Welcome back to Richard Hell Week, in celebration of our forthcoming 33 1/3 title on Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ Blank Generation. Here’s Volume 3, aka L to P.
L is for Lautréamont, short for the Comte de Lautréamont, pseudonym for the mysterious and doomed Isadore Ducasse, whose Les Chants de Maldoror was a favorite of Hell’s. Here he is quoted on a poster, designed by Hell.
M is for Marc Bell, Voidoids’ drummer, who, after leaving the band was renamed Ramone for a fifteen-year stint in the band whose name he adopted; Bell was also the drummer in Dust – here’s their tune, “Chasin’ Ladies” – women of the world, watch out!
And here he talks about the band (Warning: contains disturbing technical language about drumming):
N is for Novels. After quitting music in the mid-eighties Hell turned his talents to the far more fitting career of writing. Godlike is Hell’s second full-length novel, a captivating story situated in the poetry scene in New York in the early 1970s, the two main characters being a parallel echo of that of Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine. Hell details the links here.
O is for Terry Ork. When Hell and Verlaine first started Television, Ork was their manager, supporting their early development and filming them rehearsing in his loft:
It’s very easy to see why people were so excited by this first incarnation of the group – one can see such style and energy in start contrast the music world of the time which was all suffocating country rock boogie and flaccid, mainstream rock. And check out the ripped t-shirts and a pre-icy Tom Verlaine dropping to his rock and roll knees.
P is for Please Kill Me, a t-shirt made famous by Hell but worn by a tractable younger band member, Richard Lloyd. It also provides the title to Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain’s indispensable oral history of New York punk.
For more of the Blank Generation abecedary, come back tomorrow and the rest of this week. Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ Blank Generation will be available this Thursday on Amazon, at Bloomsbury.com, and wherever 33 1/3s are sold.