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My Damage: The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor
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My Damage: The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  478 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Keith Morris is a true punk icon. No one else embodies the sound of Southern Californian hardcore the way he does. With his waist-length dreadlocks and snarling vocals, Morris is known the world over for his take-no-prisoners approach on the stage and his integrity off of it. Over the course of his forty-year career with Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, and OFF!, he's battled ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by Da Capo Press (first published July 21st 2016)
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  478 ratings  ·  68 reviews


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Nick Cato
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A great look at the early LA hardcore scene as seen through the eyes of Keith Morris, legendary vocalist for both BLACK FLAG and CIRCLE JERKS. While Keith was drunk or flying on blow for most of his early career, he still shares some wild stories, although I was a bit disappointed there was nothing about the CIRCLE JERKS' one and only 1985 TV appearance on The Rock Palace. This slight issue aside, MY DAMAGE should satisfy any Morris fan. There's not too much time spent talking about his latest b ...more
Lance Dale
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent memoir. If you are a fan of any of Keith's bands you will enjoy this one. There are so many good stories about the early LA punk scene and about his life in general.
Richard
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I actually ended up listening to this one in audio book form and really enjoyed it! It was great listening to Keith Morris recount all of the crazy stuff from the LA punk scene when he grew up, and I didn't know half of the stuff that he told about his personal life.

Keith really dishes out some of his most personal stories and lays it in to a few people pretty hard, including himself. It's pretty interesting to see who knew who during this time and how things came to be where they are now, whet
...more
Ollie
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I don’t know why but I’ve always been a Circle Jerks guy. The band. More so than a Black Flag guy, anyway. It might be that the Circle Jerks never took themselves so seriously (not as much as Black Flag, anyway), or just because their front man Keith Morris is just such a character. In their criminally underrated live DVD (and album) on Kung Fu records, he introduces himself by saying, “I’m an asshole, I’m a coke addict, and I want to be your friend.” Turns out all those things are true. And he ...more
Dave Mcgurgan
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good memoir from punk singer who gives it his all

Really cool look back on Keith Morris' life as told by Keith. He doesn't hold much back on himself and tastefully addresses some of the not-so-good people from his past (I.e., Ginn). Very easy read, lots of good stories and a look back at one of punk's great frontmen and lyricists.
Jacca
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
More interesting reading about the origins of various old hardcore punk bands and how they were all connected than Morris' actual history.
Also had to question how many times we were viewing the stories through Morris' rose tinted recollections.
Brian Johnson
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Keith Morris' memoirs gives us an insightful look into the early days of punk rock in L.A. from the perspective of a guy on the outside of the music industry breaking in. From starting Black Flag with Greg Ginn and Circle Jerks to Off! and a few "failed" bands in between, this is a detailed account of the DIY ethos happening in Southern California. It's a quick and easy read and definitely worth it.
David Agranoff
Alright I am sitting on a flight home to Indiana Circle Jerks rocking on my headphones and I just closed My Damage as my flight reading. I almost never write a review this quick after reading a book. I was lucky enough to see Jim and Keith do a reading and Q and A in San Diego so they really got me excited to read this book, but I was sold as soon as I heard the book announced - Black Flag and the Circle Jerks were one of the early west coast hardcore bands and I have listened to Keith Morris ba ...more
Sean
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I would give this memoir 3.5 stars if I were able to on the Goodreads scale. As a fan of Keith who came into his work late, mostly by getting into OFF!, it was fascinating to learn more about the early LA punk scene. Everything that occurred at that point was way before my time, and Keith demonstrated the eclecticism of the bands and venues around that era that have made it continually influential. I would have liked to see some more depth in certain areas, particularly the bizarre friction with ...more
Chris Landry
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Humble, self-effacing, and familiar yet interesting enough for a punk trivia nerd like me. It's remarkable how similar it read to Ozzy Osbourne's 'I am Ozzy.' One thing about Keith Morris is that he seems to be incapable of describing music except in terms of other music. Like Band X sounds like Nirvana meets Cheap Trick. Or this band sounds like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Butthole Surfers. There's not a lot of snark in this at all but there is not exactly a lot of love for either Greg Gi ...more
Ross Siegel
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Casual, fun and extremely endearing

