-stars

Let me in, let me in, I'm with one of the Vanilla Fudge
I know Sonny and Cher,
I meditated with George Harrison,
The Hollies are my best friends
And I ate lunch with Grace Slick yesterday
You can ball Ringo Starr if you ball me first

We see you at Wallichs and down at The Ranch Market
Waiting for pop stars to casually stroll by
Oh, Rodney, if you introduce me to Mick Jagger,
I'll let you meet my little sister
And she's only twelve years old.

Rodney Bingenheimer.


words by: Mercy
music by: Lowell George
produced by: Lowell George
lead vocal: Mercy

This is a song about a lovers' triangle which involves Brian Jones, Bernardo B.T.O. and Mercy.

Boy with dark skin, Eyes of hot coals
Hair of raven black
Dancing in darkness, singing in closets
I call you Scarlet, dressed in black.
You are the first of the two.

Cobes studded words you speak
Changing all your lovers into orphans
A red rose so pretty I wanted to touch
And when my hand held you
The thorns pricked my heart.

Boy with ivory skin, eyes of sea green
Hair of pale gold
Dancing in a music box, singing in the garden
I call you Merrygold, dressed in white
You are the last of the two.

Silk winding words you speak
Changing all your lovers into mountains
A golden poppy, I wanted to touch
And when my hand held you
The leaves blossomed my heart

Scarlet, Merrygold and I are fine
For they are lovers, each others
As well as mine.


In this episode we find our exotic Yugoslavian maiden explaining her moral viewpoint after reading a short segment of Cynthia Plaster Caster's diary.

4 . . . THE ORIGINAL G.T.O.'s—Miss Lucy & Miss Johna were the originators of G.T.O.ism two years ago. In this sequence we find them inside a piano kissing each other & having a cosmic-level discussion.


words by: Mercy
music by: Mercy & Cinderella
lead vocals: Mercy and R.S.

Miss Mercy explains her personal philosophy.

I see all the people I want to see
I be all the people I want to be
And find all the treasures I want to find
Along with the images, they're so unkind

Shock treatment, let me go-o
Shock treatment, oh let me go-o etc. etc.


words by: Sparky, Miss Pamela, Miss Christine, Sandra & Cinderella

For some reason the G.T.O.'s are preoccupied by the memory of Brian Jones. In this song they discuss their mutual admiration for an 11 year old boy who happens to look like Brian . . . and also has a couple of other things going for him.

What does his mother say when we kiss on the doorstep
(He has to be home by ten)
I wait around 'til 3 o'clock till he comes out of school
He flirts with all the ten year olds
And I'm so jealous I could die
(He just screams Brian Jones)
Brian Jones! Do you realize this little eleven year old
looks like Brian Jones?
A kiss on the cheek would be enough
But when he does more . . . wah! wah!

He has captured my heart . . . Bart.

I'm ready to settle down
Do you think your parents would let you quit school at 16?
It's only five years. I can wait.
(He is the ladies man)
How could you doubt him, even when he lies
When he says he's out playing ball
He's being a two-timing man.

He has captured my heart . . . Bart.


Oh, how he wrinkles my dress
and tangles my hair
(Get in there, Bart)
Sneak out your window and I'll meet you tonight
And you'll be back in time for school
When we're together, am I 11 or are you 19?

He has captured my heart . . . Bart.

You're a heartbreaker, Bart Baker.


Cynthia & Miss Pamela find that they have a "fave rave" in common, and proceed to compare notes on their relationship with him. Some semantic difficulties toward the end of the conversation provide a convenient transition to the next piece of material.


words by: Miss Pamela
music by: Davy Jones
lead vocal: Miss Pamela

In real life, the OOO-OOO Man is Nicky St. Nicholas from Steppenwolf. Miss Pamela sings the lead vocal on this very special song of love. I have no idea what the rubber chicken suit with the beak is.

I'm in love with the Ooo-ooo man
He was born and raised in Schneit Schneit land
And his first name is the same as his last

Oh the things he says just flutter my heart
Flutter my heart, flutter my heart
(But mind you, he never brings sorrow)
"I may look elegant now,
But Crazy Horse gets this tomorrow"

We were once behind a codge and a girl
Codge and a girl, codge and a girl
And we waited as he tried to date her
But my love became impatient
"Pick up your big black shoe and put it on the accelerator"

Oh Mr. Ooo ooo, just say the word
Just say the word, just say the word
(Say two or three if you care to)
I will roll on the floor, do a jig on the door
She will roll on the floor, do a jig on the door
Change my clothes and even my hair-do!

Ooo Ooo Ooo, Schneit, Schneit, Schneit

Even though he doesn't think of me
Day & night, night & day (and probably barely)
It doesn't mean I think of him less
(In fact I think of other things rarely)

Ooo Ooo Ooo, Schneit, Schneit, Schneit

Remember girls, please don't stop hoping
Never say your love is wasted
Love is only for giving
And something that cannot be taken

Ooo Ooo Ooo, Schneit, Schneit, Schneit

Thank you ever so, oh Schneit Schneit land
Schneit, Schneit land, Schneit Schneit land
For giving the world a grand boy
Presenting his friends with his Ooo Ooo's
And bringing so very much joy-oy.

"I'm gonna go put on my rubber chicken suit with the beak."

We embraced and he asked how I knew where he was and that he had phoned my house the other day. He wanted to come with me where I was going (to Mr. Zappa's for pix) but as it turned out, Sandra's cold sore still existed, so I decided to go to the Kaleidoscope. He wanted to come. He played bass for a while longer, then went to take a shower & get ready to go. He dressed elegantly in leather pants & crepe shirt. When I told him he looked elegant, he said "I may look elegant now, but Crazy Horse gets this tomorrow," and he pulled out a one inch squirt gun. All his thoughts & ideas are so disoriented & confused. He's lovely & looney. He played bass a while longer to Eric Clapton (his idol) and at approximately 10:30 we split for K. I wish I could put into words the torment I was going through sitting & watching him. I'm sure my mind escaped me there for a while. I don't know, but it was the same feeling I had the last night I spent with him. I'm more amazed at him when he talks sensibly than when he talks looney (as usual). I became more at ease driving Jessica & I talked to him without wanting to rip my brains to shreds. A lot of the time I know he's putting me on—I wish I knew why. We were going into a parking lot (.50¢) & this hooker man in a black cadillac wouldn't move. Nicky got out of the car and said to the man "pick up your big black shoe & put it on the accelerator" and he did!

Excerpted from THE GROUPIE PAPERS, compiled and edited by Frank Zappa.
Copyright 1969 by Bizarre Productions; Suite 1713, 5455 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90036 California.

Printed in the U.S.A.

John Williams

ONCE UPON A TIME the world was dark—a deep shade of delaware punch. Here in the deep coal crevices the black romance could stare into the sunken pool around the eyes of the aging young girls who float their pale silks in the musty grey air. They are bound to from whence they were desired. These shadowed beauties were once cleansed pale in the crimson streams of their nightly lover.

Your thick rich blood, do you know where it's from? Do you know where it goes?

Today is now, the sheer lavender chiffon screen is gone and the sun burns holes in my eyes.

The only thing left is the deepness: crimson of blood, and the feeling I feel as new life enters my hollow body. Don't vomit. I don't want to conceal the fact I'm dead. I'm dead, but through an error of passion I never died. I won't give up life—because life is where love exists. As he sucked the rivers of my neck he took my life and gave me a reason to live. Blood is life. I could have your life. I offer you romance, but you don't want it. You really should have listened to me, because now I'm going to buy you. I'm going to buy you off of the shelf of the blood bank where you lie waiting to be tested for the dreaded lingering disease that might bring death.

Miss Christine.

Girls Together Outrageously

All selections copyrighted
by Bizarre Music, Inc.
BMI (1969)

STS 1059 A

Produced by Frank Zappa

2. Miss Pamela & Miss Sparky discuss STUFFED BRAS & some early gym class experiences 2:08
3. WHO'S JIM SOX? 1:02
4. KANSAS & THE B.T.O.'S 1:12
7. DO ME IN ONCE & I'LL BE SAD, DO ME IN TWICE & I'LL KNOW BETTER (Circular Circulation) 2:19
9. T.V. LIVES 0:57

All Lyrics by the G.T.O.'S

Girls Together Outrageously

All selections copyrighted
by Bizarre Music, Inc.
BMI (1969)

STS 1059 B

Produced by Frank Zappa

1. RODNEY 3:43

All Lyrics by the G.T.O.'S


Musicians & Composers

Ry Cooder?


Produced by: Frank Zappa

7. Do Me In Once And I'll Be Sad, Do Me In Twice And I'll Know Better(Circular Circulation) (Produced by Lowell George)

11. I Have A Painbrush In My Hand To Color A Triangle (Produced by Lowell George. Ry Cooder: bottleneck guitar?)

Special thanks to: Jimmy Carl Black, Roy Estrada, Ian Underwood and Craig Doerge who played on Eureka Springs Garbage Lady, Ooo Ooo Man, Shock Treatment, and Captain's Fat Theresa Shoes; Nicky Hopkins who played piano on Shock Treatment; Frank Zappa who played tamborine on Ooo Ooo Man; Don Preston who played on Television Baby. Note that Ry Cooder is not credited and may not in fact appear on the album.

Brian Hogg

[Lowell George and Russ Titleman] also worked on 'Permanent Damage', supplying backup accompaniment for the GTO's, an LA groupie collective issued on Zappa's Straight label. Lowell produced two of the cuts and he and Titleman were joined there by Ry Cooder.

The Ooo-Ooo Man

Biffy the Elephant Shrew


Oh, and a tenuous Zappa connection: the guy on the right is the Ooo-Ooo Man.

FZ, St. Vitus Dance Concert Promo, Pasadena, c. November 27, 1968

Cal. Tech, Scott Brown Hall, 1202 East California, Pasadena. It's a St. Vitus dance concert, Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 27, 8:30 P.M. to 12:30 P.M. Four hours! With T.I.M.E.—featuring the Ooo-Ooo Man—, St. Elmo's Fire Northwestern Light Company, The Drift— Oh, St. Elmo's doing the lights. Who laid this thing out? Ridiculous! And it's $1.75, the parking is free, and you follow the searchlight!

Rodney Bingenheimer

David Walley, No Commercial Potential, 1996, p. 110

There was recitative about Rodney [Bingenheimer], a legendary Hollywood sport who has literally lived off rock and roll culture (a three-minute version of Stockhausen's Songs Of Youth intercut with a guest set by Rodney himself).


On the label of the album, all songs are credited to "GTO's," but on the Copyright Office files you can find some more specific credits:

Title: Stuffed bras.
Author on © Application: words: Miss Pamela & Miss Sparky.

Title: Who's Jim Sox?.
Author on © Application: words: Miss Christine, Sandra & Cinderella.

Title: Kansas & the BTOs.
Author on © Application: words: Frank Zappa, 1940-

Title: Wouldn't it be sad if there were no cones?
Author on © Application: words: Miss Pamela & Sparky.

Title: The Moche Monster review.
Author on © Application: words: Miss Pamela & Sparky.

Title: Miss Christine's first conversation with the plaster casters of Chicago.
Author on © Application: words: Miss Christine.

Title: The original GTOs.
Author on © Application: words: Miss Lucy & Miss Johna.

Title: Love on an eleven year-old level.
Author on © Application: words: Sparky, Miss Pamela, Miss Christine, Sandra, Cinderella.

Title: Miss Pamela's first conversation with the plaster casters of Chicago.
Author on © Application: words: Cynthia, Miss Pamela.

Title: Rodney.
Author on © Application: words: Frank Zappa, 1940-


The Ghost chained to the past, present & future (shock treatment) Words & music by Judith Edra Peters, music by Cynthia Sue Wells.

I have a paintbrush in my hand to color a triangle. Words by Judith Edra Peters, music by Lowell George.

