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New York Rocker: My Life in the Blank Generation with Blondie, Iggy Pop, and Others, 1974-1981
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New York Rocker: My Life in the Blank Generation with Blondie, Iggy Pop, and Others, 1974-1981

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  77 ratings  ·  13 reviews
By 1970, the hippie dream of the 60s was dead — the soundtrack of the revolution had become a multimillion-dollar industry. Glitter tried to save music's soul, but was too commercial to be cutting edge for long. Then, in 1974, a rescue movement arrived. Three chords, black jeans, a pair of shades, and a whole lot of attitude made music that matched the facts of life on its ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 18th 2006 by Da Capo Press (first published February 1st 2002)
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Perry Whitford
Like so many others from his time and place, Gary Valentine decided he wanted to be a rock star after witnessing the New York Dolls live at their legendary St Valentine's Day Massacre Show in 1974. Clearly not a natural punk, Gary was inspired to wear make-up and take drugs; just not too much of either though, and piercings and injections were certainly out.
A sensitive soul, histrionically accused of rape after his teenage girlfriend became pregnant, Gary left home, lodged with various friends,
I can never get enough of these stories from the early days of the 1970's New York Punk scene and this is one more great read on that subject by another one who was there and helping to create that scene, Gary Valentine of Blondie.

Valentine's story starts in NYC in 1974 as the New York Dolls are imploding and the Ramones are just beginning to come together. The scene at Max's Kansas City has changed quite a bit from it's high-point a few years prior as the center of the NYC underground, and Hill
Nicholas Pell
This is a good book to read not because it's the best written book in the world. It is, however, a wonderful collection of anecdotes and an engaging story from someone who was really there. See what the early CBGB's crowd of Rimbaud-quoting faux beatniks thought of "punk." Really cool account of the bohemian element of the 70s New York rock scene before they called it anything. Valentine is an intelligent man with a better than average memory. While he sits at the center of the story, there's ve ...more
"New York Rocker" left me hating the original CBGBs cast. everyone seems like a pretentious douche monster. i knew most of the "artists" (Richard Hell, Patti Smith and Television) to all be pompous self important intellectuals but the Blondie drama and Valentine's sexual bragging and glorification of everything he did was kinda nauseating at times. Still it made for a juicy tell all. his taking credit for the new wave/ power pop fashion and sound is so far off it makes the rest of his claims tha ...more
This is the juiciest gossip of the best period in rock n roll ever. Yes, Please Kill Me is nice and From the Velvets to the Voidoids is good, but oh my God, Gary Valentine spills all the beans, he has no one's ass to kiss, and it's a great read! Plus he helped shape the New York punk look, way sexier than in other places. You like punk, you buy this book, yeah? Come on, I want to hear you go "Holy shit!" about the dirt he shares. Remember: Blondie screwed him over - he has nothing to lose by scr ...more
Having read Please Kill Me before and Just Kids right after, this book gives another interesting perspective to the CBGB/Max's scene of the 70s. Debbie Harry isn't portrayed particularly positively here. The earlier parts, about moving to New York and trying to make it in a band were my favorite, the parts after the first Blondie album was recorded just seemed anti-climatic. But then, it's autobiography not fiction...Overall, very readable and I enjoyed the excuse to listen to even more Blondie ...more
This book read like one long bitch session--dude did not have much of anything nice to say about anyone. There were also a few times people's names were misspelled--he spelled Roky Erickson's name with a ck, to cite an example. Irritating. He also makes repeated snide and spiteful comments about Legs McNeil and Patti Smith. Almost everyone else he writes about receives similar treatment. Basically, the author just sounded like an immature, whiny asshole AND the writing sucked too.

David Cerda
Interesting perspective from a guy who was there during the NY new wave/punk/whatever you want to call it scene. Gary is a very talented songwriter and smart guy but seems to be telling incomplete stories sometimes. You just get the feeling there were details he may have left out. Worthwhile read for anyone interested in the CBGB's music scene.
This was fun. It was a good to see his perspective of what it was like to "be there". Brought back alot of dumb memories. Easy to read and doesnt get into his heavy fascination with the occult.
As interested in this era as I am, I find myself trying to be interested in what he has to say. There are huge gaps, and lacklustre accounts of what must have been wild times.
I found the historical aspect interesting but I would have to read a similar biography by the rest of Blondie to really believe his words.
1) debbie harry luvs pcp
2) chris stein is a jealous toy
3) gary valentine invented skinny ties and sunglasses
Jim Jones
A nice balance to Patti Smith's "Just Kids." We get to see the nasty side of Patti in this one!
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