I finally read Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain.
One of the benefits of reading a book of this ilk in this day and age is to have streaming media at your disposal to provide the appropriate soundtrack, and hunt down any digital artifacts referenced by our oral historians.
Below are just a small handful of links that I went searching for after being referenced in this book:
Nico and Iggy Pop Evening of Light – Ron Asheton: Nico got some filmmaker to come to Michigan and make some sixteen-millimeter movie with Iggy. We all went out to this farm, and Nico got John Adams to be in it, too, because he looked like a sphinx: big, long, tight, curly red hair. It was the dead of winter and we were sitting looking out this picture window, laughing, while they put these mannequin arms all over the field – John with no shirt on, and Iggy with no shirt on, doing nothing. Boy, it was real artsy.
Stiv Bators in John Waters’ Polyester – The late Dead Boys singer, has a pretty great cameo in 1981 Polyester playing to type as a weasel-y punk. Perfect mix of art direction and camp.
The Filmography of Amos Poe – From the CBGBs time capsule Blank Generation, his work on Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party, to the “New New Wave,” of Unmade Beds. Poe’s filmography plays as a great companion scene to the Punk and No Wave scene of NYC.
Revisiting Rachel Amodeo’s East Village Classic ‘What About Me’ (Via Bowery Boogie)– I read a bit about Johnny Thunders and Dee Dee Ramone being in a movie together, I’m not sure it was even mentioned by name, but I believe What About Me was the movie in question. If not, it’s got some Please Kill Me All Stars. Richard Hell, Johnny Thunders, Richard Edson, Jerry Nolan, Dee Dee Ramone, and Rocket Redglares.
John Belushi drumming with the Dead Boys – John Belushi has been often heralded as a champion of Punk rock. He is largely credited with orchestrating Fear’s infamous 1981 appearance on SNL. He also tried to get Fear onto the Neighbors soundtrack, going as far as recording a vocal track with the band.
One of the more harrowing Please Kill Me is when the Dead Boys are accosted by a gang on the Lower East Side, and drummer Johnny Blitz is stabbed upward of five times in the abdomen. CBGB’s put on a benefit of Blitz’s medical bills, and Belushi filled in for Blitz on the drums.
Frank Zappa, John Cage, Patti Smith celebrate William S. Burroughs at the Nova Convention (Via Dangerous Minds) – This Venn Diagram of Burroughs and Patti Smith and Zappa represents another subtext of the NYC Punk scene. It wasn’t all loud guitars,sweat, and bile. There was definitely a literati, art, and poetic side to the scene as well. From the Poetry of Patti Smith and Jim Carroll, the Absurdist Theatre and Warhol Factory scene that spawned the NY Dolls.