Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
A fantastic, informative read ... as long as you're not looking for confirmation of what you think you know
on April 28, 2016
I found Please Kill Me insightful, informative and fascinating. It told me a lot of things I didn't know, even though I followed the punk era closely in the magazines of the time; caught the tail end of it when I moved to NYC in the '80s; and actually became acquainted with a few of the people mentioned in the book. From what I know, at least, it's pretty accurate.
Please Kill Me is not meant to be uplifting. It's a book about a bunch of mostly messed-up, at best semi-stable people of limited talent, who nonetheless came together to create something great. It's the story of those people, not the specific chords they played or the amplifiers they used. It's unusual in that it goes into great depth explaining the genesis of punk; this book makes it clear that the foundation was laid long before the Ramones ever played a note.
It's also a fantastic read. I started reading it on a cross-country flight and stayed up all night finishing it. It's especially compelling when you contrast it with the sanitized, glorified shopping mall that now calls itself New York City.
I wrote this review after seeing too many denigrate the book because it presented a different picture of the people and the music than they expected. This guy was right in the middle of it all, and earned his knowledge through personal experience. There are only a few other people who can match his depth of understanding on this topic, or his passion for it.