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Richard Hell and the Voidoids' Blank Generationby Pete Astor
Synopses & Reviews
To wander the streets of a bankrupt, often lawless, New York City in the early 1970s wearing a T-shirt with PLEASE KILL ME written on it was an act of determined nihilism, and one often recounted in the first reports of Richard Hell filtering into the pre-punk UK. Pete Astor, an archly nihilistic teenager himself at the time, was most impressed. The fact that it emerged (after many years) that Hell himself had not worn the T-shirt but had convinced junior band member Richard Lloyd to do so, actually fitted very well with Astors older, wiser self looking back at Blank Generation. Richard Hell was an artist who could not only embody but also frame the punk urge; having seeded and developed the essential look and character of punk since his arrival in New York in the late 1960s, he had just what was needed to make one of the defining records of the era.
This study combines objective, academic perspectives along with culturally centred subjectivities to understand the meanings and resonances of Richard Hell and the Voidoids Blank Generation.
About the Author
Pete Astor is Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster, UK. He also writes songs, sings and plays the guitar.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: ‘I was saying let me out of here': Love at First Sight
Chapter 2: ‘Life's only good when it's well-written': Hell and second wave of the New York Poets
Chapter 3: ‘With uncertainty's permission': Post mark, ‘The Bronx'
Chapter 4: ‘Your mind's a wreck but that's fine': paratexts, myths and reception
Chapter 5: ‘Your motives and your methods': The Romantic Image and the Postmodern Artist
Conclusion: ‘Oh, the sun is breaking through the clouds': Managing the myth
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