Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Hardcover – 1 May 1996

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£92.18 £39.99
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: SOS Free Stock (May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802115888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802115881
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,673,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Interesting, informative and highly entertaining (Alexa Chung)

Comes as close to capturing the coruscated brilliance and vein-puncturing style of the Blank Generation as the written word is likely to get (MOJO)

Archly contentious and enormously enjoyable (SUNDAY TIMES)

Monumental and intensely entertaining (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Legs McNeil lives at the Schwenksville Narrative Oral History Institute. He was the former Resident Punk at "Punk magazine," a senior editor at "Spin," and regularly contributes to Vice online. Gillian McCain is the author of two books of poetry. Legs and Gillian s most recent book is "Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose," and they are currently at work on a new book about the California music and counterculture scenes of the 1960s." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A candid account of the 1970's New York music scene. Punk before it was given a name. Anyone who is anyone contributes, and a few nobodies to boot. It is basically a selection of interviews pieced together enabling you to read about different accounts of the same situations, many of which involve the then up and coming, and now rather infamous, musicians of that decade; Andy Warhol, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Johnny Thunders to name a few. This is SEX, DRUGS and ROCK & ROLL as its most extreme, and most disgusting.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the Lou Reed bar account. Truly horrible! You most certainly won't be able to put this book down but you might need to take a shower once you've reached the other side.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
From the title ('The oral history of AMERICAN punk') you shouldn't be duped into thinking this is much to do with the UK scene. In fact, the story pretty much ends with the [...] Pistols arriving in America and the whole Sid and Nancy debacle.

What you do get, however, is the genesis of punk, American style. The authors take a Studs Terkel-like approach to interviewing and let the major and minor players give their take on the whole scene - from the early days of the Velvet Underground, through the MC5 and the Stooges, up through the Dolls, the CBGB scene and Patti Smith.

It's chock-full of great stories and hilarious anecdotes (Elton John trying to sign Iggy, by leaping on stage at a Stooges show dressed as an ape, for example) - and gossipy enough to make getting through it fun and easy. I've re-read my copy so many times now that the covers are coming off.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
McNeil & McCain were two-thirds of the team behind the original "Punk" magazine. Obsessed with the Velvets, MC5, Stooges, New York Dolls - They later had their own pet punk band in the Ramones. "Please Kill Me" rarely lets the music get in the way and sticks to the dirt and apocryphal that you really want from any good pop music book. Written entirely in interview quotes that retain a loose chronological thread it captures the dirty glamour of mid-70's New York perfectly. CBGBs, Max's Kansas City, Iggy, Johnny Thunders, Blondie, Richard Hell and a supporting cast of supergroupies are all here. Ultimately it settles the debate concerning where Punk Rock was invented and it's not on the King's Road. In "Punk" magazine terms the Sex Pistols were the death-throes.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a most entertaining book in a gossipy way. It also dispels some myths about famous musicians. As other readers noted, the book is divided in chapters, charting the history of punk in chronological order. I thought that reading a series of short interviews might be boring, but it turned out as probably the best way to learn about the punk scene, without any extra comment.

So I learnt that everything started with the Velvet Underground and continued with the MC5 and the Stooges. Being unfamiliar with most of the pre-punk music mentioned, I did a lot of "research" on Youtube and I must confess I did not like it much, with the notable exception of the VU. They were great innovators and it is no surprise that their music is still celebrated.

I was also unfamiliar with the New York Dolls and unimpressed by their musical production. After the Dolls, the story started to be more interesting for me, because I knew already something about The Ramones, Television, Patti Smith and Blondie. However, the book does not dwell too much on musical prowess but mostly on excesses, debauchery, nasty drug habits and the bickering that destroyed many bands when they were just starting to enjoy some success.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Please kill me covers my favourite period in music the Punk Rock of the late seventies but also the bands/musicians who influenced and often became involved again during that period (Iggy Pop, Lou Reed etc).

What is amazing about the book is that while there are editorial choices, it's all quotes from key players and what you get isn't a glamourised version of rock stars from the perspective of fans but a set of dysfunctional people who managed to create some of the most exciting music ever made.

In Please Kill Me, your heros aren't junkies who are rock stars, they're junkies who stink and steal and behave erratically like you might expect junkies you see on the streets to do but somehow manage to keep bands together (sometimes), play shows (sometimes) and record music (sometimes).

It does make you look at these people in a different way but I think that that's a good thing. So much is written about punk rock from the outside by journalists and fans who impose heroic qualities on these musicians and gloss over their failings as functional people. In the same way that I wish that people wouldn't write about Bukowski as though he were a genius who happens to be a drunk when he's a Drunk who happens to produce interesting writing, Pleas Kill me tells us more about the where this music was really coming from than ten books that impose some kind of revolutionary manifesto on a group of people expressing their most simple, raw emotions.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback