Sort-of rock group
made up of several groupie
s; they had just been friends who hung out in the Los Angeles
rock scene at first: Sparky, Pamela, Christine, Lucy, and Sandra. They met Frank Zappa
when one of the girls was ousted from her apartment because the landlady
wanted to rent the house it was part of to him.
The members had originally considered themselves a dance group (The Laurel Canyon Ballet Company) who would perform behind rock groups in L.A.: "One night 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." And later: "Frank suggested we should change our profesional name to Girls Together Only, or the GTOs. 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."
After visiting Tiny Tim in his hotel room, the girls decided to go by the names he called them: Miss Pamela, Miss Christine, and so forth. Two more people drifted into the group, Miss Mercy and Miss Cynderella. By this time they were writing song lyrics, which Zappa turned out to like. He fixed them up with members of the Mothers of Invention to write some music for the lyrics, and produced the songs himself: "None of us could manage harmony, so we all sang together like a grade-school choir, which didn't faze Frank."
The 1969 album, "Permanent Damage," wasn't a hit, but it did garner them a lot of fame in a Rolling Stone article on the groupie phenomenon. The band fell apart because some members wanted to be more commercial and others did not, and because some of the members were arrested for heroin use, which Zappa did not approve of.
All quotations are from GTO Pamela Des Barres, in her book "I'm With The Band."