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I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp

An Autobiography
Hell, Richard (Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp
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The progenitor of American and British punk rock shares his journey, from his arrival on the streets of New York in 1967 to his rise to fame, touring with such bands as The Clash and The Sex Pistols, to his full-blown descent into drug addiction.
Authors: Hell, Richard
Title: I dreamed I was a very clean tramp
an autobiography
Publisher: New York, NY :, Ecco,, c2013
Edition: First edition
Characteristics: 293 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Richard Hell
Summary: The progenitor of American and British punk rock shares his journey, from his arrival on the streets of New York in 1967 to his rise to fame, touring with such bands as The Clash and The Sex Pistols, to his full-blown descent into drug addiction.
ISBN: 9780062190833
0062190830
Branch Call Number: 782.42166092 H476i 2013
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references
Subject Headings: Hell, Richard Rock musicians United States Biography Punk rock musicians United States Biography Punk rock music History and criticism
Topical Term: Rock musicians
Punk rock musicians
Punk rock music
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You don't have to belong to the ______ generation to know Richard Hell has something to say. His candid memoir of music and addiction is one of an unimaginable life lived.


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An interesting autobiography by one of the very earliest punk musicians from the mid 70's. Hell didn't fit in as a child and as a youth he took his rebellion to another level mostly by doing drugs and living on the fringes. he was very literate and used that literacy to write some songs, learned to play bass and start a band; although his musicianship was limited he became popular railing against the establishment and being sexual.

Jul 15, 2013
  • TracyGuza rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I love books about NYC in the seventies. This was not as good as Just Kids by Patti Smith, but right up there in terms of painting a vivid picture of the CBGB type scene.

I have read Hell's novel Go Now and enjoyed it. His life explored in this memoir is a little contrived and he obviously didn't get along with everyone - very opinionated on certain folks (like Smith and Tom Verlaine).

May 21, 2013
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"Maybe the most extreme example of this class of moment is what I'm trying to describe here. What it felt like to first be creating electrically amplified songs. It was like being born. It was everything one wants from so-called God."
Hardly a household name, Richard Hell is quite possibly the most influential punk--as much for his style, attitude and look as his music--of the 70s. He co-founded Television and the Heartbreakers, put out two albums with the Voidoids, wrote poetry and interacted with seemingly every musician in NYC in the late 70s. He quit music in the 80s to focus on writing. His memoir is candid, funny, exhilarating and poignant. A must for anyone who cares about this incredibly fertile period in music. Also recommended: Just Kids, Please Kill Me, Love Goes to Buildings on Fire.

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app07 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/22 14:48