LANDMARK Good News (at least to us): As of November 19 Warner/Rhino has been replacing the online audio files of Hell's 2005 "best of" compilation, Spurts, with incomparably better-sounding newly remastered versions. The difference is that the 2005 masters were degraded, due to a miscommunication in the last stages of preparing the album, by being extremely compressed/limited, so that they were loud but all dynamics were gone and they sounded like a blare. This fall Richard went into the mastering studios at Sterling sound with the brilliant Greg Calbi (who mastered the original Blank Generation album in 1977) and, helped by a third set of great ears on the person of Mr. Don Fleming, Greg restored the whole CD to optimum condition. The new kick-ass tracks are up at most merchandisers, including iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. So far the song titles are not individually described as new masters--though at most sites the album title states "(Remastered)"--but you can be sure it's the full 21 newly remastered cuts when you see that the song "Downtown at Dawn" runs 5:59 or so; on the original Spurts it's 4:07. Eventually the jewel-boxed CD at Amazon will be replaced too, but we don't know how long that will take. This is already a long entry here, but we'll explain further what happened within a few weeks... MORE good news: Richard's wife, Sheelagh Bevan, a curator at the world-class Morgan Museum and Library, has up her first full-scale show, an examination of the Booker Prize. Her investigations are recounted at The Millions... Richard was video interviewed by curator Katherine Brinson for the Guggenheim museum about Richard's friend and idol, Christopher Wool, whose magnificent restrospective is now on view at the museum. There's an audio snippet of the interview up, and you can download the app for the videos there. Here are some pictures of Hell reading at the recent performance event Wool curated for the museum... The issue of New Savage featuring a Hell story and pix is online (p. 27), as well as at newsstands... The knockout Lydia Loveless has a great new streamable EP out... A video interview with Richard by Dazed and Confused magazine on the subject of NYC and music was edited to provide voiceover for a short film. It features an amazing schoolkid band called Unlocking the Truth.
This is nice: Happy Birthday, Richard Hell. (Play it--it's free for streaming.) Sixty-four today, October 2.
UPCOMING R. HELL APPEARANCES
(They're all readings except for FL--where he'll introduce two favorite movies--and Richard will take questions and sign books at each, except for the Guggenheim, NY. Details in the venue links below...): Fri, 13 Sept: Hudson, NY
^--Basilica Wed, 9 Oct: Columbus, OH
^--Wexner Center Thu, 17 Oct: Memphis, TN
^--Brooks Museum Sat, 16 Nov: Jacksonville, FL
^--Sun-Ray Cinema Wed, 20 Nov: NYC, NY
^--Guggenheim Museum Sat, 7 Dec: Tokyo, Japan
^--Shinjuku Harmonic Hall
UNIQUE NEW INTERVIEW+: The sensitivities of interviewer Amy Rose Spiegel make this one at BuzzFeed weirdly poignant. It's also the first where Richard makes blanket comments on the Metropolitan Museum's "punk" costume exhibit, though he's also quoted criticizing the museum in a New York Times article for representing CBGB in the show with facsimiles of its toilets. Richard's preface to the exhibit's catalogue is good. The catalogue, with all its text and added photos, is better than the show itself. In other zone twilight news, Richard Lloyd of Television responds to the show with some warped reminiscencing about the 1974-75 beginnings of the band, although he's soberingly generous, in ways, to Hell, considering how Hell is not so kind to him in Tramp. Speaking of Hell's autobiography, there's an excellent bit of background recently posted by Britain's Uncut magazine, comprising interviews with band members and the original producers discussing the process of recording Richard's song "Blank Generation." Another blog report on Richard's reading at Powell's in Portland has surfaced.
