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4,7 von 5 Sternen
4,7 von 5 Sternen

am 21. November 1998
I was a bit skeptical about reading this book, that it would be some no-brainer attempt at defining punk rock. I mean, how do you define punk rock? You can't...but "Please Kill Me" does a great job of showing the birth of punk and its growth. There's not as much vomit and nose-picking as you might think (leave that to the Sex Pistols), this book clearly displays the ultimate brilliance of the young musicians, artists, ruffians, etc. of punk. Their self expression is amazing and fearless. So many people today think that punk rock is just a bunch of noise that lazy, anti-social kids produce to annoy elders. Not so. This book gives great examples of how punk-founders such as Lou Reed, Iggy PoP, Stiv Bators, Johnny Thunders, David Bowie (and so many others) crafted music that not only made a statement but sounded (and still sounds)unbelievable. The authors bring us first-hand to Warhol's Factory during the late '60's to Detroit with the MC5 and the Stooges, and back to New York clubs like Max's and the legendary CBGB's (omfug). The book's format is set up like that of a play, with each "character" describing what he or she saw first hand. The stories are unbelievable, wonderful, and gruesome. This book goes out on a limb to bring the real stories to light. Ever wonder if Sid really killed Nancy? You'll hear what really happened from the people who where actually there the night it happened. What was Lou Reed really like? Who was gay and who was straight in the world of punk rock? What were the attitudes like? Were all of the rockers pigs? McNeil and McCain do a great job of answering these questions, among several others. You get so close that you can almost smell the dope in Iggy's pocket. I'd definitely recommend reading this book, you won't be disappointed. The book leaves a lasting impression, and definitely gave me new insight on the whole scene. And for all of the "punks" of today that think this book may have been a chance for Legs to sell out....maybe you should read the book, then you'd know who was selling out. ;-)
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am 17. Juli 2000
Whether punk to you is Iggy Pop rolling on broken glass or the ignoble death of Sid Vicious, this is the book that takes you into the wild, whacked and hilarious world of people "having fun killing themselves" as the book jack describes. The inspiring part of the book is in the fact that most of these bands were talentless and awful when they started and someone told them to just do whatever and they just did whatever without a market survey or executive telling them what would sell. The hilarious parts are teh stories of people sometimes basically clueless and singleminded in their need to offend (I recall Robert Asheton's (sic) wearing of an SS uniform at Iggy Pop's wedding when the bride, the groom and most of the people there were Jewish) There are oral sex scenes on stage, messed up rock stars trashing things and Iggy Pop collapsing over and over again. Other artists who aren't "punk" per se also lend their voices and stories including the Warhol factory and Patti Smith as well as Jim Carrol (by the way, the writers really really hate Lou Reed. They tend to love to put Lou Reed is a creep stories into the mix)
Ultimately many of these stories have been told many times in many different ways (see Miles Davis' autobiography for the dangerous lives of jazz musicians) but in punk there was a revelry to the danger that let the audience in on the evil lives and flaunted the wild lifestyle more than anything. Punk is both a music genre and a self-destructive/seductive lifestyle and this book captures that perfectly.
At the end when all the stars are dying because they can't sustain these lives forever you are left with a feeling of nostalgia but nothing in the way of cautionary tales, because people who choose their deaths in such a cavalier manner can only be applauded for going out in such a spectacular manner.
One last thing - the title alone will get you dirty looks in your workplace, church, synagogue or mosque. It's still worth the trouble
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am 24. Juni 2000
This is by far one of the best books I've read about punk or music in general. Told by the people who lived it, Please Kill Me is a compilation of years and years of interviews with almost everyone who was even remotely involved in the punk scene from the sixties through the eighties. This book starts off with the MC-5 and the Stooges, goes through the Andy Warhol and David Bowie period, through the New York Dolls, the beginning of the New York punk scene, the explosion of the English punk scene and keeps on going in. Read the TRUE story behind Dee Dee Ramone's infamous "53rd and 3rd", who Sid Vicious' friends think REALLY killed Nancy (AND who they think killed Sid!) and the story behind the break-up of the New York Dolls. Since its all told by the original scene members, this book is filled with great anecdotes that other punk "history" books would never be able to get. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is at all interested in early punk - especially early New York area punk.
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am 28. Mai 1999
The book tells the story itself. The book is not just a punk diary, it explains the psychology of a time and a place when it was cool to wither and waste away -- that's where it gets its name. The author does nothing but put quotations in an order to tell a story. It goes from the Velvet Underground to Iggy Pop to the Dead Boys to Blondie. Very well done and fun to read, not to mention great pics. This is the best punk history book I've ever seen, and very detailed. If you want to learn about punk -- this is where to get your edumahkashun.:)
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am 16. Januar 1999
If you want a good history of early punk, don't get this book. For one, there are countless omissions from the "scene," including Blondie, Talking Heads, the Modern Lovers, Pere Ubu, and countless others. Plus, there's little mention of the actual music.
