The GTO's were a "groupie group" hailing 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, was released in 1969.
List of members Edit
- Miss Pamela (Pamela Ann Miller, later Pamela Des Barres)
- Miss Sparky (Linda Sue Parker)
- Miss Lucy (Lucy Offerall, later Lucy McLaren)
- Miss Christine (Christine Frka)
- Miss Sandra (Sandra Lynn Rowe, later Sandra Leano)
- Miss Mercy (Mercy Fontentot, aka Judith Edra Peters)
- Miss Cynderella (Cynthia Wells, later Cynthia Cale-Binion)
Miss Pamela and Miss Sparky met while attending Cleveland High School. Miss Christine had traveled to Los Angeles from San Pedro with Miss Sandra, and both lived in the basement of Frank Zappa's log cabin in the mid 1960s. 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. Miss Mercy had emigrated from the Haight Ashbury hippie scene to LA due to "boredom", alleging she "couldn't be a hippie forever". Miss Cynderella was an addition to the group brought by Mercy after the nucleus of the group had been formed. This accounts for Cynderella's presence in some, but not all of the GTOs publicity shots. Miss Lucy was also not an original member and joined after the recording of Permanent Damage.
Association with Frank Zappa Edit
Originally known as "The Laurel Canyon Ballet Company", they changed their name to The GTOs on the advice of Frank Zappa, their financial supporter and producer. The new name is an acronym which, as Stanley Booth wrote, could mean "Girls Together Outrageously or Orally or anything else starting with O." The members were connected by their association with Zappa, who was a complex musician who encouraged their artistic endeavors, even though the GTOs were not singers of renown. Performances by the group were sparse, although they created a strong impression at their 1968 performance at the Shrine Auditorium. A mix of theatrics, singing and dance were staples of their act.
Permanent Damage Edit
Their only album, Permanent Damage, was produced in 1969 by Frank Zappa with the assistance of Lowell George (track 7 and 11). The songs are mixed in with conversations had between the 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 Mercy and Miss Lucy were involved with a male version of a GTO - a "BTO" - named Mr. Bernardo, a half-Indian multi-sexual. Interestingly, Miss Christine and Miss Sandra were both of Serbian parentage, while Miss Lucy herself was Mexican-American.