If you’re into this stuff, you can’t go wrong with Please Kill Me. This is the book that sold me on the oral history as bio. Seriously, why wade through some hack writer’s interpretation of how so and so felt about such and such? Lame! Let the people tell it for themselves!
And, oh what these people had to say…
For someone like me, into music and the music they called “punk” particularly, Please Kill Me is as good as it gets. There are so many amazing stories, both hilarious and horrific. McNeil and McCain edited all these crazy quotes together, which tells a fantastic story, but it’s the way they did the editing that makes this book work so well.
A favorite quote (from Danny Fields): “I always say when the music moves from the music section to the front page of the newspaper, you’re in trouble.”
My favorite story is how Ron Asheton used to visit Larry Fines of Three Stooges fame at the retirement home. Asheton would hang out and talk with Fines, helping Fines rehabilitate his speech. He’d open Fines’ fan mail, help him answer the letters and would hang all the Three Stooges fan art on the walls of Fines’ room. That’s class.
Ron Asheton is my hero.