Richard Hell and the Voidoids are best-known for their debut album, the masterful Blank Generation (1977). Before completely disbanding, they released a second album in 1982, Destiny Street. Never fully satisfied with its sound, Richard Hell aimed to do something about that in the ensuing 40 years. With the release of Destiny Street Complete (Omnivore), he has realized his dream. James Marshall sets the scene and then talks with Richard Hell about the making of Destiny Street for PKM.
Richard Hell, founding member of Television, the Heartbreakers, and Richard Hell & the Voidoids, and creator of one of punk rock’s undeniable and unique masterpieces— Blank Generation (Sire Records, 1977) — would make the most unpredictable and admirable career move of all. He threw it all away. Gave up, cashed in his chips. But not before leaving another gloriously sybaritic slab of dissolute vinyl, the flawed and audacious Destiny Street (Red Star, 1982).
Nearly 40 years after its initial release, it has now been expanded into Destiny Street Complete (Omnivore) a double CD which presents, count ‘em, four versions—Destiny Street Original (remastered), Remixed, Repaired, and Demos. Complete indeed, but not at all redundant. In fact, it’s essential.
SHERMAN, SET THE WAYBACK FOR NEW YORK CITY, 1981
New York City, downtown in the early ‘80s. Punk rock’s moment of glory had passed. The promise had fizzled like a defective firecracker, co-opted by the record companies who now packaged it as something called New Wave. In came the hack producers to make it palatable for the mall and the radio. Punk in America was dead as a commercial entity, New Wave dance music was the new hot ticket. As much as we’d like to, who can forget that “New Wave” band that hired an entire funk ensemble to stand behind the band onstage to make them appear “funky” in their Ban-lon golf shirts? Am I the only one who spewed all over their Village Voice reading James Wolcott’s “A Conservative Impulse In The New Rock Underground”? How soon they forget. There was hardcore, but you had to wear the uniform, and who wants to wear a uniform? No, the rockers had either fled to Europe or crawled back under their rock.
Then there’s Richard Hell-—unrelenting, unmanageable, and ever the musical contrarian, he went in the other direction, creating a tormented masterpiece of aboriginal guitar rock’n’roll. I think Destiny Street is the best record to come out of New York City in the ‘80s. It stands alone as an uncompromised, scabrous slab of delirious cacophony. There’s really no other record like it.
The setting: Having freed himself from Sire Records who had no idea how to promote Blank Generation, Richard Hell & the Voidoids released one (killer) 45- “The Kid With The Replaceable Head” b/w “I’m Your Man” on Jake Riviera’s Radar Records (UK only) in 1979. This was followed by two years of silence except the occasional rent money gig.
Then there’s Richard Hell-—unrelenting, unmanageable, and ever the musical contrarian, he went in the other direction, creating a tormented masterpiece of aboriginal guitar rock’n’roll. I think Destiny Street is the best record to come out of New York City in the ‘80s
“Liars Beware”-Richard Hell & the Voidoids, clip from the film Blank Generation (1980):
Finally, Hell struck a deal with former New York Dolls’ manager Marty Thau’s Red Star label (whose previous releases were debut albums by Suicide and the Real Kids), bringing in New York Rocker magazine founder Alan Betrock to produce. The Voidoids by then were a shambles, drummer Marc Bell having joined the Ramones, and guitarist Ivan Julian formed his own band, the Outsets. They were replaced by Fred Maher on drums and Naux (Juan Maciel) on guitar. This was the band that made the original Destiny Street.
DESTINY STREET COMPLETE: WHAT IT IS. WHY YOU WANT IT
The double CD set unfolds like this: Destiny Street, the original 1982 release, Destiny Street Repaired (2009), Destiny Street Remixed (2021) and Destiny Street Demos (1979-1980). I believe some elucidation is in order.
The first thing you hear on the first CD is a remastered version of the original 1982 release. Hell’s own liner notes (essential reading, especially useful in ascertaining which guitar player played what) set the scene. Hell is one of the great unheralded rock writers (if you’ve never read his Ramones’ piece from Hit Parader mag, reprinted in the collection Massive Pissed Off Love), it’s the best thing ever written about them. He’s also his own best (and often harshest) critic. He writes “…the guitars on the tracks often sound almost like synthesizers”. He refers to the sonic wash of overdubs that serve to take up the aural space. That morass (Hell’s word) never bothered me until I read that quote. Now, of course, it bothers me. Destiny Street is a product of a time and place, and of the substances that fueled (I again refer you to the liner notes).
