Showing posts with label Richard Hell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Richard Hell. Show all posts

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A new generation for 'Blank Generation'

In honor of the Black Friday edition of Record Store Day, Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ "Blank Generation" received the reissue treatment on the occasion of its 40th anniversary.

The Village Voice has a piece on the reissue, and Hell's initial reluctance to take part:

He’d already mined his memories and exorcised his demons from the period in his colorful autobiography, "I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp," and he wasn’t exactly eager to resurface those emotions.

On top of that, as Hell admits, he’s scrupulous and a control freak. “I knew it was going to be really demanding, because whether or not I thought that it was meaningful or justifiable — as opposed to being a marketing idea — it was going to take a lot of attention from me,” he says. “And it did. I oversaw every aspect of it, but as it went along, I got more engaged and now I’m feeling really satisfied and fulfilled.”

Hell, a longtime East Village resident, signed copies yesterday at Generation Records on Thompson Street. He'll do the same this afternoon (starting at 2) out at Rough Trade in Williamsburg.

Back to the Voice:

Working on the reissue of "Blank Generation" certainly evoked the time and place, mainly the essence of the Lower East Side in 1976, but it was as if he was observing moments rather than reliving them. For Hell, it’s another world entirely.

“It’s really like you’re looking at another person, but you know at the same time that it’s actually you,” Hell says. “You can feel a kind of affection or horror at this person that you once were, but it’s only personal in a very uncanny, eerie way. It’s not like a direct nostalgia because you were somebody else at that time. There is this sense of fondness — it’s almost a pattern for some previous self.”

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Listen to a wide-ranging interview with Richard Hell

[March 2013 Richard Hell photo for EV Grieve by James Maher]

In the latest RiYL podcast at BoingBoing, Brian Heater interviews novelist-poet-artist-musician Richard Hell about a whole lot of everything, from becoming a writer to living in NYC today.

The interview took place at Hell's longtime East 12th Street apartment. "It has good light, it's quiet and it's cheap."

Hell's book "I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp" recently came out in paperback.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Go see Richard Hell at The Strand tomorrow night

Here are details via The Strand's website:

Join us for an exclusive evening in Strand’s rare book room to honor the paperback release of Richard Hell’s acclaimed I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp. The autobiography has been called “A candid, sometimes brutal tour of punk’s gritty early days" by The New York Times Magazine, and "radically self-aware…wielding prose keen as a diamond knife" by cultural critic Luc Sante.

Richard will read briefly from I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp before being interviewed by NYU professor Bryan Waterman (author of the 33 1/3 volume Marquee Moon), and will then take audience questions. At the evening’s conclusion, Richard will inscribe copies of I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp. No other memorabilia, please.

Buy a copy of I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp or a $15 Strand gift card in order to attend this event, which will be located in the Strand's 3rd floor Rare Book Room at our store at 828 Broadway at 12th Street.

The event is from 7-8 p.m.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Richard Hell on his East Village apartment

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Watch Richard Hell narrate a video on the New York music scene

All Saints and Dazed & Confused have teamed up to present a video on the NYC music scene… and narrated by punk rock pioneer and author Richard Hell.

Aside from Hell's thoughts, the 7-minute video features performances by 7th-grade rockers Unlocking The Truth, ethereal duo Starred and the indie folksters Widowspeak.

Here's a soundbite from Hell, who may be talking about the music scene … as well as life here in general:

"Things always change. And New York teaches you that. It's healthy to know that and to learn not to be sentimental or nostalgic because you can't stop it."

Check out the video...

Friday, July 19, 2013

Richard Hell on his East Village apartment

Richard Hell discusses the virtues of his East 12th Street apartment in The Wall Street Journal today. (Subscription required?)

Here's an excerpt:

The apartment is in the back of the building on an upper floor, so it's quiet and full of light, with a great cross breeze. It has a funkiness that you don't find in Manhattan much anymore — worn unvarnished wood floors that groan when you walk on them, cracks in the plaster walls, sagging original moldings. The place only improves with degradation, as long as you don't try to tart it up.


I'm not nostalgic. I don't feel like the apartment matters because it evokes the '70s or something. But it's nice that we've been together for so long and we're still compatible, even handsome, in a battered way.

Hell moved in in 1975, and wrote a lot of his music here, including "Time" and "The Kid with the Replaceable Head."

