Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Please Kill Me... The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain

A fast paced, easy to read, illustrated oral history of the life and times of the Punk era this was first published in 1996 but is as relevant a read today as it was then.
Populated by all the characters that gave this genre its name, the book strikes for its honesty and for the way that those closest to the fire share what it some cases can only be painful memories.
For most people Punk seems to be singularly associated with the Sex Pistols but this is a misnomer of the highest order, the basis of Punk came not from those who grabbed the media by the neck but from those that didn`t especially those residing in Detroit, Michigan of all places and criss crossing the States to find a spiritual home in New York.
The intensity of New York well lead itself to becoming a nurturing point for those that wanted to give it a go and in what could be deemed a non conformist way.. the clubs, the drugs, the sex, the fights, the jealousy, the deviousness, the recording contracts, the circling sharks, the forlorn and the lovesick all found a home here amongst the loud, brash and evolving music.
For some it was a true desire to make music, for others it was the experience.. being a part of a happening scene and partaking of the dribs and drabs that were doled out often for favours involving either drugs or sex.
The eventual arrival of the loud, crude and rather ill mannered Sex Pistols sent the dominoes tumbling, the drink and drugs destroyed others and what remained wasn`t particularly pretty except for one shining beacon who left the scene, reinvented herself as a Detroit housewife and mother and reappeared in the late 1990`s to show that in the end true talent outs.. here`s looking at you Patti Smith.
This was a great read, sad at times, perplexing at others but one thing that was shown clearly was that no matter the form it takes these times of great change often end in the same old same old but with a point of difference that often isn`t recognised until many years down the track.

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