I'm in love with the ooo-ooo man. Words by Pamela Ann Miller, music by Davey Jones.

TV lives. Words by Christine Frka, music by Don Preston.

Do me in once and I'll be sad, do me in twice and I'll know better. Words by Sandra Lynn Rowe, music by Lowell George.

The Captains's fat Theresa shoes. Words & music by Pamela Ann Miller, words by Linda Sue Parker, Christine Frka, Sandra Lynn Rowe & Cynthia Sue Wells, music by Davey Jones.

The Eureka springs garbage lady. Words & music by Cynthia Sells Well, music by Craig Doerge & Nicky Saint Nicholas.


The GTO's

Miss Christine—Christine Frka

"The GTO's," Rolling Stone, February 15, 1969

She, too was born in San Pedro of Yugoslav parents. She was a "sickly kid," she says, and had a "big complex about being skinny." (She is tall and lean, the type of girl who would have been called "beanpole" by her schoolmates.) "Pop music brought it all together for me socially," she said. "It brought people together, it gave me friends." She says she is the cold, cruel one in the group, but she's not. She's bright and quite outgoing. She met Zappa when he returned to LA from New York for a concert, when she was living in Franzoni's commune. "We talk about groups a lot," she said. "That's because it's glamourous and because we're very young. If you have a fave rave in a band, it's like having a soldier in the war; you write him letters and you worry about him." When Zappa returned to LA for good, she became his housekeeper and governess to Moon Unit, Frank's daughter. "Mercy and I sent the Velvet Underground a dozen roses with our pictures on the back," she said. "You can't be subtle." Miss Christine loves clothing and makes all her own, which can only be described as junkshop harlequin. The night of our interview she was wearing a knitted patchwork jump suit in a hundred colors, colored pipe cleaners coiled into her frizzed character; not a bad description.

Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 54-55

[Log Cabin—c. May 5, 1968] "I'm Christine, I'm the babysitter." She giggled and offered me her limp wrist. "Welcome to the log cabin. [...] We're called the freaks 'cos of the way we dress and our life style 'n all. We used to live here, we all did, but I'm the only one left now."

"You mean you come with the house?"

"Well, when Gail stopped by one time, she saw me playing with the baby, and she was like, so impressed, she hired me right there which is great, 'cos I'm expecting a baby too."

Miss Christine, quoted by Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 69

To other people, when they look at us, it all looks really nasty, but when you get right down to it, Pamela and Sparkie are virgins, I'm hardly ever with boys and Miss Lucy doesn't like to fuck. You see only scantily dressed little girls, but it's just not like that.

Miss Mercy—Judith Edra Peters

"The GTO's," Rolling Stone, February 15, 1969

She first went to the Fillmore Auditorium when it first opened, moving into the Haight-Ashbury when she was 16 ½, leaving her family in one of the San Francisco suburbs. She remained in the Haight until 1967, hanging out on the street, panhandling some, very much a part of the scene, spending a lot of time in Golden Gate Park. During 1966-67 she spent six months in juvenile hall, in several installments. "All the things my parents thought I would avoid by being in jail, I learned in jail," she says. "My parents didn't care; they thought jail'd be good for me. So I was in with dykes and junkies and the rest. I finally left the Haight when it lost its magic. Besides, I couldn't see being a hippie the rest of my life."

In 1967 she moved to Laguna Beach, traveling back and forth to S.F. and then to New York for five days in the fall of that year, finally returning to LA, where she now lives in room No. 229 of the Landmark Hotel (one of the motels where groups stay) with Miss Christine and Cinderella. Mercy is a heavy girl, with a predilection for loose-fitting clothing made from antique (sometimes rotting) cloth, boots, and black eye makeup looking as if it were applied with a canoe paddle.

Sparky—Linda Sue Parker

"The GTO's," Rolling Stone, February 15, 1969

Sparky has always liked all music, she said, emphasis on all. Along with Sandra and some one named Miss Lucy they danced together at clubs (Cheetah, etc.), wearing diapers. They became known (to Frank Zappa) as the GTO's . . . and later Frank broadened the size of the group of dancers and introduced them as the Laurel Canyon Ballet Company. (They appeared with him at least twice: at the Shrine and Cheetah.) "Frank just saw us dancing, I guess," Sparky said. Sparky is small and dark and sexy.

Miss Pamela—Pamela Ann Miller

"The GTO's," Rolling Stone, February 15, 1969

It started with Elvis, she said, when Elvis went "off to war" and she marked the days off one-by-one for two years on a calendar hanging in her bedroom. Later, she sent Paul McCartney a poem every day for several months. She also fell in love with Chris Hillman (Byrds), and once took him some soup. Still another time she "chased the Stones" and once banged on Mick Jagger's hotel room door . . . and he said he was in the shower . . . and she kept on banging, so he came to the door and opened it and he was nude . . . and she ran down the hall. She is from Los Angeles (the San Fernando Valley) and grew up there with the "greaser groups." She studied acting for a while. Her fave rave is Nick St. Nicholas of Steppenwolf, and one side of their upcoming single (on the Bizarre label), is called "Ooo-Ooo Man," a song written about this blonde bass player she loves. (Nick doesn't know about it.) Pamela has kept a diary reflecting her interest in groups and according to the Plaster Casters of Chicago, it's beautiful. Pamela is blonde and fragile, yet hearty.

Cinderella—Cynthia Sue Wells

"The GTO's," Rolling Stone, February 15, 1969

Isn't sure of her story. "I'm the chronic liar of the group," she said. "Frank said write fourteen songs and I did," she said at another point. "I can't remember anything." "I don't know what you can put down." "I don't know how old I am, I'm from everywhere, I have no fave raves." Cinderella is a little "spaced," by somebody else's terms; gentle and sad. She apparently writes most of the GTO's material, as indicated; she has chopped blonde hair and likes diaphanous mini-dresses.