On the topic of "The Kid with the Replaceable Head," here's an animated cartoon music video created by Washington D.C. kid's show "Pancake Mountain" ...

Sunday, March 31, 2013

On this date in 1974 Television played its first show at CBGB

Finished Richard Hell's memoir, "I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp," the other day... Recalled from the book that Television held the first of its "intitial venue-establishing series of consecutive Sundays at CBGB" on March 31, 1974.

(Side note: The Times reviewed the book today...)

Always dislike these audio-only videos... but this will do...


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Richard Hell at East Village Radio

Richard Hell stopped by the East Village Radio storefront studio on First Avenue at noon today to talk with Delphine Blue about his new memoir, "I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp." (The show will be archived here later.)

Meanwhile, Richard Hell Week continues. Tomorrow night, he'll do a reading at the Barnes & Noble on Union Square. (Details here.) The book was released yesterday.


[Richard Hell photo for EV Grieve by James Maher]

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Richard Hell's New York (Mystery Lot shout-out!)

Richard Hell continues to do some press in advance of the release of his memoir, "I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp," on Tuesday.

Today, the Post features the longtime East Village resident in its weekly My New York feature... You can read it here.

And he was a Mystery Lot fan!

10. Vacant lot, north side of 13th Street, between Second and Third avenues (now a construction site)

“Whenever I would have to walk across town, I’d try to wrap myself down 13th Street. The lot was all overgrown. And when you were walking down 13th, the buildings that were still standing on 14th Street gave it this kind of broken-toothy kind of edge to it. A friend of mine wanted to make a movie with me — and my first idea was to do something in that lot. I put on a bunch of wounded-person makeup and staggered out from behind one of the 14th Street buildings. I have the footage, somewhere.”

Aside from the interviews that we've already mentioned (The New York Times last Sunday, the Observer), there have also been Hell Q-and-As in New York magazine... Esquire ... Spin has some book excerpts here.


Friday, March 8, 2013

'Monkey' shines

In honor of Richard Hell week... Perhaps the only existing live footage of the Dim Stars, the super group featuring Hell, Thurston Moore, Steve Shelley and Don Fleming. (With Robert Quine in the studio?) They released one record in 1992. Here, with "Monkey."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Richard Hell Week continues

And over at the Observer, Nate Freeman hangs around with longtime East Village resident Richard Hell on the Bowery.

An excerpt from the Observer feature!

“It was an expression of how things were at that moment,” he said, describing the impact of Television, whose first album, Marquee Moon, is perhaps the most hyper-literate of early punk artifacts, a fancily dexterous but punishing record. Having helped forge the group’s downright mathematical guitar playing, Mr. Hell left Television just before the recording of Marquee Moon and went on to form the equally influential, slightly messier band the Heartbreakers. “It wasn’t like we brought something to the world that changed the world, it’s that the world brought us something and we acted on it.”

His memoir, "I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp," is out next week.

As previously noted here:

On Wednesday, March 13, Hell is the guest of East Village Radio's The Rest is Noise show at noon. On Thursday March 14, he will appear at the Barnes & Noble on Union Square. (Details here.)


If you want to know more about Marque Moon, then look no further than this book.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Time again for Richard Hell

[Image of David Johansen & Richard Hell from 1977 via]

Expect to see and hear a lot from Richard Hell in the coming weeks. His memoir, "I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp," is out next week. The book by the writer, musician, actor, "founding father of the New York punk scene" covers everything from running away to New York in the late 1960s to his drug addiction in the 1970s.

Today, The New York Times kicked things off with two pieces... one a review of sorts of the book, highlighting a few of its "juiciest bits." (Example: The Ramones "were popular but were regarded by the core movers as intrinsically minor." Of Blondie: "Hardly anyone" took them seriously.)

The Times also has a feature on one of Hell's favorite possessions — a handmade book he received some 40 years ago. (The feature includes a nice shot of his books in the East 12th Street apartment he has lived in the past 38 years.)

On Wednesday, March 13, Hell is the guest of East Village Radio's The Rest is Noise show at noon. On Thursday March 14, he will appear at the Barnes & Noble on Union Square. (Details here.)

