Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Please Kill Me

That little sniffle I had the other day turned into some type of plague I've been calling The Walking Death. I've pretty much slept for four days straight, so I'm way behind on life. I missed the Bishop Allen show, too. Did anybody go?

The only thing music-related that I was able to accomplish was to finish the book I was reading. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk kept me company in all the planes and Marriott Courtyards I spent time in when I did three weeks of traveling for work. You know the punk ransom note lettering that the Sex Pistols made famous? The whole book is put together the same way. Snippets of interviews are cut and pasted into one long narrative. Everyone who was close to the New York punk scene has their say - everyone from roadies, groupies, wives, landlords, and of course the band members themselves. It covers a lot of history, all the way from Nico and The Velvet Underground up until Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls dies in New Orleans. It has all the dirty details, but somehow I never felt voyeuristic reading it.

These people aren't talked about like glamorous celebrities, but rather like protagonists of the punk movement. Most of them are portrayed as kids who got caught up in something much bigger than they were, like Sid Vicious. Others are put on a pedestal so high that we don't even get to hear from them first hand, like Patti Smith. But my favorite has got to be Iggy Pop. Maybe he has hometown advantage, but the stories about the MC5 and the Stooges hanging out in Ann Arbor were by far my favorite part of the book.

Lying in a parking lot, drunk, Iggy almost got ran over by a truck driver. He jumped up, yelling "you almost killed me, you know who I am, you could've like stopped the history of rock & roll." And then the redneck truck driver beats the living crap out of him.

A couple of my faves: (UPDATE: these should work now.)
Iggy and the Stooges - Search and Destroy
The Ramones - Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Amazon: Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk

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