Miss Lucy—Luz Selenia Offerrall

Sandra—Sandra Lynn Rowe

"The GTO's," Rolling Stone, February 15, 1969

Sandra is a native Southern California and she joined "the scene" by hanging out at the Insomniac, a now-defunct coffee shop in Hermosa Beach. She also frequented (with Miss Christine) a similar place called the Intangible Tangerine, where, she says, "everybody was insane." She's from San Pedro, "where everybody cruises." She went to New York when Miss Christine moved in with Tony Melendy, a Santa Monica sculptor. For a while she was in art school somewhere, and finally she found her way to Tom Mix's old house in Laurel Canyon. At that time, Carl Orestes Franzoni ("he is freaky right down to his toenails," Zappa said on the liner notes of Freak Out) was living there in one of LA's wilder communes. (The house rents for $700 a month and later Zappa moved in, gathering his own commune to supplant that of Franzoni's.) Miss Christine had been reunited with Sandra by now and they lived together in the vault in the basement of the house (right next to the bowling alley.) Her "fave raves" are Bob Dylan and Calvin (who is the artist Zappa uses for all advertising and album cover art).

Miss Janet

Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 62

[Janet] knew the Mothers from New York.


The History Of The GTO's—Part One

c. October 1966

Pamela Des Barres, I'm With The Band, 1987

I made a bunch of new girlfriends by just gliding down the Strip, smiling overtly at all passersby, most of whom would smile back at me with that knowing "sixties" look. [...] One of the girls who wound up right beside me was Beverly, the most ravishing beauty ever born. [...] Beverly and I became a team—we even got married; she was the groom because she was tougher than me, and she looked better in pants.

c. August 1967

Pamela Des Barres, I'm With The Band, 1987

Sparky and I called each other "Doll" because of the women's-prison movies that we watched and mimicked to­gether. [...] I took Sparky to Vito's very next outing at the Shrine Auditorium to see L.A.'s local soul band, the Chambers Brothers, and their forty-five-minute rendition of their only hit, "Time." She adored the concept of Vito, but kept her distance from his lascivious, dribbling old tongue, and was very diplomatic about fending off Captain Fuck's proposals. [...] After the Shrine, Vito invited a select few to come home with him to observe a tender fondling session. [...] One of the girls on the four-poster was only twelve years old, and a few months later Vito was deported to Tahiti for this very situation, and many more just like it.

Miss Lucy, a Puerto Rican bombshell who was a regular around Vito's, didn't seem to be enjoying this particular festivity, and was in the living room trying on Szou's wall hang­ings [...] when Sparky and I emerged from the den of iniquity, having seen quite enough, thank you. "Good evening!" she said with disgust [...]. Now, "good evening" didn't really mean good evening, it meant get lost with this lame-o situation, or how disgusting, or forget this shit, but Sparky and I knew just what she meant concerning the porno display and sighed in agreement. I admired Lucy from a distance before this incident; she was a couple of years older and had been on the scene longer, and wasn't afraid to speak her mind right out loud at all times. I felt closer to her after the astute "good evening," and from that night on she teamed up with Sparky and me whenever we went dancing.

March 1968

Pamela Des Barres, I'm With The Band, 1987

All of us girls, Beverly, Sparky, Lucy, and a fabulous earth-mom newcomer, Sandra, and I, were on our way to the Cheetah to see Traffic [...]. Sandra was Italian and thought it was great [...]. She was a small, lusty, olive-skinned little hunk, and was the first one of us to get pregnant. [...]

Lucy and Sandra shared the vault in the basement of the log cabin that Tom Mix built on the corner of Laurel Canyon and Lookout Mountain Drive, across the street from Houdini's crumbling mansion. I guess the log cabin could have been called a commune, because crazy Karl Franzoni lived in back of Tom Mix's personal bowling alley (under which his beloved horse was buried), behind long black drapes, like the phantom of the porno opera. [...]

The girls and I spent a lot of time locked up in the vault, making lists of all the gorgeous boys in bands that we wouldn't kick out of bed. Lucy and Sandra wrote their lists on the wall and crossed them off one by one as they encoun­tered the lucky lads. [...]

Directly across from the vault was a large closet where Christine Frka privately resided. She had immigrated from San Pedro with Sandra but preferred to seclude herself from the sex-crazed goings-on, insisting she was frigid. She was immaculate, tall and extremely thin, with a twisted spine which made her look slightly off-center. [...] She made all her clothes by hand. [...]

We became a fivesome, attending all events, parties, concerts, love-ins, clubs, any kind of festivity, as a unit.

The Log Cabin, 1968

Pamela Des Barres, "Miss Pamela: Mentored By Beefheart And Zappa," Please Kill Me, July 12, 2018

One of my saucy new dance partners, Miss Lucy, had known Frank in New York, and one glorious afternoon, she invited a few of us chicks to meet him. [...] He asked a lot of questions, and took to us immediately as we danced around to his ersatz piano playing in front of the massive rock fireplace, while his baby daughter Moon crawled hither and thither. I was equally impressed with his lovely wife, Gail, who kindly brought us cups of tea, making sure we noticed her very important position in this rarified atmosphere. As we made our exit, Frank picked each one of us up off the floor and proceeded to give us a chiropractic treatment by swiftly cracking our backs—crrrr-aaa-aaccck—one of his many surprising talents. We'd been calling ourselves The Laurel Canyon Ballet Company, but after a few more visits to the cabin, Frank gave us a new moniker—The GTOs—Girls Together Outrageously, insisting we write fourteen songs about our wacky teenage rock and roll lives for an album he'd produce! Oh glory!

The seven of us went to work down below the cabin in the bowling alley where Tom Mix had long ago buried Tony the Wonder Horse, and in a few weeks, ditties about our fave-raves and the horror of gym class had been scribbled and scrawled. When we spewed lyrics about the giant ladies' shoes Beefheart wore, or the lascivious fellows who picked us up hitchhiking—"The organ grinder behind the wheel/ is hoping he can score a feel/his eyes are bulging at your bod/he thinks you are a free-loving mod . . . " Frank would beat his knee in pure unadulterated joy.

