Before the Sex Pistols, before the Clash and before Anarchy in the UK, there was Richard Hell. A seminal figure in the NYC punk scene, Hell played in the Neon Boys, Television, The Heartbreakers and eventually formed his own band Richard Hell and the Voidoids before he quit music and drugs in 1984. He was the impetus behind punk rock, from its ideals to its fashion statements (see his involvement with the punk exhibit at the Met). In his book I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp, Hell recounts his life, from his time growing up in Lexington Kentucky to his days as a NYC punk rocker–it’s an absolute must read for anybody interested in punk rock or the NYC downtown scene of the ’70s and early ’80s in general. Hear Hell talk candidly tonight at BookCourt about his relationship to Malcolm McLaren, how he felt about the Sex Pistols copping his look, and punk rock overall.
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