Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History Of Punk Paperback – May 2 2006
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Though Britain's notorious Sex Pistols shoved punk rock into the face of mainstream America, the movement was already brewing in the U.S. in the 1960s with bands like the Velvet Underground and Iggy and the Stooges. Through hundreds of interviews with forgotten bands as well as the ones that made names for themselves--including Blondie and the Ramones--Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain chronicle punk rock history through the people who really lived it. Please Kill Me is a thrash down memory lane for those hip to punk's early years and an enlightening history lesson for youngsters interested in the origins of modern "alternative" music. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
As its sensationalist title suggests, this stresses the sex, drugs, morbidity and celebrity culture of punk at the expense of the music. Starting out with the electroshock therapy Lou Reed received as a teenager, working through such watersheds as the untimely deaths by overdose or mishap of Sid Vicious, Johnny Thunders and Nico, as well as the complicated sexual escapades of the likes of Dee Dee Ramone, the portrayal here of the birth of an alternative culture is intermittently entertaining and often depressing. McNeil, one of the founding writers of the original 'zine, Punk, in 1975 , is certainly qualified to tell this tale. But the book's take on punk rock as "doing anything that's gonna offend a grown-up" overemphasizes the self-destructive side of the movement. Details of Iggy Pop's drug abuse and seedy sex with groupies receive more attention than important bands such as Television and Blondie, which had comparatively puritan lifestyles. Constructed as an oral history, the book weaves together personal accounts by the crucial players in the scene, many of whom seem to have been so drugged out most of the time that their reliability is questionable. McNeil and McCain (Tilt) provide a vivid look at the volatile and needy personalities who created punk, if they do not offer perceptive musical or cultural analysis. Photos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ultimately many of these stories have been told many times in many different ways (see Miles Davis' autobiography for the dangerous lives of jazz musicians) but in punk there was a revelry to the danger that let the audience in on the evil lives and flaunted the wild lifestyle more than anything. Punk is both a music genre and a self-destructive/seductive lifestyle and this book captures that perfectly.Read more ›
The book begins with the Velvet Underground and then proceeds to the founders of Punk, people like Iggy Pop and the MC5 and the New York Dolls. All the major figures on the New York scene are dealt with in detail, from Patti Smith and the Heartbreakers to the Ramones and, my favorite NYC band, Television (who I discovered after they broke up for the first time, but who I have since seen live twice in Chicago, first in 1993 and then in 2001). Not merely the great bands and performers are featured, but a lot of the people on the scene that music fans might not have been familiar with. In fact, so many people are quoted that you begin to get confused, but not to despair: there is a very helpful Cast of Characters near the end of the book.
A great book, and one that will have any fan of the New York underground music scene in the sixties and seventies rushing to pull out their old records, and perhaps to rush out and buy a few new ones.
Most recent customer reviews
Great read. Very interesting first hand view of the punk culturePublished 4 months ago by Robyn Gibson
I read Legs in the Punk Magazine collection and bought this one based on the content of the magazine. This is amazing stuff. Read morePublished on Oct. 6 2013 by James Armstrong
"Please Kill Me" is a beautifully arranged oral history of punk music in America. Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain are heroes for clipping together hundreds of interviews... Read morePublished on May 17 2004 by M. Casarino
Please Kill Me is a fantastic and highly entertaining exploration of the early American punk rock'n'roll scene. This is the REAL history of punk baby! Read morePublished on May 7 2004 by jason gilmour
A rollicking great read of the road from late 60's bands like the Velvets and the MC 5 to the original glam band, the NY Dolls, to NY punk and beyond as told by those who were... Read morePublished on March 4 2004 by D. Roche
I loved this book because it tells you what happened straight from the horses' mouth. Legs and Gillian use these people's memories and stories to paint a picture of New York City... Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2004
I loved this book, it's a total gem. I first bought it because my music history textbook is incomplete and inaccurate when it comes to punk music. Read morePublished on Feb. 5 2004 by Chelsea Johnson
Most books on subjects such as this (the history of the punk rock scene) are fluff, or some lame writer's opinion. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2004 by jj bruno
I love how this book is written by 1st person point of view. Every passage is quoted from the actual person/persons that were there when an event happened. Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2004 by bluegalaxie7
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