June 15, 1968—Convention Center, Anaheim, CA

Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 127

When Christine's freak friends—Lucy, Sandra, Pamela and Sparkie—bowled in with shrieks of laughter, I almost welcomed them in. Frank came through and welcomed them too, his mood visibly lifting.

They were dressed in 1930s gear; white complexions, eyebrows painted like Marlene Dietrich, dark red lipstick, slinky, pink satin gowns and smooth hair rolled at the ends. They looked so stunning, I just did not recognise them. Calvin dived around taking photographs and they fell into poses like professional models. Frank even went so far as to invite them to dance again at the Mothers' concert in Anaheim on Saturday.

Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 141

Frank announced that he wanted Christine, Moon's nanny, to be a GTO, the new name attached to Christine's group of dancing friends—Pamela, Sparkie, Sandra, and Lucy. It happened during the concert with the Mothers in Anaheim. The girls had arrived decked out as babies, with plastic bibs and oversized nappies held together by yellow-duck safter pins, sucking on giant lollipops, their hair in pigtails. [...]

They had called themselves the Laurel Canyon Ballet Company but during their chatter backstage, Lucy suggested they change thier name to Girls Together Outrageously or, for short, GTO's, an abbreviation which could mean many other things: Girls Together Only, Often, Outlandishly. [...]

Soon their mode of dress—Pamela's nipple poking out from under her bib—had attracted the wrath of the Anaheim officials who, almost spitting with indignation, linked arms to form a chain round the girls to prevent them from performing with the Mothers.

Pamela Des Barres, I'm With The Band, 1987

One evening we appeared at the cabin in full matching regalia: plastic baby bibs and oversized diapers with yellow-duck safety pins, our hair up in pigtails, sucking giant lollipops. Frank flipped and invited us to dance ONSTAGE with the Mothers that night in Orange County, California Suburbanland. I was about to enter show business and I had visions of sugarplums dancing in my head. We had been calling ourselves the Laurel Canyon Ballet Company, but Frank suggested we change our "professional" name to Girls Together Only, or the GTO's. We adored the idea and expanded on it, deciding that the O could stand for anything we wanted it to: Outrageously, Overtly, Outlandishly, Openly, Organically. The potential was obviously endless.

That particular night turned into fiasco city. Before we could even get up onstage, some matronly box-shaped matron dragged me into a little office and pointed to the pink edge of nipple that peeked out from under my bib. She was so appalled she sputtered, her matronly spittle landing on the little duckies parading across the bib. Thank heavens I had it on! She was not about to allow half-naked girls onstage in Orange County, and for the rest of the night we were sur­rounded by gray guards who were told to make sure we didn't set foot on the stage; all they did was ogle us, salivating. We didn't entertain the audience that night, but the door had been opened and we were about to pour in.

Michael Craven Photo Session

[standing: Pamela, Lucy, Crhistine; heads: Sparky, Sandra]

[standing: Pamela, Sparky; seated: Lucy, Christine, Sandra]

Pamela Des Barres, I'm With The Band, 1987

The GTOs' first publicity shot
[Pamela, Lucy, Sandra, Sparky, Christine]

Session #2

[Sparky, Sandra, Pamela, Christine, Lucy]

c. July 24, 1968—New GTO's

Pamela Des Barres, I'm With The Band, 1987

Mr. Bernardo disappeared from Miss Lucy one night and we heard the very next day that he had been seen in San Francisco with Mercy Fontentot. Lucy was crushed because Bemardo and Mercy had been on the very first cover of Rolling Stone together, which had created some inexplicable bond between them. [...] Bernardo appeared, arm in arm with Mercy Fontentot. [...] It looked as if she had come to stay. It was frightening.

The relationship that Bernardo had with these two amazing girls went beyond what I could conjure up, with my limited experience in matters of the heart, because Mercy had indeed come to stay, and Lucy wasn't about to give him up. They tolerated each other, and since neither one of them was having s-e-x with Bernardo, it was slightly less complicated than it sounds. (Bernardo was a BTO, the male version of a GTO, only the boys "got in there" with each other on a more se­rious basis, sometimes disappearing for days behind closed doors.)

Mercy scared me. [...] When I met her she had already taken a thousand acid trips and her mind was on the endangered-species list. She was tired of the San Francisco hippie scene and was looking for something new. [...]

One sparkling afternoon, we were sipping tea with Gail in the spic-and-span kitchen cleansed by Miss Christine, discussing our amorous exploits, when Frank walked in and said he wanted to have a serious talk with us. He had given it a lot of thought, and believed that the GTO's had real rock and roll potential, fabulous original ideas, and maybe even some hidden talent that might be tapped, and why didn't we capitalize on it??! Why didn't we write a dozen songs while he and the Mothers were on the road, and when he came back, MAYBE we could record them for Frank's new label. Bizarre Records!! MAYBE we could be the first all-girl rock group and write all our own songs—for our very own album, have our very own groupies, and be world famous!! It was too much to fathom, and for a few minutes we sat in silence, staring at each other, until Lucy jumped up and hugged Frank, and then we were all squealing and shrieking, jumping up and down with Gail, beyond thrilled. When Miss Christine wrapped her thin white arms around me, I knew it was a very special moment. During the hubbub, Frank interjected that Mercy would be a much-needed addition to the group because she added an imperative bizarre element that we sorely lacked. We were stuck with her and she started to grow on me like a barnacle.

[...] We were still making lists of ideas when Miss Mercy danced down the bowling alley with a pretty pixie-haired blond girl who had a big bottom and announced that she should join the GTO's. She was Cynderella, and she had a great idea for a song about an old crone in a place called Eureka Springs who loved the local blacksmith so much that she became the garbage collectress just so she could pick up his trash every day until she died. We were feeling expansive and liked her idea, so we greeted Cynderella with open arms, but decided not to accept any more applications. All available positions had been filled.

