Miss Mercy, member of The GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously) and associate of Frank Zappa, has died aged 71, according to her former bandmate.
The musician’s death was confirmed by Pamela Des Barres – aka GTOS’ Miss Pamela, and later the author of the memoir I’m With The Band – in a post on Instagram yesterday (July 28). No cause of death was given.
“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,” she wrote.
The official Frank Zappa Facebook page has posted in memoriam of Miss Mercy. See it below:
In MemoriamMISS MERCYFebruary 15, 1949 – July 27, 2020#MissMercy #RIP #InMemoriam #RestInPeace #groupie #thegtos #permanentdamage #GirlsTogetherOutrageously
Miss Mercy, also known as Mercy Fontenot, was born Judith Edna Peters on February 16, 1949 in California. She met Zappa in the ’60s, who would go on to encourage Peters and future bandmates Miss Christine and Cinderella to form The GTOs.
The GTOs, which at first numbered seven members, then five, were only active between 1968 and 1970. They recorded one studio album, ‘Permanent Damage’, through now-defunct label Straight. The record, which featured musical contributions from Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart, was produced by Zappa. Following their separation, The GTOs joined forces again four years later for a reunion.
Mercy would go on to marry American musician Shuggie Otis, with whom she had a son, before they separated.
In a 1969 article and photoshoot from Rolling Stone, the group was described as “outasite” and a “sociological creation” of Zappa’s.
“Each has a personality all her own, and together [The GTOs] are not to be believed — tummeling, chattering, laughing, telling stories, leaping about,” the article read.
“The visceral reaction is full freak, but once you get into it, you don’t even notice.”