- MARCH 2021: Sites and papers have been reviewing the new double CD Destiny Street Complete release from Omnivore, and publishing interviews with Hell about it. [Flash!--the new champion of articles on, and/or interviews with Richard regarding the compilation is by Jim "The Hound" Marshall, now up at the Please Kill Me site.] Different reviewers preferred either Destiny Street Remixed or Destiny Street Demos, when they had to pick one from among the four LP-length parts of the release. Both these parts of the double CD are also available as vinyl LPs--Remixed, now, and Demos for Record Store Day on June 12, 2021. A typical rating reads, "As with the finest albums, it remains as fresh and gripping as when it was first unleashed. Even, perhaps especially, in its remixed, remastered form, the recordings feel raw, vital and alive," at American Songwriter (4/5). In general agreement are Audiophile Review, AllMusic (9/10), Aquarium Drunkard, I94 Bar (5/5), and Tulip Frenzy.
Britain's music magazine of record, Uncut (paywalled site), wrote, "While Hell pays respect via freaked-out covers of the Kinks, Them, and even Dylan, his own mesmerizing songwriting remains unique and devastating, especially the crunchy 'Kid With the Replaceable Head' and 'Lowest Common Dominator.'" (9/10) Among the interviews with Richard, we recommend an hour long video conversation at Tough Cookies conducted by Adam Weiner, and a couple of the better Web print interviews--a refined one at Hazlitt, and a solid rap at Statiknoize.
- NOVEMBER 2020: It's been a forever ten months since we last posted here. We're fine--Richard's thrived in isolation, if often feeding on his own anxiety... Defeat the Republicans! Following is some news related to Richard that has transpired since January... By far the most momentous item personally for Hell is the production, by Omnivore Recordings, of a project Richard's been compelled for forty years to accomplish, namely Destiny Street Complete...
See a video depicting the two LP and four-album double CD which package will be released in two stages, primarily in January 2021 and then a final LP on Record Store Day in April 2021...
Last May, the Raconteurs released an EP of seven songs, recorded live at Electric Lady Studios in NYC, that included a rendition of Hell's "Blank Generation" and added a gnarly studio version of that song too. They also made an hour video of the brief concert accompanied by a conversation of the band with Voidoid Ivan Julian. It's all described, with links to the material, at Jack White's Third Man Records...
Coincidentally, a few days later, young punk band the Bobby Lees, released a version of the song (at Spotify)...
Gucci posted a podcast of an interview with Richard about the clothes their designer Alessandro Michele conceived featuring images from the book Psychopts that was a collaboration between Hell and artist Christopher Wool. Gucci made croptop sweatshirts, regular sweatshirts, hoodies, long sleeved and short sleeved t-shirts, puffy jackets, and, wackiest of all, sneakers. They are marvelous garments once you've donated many, many thousands of dollars to feed the hungry...
See a lovely picture of Richard with Lizzy Mercier Descloux, circa 1985...
We urge you to indulge in the extreme pleasure of viewing The Shining Forwards and Backwards, which title is an exact description of the genius film--watch it on the largest screen available (the film was brought to our attention by the indispensible Screen Slate)...
Hanuman Books (1986-1993), the exquisitely crude tiny volumes modeled on Indian prayer books / sayings of the gurus, published by Francesco Clemente and Raymond Foye in a series of 48 volumes (plus two out of series), hosted a reading at St. Mark's Church in 1989 by most of the living writers it had published up to that point. Richard was one of the readers, as were Gregory Corso, Elaine Equi, Bob Flanagan, Amy Gerstler, Allen Ginsberg, Herbert Huncke, Vincent Katz, Taylor Mead, Cookie Mueller, Eileen Myles, Rene Ricard, David Trinidad, and John Wieners, and IT'S NOW ON YOUTUBE
...Anthology Film Archive, the priceless repository of advanced filmmaking, and continuous screening series, in New York is celebrating its 50th anniversary and has collected brief video testimonials from Richard and such others as Bela Tarr (!), Michelle Handeman, Jim Jarmusch, George Kuchar, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and will add more in the coming months...
... Finally, ponder at your own risk this Christian analysis of Richard as a nihilist...
- JANUARY 2020: Gucci, the luxury fashion house, licensed from Richard and his collaborator and friend, Christopher Wool, two images from their book Psychopts (2008) to be reproduced on clothes for the Fall/Winter Gucci men's wear collection (going on sale sometime July-Aug). The "catwalk" show took place in Milan on January 14 and included two of the several clothing items that will display the images. Richard and his killer novelist girlfriend, Katherine Faw, were among the "front row" guests of the house's inspired designer, Alessandro Michele. The shirts with the graphics use the word combinations think/thank and impotent/impatient. See and hear the entire eight minute show... The Please Kill Me site (created as ongoing information in connection with the definitive punk documentation in the famous Please Kill Me oral history) has posted an article about Terry Ork that is comprised mostly of an interview with Richard about Terry ...The first in a Marcus Parks podcast series about punk called "No Dogs in Space" is a knowledgeable, if goofy, look at the Stooges. The series' theme song--"No Dogs in Space"--is a take-off on Hell's "Love Comes in Spurts." It's because some people mis-hear the wording of the chorus (the most common example we know is "Love Dogs in Space.") Anyway, you can hear the parody at the top of the podcast.