Cynderella also added a bizarre element. She was a confirmed fibber and we never knew if her long-winded stories were true or made up as she went along. She had so many different childhoods that if the conversation was lulling, I could ask her about her upbringing and hear a fantastic tale about Russian royalty or a black daddy in Watts who beat her ass every morning after dishing out the cold Cream of Wheat. She had a funny, deep, musical voice, and I liked to hear her talk; besides, she openly admitted to being a liar and it was fun figuring out which concoction might be true. At seventeen she was the youngest GTO, but I guess she could have-been thirty.

Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 180-182

"I think there's something missing in the group," Frank told the GTO's during one of their visits. [...] "I think Cinderella and Mercy should join. They would add much needed oomph."

Cinderella and Mercy were both friends of Christine, but not of the original GTO's, and I could see Sandra, Pamela, Lucy and Sparkie disguising their misgivings well. If Mr. Zappa thought Mercy and Cinderella should join, well, okay.

[...] So here they sat at Frank's feet, those seven GTO's, their bodies clothes in various levels of dishabille, picturesque and vaudeville, their eyes widening at Frank's words. "I think you guys have real rock'n'roll potential. You have great ideas, and maybe even some hidden talent that we can tap. So why don't we capitalise on it? If you can come up with twelve original songs, I'll take you into the studio and record an album."

[...] Meantime, Cinderella had fallen in love with Tiny Tim. [...] Tiny Tim's manager [...] brainwashed her with dreams of overnight stardom, insisting that the GTO's move fast while they were hot.

[...] Frank summoned Herbie and Mutt to an urgent meeting in the living room and within an hour, the girls were gathered in a semi-circle on the floor, arms linked. [Herbie] told them, "I know you're excited about that crowd around Tiny Tim and what they want to do, but see, Frank and I don't think you're ready to go on TV, not right now. [...] Okay, so here's what I want you to do," Herbie went on, "tomorrow, to make you're properly looked after, Mutt will bring contracts for you to sign."

Ed Caraeff #1

[above: Christine, Mercy, Lucy, Sparky, Pamela, Cinderella; below: Sandra]

[above: Mercy, Christine, Lucy, Sparky, Pamela, Cinderella; below: Sandra]

TeenSet, March 1969, p. 16-17

[Christine, Cinderella, Mercy, Lucy, Sandra, Pamela, Sparky]

Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 186

Frank appointed a professional photographer, Ed Caraeff, to take pictures of the girls at the zoo.

August 1968—Cynthia Plaster Caster
Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 205

At the log cabin, the GTO's were waiting, wanting to show Frank their songs, but Cynthia Plaster Caster had become his new fixation. He showed them her diaries and the GTO's also balked at their frankness. Anxious to bring them together, Frank telephoned Cynthia and passed the receiver in turn to Christine, Lucy, Mercy and Pamela.

c. November 1968—Miss Lucy Out

Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 224

Lucy, the most rebellious and untameable of the GTO's, refuese to cooperate. She had known Frank in New York, a familiarity that gave her an edge, a willingness to treat his plans and ideas with aloof casualness. She seemed to resent the girls' success and complained that they'd sold out. "It's getting too fucking commercial," she would say. She refused to write lyrics and groaned, "I am not a songwriter. It's Frank's way of belittling us." [...] She became morose and difficult to talk to, turning up late to rehearsals, if at all. Well, of course, she was the fiery one, unpredictable, and this was just one of her stages, the other girls told me. Yet, even on her rare appearances, she refused to sing, complaining, "I'm bored."

[...] Frank, aware Lucy needed pulling into line, joined us one night and said sternly, "If you don't want to do this, Lucy, then you can leave. No one is stopping you."

She stood up, bent her voluptuous Puerto Rican body into a reverse s-shape and said, "You're right. No one's stopping me, so fuck it," and with the ease of a flamenco dancer, flounced out.


December 1968—Recording Sessions

Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 225-226

After the [December 5, 1968, Shrine Exposition Hall] show, [FZ] told the girls, "Okay, you guys, I think you're ready for the studio."

[...] When, a week later, Jimmy Carl Black, Roy Estrada and Ian [Underwood] plodded through the back-up for Pamela's "I'm in Love with the Ooo-Ooo Man," which Davy Jones had miraculously pulled into shape, they were ready to record. They sounded like, well, a group of girl singers, Pamela leading the fray with confidence while Frank bounced along, tapping the tambourine. So far so good.

Then, during Cinderella's "Eureka Springs Garbage Lady," Jeff Beck, Nicky Hopkins and Rod Stewart loped in, all beads, brightly coloured velvet jackets and the tightest of pants, a sight that thrilled the girls. Frank immediately roped in Jeff to play guitar riffs while the girls wailed the words. Cinderella sulked because Frank chose Christine to sing the lead. [...]

Mercy complained when on her song, "Shock Treatment," Ian alone pounded the piano. "God, Frank, here we have one of the best guitar players in the world and you're sticking him on Cinderella's song?" [...]

They run through it again, this time Jeff adding some extra phrases while Mercy made a vain attempt to mimic Janis Joplin. [...]

Then Rod Stewart, a newcomer who'd quietly lounged in the background and whom everyone had ignored, stepped up, bent into the microphone, upped the rhythm and began rasping, "Please, please, please, let me go, let me go, please, please, let me go, let me, let me, let me go." The studio erupted. Wow! Maybe they would make something out of this record after all. No one had heard Rod sing before and the girls were stunned. [...]

Sometime during the evening, Mercy had a moment of inspiration for the title of the album, "How about Permanent Damage?" Frank liked the suggestion, a good metaphor for the girls' own experiences.

Over several other sessions, Frank brought in Lowell George. [...] He had recently joined the Mothers and slotted right in, popular with girls and guys alike. He produced two of the best tracks on Permanent Damage, composing sing-along, catchy melodies. To Sandra's "Circular Circulation," he speeded up the backing vocals and added his own harmony. To Mercy's song, "I Have a Paintbrush in My Hand to Colour a Triangle," about her love for Brian Jones, Lowell added a bouncy, tap-along instrumental with some great guitar licks.

