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Showing 1-10 of 125 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 285 reviews
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.
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on July 16, 2016
This is Punk as it happened by the people who were there.

In New York, and some in Detroit and London. Bit of California. Mostly Lou Reed and Iggy Pop and the Ramones and the Dead Boys and Blondie.

And the club kids and the hangers-on, the club owners and the drug dealers.

Everyone who doesn’t die gets old.

It is sad.

It is beautiful.

It ends, like everything, too soon.
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VINE VOICEon July 5, 2015
As crazily complete an account of a musical movement as you will ever read. I hate to say it, but this is my era and I was completely engrossed by the depraved and drugged out path Punk took through its all too brief lifetime.

The book is entirely made up of interviews from everyone who could possibly have anything to say about the seedy history of Punk music. There is no descriptive content other than these interviews which are carefully and cleverly woven together to provide a dynamic timeline of this ugly step child sub-genre of rock and roll. Everyone is interviewed, from musicians to producers to journalists to drug dealers to drag queens to groupies. This complete cast of characters from both sides of the Atlantic creates a narrative so seedy that sometimes you feel you have to bathe after reading it.

And that is as it should be because the story in its decadence is completely mesmerizing.

Everybody is here, The New York Dolls, MC5, The Dictators, The Dead Boys, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Patti Smith and that only gets you half way through the book. I am also happy to report that as a huge fan I was gratified to learn that the number one degenerate from which all Punk sprang (or, more appropriately, seeped) is the king himself, Mr. Iggy Pop; a man pretty much at the center of this descent into musical madness.

For me this is the definitive story, and by far the best overview, of the insane world of Punk music I've ever read.
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on May 31, 2016
This may be one of the most complete and perfect histories ever compiled, of any era, in any lifetime. Legs has contributed something to connect those of us who wish we had been there to the artists who make us feel like we were. If you know that punk was never just about a new way to make some noise, this will help you get deeper into the heart and soul of it, with stories of wild nights in the company of frustrated poets, street hustlers, guitar slingers, and observers of life.
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on May 18, 2016
This book needs a stinky smell of glue, bubble gum and ,why not?, vomit to make it more "real".
A true account for mthose who were there.
Just a point, it's a contradiction the creative monster that David Bowie turned out to be, no disrespect to the fallen master, to check here his evolution from mere mortal to musical god.
The stooges' stories are amazing, avoid the crappy authorized biography, when was punk rock authorized?
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on September 7, 2015
I was too young to understand the punk movement as it happened. Please Kill Me puts the entire movement in historical perspective. I learned the difference between New York punk, American punk and British punk. I learned how 60s rock led to punk.

The story isn't for the squeamish. Most disturbing was the extent of the drug use and all the death associated with it. But the scene was what it was and McCain and McNeil allow the players to tell it like it was. Yes, some of the stories contradict each other, but isn't that always the case with history.

My only complaint is that I had a tough time following who was speaking. Not knowing all the players, it was hard to remember the roles of the entire cast. There is an index in the back, but, reading the kindle edition I didn't realize that until I finished.
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on February 10, 2017
A lot of rock 'n' roll histories come off feeling a bit bland, you get the basic outline of the story, who did what, but you wonder about the stories that didn't make it into the book, the kind of stuff that people don't want to say on the record.

This book is nothing but that stuff.

Tales of living hard and wild and irresponsibly. Sad and squalid at times, laugh-out-loud funny at others, The dirt is dished by people who were maling the scene. The Velvets, The Stooges, Warhol, Jim Morrison, Nico, MC5, New York Dolls, Patti Smith, Television, David Bowie, The Ramones, Blondie, Jim Carroll, Sid and Nancy, and more.... a lot of rock mythology has been built up around these people, but this book is not afraid of bursting the bubble over and over again. If punk meant anything it meant not giving a sh-- what other people think, an attitude which is displayed on every single page in "Please Kill Me". No analysis, no legend-building, just the crazy tales of a crazy time.
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on August 11, 2016
This is one of the first books to make an cohesive sense on the history of early punk and therefore is a must-read. The fact that it assembles first person accounts is great but also tiring in the long run. However it is clearly one of the first and best of its kins. I have now bought 3 copies since I have used them all up.
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on July 27, 2016
Great book. I know it sounds difficult to read and enjoy because it is made up of clips of different interviews or however you want to describe it. It's utterly not -- it's fascinating, engaging, informative and exhilarating. One of the best books I've ever read about rock music, probably the best.
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on August 4, 2013
I have an original hard bound copy of this book that would often get heisted from my coffee table by friends and relatives who were intrigued upon reading it. Now sans it's dust jacket,that book had seen it's better days. Obtaining a mint condition first edition copy on Amazon from a choice book store has allowed me to place it and my original copy with a collection of books in my library that are kept out of reach.
As a teen living in Detroit during the mid to late 1970's,I experienced this energetic form of music. This book provides first hand accounts and insight about the bands and people who created that unique sound and mode.
A paperback version of this book has replaced that original hard bound copy that once rested upon my coffee table and now it is often heisted by a younger generation who are intrigued about this era of music called Punk.
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