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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memories of a Blank Generation, 5 April 2013
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I found his early life story quite boring until he reached New York, from then on the story livens up, providing an interesting account of life in the arty underground scene of the time. The story of a chancer who happened to be at the right place at the right time, found a niche, created a scene and exploited it successfully. I particularly liked Richard's description of the band's tour of the UK supporting THE Clash in 1977. His distainful, culture shocked view of a junk sick New Yorker far from home and so far out of his comfort zone in potato obsessed Blighty and the burgeoning UK punk scene (brought back memories of my youth) was very entertaining. Also surprising that he sees Britain in 1977 as more depressed and poverty stricken than bankrupt 70's New York, the British youth rallied to share their situation to create a scene allowing them to feel part of something important, where as the impression he gives of NY's scene is one that is far more "dog eat dog" and brutal, fed by hard drugs and alienation. Richard gives a descriptive account of his descent into the nasty, selfish and wasteful world of opiate addiction, gradually dissolving what he created until he gets a second (and third) bite of the cherry to build a career for himself as a writer. He's lucky he came through all that and I'm very happy to have read his life story. If you were around in the 70's punk era, then this is a recommended read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars King of the runaways., 8 April 2014
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Richard Hell is a good writer because he's honest. Most of the important details have been previously covered, particularly in the excellent 'Please Kill Me', yet this is still a pleasure to read and that's down to Hell's style. I particularly enjoyed his tales of England including his frustrated respect for John Lydon, elsewhere, for someone so opiated, he has killer recall and can reminisce over the smallest of details.

If there is a criticism, it seems to end rather abruptly and for such a visual character I would have preferred many more pictures. Overall this is not a great book but it is a good one. Perhaps I expected too much but can you blame me when you consider the man played a key role in the bands Television, The Heartbreakers, The Voidoids, as well as having written a number of highly acclaimed poems and books. There will always be a place in my heart for Mr. Hell, how could there not be when he still finds the phrase 'Let's run away' full of excitement.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book I never wanted to end !!!, 18 July 2013
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I've read a few biographies of the Punk era but this one stood out as it was a very personal and frank recollection of the early life and for most readers, the main story 1973-1984. As it ended I kept flicking through the pages to find more but it ends rightly with his retireal from music in 1984. If helps to listen to his music as you read the book. What lifted me was in his description of the infamous tour of the UK with the Clash in 1977/1978, when he was "junk sick" an hated the Brits preoccupation with the potato, he did have a kind spot for Scotland , where he said he loved the crowds and the places. I was lucky enough to see two gigs on that tour in Dunfermline and Edinburgh.
Not too sure I agree with his claim that punk was a New York movement mainly in CBGB's and only lasted a couple of years. Most of the audience in there were either in bands, went out with band members or were writers and artists. In the UK Punk was a youth movement that spread like a plague rat to every small outpost of the country. Great read though and I'm currently re reading Go Now, his first novel and trying to get a hold of his other short novel, God Like but it is currently out of print, or available at a whacking price on this very site. Buy it read it and then read it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I've always liked Richard Hell, 12 July 2014
By 
Klausk (Perth, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp: An Autobiography (Paperback)
I've always liked Richard Hell. I remember buying the first Stiff single of Blank Generation [ including a superior version of Another World ] and the album of the same name is one of my favourites. However regarding this book I found Hell's writing style and self deprecatory manner to be quite re-assuring - giving the book a down to earth quality. Its really interesting to read about the early bond between Tom Verlaine and the author. Such a shame that the alliance did not last { thanks to control freak Verlaine mainly ] Although it has to be said that when one hears the bass of Hell on the Eno demo's it does sound clunky, out of place and just wrong.
There are some great if cautionary tales of life on the road and how the drudgery of the tour of the UK gnaws at Hell's enthusiasm for music. However the book ends on an upbeat note which bodes well for a future that was, I think, always meant to literary. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in Hell, early Television, and the punk scene in the USA and the UK at the time. Excellent!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Liars Beware, 13 April 2014
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T. Satchwell (A Tower in the Heart of London.......) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp: An Autobiography (Paperback)
Enjoyed this biography a lot...Hell has always been a bit of a man of mystery to me. I listened to his music and read his books..he played with some interesting Noo Yoik influential musicians....best mates with Tom Verlaine...until they fell out.....best mates with Johnny Thunders...until they fell out.....played with Robert Quine.....until they fell out...although with Quine...it was probbaly Hell's addictions that cause the relationship to dissolve...I just finished reading the Martin Hannet biography before this...and I left that feeling quite "dirty"...some of the detail of the drug antics left me feeling physically sick. However ...Hell survived...and theres not so much griminess here..although quite clearly he had BIG problems with drug addiction...and despite that ...seemed to charm some very attractive ladies...?? Well even Paula Yates turned up in his story....and then a few days after I'm finished....Peaches Geldof hits the news.
One for the interested fan of music from that glorious era..or possibly if you have delved into his poetry...I'm afraid I haven't.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a man., 29 Nov 2013
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Richard Hell is a long time idol of mine.

This autobiography, that wasn't intended to be an autobiography, is beautiful.

Of course, Hell can write, we know this, otherwise I doubt you'd be here. From the first line, to the last, I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp was a pleasure to read.

Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I dreamed I was a very clean tramp, 13 May 2013
Hell had spoken about writing his biograpy for a number of years and he has finally delivered.
If you are a fan of his other writings then you won't be disappointed, hells writing style is full of purpose and well thought out. It's a warts and all bio and tells of his life as well as his thoughts up until he retired from the music business.A must read book from one of the pioneers of punk
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I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp: An Autobiography
I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp: An Autobiography by Richard Hell (Paperback - 27 Mar 2014)
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