Pamela Des Barres, I'm With The Band, 1987

The GTO's at the mixing board

[Cinderella, Mercy, Christine, FZ, Pamela, Sandra]

FZ, interviewed by Steve Rosen, Record Review, June 1982

The GTO's album was pretty far ahead of its time in terms of what was going on in it and it has some interesting sidemen on it like Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck. I knew Jeff's work and he just happened to be in Los Angeles and that's when Rod Stewart was the lead singer of his band. And they came over to the house and I asked them if they'd do something on the GTO's record.

Pamela Des Barres, I'm With The Band, 1987

[Lowell George] had only been with the Mothers for a few months (ultimately he was axed be­cause he smoked too much pot; Frank was an avid abstainer. Lowell went on to form his own group, Little Feat), and he jumped into the assignment because he wanted to show Mr. Z a few of his many talents. Lowell had the sexiest face and eyes, but I'm afraid there was a dashing prince locked up inside a greasy-haired chub-ola. He moved and danced like a thin guy, and could have been a knockout lady-killer if he lost several dozen pounds. He was big and cuddly and moon-eyed over me, so we became instant friends. (I always loved to be drooled over.) Frank also put his keyboard player, wacko Don Preston, on the case, and it didn't take long to turn our little ditties into actual melodic songs; hum along with Girls Together Outrageously! We had serious trouble harmonizing, so we all sang together like a grade-school choir, which didn't faze Frank—he thought of us as a living, breathing documentary.

[...] We were all in the dimly lit little studio, humming along with Mercy as she belted out "Shock Treatment" optimistically off-key, when the entire Jeff Beck Group sauntered in to add some amazingness to the proceedings. I was very pleased to see that Jeff brought Rod Stewart, whom we all became instantly chummy with, calling him Rodney Rooster because of his choppy stick-up hairdo. Frank put Jeff and Nicky right to work, and they bombarded our meager efforts with brilliant bravura. We sat watching, enthralled and captured, while Rod the Mod hunched forlornly, then paced round and round in circles, then finally left the building. After Jeffs solo on "The Eureka Springs Garbage Lady," we went out to the suburbs of Glendale calling "Rodneeeee, Rod-neeeee!" until we found him sitting on the steps of a grade school, peevish and petulant, feeling left out. We ooh'd and ahh'd over him and dragged him back to the studio, where he enhanced "Shock Treatment" with his raspy sandpaper shouting. We all stood around in a circle with headphones on, following Rod Stewart's lead: "Shock Treatment, oh let me go-oo, shock treatment, oh let me go-oo." I couldn't believe my eyes and ears. Frank was smiling away with his baton, the girls were caterwauling as best they could, Rod had his eyes closed and was sweating and wailing, Nicky and Jeff were rocking out to the music, and I was in the middle of my own recording session!

Sometime during 1969 the Jeff Beck Group joined the GTO's (Girls Together Outrageously) on sessions for their debut (and only) Lp "Permanent Damage". Three songs feature the Jeff Beck Group and two titles mentioned by Pamela Des Barres in her "I'm With The Band" book include "Shock Treatment" and "The Eureka Springs Garbage Lady".

Jimmy Carl Black, interviewed by Andrew Greenaway, The Idiot Bastard, June 23, 2000

I played the drums on most of that LP along with Roy on bass. I do remember that about that time, the Jeff Beck band was hanging around at Frank's house and I believe that a couple of the members played on a little of the record. Ronnie Wood comes to mind.


The History Of The GTO's—Part Two

December 1968—Baron Wolman—Rolling Stone Photo Shoot

[clockwise, from top: Christine, Sparky, Mercy, Sandra, Cinderella; center: Pamela]

[Sandra, Pamela]

[Sandra, Pamela]

Rolling Stone, February 15, 1969





[standing: Mercy, Christine, Sparky; seated: Sandra, Pamela, Cinderella]

Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 226-227

When I took Christine and Mercy to a photo shoot for Rolling Stone magazine and we bumped into George Harrison, he didn't flee as he'd done on a previous occasion. [...]

At the photo shoot, they couldn't stop talking about George. "Was he holding [Patti Boyd's] hand?" "Did he say hi or did he say hello?" Amid the tumult of noise, the photographer looked shell-shocked.

Ed Caraeff #2


Aum, May 1969

Miss Christine



Miss Pamela


Pamela Des Barres, I'm With The Band

Mr. Zappa with his Girls Together Outrageously

[Sandra, Pamela, FZ, Christine, Cinderella]

Ed Caraeff #3

[Cinderella, Sandra, Pamela, Christine]

Aum, May 1969

[Cinderella, Pamela, Christine, Sandra] Ed Caraeff

Early 1969—The End Of The GTO's?

Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 240

The police raided the Landmark Hotel. In the apartment shared by Christine, Mercy and Cinderella, they found syringes, heroin and cocaine, some of it stashed down the toilet. Handcuffed and locked in jail until their parents bailed them out, they soon learned that Frank had cancelled their contract, stopped any further work on the album and banished them to the wilderness.

Pamela Des Barres, I'm With The Band, 1987

[March 1969] Frank was bringing Cynthia Plaster Caster to L.A. to continue her career, and I knew she would expect my undivided attention, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience was due to arrive at about the same moment (real cute timing); [...] Mercy was still whiling away her time in the outer sanctum, Lucy had quit the GTO's stating very loudly that we had "gone commercial," and Sparky was weighing her options. Christine and Cynderella weren't even allowed in the log cabin, Sandra was weighty with child, and I was out of money.

Pamela Des Barres, "Miss Pamela: Mentored By Beefheart And Zappa," Please Kill Me, July 12, 2018

After a couple of the girls got busted for drugs, Frank stopped paying us our thirty-five bucks a week, and the GTOs gradually frittered apart. I was heartily disappointed, but I'm one of those people blessed with optimism with a capital O.

July 1969—More Recording Sessions

Pauline Butcher, Freak Out!—My Life With Frank Zappa, 2011, p. 245

To my great relief, in July Frank got over his angst and asked me to call Pamela and Sparkie back into the studio at Sunset Sound to finish recording Permanent Damage. [...]