Destiny Street contains some of Hell’s finest tunes, and some of Robert Quine’s best guitar playing. Not to mention the mysterious Naux (Juan Maciel) who provides quite of few of the highlights including the razor wire shrieking guitar throughout “Lowest Common Dominator” and a Yardbirds worthy rave-up on “I Can Only Give You Everything”. On the latter, Hell sings as though he’s pulling his words through his intestines with a fish hook (that’s a compliment). Quine brings his best to every track, but standouts include “Staring In Her Eyes” and “Time”. Often Quine and Naux trade off mid-solo, the way Quine and Ivan Julian did on Blank Generation, battling it out in stereo, this is best exemplified on the rerecording of “Kid With The Replaceable Head”. “Time” may be Hell’s finest song, and the reading of Dylan’s “Going Going Gone” breathes fire into what, on Planet Waves, sounded like filler. The other cover, the Kinks’ “You Got To Move,” plants its feet firmly in Nuggets territory.
The original LP is followed on CD one by Destiny Street Repaired (2009) on which Hell took the basic (drums/bass/rhythm guitars) tracks and re-recorded the vocals (which are pretty close to the original, if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know) and lead guitar and solos provided by Marc Ribot, Bill Frissell and Ivan Julian. The sonic wash of overdubs are gone. Repaired is stripped down to a clear, lean, and focused (but not clean) interpretation of the same material. I admit, I originally didn’t see the point of the re-recording—that is, until I heard it. Now I understand, the songs come into focus without the quagmire of overdubs, like when you’re at the movies and the projectionist nods off and the screen goes blurry, then he wakes up and focus’ the projector. Repaired is like that, the focused version of a formerly blurry film. No other band ever sounded like the Voidoids, before or since, but Ribot and Frissell manage to sound like Voidoids. Julian already was one. Repaired is a better record than the original. But the best is found on the second CD.
Destiny Street Remixed is the best version of all (if you only want this part, get the vinyl). Remixed became possible when the original multi-track master tapes (thought lost) were discovered in a New Jersey warehouse, well, seven of the ten songs turned up. Remixed is the original recording (original vocals, Quine and Naux’s original solos) with the cluttered overdubs removed. For the three tracks where the master tapes are still missing (“Lowest Common Dominator”, “Downtown At Dawn” and “Staring In Her Eyes”) the Repaired versions are substituted, re-mixed to make them sonically compatible with the originals. The re-mix by Hell and Nic Zimmer (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) hit the nail on the head. The solos jump out of the speakers, the guitars sizzle, burn, convulse, and seethe in the way they were originally intended. In fact, you might want to play the second CD first, it’ll make the best impression.
Remixed is followed directly on the second CD by the Radar 45 rpm versions of “The Kid With The Replaceable Head” and “I’m Your Man” and a set of demos from the same period (1979-80), the Voidoids here being Hell, Quine and Ivan Julian from the original band with two different rhythm sections—Frank Mauro on drums and Jerry Antonius on bass for both sides of the 45 and Jahn Xavier Bonfiglio on bass and James Morrison on drums for the demos.
“The Kid with the Replaceable Head”-Richard Hell and the Voidoids, from Destiny Street Remastered:
In addition to early versions of the Destiny Street material, there’s a cover of Fats Domino’s “I Lived My Life”, and some originals that didn’t make the final cut— “Crack Of Dawn”, “Funhunt”, and “Smitten.” Quine always said he preferred the demos to the finished product, and while I wouldn’t go that far, they are great, and fun to hear. The band plays loose, raw, and rocking.
The final track is a recording of “Time” with just Hell and Ivan Julian recorded at Robert Quine’s memorial in 2004. “Only time can write a song that’s really real”. And maybe it’s only time that lets us hear what’s really real. It doesn’t get any realer than Destiny Street.
To attempt to unmuddy the waters, I recently spoke to Richard Hell.
Richard Hell: I lost that fight…I was drunk as fuck.
James Marshall: Yeah, I think my fight was sort of a draw…teeth are the first thing to go in a fight. Then you spend the rest of your life going to the dentist getting ‘em fixed. There’s just no good side to this getting old shit.
