Category Archives: Legs McNeil

Elvis Costello Joins The Circus: A Fantasy

Story and drawings by Legs McNeil.
Originally published in the Nov 78 issue of Hit Parader

Hit Parader Issue #172. November 1978

Hit Parader Issue #172. November 1978

“Ah, summer in New York,” I sighed, swatting giant flies that were dive bombing my head as I sat sipping my first beer of the day at Manny’s pool hall. It was a scorcher of a day, temperatures rising to about 102 and it was so humid you had to cut the air with a chain saw in order to get a hunk to breathe. It was so hot, Manny, owner and proprietor of the dive pool hall across from my private detective office, a big black Jamaican, had a block of ice perched on his fat stomach. He grunted. It was an explanatory grunt. He explained that he keeps the ice on his stomach to keep the case or so of beer he’d already consumed this morning cold in his stomach while he was waiting to digest it.

I opened another beer thinking what a primitive genius Manny was, when just then a short male, Caucasian, about 30 or 35, bursts into the pool hall exposing piercing sunlight into the dimly lit bar. The intruder sort of resembled a rat and talked just as fast. “Where’s Leg’s McNeil? Is he in here, huh? Come on, I don’t got all day, what uh?” the mystery man shot out with a cockney accent. I tried to answer but he wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise.

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TOMMY RAMONE 1952-2014

by Legs McNeil
For Spin Magazine
(original version)
photo © by Tom Hearn

My ex-finance told me, when she was breaking up with me, “I don’t care about your opinions; I don’t care what you think….”

That almost killed me. If she wanted to finish me off, she knew exactly how to slice it. There is nothing more stinging then to tell a writer his or her opinions no longer matter. I’d become obsolete, at least in her eyes, and in mine too– but then everyone on the punk scene kept dying and websites from The Daily Beast to Spin kept calling my for my reactions, memories—and my opinions.

Ironic, isn’t it? To be among one of the last voices who remembers how much fun it all was—and then to try and translate all those gorgeous moments into mere words?

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Legs McNeil in Charleston, WV this Sunday June 22

Legs McNeil in West Virgina Sunday June 22, 2014

click to enlarge

SUNDAY JUNE 22, 2014 at 7:00pm


Author Reading  and book signing
with Johnny Puke
(the guy who was with G.G. Allin
the night he died, and all around
good guy)

1600 Washington St E,
Charleston, West Virginia 25311

Legs and Gillian at Barnes & Noble-NYC June 12

Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain in NYC June 12, 2014 at Barnes & Noble


Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil will be at Barnes & Noble in NYC on Thursday June 12, 2014, speaking about, and reading from Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History Of Punk, and their new book Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose , a book they edited.

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GG Allin’s Last Day on Earth! Legs McNeil’s New Vice Column!

By Johnny Puke, as told to Legs McNeil

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Art by Brian Walsby

I never paid much attention to GG Allin when he was alive because I thought he was a talentless bottom feeder who’d do anything to get attention. Consequently, I never bothered with his music, and stayed away from reading about him. I mean, compared to my pals in the Ramones, what could Allin possibly have to offer? GG seemed like a spectacular mess who was just taking up space until he killed himself. I didn’t really need any more garbage heaps in my life. But after he died, my best friend Tom Hearn told me he’d hung out with GG a few times in New Haven, Connecticut, and that he was a nice guy.

“Really?” I asked Tom, intrigued that I let my preconceived notions keep me from checking Allin out. I love it when my prejudiced ideas get shattered and I have to take another look.

“Yeah,” Tom told me, “He was like this incredible asshole on stage, just fighting and screaming and shitting on everyone, but off stage he was really nice. He was kind of like a more violent, fucked-up version of Joey Ramone. Ya know how Joey was so incredibly focused on stage? And then when we were hanging out with him, he was funny as shit? GG was kind of like that …”

Hmm, I thought, Maybe I was wrong about the guy…

When I was doing a reading tour of the south last winter, I became friendly with Johnny Puke, from Charleston, South Carolina, where he books and manages the Tin Roof, a fun, dumpy punk club. Johnny told me that he was with GG the night he died and I thought it would be an interesting story to get on tape. So I asked Johnny if I could interview him some time, Johnny said, ”Yes,” and last October, just as it was getting really cold outside, I headed back to Charleston to interview Johnny Puke. This is his report.


via GG Allin’s Last Day on Earth | VICE United States.