As for the book, the early reviews are positive. Per Publisher's Weekly:

Hell's refreshingly candid portrait of the artist searching for himself offers a glimpse into his own genius as well as recreating the hellishness and the excitement of a now long-gone music scene in New York City.

And from Kirkus: "A deft, lyrical chronicle by a punk with perspective."

Here's a video via Time Out New York of Hell reading from the book's manuscript in 2011...

Part II

And will leave you with this interview from 1993 on Steve Vizard's Tonight Live in Australia.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Free tonight: Richard Hell, the 1980s in 'Smithereens'

From the EV Grieve inbox...

The Seward Park Branch Library is pleased to announce the first program of the Lower East Side Heritage Film Series: the Eighties. Tonight at 6:30 in our Community Room. In this installment of our FREE monthly series we will be showing on VHS:

Smithereens (1982, 89 min., VHS)

Susan Seidelman directs her first feature film: Wren is nineteen and determined to break into punk rock. The pieces of her world are scattered over Lower Manhattan: a grungy Lower East Side apartment, the abandoned train yards along the Hudson River, and the helter-skelter world of East Village rock clubs. It doesn't matter that Wren can't sing, write songs, or play an instrument. She's desperate to make the scene, and desperation makes people do dangerous things.

Starring Susan Berman, Bran Rjin and Richard Hell. With music by the Feelies, ESG, and Richard Hell and the Voidoids.

Seward Park Branch Library
192 East Broadway

And here's a trailer of sorts...

And here's an article that Seidelman wrote for Filmmaker magazine about making the movie.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hell in Austin

The Austin Chronicle has a quick recap of Richard Hell's book reading there in Texas Tuesday night:

Funny, ecstatic, historic, depraved, revealing, Hell hit all the bases, beginning with Television’s first rehearsals (“It was like creating the world”), CBGBs’ early days (“sticking a needle in my arm felt adult, more independent than any choice I’d ever made”), Pere Ubu and Rocket From the Tombs drug casualty Peter Laughner (“so pure and so tainted”), cocaine nights (“under cocaine my brain and cock were the same”), and his road to addiction recovery in 1983.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Blank Generation" now on DVD: "A time capsule from pre-Disneynification New York City"

From the inbox...MVD Visual released "Blank Generation" on DVD last week...

Finally on DVD is the classic punk rock movie from 1980 starring Richard Hell, illustrating the end of the first wave of New York City punk rock better than any documentary. Nada (Carole Bouquet), a beautiful French journalist on assignment in New York, records the life and work of an up and coming punk rock star, Billy (Richard Hell). Soon she enters into a volatile relationship with him and must decide whether to continue with it, or return to her lover, a fellow journalist trying to track down the elusive Andy Warhol (playing himself). Featuring members of the Voidoids and the Ramones.

This long lost film is like a time capsule from pre-Disneynification New York City: sleazy, dirty and most importantly, real. The DVD package includes a lengthy new interview with Hell about the film and more.

Richard Hell states: "This is a priceless package. The real burnt-out New York in January and February 1978, the Voidoids live at CBGB, Ed Lachman's cinematography, Elliot Goldenthal's sound track, Carole Bouquet's face, my lithe figure, Andy Warhol to break your heart, Luc Sante demonically extracting the ugly truths from me re: the horror of it all (bonus feature which is better than the movie itself)...unique."

And here's the trailer...

Updated: A reader pointed out an interview that Hell did with The Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog last week... in which Hell trashes the film. Here's an excerpt:

As with many cultural artifacts dating from a fetishized period (in this case the late ’70s New York punk scene), the film is hailed on the cover as "a classic punk rock movie" and "better than any documentary." That's not how its star sees things. "It's just completely incoherent," Richard Hell said of the movie... He talked with Speakeasy about the bewildering experience of making – and re-watching — "Blank Generation."

Why did you participate with the DVD release if you hate the film?

It was going to come out anyway. It was good to have the opportunity to explain the conditions under which it was made. It does have a certain value as this eccentric artifact of this time and place. And it’s the best existing film footage of my band at a time when it was in top condition.

You’ve been in several films since then. What did “Blank Generation” teach you about acting?


Classic! This makes me want to see it even more! I guess this is why the publicist for the DVD said "no one was available" for interviews about the re-release.

Not to be confused with Amos Poe's documentary "Blank Generation."

Friday, September 25, 2009