RH: I disagree. I’m the one person I know that bitches about getting old, but I will be the devil’s advocate here. There are a couple of good things, the main one being…I can’t remember what it is…(laughs). I spent my entire youth frantically floundering, trying to figure out what I can get good at, what my aptitudes were. I bounced around between all kinds of stuff, a lot of trial and error, thinking I can be this or thinking I can do that. You outgrow that, learn from experience what you can do and what you can’t do, what you’re really good at, where to focus, what really matters. To me that’s really fucking valuable.
JM: You didn’t know? You didn’t come to New York to be a writer?
RH: I came to New York to be a poet, and in retrospect it seems kind of clear that writing is my greatest talent, and what I am interested in, but there’ve been times I thought I might be a film director, I tried that. I thought I might be an actor, I tried that. A painter. I even tried playing rock and roll! (laughs) It’s also partly about making a living.
JM: If you could, from this vantage point, tell something to the Richard Hell who was making Destiny Street, what would you tell him?
RH: I like this question, but I was asked this question in an interview last week.
JM: Ugh, I must’ve read it online or something…
RH: My answer is still the same, it’s an interesting question but I can’t really wrap my mind around it because everything I would want to change about myself in 1981 is impossible to change. I knew that I was fucking up but it didn’t stop me from fucking up. I can’t handle the drugs that I was driven to use.
JM: Nobody can handle that drug.
RH: Some people do. Look at Exile On Main Street. It’s funny, in a way—this came up, too. The interviewer told me that Jagger was asked about Exile and he did not want to know because it was such a bad experience, making that album. When it came out, it got a lot of flack about how muddy and foggy it sounds. I liked that album right away. But in the context of Destiny Street, the most common reaction I get about all these ways I’ve tinkered with Destiny Street since 1982 is “Why? We liked it.” Whereas I’m having the same reaction to my own album that people had to Exile On Main Street because the production is weird, and it felt sloppy and muffled. So it makes me reconsider my own rejection of it. But still, I am glad to have made the alternate versions. The Remixed has definitely become definitive. The Rolling Stones could just make their next album. What was it? [I look it up.] It’s Goat’s Head Soup. I love that record. It may even be my favorite of theirs altogether. Definitely my favorite of the less appreciated ones. It’s their “coming down” album. But, see, I didn’t make any more albums, so there was no chance to move on. Instead, I did four Destiny Streets.
JM: In your liner notes, you’re kind of your own best critic in a lot of ways. You mention how the wash of droning guitar overdubs serve much like synthesizers were used in the 80’s to fill up the space. It (the wash of guitar overdubs) never bothered me until I read that comment from you. Now it bothers me.
RH: That’s definitely a danger, I’m conscious of that. That it’s dangerous to let people know when I’m unhappy with something I did because then people will notice it and it will ruin it for them. Maybe it’s best that I shut up. I know that syndrome yeah….
JM: I guess for the reader’s sake we should go into exactly what this is and why there are now four versions of Destiny Street on this two-CD set. The first thing you hear on the package is the original album the way it was released.
RH: But remastered.
JM: Yeah, it’s brighter for sure. I always think of Destiny Street as the sound of a band falling apart, pretty much. Then there’s the Repaired version which you took the basic tracks and added new vocals and lead guitar and guitar solos by Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, and Ivan Julian, in 2009.
RH: For years I’d wished I could re-mix the album, twenty years went by with the tapes lost. Marty Thau had told me they were lost so I had to accept it. Then, around 2002, I found this cassette tape that I’d made during the recording of the album that just had what you called the basic tracks— what we’d played live in the studio at the beginning of the sessions. That’s how we recorded. We’d go in and play live—drums, bass and two rhythm guitars without any solos or vocals. Which will be added next. I found this cassette tape of that stage of the recording that I’d run off at the end of a day so I could take it home and listen to it to help me decide how I wanted to do what next. When I found that tape and I knew there was no other option for improving Destiny Street, it was what I’d wished the album had as its sort of spirit. Stripped down and no extra, overbearing guitars. Quine was alive when I found the tape, and he agreed to contribute, to play solos on a redone version over the cassette music. But then he died before I got around to doing it. I found the tape around 2001-2; he died in 2004. But I couldn’t give up on the idea. So, in 2009, I went into the studio with three other guitar players. Ivan’s only on a couple of tracks, but Marc Ribot, Bill Frissell, and Ivan Julian, and I had to re-sing the vocals and I assumed that that was it, the story was over you know. I had the original 1982 release and the Repaired version that was done for my own satisfaction for the sake of the material really. Cause I thought the material was good but it had been sabotaged by the production. I did feel though I’d accomplished the mission, that Destiny Street Repaired was a better presentation of the material than Destiny Street. It was clean and crisp by comparison. But all of these fucking opinions are provisional, they can always change. I was listening to the original from 1982 today and it sounded pretty good. (laughs)
The Raconteurs recorded “Blank Generation” last year. They started it quoting Rod McKuen’s “Beat Generation” which was the jokey point of departure for the song. That was funny.
