by Amy Haben - I don't know about you, but I cringe when someone invites me to see a tribute band. So when my friend invited me to see Bootleg Blondie, (a Blondie tribute band) while in London, I wasn't sure how to feel.
Alice Cooper is one of the sweetest guys on earth. That's why it's hard to believe him when he talks about how 'dangerous' Alice is. Obviously, he's talking about his alter ego, but the sweet, and intelligent Vincent Furnier would never hurt a fly. That's probably why he acts out his dark fantasies on stage.
As authors of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History Of Punk, Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil influenced a lot of people on several levels. Now regarded as the best-selling book on punk rock of all time, Please Kill Me first and foremost described what the heyday of the New York City punk scene was like as according to people that were around it. It cleared up myths about key players in the scene, and also helped readers pick up on some of the era’s underappreciated characters.
Please Kill Me made its way into my life 13 years ago, when I was 14. I used to hang out at a record store in South Florida, where I'm from, and at one point the store clerks decided to take me under their wing. One of the clerks, Chris, ripped out a tiny slip of paper from behind the counter. He wrote the words “Please Kill Me” on it and handed it to me. "Go to the bookstore and get that book," he said. Music nerd in training that I was, I did as I was bidden without question. And so I entered the world of punk from its very beginning, told by the people who lived it.
Patti Smith recalls her days living at the legendary Chelsea Hotel. Highlights include living under the same roof as Janis Joplin and running into William S. Burroughs at the bar across the street. Patti may not have had much money in her younger years, but she lived a very culturally rich lifestyle.
Mystical man, Marc Bolan knew he wanted to be a star even as a child. John's Children was Bolan's first band as a mod in the mid- sixties. Followed by Tyranosaurus Rex, which formed in 1967, releasing four acoustic albums.
We recently chatted with Gillian McCain, author of two poetry books, Tilt and Religion, co-author (with Legs McNeil) of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, and co-editor of Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose (also with Legs McNeil). She is also a collector and exhibitor of found photography. She spoke about her time at NYU and her eclectic artistic pursuits.