As this book progresses, one wishes they not only could see every great (and not so great) performance Keith Morris participated in or witnessed, but you'd want to do it while hanging out with Keith himself. Very casually written, but very fun. Keith is a sweet heart of the streets.
Alohatiki
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Not the most interesting of the punk history books. Kinda of surprised he can remember anything with the amount of drugs and drink he has done. But it was good enough to hold my attention and a fast read when I needed one.
Chad Ostlund
Dec 25, 2016 rated it liked it
There are some good stories of Black Flag, Circle Jerks and Keith's other bands in this book but at times it was tough to read. I felt like his stories would bounce around a bit and not be complete. Still a good history of Keith's bands though and some good punk history lessons. Good but not great.
Thomas
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it
It's not a great book and it's not even all that well written, but damn was it a fun read for someone (me) who loved so much of the music Keith Morris made.
John Matthews
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
The first time I heard Black Flag it was 1983. On my way to school, I fell in step behind a guy who would turn out to be one of only a handful of punks who went to Willowbrook. Jeff had already adopted the combat boots, safety pin earring, dyed-blonde Mohawk, ripped jeans and attitude and it was just the dawn of our freshmen year. On his shoulder perched a boom box, an object which, by the way, should be enshrined in museums as a testament to how important music is to people—that you’d willingly ...more
Gerardo Vega
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The life of punk legend "Keith Morris" officially released by none other than Himself and Jim Ruland. I'm a huge Black Flag, Circle Jerks fan and punk in general, so for me this book was a treat. not only does he talk about his life but also about the punk rock movement back in the day. It's filled with crazy stories and a lot of punk trivia, I finished the book almost entirely in one sitting too. Keith Morris is a punk icon for a reason and if you don't know who he is well it's your chance to f ...more
Stephen Hines
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best rock icon memoirs that I've ever read and one of the few I'll definitely read again. The book's first chapter got off to a slow start but after that it quickly kicked into gear and I was bummed when I reached the end. From Keith's adventures as a founding member of the fathers of hardcore punk, Black Flag, to his later career lowlights and highlights with the Circle Jerks and OFF!, Morris pulls no punches and never tries to use his story to pump his own ego, unlike a Ste ...more
Rory Costello
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Keith Morris doesn't take himself too seriously, and his memoir benefits a lot from it. He also comes at the L.A. punk scene from a very different angle than many of the participants in "Under the Big Black Sun," which documents the same time and place. So even if you've read that book, or others in the genre, "My Damage" has a lot to offer that you're not likely to have known. He gets in his digs at dirty dealings in the music business and some of the jerks who populate it, but in a decent and ...more
Kenzie Townsend
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Any reader has certainties because you are spending time with a book. I like rock history because like other art it chronicles a time period. Good rock music us as affordable as a thrift store. The Rolling Stones, are not thrift store affordable. You can create a range from the modern rock and their catalysts. John Lyndon, Keith Morris, Sid Vicious were all small bands that created movement against normal radio friendly rock music. They found where they did not fit and played there to other peop ...more
Mark Plaid
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of hardcore punk legend Keith Morris for whom lightning struck thrice with Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and OFF! I got turned on to hardcore punk through Repo Man, in which Morris appeared. My first punk records were the Repo Man soundtrack and the Circle Jerks first album Group Sex. I grew up listening to hardcore punk rock from southern California and it is amazing to read the story from the view of one of its leading figures. Every hardcore punk rocker should read this not only to see ...more
Gerry LaFemina
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Keith Morris joins the everber a growing list of punk rockers writing their memoirs. Morris's bands have always been ones I loved (I remember several great Circe Jerks shows including at the old Reggae Lounge and the Ritz in NYC). This book is filled wih a lot of anecdotes that are often funny, sometimes scary in terms of his health, but rarely insightful or developed in a way that makes me care.
A.E
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was attracted to reading this one due to Keith Morris's high energy and stellar honesty. You must be familiar with the music he has made and surrounding culture. The chapters are as concise and poignant as the music. I eventually skipped over some of the 'war like' drug stories yet he tied it together at the end. I appreciate this autobiography.
Armando Muñoz
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An adrenaline fueled look at a crucial era of the burgeoning Los Angeles punk rock scene in its formative years, from a performer who saw it all from the stage and behind the scenes. The next best thing to being there would be to blast some Blag Flag and Circle Jerks and crack open this book, you'll get the sights and sounds and smells of the scene, but avoid the bruises of a mosh pit.
Matt
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This autobiography starts out seeming like a dumb excuse to tell gross stories about fights, drinking, and drugs, but slowly turns into a pretty interesting life of a guy who learns to follow his instincts and learn from his mistakes. Morris pokes fun at hypocrisy of hardcore, the music industry, and “selling out,” but he doesn’t get preachy. This is a solid read for a punk rock fan.
Scott Foster
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Great read for any fans of Black Flag/Circle Jerks or punk rock in general. I was impressed that Keith was able to recall so much of his youth and early adulthood, considering all of the "self medication" he seemed to enjoy. A great peak into the early days of the LA punk scene by one of the key players. Great book by a great frontman.
Paul Wood
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Essentially a series of anecdotes told in chronological order. Doesn’t delve too deeply into the motivations and most transgressions are explained in the most matter of fact kind of way. In that way this is a light memoir told in quick, enjoyable bursts. Check it out.
Bosco Farr
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars probably in actuality. It's a good read. Keith has a great story to tell. He was at the Genesis point of American hardcore. Fun read the flows exactly the way Keith talks in person. Got to see him read at BookPeople when I worked there. One of the highlights of my years in the book mines.
Stevie
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music
I got this from a seventeen year old playing in a band with my son. I think Keith would be proud to know he is still influencing young people and the hardcore punk scene will continue. Not all of the youth want to be a carbon copy boy band on the Warp Tour.
michael mccoy
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good tales

Interesting read i was always a fan and saw Keith on the stage and various places when I lived in LA the historical aspects of the book are great and the writing style grabs you in ...good job
Tobi
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great story with a happy ending by my favorite singer of Black Flag!
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Goodreads Librari...: Add book cover to ebook edition 3 14 Sep 14, 2016 07:28AM  
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There is more than one author called Keith Morris. See also Keith Morris

From Wikipedia: Keith Morris is an American singer and songwriter known for his role as frontman of the hardcore punk bands Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and Off!. Born and raised in Hermosa Beach, California, he formed Black Flag at the age of 21 with guitarist Greg Ginn and performed on the band's 1979 debut EP Nervous Breakdow
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