JM: I’ve always liked it. The sound of a band falling apart, of people falling apart. On Repaired, Ribot and Frissell really capture Quine’s style, did you have to do any coaching on that?
RH: No, not at all. I did notice that myself, I knew that they both knew the original and they were both admirers of Quine and I don’t know if it was deliberate or not, they must have had some consciousness of it, I never asked them about it, but it felt like they were sort of having a conversation with Quine.
JM: Yeah, there’s things like chord substitutions and the Ike Turner piss shiver and things that Quine loved to do.
RH: The what?
JM: Ike Turner piss shiver I call it. When you yank up on the wiggle stick while you’re bending the strings.
RH: The whammy bar.
JM: For the sake of the readers, we should take it back to the beginning of the record. It was five years after Blank Generation, you’re off of Sire Records.
RH: It wasn’t five years actually, it was four years, or a little less, we did the recording in ’81 and then the release got delayed.
JM: The single version of “Kid With The Replaceable Head” and I’m Your Man” was ’79. That was on Radar. Why did the Radar deal (making an album for Radar Records in ’79) never happen?
RH: Because I was just too irresponsible; it was clear that I was neither mentally nor physically available. I wasn’t responding to people.
JM: You sued Gottehrer? (Richard Gottehrer, who produced Blank Generation and who had signed Hell to an independent production deal). Gottehrer told me you sued him because he didn’t make you a rock star. Or that was the gist of the lawsuit.
RH: Ha ha, that’s funny. Because he lost. That’s just Gottehrer being an asshole saying that. I sued him because he wasn’t paying my royalties. I found out I had a fucked up deal. The kind of deal that young, idiotic, innocent, hungry musicians make all the time. It was an independent production deal. You wanna hear this? Gottehrer and Sire split half of my publishing on all the songs on Blank Generation, which means they together get a full 25% of royalties of those songs forever. Not just the recordings but the songs—they own 25% of the rights to them. For any versions ever recorded by anyone. Plus, I wasn’t paid by Sire, I was paid by Gottehrer, for artists’ royalties, the royalties from record sales as opposed to songwriting. And the artist royalties of 12%—the 12% off list price paid to artists for every disc sold? He took 5%, the band got 7%, to add up to 12%. Our 7% was to be divided among the four of us. The way it worked out was, when I paid the band members out of the cut that I got, first from the advance and then once royalties started when the advance was recouped, I paid the band members their share, and by the time it was over he got a substantially larger cut of the artists’ royalties than I did! And I’m sure he took a cut of the budget as producer too. Then I happened to find out in the late ’90s, I can’t remember how, but not because anyone took the initiative to inform me, but I discovered through some half-assed incidental way that the record had recouped. It had taken almost twenty years. I never heard anything about that from Gottehrer, and it was his responsibility to pay me royalties. Any money from Sire went to Gottehrer, not to me, this was the deal. Technically, I was signed to his production company, and the production company made the deal with Sire. Who I only found out later he had originally founded with Seymour Stein! So, the whole supposed advantage of the production company, that it would give me legitimacy and leverage when he shopped me around, was completely bogus, because he knew he had a deal for me with Seymour at Sire all along! Anyway, I found out the album had recouped and he hadn’t even contacted me, so I sent him a polite email saying “I’ve been informed that the record is now in the black, can you see that I get my share of the royalties”? He said, “I’m really busy now, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.” This happened continuously for three years. He just brushed me off. So, I finally went to court. And ironically the construction of the contract was so convoluted and hard to interpret that the way that it actually worked out, and neither one of us knew this when he was refusing to pay me—he thought that he owed me royalties and he was just trying to keep from paying them—but in studying all the numbers with the judge we found out that my payments had only come due at that moment, while we were in the court case. It took two more years than we’d all thought for the royalties to catch up. But it was so clear to the judge that Gottehrer had been trying to keep from paying me in the classic music business way of just brushing you off because they know you can’t afford to sue them, while they can afford to make a suit very expensive. Anyway, it was obvious to the judge that his behavior was fucking criminal. The judge ruled that, from then on, I’d be paid my royalties directly from Warner Brothers and Sire, and he also reduced Gottehrer’s percentage. Now I do get more money than Gottehrer does for Blank Generation sales. There’s the story—I can document that—rather than Gottehrer’s flippant bullshit attempt to dismiss your question.
