Enter your mobile number or email address 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.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp: An Autobiography Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 12, 2013
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
Although I'm a decade younger than Richard Hell, I lived in New York and hung out in the East Village during the 1980's. I went to these clubs, did these drugs and had similar experiences.
His descriptions of the neighborhood and drug scene took me back to a time when the city was exciting and had that artsy, bohemian yet combat zone feel.
Now as I look down Second Avenue, all i see are Banks, Starbucks and other corporate chains;
I wonder how Richard feels as he continues to live in the same neighborhood.
More than anything, this book made me grieve for the New York I knew and loved.
He wants to be known and the thrill of this book and truly, the tenor of all his work, is that in reliving defining moments of his life, he riffs on himself in a way that is fresh and iconoclastic. It's alchemy - this is a literary book, and its values speak to and argue with the whole historical genre of autobiography. He's saying his piece, not to win a pissing match, but because he's acutely aware that the printed page is his best - and perhaps now, the only - chance for him to come fully alive.
Specific high points:
- His portraits of the people in his circle. Even his most damning critiques are so intriguing that one can't help but think that scorn and affection are but two sides of the same coin for him. Anyone not worth his interest is simply not mentioned.
- His cultural references. If all you do is go through the book and highlight any reference to an historical site (say, a bygone NYC bookstore), or a piece of music, or a poet, or a movie, or whatever -- and then spend all day on Wikipedia looking everything up - that alone is worth the price of admission.
- His explanation of his creative achievements.Read more ›
I now confess disappointment. That Hell decided to end his book at the point he jettisoned active music making and drug addiction (in the mid-1980's) is fair and the reasons he gives for that are fair enough as well. However, this cursory treatment of what he does write about as frustratingly scattershot and mostly shallow.
The book, more memoir than "autobiography", begins with some charming and interesting material covering his childhood, his father's death when Hell was only 7 years old, and his initial relationships with his sister and mother. Unfortunately, both of them completely disappear the moment he leaves home. Are either still alive? What, if any, relationship does he have with either past the age of 16? He doesn't tell. He does give an enjoyable, if still rather shallow picture of his life as a young man in NYC, writing and editing poetry, working odd jobs and developing the friendship with Tom Verlaine that would eventually lead to the Neon Boys, and through them, to Televsion.
At this time, too, however, the book becomes a loose chronology of women he slept with and drugs he took, with an ocassional asisde into a song or two he wrote.Read more ›
(Richard Hell reflecting on his childhood)
If you lived in that restricted universe that was the New York rock scene from 1969-1980, you'd know the name Richard Hell. With prep school friend TomVerlaine he formed the Neon Boys in 1969. (Both of their last names were made up. Hell was born Richard Meyers and Verlaine was Tom Miller but, but how can you become a rockstar with names like those?) In 1974, Neon Boys transmuted to Television. Then Hell left the group -there was a terminal disagreement with his old buddy Verlaine--and joined up with New York Dolls players Jerry Nolan and Johnny Thunders to form the Heartbreakers. And then, a year later, in 1976, Hell came into his own with the group that for a short while blazed across the avant garde Rock scene in New York like a flaming meteor, Richard Hell and the Voidoids. The band released two albums and played in an auteur-like but pretty rotten movie named after one of the group's most famous songs, Blank Generation. (Another of his songs was entitled "Love Comes in Spurts.") The group fell apart as Hell became increasingly addicted to hard drugs.
Hell eventually got off the drugs -partly by leaving music. He came out of retirement briefly in the 1990s in a group called Dim Stars, which featured Voidoids' guitar player Robert Quine, two refugees from Sonic Youth and one from a group called Gumball. But mostly now he writes.
He doesn't sugarcoat his past life in this intriguing book and he doesn't pretend to be a genius musician when he wasn't.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this is a book worth the time it takes to see it.
Richard hell is narcissistic and thus self-obsessed.
he talks as if he invented 70s/80s culture. Read more
It was great learning about his way into the big apple and becoming a Punk pioneer. Love hearing the stories from the people who made a movement. A rise and fall epic.Published 4 months ago by Alex Ramirez
Juicy at times,but moreoften masturbatory. He goes way into TMI territory rather than writing about what readers would actually want to know. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Margaret
Unlike other rock autobiographers, Richard Hell happens to also (now) be a professional writer. He's also one of the smartest and most articulate of the New York punkers. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Surferofromantica
I want to read this book but it's missing pages. Amazon said they were contacting the publisher.
But they haven't updated the book yet.