These last four songs continued the theme of their lives: "Wouldn't it be Sad if There Were No Cones," a clever lyric about soul brothers with quaffed hair who hung around the Whisky a Go-Go to pick-up girls. More mundane were "Who's Jim Sox?" about showers and dyke gym teachers at high school; "The Moche Monster Review," which described the grotesque advances made to the girls when they hitch-hiked; and, finally, "Love on an Eleven-Year Old Level," about a schoolboy who looked Brian Jones.

Meanwhile, Sandra had retired after giving birth to Raven, a baby girl, on 5 July, and shortly afterwards Sparkie flounced out too. She was disillusioned with the showbiz razzmatazz that fascinated the other girls as they fought like cats over who could bed the loftiest rock stars. So, with Pamela and the return of "the three terrors," as I called them—Mercy, Cinderella and Christine (who Frank grudgingly forgave)—there were now just four GTO's. Less flamboyant, less argumentative and more willing to follow my instructions, we stumbled through interviews and photographic sessions in preparation for the release of the album.


After The GTO's

Pamela Des Barres, I'm With The Band, 1987

[c. February-March 1971] Where were the GTO's? Could we make another go of it??? I did some checking around. Miss Christine had fallen for Albert Grossman, Bob Dylan's abundant manager, and was living the hoity-toity life in New York. Miss Cynderella married John Cale from Velvet Underground. Sparky married an actor from the Hair cast and was about to have a baby. Mercy had always wanted to be a soulwoman and was entangled with Al Green, the Bar-Kays, and trying to figure out how Otis Redding really died. She carried around pictures of him frozen stiff in the remains of his smashed plane, pointing out the icicles as if they had some significance. She had even fucked Chuck Berry in a trailer in Disneyland, and then traipsed off to Memphis to live a life of soul. I caught her the day before she left. That's how I got to see the frozen shot of Otis and hear all about Chuck's porno prowess. Sandra had taken her baby daughter, Raven, back to San Pedro, where she married a carpenter and became a pregnant house­wife with a crazy past. I missed them all and mourned the ill-fated Girls Together Outrageously.

Susin Shapiro, "Zoot Allures!," Gig, February 1977

Whatever happened to your group, the GTO's?

FZ: Well, let's take 'em by the numbers: Miss Christine committed suicide in Boston. Miss Sandra married somebody and moved to Venice. Miss Cinderella married John Cale and then got divorced, today was her court appearance as a matter of fact. Sparky is now working at Benihana's of Tokyo in the San Fernando Valley. Miss Pamela had a short term on a TV soap opera and now is apparently the girl friend of Michael Des Barres who was the lead singer of Silverhead, now the lead singer of Detective. Miss Lucy has been mainly employed as a masseuse.

It sounds like they're a bunch of losers.

FZ: Oh, no, they're just highly individualistic, especially Miss Christine.

Miss Christine

Patrick Neve

November 5, 1972—Death of Christine Frka.. RIP

Miss Sandra

Mark Baldwin Harris

I would like to contribute the full name of my late sister-in-law "Miss Sandra", co-founder of the GTO's and mother of Cal Schenkel's daughter Raven: Sandra Leano (b. 18 JAN 1949 San Pedro CA, d. 23 APR 1991 Albion CA).

wickedcrickette, quoted in "Part Five—More Photos," The Great Hollywood Hangover

Miss Sandra (Sandra Harris, nee Rowe) [passed away from cancer] in (I think) 1992 [...].

After her time as a GTO, Sandra went on to have 4 kids and settle down with her husband in San Pedro, where she had grown up. She was the "coolest mom on the block", and all the kids and teenagers flocked to her house to listen to her wild stories of her crazy past, and play her old GTO's album. She was always cooking or sewing or doing something artsy.

Miss Lucy

Pamela DesBarres, quoted in "Fresh Photos . . . More Names," The Great Hollywood Hangover, c. 2003

Miss Christine, Miss Lucy and Miss Sandra from the GTO's are all in Heaven now too!

"What Happened To Our Old Friends?," The Great Hollywood Hangover

Gordon (Gordie) McLaren, of The Groupies (band) died in January 1989. He had been in rehab and doing very well, but decided he wanted to get high one last time. Gordie had married Miss Lucy of the GTO's in 1975. They were divorced around 1981. Lucy died in 1991.

Miss Mercy

Pamela Des Barres, Twitter, July 28, 2020

My beloved sister for most of my life, Miss Mercy has just passed. Words don't work for me at this moment. I can't imagine my world without her in it.

Rare Bird, retr. July 29, 2020

Permanent Damage: Memoirs of an Outrageous Girl by Mercy Fontenot and Lyndsey Parker

Rare Bird

[...] Expected release date is Jun 8th 2021


"I'm the Mae West of 1968." Mercy Fontenot was a Zelig who grew up in the San Francisco Haight Ashbury scene, where she crossed paths with Charles Manson, went to the first Acid Test, and was friends with Jimi Hendrix (she was later in his movie Rainbow Bridge). She predicted the Altamont disaster when reading the Rolling Stones' tarot cards at a party and left San Francisco for the climes of Los Angeles in 1967 when the Haight 'lost its magic.'

Miss Mercy's work in the GTOs, the Frank Zappa-produced all-female band, launched her into the pages of Rolling Stone in 1969. Her adventures saw her jumping out of a cake at Alice Cooper's first record release party, while high on PCP, and had her travel to Memphis where she met Al Green and got a job working for the Bar-Kays. Along the way, she married and then divorced Shuggie Otis before transitioning to punk rock and working with the Rockats and Gears. This is her story as she lived and saw it.

Written just prior to her death in 2020, Permanent Damage shows us the world of the 1960s and 1970s music scene through her eyes, and the fallout of that era, experiencing homelessness before sobering up and putting her life back together. Miss Mercy's journey is a can't miss for anyone who was there and can't remember, or just wishes they'd been there.



Additional informants: Pat Buzby, Bill Lantz, Charles Ulrich, Andrew Greenaway.

Research, compilation and maintenance by Román García Albertos
This page updated: 2024-07-02