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

Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil
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Sep 08, 2009

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Read in September, 2009

Punk rockers would make terrible dinner party guests. They will break your good china and roll around in the shards. They will defacate on the dessert. They will shoot up in your bathroom. They will hit on your grandmother. They also should make for interesting reading and, for the most part, the book delivered. I learned:
*Nico drank good wine.
*Phil Spector drank bad wine.
*Nancy Spungen was advised to go to England to clean up and kick her serious drug habit. That's where she met Sid Vicious.
*Even though Nancy was very disliked, everyone thought it was terrible that the police stopped investigating her murder after Sid died. Many people thought their drug dealer actually did it.
*The Stooges got the IRS to stop bothering them about back taxes by explaining they were drug addicts and, therefore, bad with money.
*The Sex Pistols were afraid to meet the Ramones after their show in England because they thought they would beat them up.
*Debbie Harry thought the record companies gave them lots of drugs, not because they liked them, but to keep them compliant.
*And, best of all, Iggy Pop, known for his terrible habit and dangerous excess had an ephiphany. He realized he "was the product". He cleaned up and he started saving his money. That's right. One of the most famous punks of all time, saved his life, by replacing nihilism with captalism. Isn't that fantstic?

Overall, interesting. I was disappointed that this book is billed the history of punk rock and really only covered New York punk and English punk as it pertained to the New York scene. They barely touched on the key differences between the two. (New York being a prodcut of the art scene and England being a product of working class hopelessness.) The LA scene wasn't touched and other East Coast punk bands of great importance, such as Black Flag, didn't get a mention.
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