CHICAGO READINGS, AND MORE MEDIA: Richard will appear twice in Chicago in the coming few days--a full-scale reading at Harper College on Wednesday, May 1, a half hour from the city, in Palatine, IL, and then in Chicago proper on Thursday, May 2 at the Book Cellar. A new favorite Tramp review: this, by Bryan Waterman, author of the book on Marquee Moon in the 33 1/3 series. The New York Times has just published two pieces about the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute show about punk and couture (opening May 9), in which Hell is included: here and here. There are further confidences, repectively regarding Proust, blowjobs, and "breasts like twin Eeyores," in new interviews with Richard at the local weekly in Vancouver, Canada, at Nerve, and at MTV's Hive. There's also online an hourlong audio interview conducted by WFMU's Benjamin Walker. To close out, for the tireless among you, there's also another blog review of Richard's recent San Francisco reading, as well as an unbelievably sweet audio account by a young woman named Jaime Fountain of her encounters with Richard.
ADDED READING/SIGNING IN BROOKLYN: Richard will appear at BookCourt in Brooklyn on Wednesday, May 15th. See details. More media: "I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp fearlessly recounts the social, musical and narcotic history of downtown culture and punk rock: poverty, ennui, safety pins, foreign films, misanthropes and a dead turtle Hell kept in a glass jar..." relates Playboy in its "Sex and Music" issue. There's a long and stubbornly interesting Hell interview, despite its weirdly awful editing and editorial inaccuracies and mis-transcriptions, at the blog of Bomb magazine.
ADDED READING/SIGNING AND MORE MEDIA: On Wednesday, April 3, at 6:30 Richard will read from TRAMP for 20 minutes or so, followed by a book-signing, and a reception, with beverages, at Fales Library, NYU, all free. Details at HarperCollins page. The media coverage of the book in reviews and interviews has become too much for us to keep up with, but here are some highlights... Dwight Garner is a bit square in the New York Times, but he quotes Richard so much, he made us want to buy the book immediately. Cool reviews were written by Legs McNeil at The Daily Beast, and by Dean Wareham at an interesting new site called TheTalkhouse. There's a more literarily oriented review at Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and a review/interview at Canada's biggest paper, The Globe and Mail. Last but pretty interesting, see video of Richard's entire 50 minute interview from his NYC Barnes & Noble event.
TRAMP IS NOW IN STORES (Would somebody please counter those fool bush-league headbanged customer-reviewers at Amazon???)... The eminent Robert Christgau logs in with the most thoughtful of the early reviews, and, so far, the best-done print Hell-book interview is at Artinfo. Important reviews were published by USA Today and the Boston Globe. "Hell has the remarkable ability to impart the cultural and personal significance of those years without sounding sanctimonious or bloated with nostalgia. Whether fondly recalling his derelict peers and the songs they wrote together, or describing the adult feeling heroin gave him, Hell makes the grit gleam," writes Newsday. See an interview with pictures at Interview magazine, and hear a second WNYC public radio Hell conversation--this with John Schaefer at "Soundcheck."
HELL BOOK T-SHIRT: Richard is reading/signing at Bookmarc in NYC (400 Bleecker St.), Tuesday 19 March at 6:00 PM. The shop was created by clothing designer Marc Jacobs, and the good people at that company have designed and printed a t-shirt (in a limited edition of 300) honoring Hell and the book. It will be available at the reading.
BROWSE TRAMP ONLINE: HarperCollins has now put up a searchable browsing version of (substantial portions of) Richard's new autobiography.
"PUNK" AT THE MET: In May, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art--one of the great museums of the world--will present a massive show at its Costume Institute treating punk's influence on highest fashion. Richard contributed a preface to its catalog (a second preface was provided by John Lydon). You can read a discussion of the show's intentions at this blog (scroll down at the page to find the Met's press release).
READ CHAPTER ONE: an exact PDF reproduction, including photographs, from Hell's Tramp autobio book. (Hang in there, it's 17 mb and takes a minute to load.)
RICHARD'S UPCOMING BOOK SIGNINGS: readings of I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp, include (all free): --Mar 14: NYC Barnes & Noble, Union Sq. (hosted interview) --Mar 15: Huntington (LI) NY Book Revue --Mar 19: NYC Bookmarc --Mar 21: Seattle WA Rendezvous Bar (hosted interv.) --Mar 23: Portland OR Powell's Books --Mar 25: San Francisco CA City Lights --Mar 27: Los Angeles CA Skylight Books --Mar 30: Minneapolis, MN The Soap Factory --Apr 3: NYC Fales Library, NYU (Washington Sq.) --May 2: Chicago, IL The Book Cellar --May 15: Brooklyn, NY BookCourt...
