Noel's Reviews > Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk

Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil
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Jan 11, 2008

it was amazing
Read in November, 2007

I absolutely inhaled this. Legs' view is that punk was a strictly American phenomenon with its roots in The Doors, The Velvet Underground, The MC5, & The Stooges, and that the British got it completely wrong and basically killed the movement. And he presents that argument well.

Pretty much everyone in the book appears to be exactly what I already thought:
* Jim Morrison was often drunk and frequently terrible live, and wrote really bad high school-grade poetry.
* David Bowie was a rather uptight guy until he fell in with the New York crowd.
* The MC5 were phony revolutionaries, using it as a marketing gimmick.
* Lou Reed is not, as you will see constant reference to, a scat-munching asshole. No, Lou Reed is a scat-munching douche.
* Patti Smith was a truly creepy girl with a tenuous grip on reality, who stalked the stars of the underground scene until they invited her in. (OK, I didn't know that before, but FUUUUUUUUck!)
* Everybody was SO. FUCKED. UP. I can't BELIEVE that more of them did not die...
* Almost everyone in the NY punk scene turned tricks at one time or another to make ends meet.
* Musicians are assholes, or so goes the refrain from the label A&R guy that signed a lot of these bands.
* Of course, so are label execs.
* Despite being just as fucked up, selfish, and self-absorbed as everyone else in the book Iggy Pop is the only guy that comes out looking good. I'm not even that much of a fan, but it's hard to hate Iggy.

So, highly recommended, is what I'm getting at here...
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Chris Allan Nice review:
Just wanted to say a few words,
Yes Jim Morrison wrote rubbish poetry, the Doors were pretty good though.
Bowie only wanted to be a Star Man, he did manage to make some great music in the process.
The MC5 had the White Panther stuff forced on them by Sinclair, half the band hated it. They were otherwise brilliant.
Lou Reed is a tit, but I can't help but love The Velvets.
Patty Smith did stalk stars and dated Televisions Verlain.
And yes they were all fucked but the music left is for me superb.


Tara I am reading this book right now and LOVING THE HELL OUT OF IT. It's like a gritty punk gossip column, only it's not gossip, it's all real.

boy am i glad i never knew him morrison. ASS. HOLE.


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