However, it's a great look at some of the most colorful people of the scene; especially Iggy Pop, Johnny Thunders, Richard Hell, and Dee Dee Ramone. It was very absorbing, and I loved it.
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am 1. Mai 2000
Wow! I came of age after the punk revolution that the people in this book started -- when punk look and attitude were watered down and mixed with disco beats, synths, and British fey to become New Wave. So opening this book is like stepping in a time machine to see punk origins, with the bonus of 'hanging out' with some extremely rowdy folks. From the mouths of Lou Reed to The Ramones, the narratives are so engaging you'd swear you were in front of CBGB's with a leather jacket slouched against a brick wall and puffing a smoke -- or much worse. Because unlike so many hyped books and movies these days, Just Kill Me is TRULY 'shocking,' 'edgy,' and 'it WILL blow you away.' The book follows the rekindling of the authentic rock and roll bonfire, fed by young bodies. They live fast and hard and many die disgusting. But the short lives and the way they are portrayed here is nothing short of brilliant. Why I else would I have such a strong desire to want to get to know these people even better -- even if it means waking up with a cut face and a needle in my arm. (That's poetic license -- Just Say No). I simply could not stop being utterly fascinated by these players. Wow! Only in America.... And then Britain.... And then back with 'meaning'... and profit.... Just Kill Me lets our relatively unhyped punk founders have their say -- and boy do they have a lot to say. Did I mention Wow?
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am 21. April 1998
Please Kill Me was certainly an informative book. But is this what I really wanted to be informed about? Sure, there are miles of interviews with various pre-punk and punk bands, but what are the interviews about? Instead of interviews about the message of the music or the making of the music, we are lead on an overly detailed account of how your favorite punk star copped dope. Yes, we all realize that it was prevalent in punk and it killed Sid Vicious, but I still don't care. Worse yet are the unending accounts of young punk rock love. I may have been interested in what Patti Smith was thinking about when she wrote Horses, but I am sure I didn't care to know every man or woman she dated. Really, please Legs, tell me more about the transsexuals on welfare and their use of cheap cosmetics. Or, perhaps you could enlighten us with some more information on how cash poor the Stooges were. The idea of Please Kill Me had so much potential. It could have been a giant collection of primary source material on punk rock, but instead it became a tabloid-like telling of all the dull spots in the history of punk rock. And, where are the Modern Lovers?
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am 17. Februar 2000
This book is a who's who of the true spirit of American rock'n'roll--never mind that the average person on the street couldn't tell you who Johnny Thunders, Stiv Bators, Dee Dee Ramone or Richard Hell are. What a marvelous way of writing history--we see how the outrageous stories collide and intersect; we get to "hear" the youthful energy and enthusiasm first-hand; we gain fresh insights into folks we thought we'd learned all about years ago. People like Joey Ramone and Iggy Pop are, of course, heroes to me--to see them brought to such life here as real people is an absolute joy. I got to meet Legs and Gillian on their tour for the book several years ago and they are the epitome of COOL, as are the people in this book. Pix are good too, I especially dig the one of Johnny Thunders, Richard Hell and Sid Vicious out on bail. Poor kid. I don't care if the majority of music listeners don't know who these folks are--rock'n'roll wouldn've died out years ago if it hadn't been for their reckless, drug-fueled ferocity and their maniacal genius raw power. Buy this and "England's Dreaming" and that's punk baby! LAMF Forever!
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am 20. Juni 2000
This is the best and most entertaining book about punk rock that I have read. Much better than Lipstick Traces or England's Dreaming.
I saw Legs and Gillian give a reading at St. Mark's about a year ago. They are preparing an oral history of the porn industry. It sounds like it is going to be just as funny and informative.
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am 24. Oktober 1999
Although this book is the definitive history on American Punk, the very reason that it is based on American Punk puts me off it. Come on, even though none of use punk lovers were even born before the first Punk was made, we all know that Brit punk is the best. haha....j/k :) Well actually, the reason i didn'tgive this book a 5 star rating was because of the rockstar ways of the early participants of the NY Punk scene. But that, I admit, can not be blamed on the writer, his only fault is writing on the all together boring early American Punk days. British Punk was one of the best forms, but im yet waiting forsomone towrite a definitive history on the recent worldwidepuk scene. oh well, im sleep and am going to bed, im guesing all this will come back as a nightmare for me tonight :)......ta ta all
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