For more details, see HarperCollins page.
1978 HELL FEATURE FILM STREAMED FREE: you can now watch online the entire execrable but tempting Blank Generation, starring Carole Bouquet and Richard. Fast-forward to the Hell & the Voidoids performance footage. Read Richard's take on the film
Richard was romantically involved for about two years, from when he was 19 and she was 34, with Patty Oldenburg,
at the time she was getting divorced from pop artist Claes Oldenburg. She recently offered for sale her personal archive (scroll down on that page to a wild 1970 photo
of Richard and Patty). She discusses it at Gallerist. Richard is represented in the collection by hundreds of letters as well as poems and drawings, and the archive was bought by the same library, the NYU Fales, where Richard's papers are kept. Fales has up their guide to Patty's papers.
In Austin, TX, Richard hosts and introduces his choice of a double feature--Kiss Me Deadly and Touch of Evil--on Sunday, May 27, and then does same for a new restored print of King Kong the following evening. This is at the Alamo Roadhouse, astounding theater where you are unobtrusively served food and cocktails while the classic celluloid motion picture is projected before you on a giant screen. All three of these shows are now sold out.
On Thursday, April 26, Richard will introduce a screening of Robert Bresson's bad-ass masterpiece The Devil, Probably for The Brooklyn Academy of Music's Bresson retrospective. See details.
Last year Supreme, the skateboard/apparel company, posted at their website a video they'd had made of Terry Richardson photographing Lady Gaga for a Supreme ad campaign, and used for the soundtrack to it Hell & the Voidoids' "Blank Generation." They used the song without permission and Warner's threatened suit and Supreme settled out of court. We think the video is actually kind of brilliant and it has now surfaced again, so check it out.
We'd like to belatedly announce the publication by Chronicle Books of ART WORK: Seeing Inside the Creative Process (2011), a collection, edited by Ivan Vartanian, of selections from the notebooks of various artists. It contains an interesting selection of pages by Richard, as well as Will Self, Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Joseph Beuys, Richard Serra, Merce Cunningham, and others. We have up a draft of the Hell contribution to the anthology.
Amazing variety and quantity, though some are repeated, of pictures of Richard at Tumblr. Click on pictures to enlarge them...
If you read the below review from Austin, you'll know there was an inadvertent early leak a couple of weeks ago, but now it's official -- Hell's autobiography (to age 34), entitled I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp, which he's spent much of the last five years writing, has been bought by Ecco/HarperCollins. The most accurate report of the book deal is in the New York Observer. We're really thrilled. Here are the details in the press release at the HarperCollins site. [11 Oct 2011]
Hell wrote the "liner notes" essay for Oscilloscope's release of the DVD of Kelly Reichardt's mesmerizing movie, Meek's Cutoff. It's a great movie. Read about it and then buy a DVD with Richard's essay. The Blu-Ray is spectacular.
The bassist Frank Bello, from the band Anthrax, plays Richard in a movie-in-progress about Jeff Buckley that's built around a 1991 concert tribute to Tim Buckley during which Jeff was more or less first publicly introduced as a performer in New York. Wack but true.
Richard donated an artwork to be auctioned this Friday, June 17 to benefit a writer's retreat program created by Michele Tea's Radar Productions in San Francisco. More info and an interview by Michelle of Richard are at the Radar site...
A chapter of Richard's auto-bio-in-progress has been published by the important alternative book review magazine Rain Taxi as a pamphlet. Chapter 28 is a mind-boggling meditation on the author's sex life in the punk 1970's, and is only available from the Rain Taxi chapbook list, as it is published as a benefit for the magazine.
At 4:00 PM on Fri, Nov. 5th, 2010, Richard will take part in a discussion about (artists') books with Josh Smith and Christopher Wool (both of whom Richard has worked with on the production of books that are available on site). The event is the keynote presentation of this year's New York Art Book Fair Conference at the Museum of Modern Art's PS1 in Queens.
Now up online: Richard reviews, in current Bookforum, Dear Sandy, Hello, a collection of Ted Berrigan's 1962 letters to his bride.