Please Kill Me: Uncensored Oral History of Punk

Please Kill Me: Uncensored Oral History of Punk

Paperback Abacus

By (author) Legs McNeil, By (author) Gillian McCain

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Paperback $14.31
  • Publisher: Abacus
  • Format: Paperback | 544 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 196mm x 38mm | 422g
  • Publication date: 1 September 1997
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0349108803
  • ISBN 13: 9780349108803
  • Illustrations note: Section: 16, B&W
  • Sales rank: 86,214

Product description

What Britain refined, America defined. Assembled by two key figures at the heart of the movement and told through the voices o musicians, artists, iconoclastic reporters and entrepreneurial groupies, PLEASE KILL ME is the full decadent story of the American punk scene, through the early years of Andy Warhol's Factory to the New York underground of Max's Kansas City and later, its heyday at CBGB's, spiritual home to the Ramones, Talking Heads, Television and Blondie. PLEASE KILL ME goes backstage and behind apartment doors to chronicle the sex, drugs and power struggles that were the very fabric of the American punk community, to the time before piercing and tattoos became commonplace and when every concert, new band and fashion statement marked an absolute first. From Iggy Pop and Lou Reed to the Clash and the Sex Pistols (the first time around), McNeil and McCain document a time of glorious self-destruction and perverse innocence - possibly the last time so many will so much fun in the pursuit of excess.

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Author information

Legs McNeil is responsible for naming the movement 'punk' and is the author of Yuppie like Me. Gillian McCain is a published poet and a former editor of the Poetry Project Newsletter.

Review quote

Interesting, informative and highly entertaining -- Alexa Chung Comes as close to capturing the coruscated brilliance and vein-puncturing style of the Blank Generation as the written word is likely to get MOJO Archly contentious and enormously enjoyable SUNDAY TIMES Monumental and intensely entertaining INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

Editorial reviews

Punk's chaotic energy and revolutionary spirit come through vividly in this mesmerizing account of American punk. For instance, Kathy Asheton notes, "I remember the day of his [Iggy Pop's] wedding because that was the day Iggy and I started our romantic relationship." Legions of groupies and other American punk scene denizens are similarly heard from here, as are central figures, including Iggy, Richard Hell, Malcolm McLaren, and members of the Velvet Underground, the Patti Smith Group, et al. During the heyday of hippiedom, the Velvets, the Stooges, and the MC5 distinguished themselves by their refusal to have any part of the peace-and-love agenda. Their unromanticized visions of boredom, violence, drug use, and weird sex had little commercial appeal. But the Velvets' Lou Reed and especially the Stooges' drug-crazed Iggy Pop became icons for a generation of disaffected kids who identified with the impulse to roll around shirtless in broken glass while howling "I Wanna Be Your Dog." In the early '70s the New York Dolls continued the tradition, combining goofy glamour and short, fast songs; the overdose death of the Dolls' first drummer cemented narcotics abuse as a central feature of the punk life. Authors McNeil, one of Punk magazine's founders, and McCain, a former promoter of downtown New York poetry readings, definitively assert punk's all-American origins; British impresario Malcolm McLaren tells here how he molded the Sex Pistols after patterns set by the Dolls and Richard Hell. Despite the astonishing prevalence of drug addiction, the New York bands and scene-makers of the mid-'70s, led by the Ramones, had splendid instincts for music and style, and most subsequent pop culture is to some degree indebted to them. An essential accompaniment to the first, still-thrilling punk records, this preposterously entertaining document just reeks with all the brilliance and filth of the Blank Generation. (Kirkus Reviews)