VICE

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OF BOURBON AND BLACK BEAUTIES: NAN GOLDIN AND COOKIE MUELLER IN PROVINCETOWN! (VICE)

America used to have sanctuaries across the country where fuck-ups, weirdos and other "marginalized" people could hide out and live without much contact with "straight" America. Places like downtown New York City in the East and West Village, Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, and, of course, Provincetown, that great artistic outpost at the very tip of Cape Cod. All these locations provided affordable living, while tolerating bizarre lifestyles. Hallelujah! ...
Dee Dee Ramone drawing by Brian Walsby

DEE DEE RAMONE – PORTRAIT OF A PUNK!

by Legs McNeil - Dee Dee Ramone was one of the strangest people I've ever met. Whenever we saw him, we were never sure if we were going to get the good Dee Dee or the bad Dee Dee. In the 90s, when I was asked to write a forward to his book, Lobotomy, I described him as, “the last of the dying breed of authentic rock star, an authentic bad guy who got over it, and in so doing, changed the face of rock ‘n’ roll. ...
Arturo Vega and Legs McNeil 1978

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARTURO VEGA!

By Legs McNeil - “Really Arturo, ABBA?” I shake my head in disbelief, as I enter the loft where the Swedish rock band is blaring from the record player next to the table that holds the entire Ramones silk screen operation—one long counter equipped with a wooden silk screen, cans of white acrylic paint, and stacks of black T-shirts. Arturo is busy making another pass with the squeegee over the latest model of the new Ramones logo, the one with the names of Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, and Tommy encircling an American Eagle that’s clutching a baseball bat in one talon and an apple tree branch in the other. It will become their most famous design ever....
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BLACK FLAG: ANATOMY OF A LAWSUIT! – VICE

By Keith Morris as Told to Legs McNeil via Black Flag: Anatomy of a Lawsuit | VICE United States. keithmorris SEEDS OF DISCONTENT The way that I met Greg Ginn was through his younger sister, Erica, while I was working at this record store, Rubicon, on Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach in 1975. The gentleman who owned the record store, Michael, had a mad crush on Erica. So Greg Ginn would walk down to the record store with his sister—and Erica and Michael would go off to do whatever young lovers do—hold hands and watch the seagulls fly or the surfers on Hermosa Beach. You know, they’d get lunch or beer or cigarettes, and I would be left to run the record store while Greg Ginn hung around, waiting for his sister....
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WHAT LOU REED TAUGHT ME, BY LEGS MCNEIL! (VICE)

lou A lot of people who’ve read Please Kill Me, the history of punk I co-wrote with Gillian McCain, don’t realize the book begins with a question from Lou: “Rock 'n’ roll is so great, people should start dying for it. You don’t understand. The music gave you back your beat so you could dream. A whole generation running with a Fender bass… The people just have to die for the music. People are dying for everything else, so why not the music? Die for it. Isn’t it pretty? Wouldn’t you die for something pretty?” It seemed like the perfect way to begin a book called Please Kill Me, you know? I thought that would be a worthwhile question to pose, especially since the basis of all philosophies is, “To be or not to be?” I mean, why go on? Is life too shitty to continue? The history of punk is sort of an answer to Lou's classic question. That was the glory of Lou—he showed us just how shitty everything really is. Just listen to “The Kids,” off of Berlin: “The black Air Force Sergeant / Wasn’t the first one…” He’s always pushing me to go further into the depths of hell—to have all the experiences life has to offer, the profound and the profane—before making up my mind about whether to end it all. I’ve always been fascinated with people who've been to psychic places I haven't been, like William S. Burroughs and Norman Mailer, to mention a few. Lou was someone who knew the true secrets of life, and tried to weasel some truth out of them. Lou was the most influential artist of my generation, easy. Yeah, the Beatles and the Stones were more popular, but for honest, human emotions, you can’t beat Lou. I never met a girl in a gin-soaked bar in Yonkers, and she never blew my nose or my mind, y'know what I’m saying? But many times, I didn’t know where I was going. Many times I spent waiting for her to come. Many times—if only, if only, if only… Lou mined the depth and articulation of sheer desperation. Whether I was waiting for my drug dealer, or trying to get off during sex, or some other private weirdness I was too mortified to admit, Lou'd already been there, and he'd come back with a song. Take “Kicks” off one of his first solo albums. “How do you get your kicks for living?” he asks, right before the jarring mix is blasted to 11 and you’re thrown out of complacency....