Please Kill Me

Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain

GILLIAN MCCAIN AND LEGS MCNEIL ON THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF PLEASE KILL ME! (DOWNTOWN MAGAZINE NYC)

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. ...
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PUNK’S NOT DEAD: LEGS MCNEIL AND GILLIAN MCCAIN AND ‘PLEASE KILL ME!’ (L.A. TIMES)

They came not to bury punk but to praise it. 20 years ago, Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain published “Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk” with Grove Press. The format was ingenious — no single person could lay claim to know the whole of the sprawling, anarchically creative, drug-riddled scene. ...
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SIX RULES FOR CREATING AN ORAL HISTORY! (LITERARY HUB)

via Literary Hub - The Original Chroniclers of Punk on How They Did It - When Jean Stein and George Plimpton began compiling their book American Journey: The Times of Robert Kennedy, using the oral history format, little did they realize that they were inventing a revolutionary new literary genre that, ten years later, would land them on the best-seller list....
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GILLIAN MCCAIN LITERALLY WROTE THE BOOK ON PUNK! (ELLE)

When Gillian McCain was in high school she took an aptitude quiz that told her she should consider a career in "writing with a sociological bent, especially about fringe groups." A decade or so later, she teamed up with writer and editor Legs McNeil for their seminal history of New York's '70s punk scene, Please Kill Me. Score one for the quiz, right? ...
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PLEASE KILL ME TURNS 20! (PORTLAND MERCURY)

IF YOU’VE READ it, you probably remember exactly where you were when you first encountered Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain’s Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. I first came across the book as a 16-year-old kid in a small town in southwestern Colorado. I’d recently discovered punk, and went about putting safety pins in my clothes and calling myself a punk, but for all I knew, punk rock began and ended with the Sex Pistols. When I found Please Kill Me on the shelf of the local bookstore, I bought it without question, expecting mohawks and mosh pits. I couldn’t have been more wrong. ...
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THE FUNNIEST, GROSSEST AND MOST LURID STORIES FROM ‘PLEASE KILL ME!’ (NME)

PKM 20th in the NME!! - - "Please Kill Me, the oral history of punk written by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, was published 20 years ago this year. It's credited as the book that popularised the oral history format, but, more than that, it's an essential read for anyone with even the slightest interest in the movement. "...
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‘PLEASE KILL ME,’ 20 YEARS LATER! (NOISEY)

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....

GILLIAN MCCAIN AND LEGS MCNEIL ON THE INDY CAFE RADIO SHOW WITH HOLLY STEPHEY AND SPENCER DRATE!!

Please Kill Me is the first oral history of the most nihilist of all pop movements. Iggy Pop, Danny Fields, Dee Dee and Joey Ramone, Malcom McLaren, Jim Carroll, and scores of other famous and infamous punk figures lend their voices to this definitive account of that outrageous, explosive era. From its origins in the twilight years of Andy Warhol’s New York reign to its last gasps as eighties corporate rock, the phenomenon known as punk is scrutinized, eulogized, and idealized by the people who were there and who made it happen. ...
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LEGS MCNEIL AND GILLIAN MCCAIN BRING THE ORIGINS OF PUNK RIGHT TO YOUR FINGERTIPS! (BUST)

Please Kill Me is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a re-release and a series of readings (well, more like parties with music, alcohol, and Michael Des Barres hosting). BUST spent some time with Legs and Gillian and talked about the book, the evolution of punk, and how the show Vinyl got it all wrong....