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Permanent Damage by Mercy Fontenot
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Permanent Damage

Memoirs of an Outrageous Girl

$28.74 USD

Get for $14.99 with membership
Narrator Natasha Soudek
Length 7 hours 48 minutes
Language English
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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's 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 Mercy's eyes, as well as 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.

Mercy Fontenot ran away to the Haight-Ashbury at sixteen in 1965. In 1967, citing that the Haight was getting boring and she couldn't stay a hippie forever, Fontenot moved to Los Angeles, where she met Frank Zappa and Pamela Des Barres and fell in with the GTOs, an all-female band whose album Permanent Damage was released in 1969. The two songs she wrote for the band were eventually recorded by Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, and Lowell George. In the late-70s, after marrying and divorcing Shuggie Otis, she reinvented herself, doing punk hair and styling for bands like the Rockats and Gears and then influencing the roots-rock scene. After falling on hard times, she finally got sober and wrote her story. Permanent Damage is her memoir, published posthumously in 2021.

If you've watched TV at all in the past ten years, you've definitely seen her face and heard her voice countless times in any number of wildly successful national, global, and Super Bowl commercials, as well as playing the first blond Vulcan in Star Trek history. The daughter of two English professors, Natasha Soudek was raised in the South, speaks native German, lived in Berlin and Vienna, and finally settled in the Lower East Side of New York City as a teenager. After honing her stage presence by studying acting and playing hundreds of sold-out live music shows (singing and playing bass), she moved to LA to record with Channel/DreamWorks and act on TV. Favored on KCRW, Chris Douridas compared her voice and songwriting to the Beatles' Let it Be in meaning and soulfulness . . . qualities that translate especially well into her career as an audiobook narrator. Her voice is as distinct and memorable as the range of characters she's played on-screen, which gives listeners an immediate familiarity to connect to, along with a warmth and intimacy that spans and uplifts any genre.

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Gift audiobooks to anyone in the world from the comfort of your home. You choose the membership (3, 6, or 12 months/credits), your gift recipient picks their own audiobooks, and local bookstores is supported by your purchase.

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