JM: Did you sue to get off of Sire or did they drop you?
RH: We went after them. I couldn’t stand the way I was treated on that tour. The tour with the Clash, we toured England for three weeks. It was just a nightmare. It didn’t help that I was junk sick the whole time. The conditions were miserable, and they didn’t get the album out, into the stores, until the tour was over. I was just…I could not relate to Seymour Stein. After Blank Generation, once that record had come out, it was for me a steady dose of disillusionment and decline. My own personal decline but also my disillusion, like, “Do I wanna be part of this”? I didn’t want to tour, we never toured. I didn’t want to play live at all. I would only play live if I had to pay bills.
JM: I guess that’s rock ‘n’ roll. You spend your whole life touring. Just to make a living.
RH: Well, I’m not cut out for that.
JM: So how did you end up on Red Star? Did Marty Thau sign you?
RH: Yeah, Marty Thau signed me. He adopted that label name, there was no staff. There was no other Red Star, or, as I called him in “Memo to Marty,” blue dwarf.
JM: And how did Alan Betrock end up producing?
RH: I can’t remember. He’d done the Shake record at the same time [an EP of Neon Boys demos on one side and Voidoids demos on the other, released on Betrock’s label, Shake Records.] He didn’t produce that. Hmmmm. He was inexpensive?
After Blank Generation, once that record had come out, it was for me a steady dose of disillusionment and decline. My own personal decline but also my disillusion, like, “Do I wanna be part of this”?
JM: He did a good job.
RH: Ya think? I loved Alan, he really knew his shit. The girl group stuff, the stuff he specialized in, he was a mine of information. I really liked his taste, and he started the New York Rocker [magazine devoted to the CBGB/Max’s scene], which was important. So you actually like that original record [Destiny Street]?
JM: Yeah, a lot. I’ve always like it. It’s got some of your best songs, some of Quine’s best playing. I agree that Remixed is now the version of the album that should be default, that represents it best. But you’ve been working on the whole four-version double CD for many months now—what’s your take on it at this point, and what do you think of its reception so far?
RH: I’m happy with the reception. It gets rapturous reviews. I wish more of them were the bigger papers and websites, like the treatment the Blank 40th Anniversary double CD got, but realistically this is 40-year-old music that doesn’t have big name recognition. This collection gives it its best shot anyway. People who are aware of the Voidoids will now think of us as a two-album band instead of just one. I like the way different reviewers prefer different versions. Some like the demos, some even promote the underdog, the Repaired version from 2009. But most agree that the Remixed is the ultimate reason for the project and that it does what it set out to do—improve the sound of the original release without losing any of its strengths. Me, because I’m so familiar with all the components, I can get really grandiose about what it is. To me it has all these implications and there is this interplay between the four parts. It’s about “Time” and Destiny. And it says things about the periods in which it was recorded across 40 years, and it says things about the process of recording songs. I put a hell of a lot into the booklet too—not only do I write an essay about each iteration, but the credits are exhaustive. You learn who played which solo in which channel. The package is kind of a unique artifact: four strikingly different versions of the same interesting collection of ten songs that were originally released in 1982, most of them using the same original drums, bass, and rhythm guitars. And quite interesting musicians… And you get all this on two CDs for $20.
But most agree that the Remixed is the ultimate reason for the project and that it does what it set out to do—improve the sound of the original release without losing any of its strengths.
JM: Hell, you’re a genius. Where did Naux [Juan Maciel] come from?
RH: Quine found him. Just like he found Fred. He was hanging around with the Material crowd— Bill Laswell and those people, that’s where he got Naux and Fred Maher. I’m really bad with dates and times, I don’t want to say something I’m not sure of, I’m not sure of the exact timing but I think he knew them through the Laswell crowd.
JM: Did Naux play live with you guys? I can’t remember ever seeing him with you guys live.
