The Gilmore Girls Book Club recently hosted Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
for a Discussion of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk.

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Okay, get this. There is an actual Gilmore Girls Book Club at the Word Bookstore in Greenpoint. Did you know that there are 339 books referenced in all eight seasons of the Gilmore Girls? If you read all these books you could easily forgo college, even grad school… Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Orwell, Faulkner, Chaucer, Dickens, Balzac, Dante… and Please Kill Me.

Below is the scene where Please Kill Me appears on the show.
It’s from Episode 2.19 and it’s called “Teach Me Tonight”.

RORY: We’re studying.
JESS: You’re studying, I’m prying into your personal life.
RORY: Jess, why won’t you at least try to remember the Marshall Plan?
JESS: Have you ever read "Please Kill Me"?
RORY: No.
JESS: Oral history of the punk movement. You’d like it – you can borrow it if you want.
RORY: I’m here to help you study. Now, if you want me to go, I’ll go, but if I’m going to stay, then you will stop
distracting me and start paying attention, understand?
JESS: I understand.
RORY: Good. And yes, I would like to borrow it, thank you very much. Now open your book.

There were around ten women and three guys, one of who left before this picture was taken, and the other one undeserving of being in the picture at all— he followed Legs in off the street (!)

They were a great bunch of women— editors, flight attendants, management consultants, librarians, and lawyers, amongst other careers. And they all loved Please Kill Me! Passionately! (Unless they were faking enthusiasm because we were there, but I don’t think so).

One of the most interesting things was that the women didn’t seem to be avid fans of the Gilmore Girls (lets just say I don’t think they watch reruns), but the show served as a catalyst for them (as teenagers) to imagine different ways they could be, and dress; what music to listen to and what books to read. Its more complex than that but I don’t know how to articulate it…

Another interesting topic was Patti Smith, and her portrayal in Please Kill Me, compared to her self-portrayal in Just Kids.  Most of them had read JK before PKM, and they actually liked Patti better after reading Please Kill Me. They felt our book humanized her, and one person even said that even though they had read her autobiography, they didn’t know Patti was a punk until they read Please Kill Me. And they liked the punk Patti! They adored the punk Patti! More than the visiting-graves-of-dead-people Patti (though they liked that part of her too).

 

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We had a great time answering questions and telling stories— and at the end, when we asked them what band from the book they would have chosen to see the overwhelming answer was the Velvet Underground (with two Ramones, two Stooges, and one Doors).

When our comrade Jonathon Marder took the group photos, instead of everyone screaming cheese, Legs and I suggested we say, “Such degradation!” and “You don’t know me, you will never know me!”

They even made treats for us! Marquee Moon Pies, Red Velvet Underground cookies, you get my drift…

A very memorable evening. We salute them, admire them, and encourage them to forge ahead!

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