RH: We didn’t play live, the band that recorded the album. We did maybe three gigs. Everything from that point, 1979 on, for me, was…it was just a half-assed hustle. I’d put together as needed some kind of cash flow. There was no larger picture. I just stayed in my apartment, saw my girlfriends, did my drugs and when I got too far in debt I’d ask around, get three or four other people, depending on if I was playing bass or not, rehearse for two or three weeks and my booking agent would put together a six-city loop somewhere so that I could catch up on the bills. There was no more ambitious aim or path…I was just hustling.
JM: You never had a manager?
RH: No, technically Gottehrer was supposed to be my manager, when we started out.
JM: That’s a real conflict of interests. A manager who is also the record company, the publisher and the producer. I always say if a manager has access to your money, they will steal it. Always. A manager should just invoice the artist and be paid from an accountant or business manager or something.
RH: (Laughs.) No shit. Also, I should point out, “publisher” has no meaning—it’s just rights to some of the income from a composition. I think it’s left over from when sheet music mattered, from before there were even recordings, when sheet music sales were a big part of income, because people had pianos and guitars in their houses. But later, companies that kept songwriters on payroll and then pitched the compositions to popular recording artists. They performed a service for the songwriters, so they got a percentage. When Stein and Gottehrer took part of my “publishing” they weren’t supplying any service in return, they were just taking my money as composer.
JM:Destiny Street, all versions, are really a guitar lovers bonanza. When you were making Repaired did you think it might be sacrilegious to wipe Quine’s guitar parts? His solo on “Downtown At Dawn” is just beautiful…
RH: I removed nothing. I worked with what I had. The only chance there was to make a new version of the album was to begin with the live playing of the basic tracks on the cassette, which included him playing one of the two rhythm guitars, but no soloing. Because the multitrack tapes that had all the playing from the original sessions were lost. And then he was dead. JM: I think I should rephrase the question… RH: Yeah, you have to rethink it because people repeat this shit. Online, people were attacking me in 2009, saying “How could he take out Bob Quine”? I did not take out Quine, he was supposed to play on it, but he died. What do I do?
JM: It’s pretty close to Quine though…
RH: Not really. I mean, I chose those guys because I knew they were simpatico with Quine’s ability and skills. Quine’s in a class of his own and I don’t think of those guys [Ribot, Frissell] as being a substitute for Quine. Or competing with Quine.
JM: Speaking of the material. Are you surprised that “Time” is your most covered song?
Online, people were attacking me in 2009, saying “How could he take out Bob Quine”? I did not take out Quine, he was supposed to play on it, but he died. What do I do?
RH: Well, I’m not sure if it is, there’s a lot of covers out there of “Blank Generation,” but most of them are bands playing in basements, or one of those School of Rock type things. The Raconteurs recorded “Blank Generation” last year. They started it quoting Rod McKuen’s “Beat Generation” which was the jokey point of departure for the song. That was funny. They even released a video of the recording they did at Electric Lady. They talk to Ivan on it. They did two versions, one live and one studio. It was brave. “Blank”s a hard song to cover—it’s too idiosyncratic. They did about as well as it’s possible to do.
“Blank Generation”-The Raconteurs:
JM: I want to get back to the end of the Voidoids, to wrap it up. I seem to remember the final show in New York being at the Irving Plaza. I think it was Ivan and not Naux along with X-Sessive [Jahn Xavier Bonfiglio] on bass. I can’t remember who played drums. You dropped Quine’s amp off the stage. He was really pissed.
RH: What? I don’t remember that at all. I remember the Destiny Street band played the Peppermint Lounge. I do remember playing Irving Plaza, but not doing that…. You’re talking about the band as it was three years before Destiny Street. The band you’re talking about existed in 1978-79, the band that made the demos on Destiny Street Complete: Bob, Ivan, X-Sessive on bass, drummer Frank Mauro, and me.
JM: Someone else must remember it. Maybe another witness to the amp trashing will come forward.
RH: It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Everything from that era is a little hazy to me.
JM: Last question. The original four Voidoids regrouped in ’99 to record your song “Oh” for Wayne Kramer’s Beyond Cyberpunk. I love that track, was that a good experience?
RH: Yeah, it was a good experience. I like that one, too. Ivan’s solo over the outro is just gorgeous, a peak for him, I always thought. Quine played well, too, but Ivan really shone. We all had a good time doing that song. If Quine had lived, we may well have eventually done a whole new album.
Richard Hell and the Voidoids, “Blank Generation,” from the film Blank Generation (1980):