- THE END OF 2019: Earlier in the year Richard was possessed by a feeling and some ideas and proceeded to write daily across about two weeks a sort of look back from age 69 (now 70), a view of "reality," of around 7000 words (ca. 20 pages of a typical book), called "Falling Asleep." It has now, in mid December, been published by the esteemed Brooklyn Rail in a blockbuster issue. ...In the fall and then early winter he also published two more pieces in the Gagosian Quarterly: Christopher Wool, pt. 1 and Christopher Wool, pt. 2. ...Original Voidoid Ivan Julian's cancer, seemingly wiped out four years ago, has returned. Because of the criminal lack of affordable health care in the U.S., he has to find $75,000 towards immediate surgery, prolonged recovery, and for his living expenses while he is unable to work. Please give what you can at the Go Fund Me page set up to raise money for him. Thank you!!! ...Astoundingly, after nearly 40 years Richard has discovered and recovered the original multi-track tapes of his second album Destiny Street (thanks to the sharp eyes and generosity of Scheebo Pampillonia and the former owners of the long gone Intergalactic recording studios in NYC). In September he went into the studio with ace producer Nick Zinner (guitarist for Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and superb engineer (and Tony Visconti protégé) Erin Tonkon and radically improved the album with a total remix (see a couple of photos from the sessions at Nick's instagram and Erin's). In 2020 there will be a release of this new mix along with the previous two versions (the 1982 original and 2009's Destiny Street Repaired) in a deluxe package.
- WINTER-SPRING 2019:At the beginning of this year Richard published a long article about Andy Warhol in Gagosian Quarterly; now also easily accessible at the gallery's site is Hell's piece on Richard Prince from the previous issue; Richard was invited to Tulsa in April by the administrators of the new Bob Dylan Archive to participate in a book compilation project of theirs for which artists are invited to examine material in the archive in order to write about them for the book...while there Hell also introduced a favorite film at the wonderful old restored non-profit repertory theater, the Circle; look at the tattoo a Russian guy had copied onto his belly from a page in Christopher Wool's and Hell's book Psychopts ; somebody spotted Richard on Avenue A last week; the Austin Chronicle published a friendly if somewhat bewildered review of the recent "remastered" reprint of Richard's youthful book uh (by Ernie Stomach)
- SITE 20TH ANNIVERSARY: this site first went live on Dec 27, 1998! For fun, if you're curious, you can see the early development of the site at the invaluable "Wayback Machine," where entire sites are regularly captured and preserved across the years. Richardhell.com originated mainly as a catalogue for presenting the CUZ Editions books Richard had started bringing out in 1998; the earliest homepage version at Wayback is from 25 Jan 1999, when the site was less than a month old... The site developed pretty quickly at the beginning. Watch the homepage evolve and site pages and features proliferate 1999-2002:
27 Apr 1999;
16 Aug 2000;
28 Nov 2002
That last one is pretty cute. Makes us a little nostalgic for crude old homemade HTML, back when the coding/design options weren't so myriad, and the web wasn't so sinister. Also it's a little shocking to realize that the current site homepage design has not changed much since 2004
... We WILL do a complete site overhaul sooner than later...
- SPRING 2018-FALL 2018: at artnet news there's a surprisingly meditative interview by Richard with Nan Goldin... THIS HALLOWEEN NIGHT Richard signs t-shirts for Protest Factory's efforts to bring down the Republicans in midterms; it's the opening night of a weeklong run of evenings of anti-Trumpism art and workshops to raise money and to bring out vote--SEE Hell DETAILS; and now available is the ENTIRE Oct 31-Nov 6 SCHEDULE, including appearances from R. Hell, Nan Goldin, Ryan McGinley, Kembra Pfahler, Michael Cunningham, Eileen Myles, Marilyn Minter, Barbara Kruger, Laurie Simmons, Luc Sante, and Lynn Tillman, among others... There's an odd, likeable, if slightly inaccurate account (written by a French person not fluent in English) describing connections between Lautreamont's Maldoror and the marriage ceremony of Richard Hell and Sheelagh Bevan, who, sadly, were divorced in 2017 after twenty years together, sixteen in marriage... Warners/Sire/Rhino has released a limited edition orange-swirl-in-black vinyl version of Hell's 1977 Blank Generation LP that's otherwise a facsimile version of the original but using the brilliant 2017 remastered tracks made for the Deluxe 40th Anniversary 2-Disk version from last year (which 5000 copies sold out on Record Day weekend)... Richard wrote the cover story for Gagosian Quarterly on Richard Prince's new paintings (show at Gagosian opens Nov. 1)... Before the end of the year a new, greatly improved, version of Ernie Stomach's 1971 book uh will be published by Cuneiform Press. Ernie Stomach is a heteronym for Richard, who for a period in his early twenties planned to have three or four concurrent artistic identities... Three of Richard's collaborative drawings with Christopher Wool were recently shown in an exhibition of collaborations at Venus Over Manhattan gallery in NYC... Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon has been closing her shows with a quite fine version (including appropriate solos) of Richard's 1978 song "Time" (Here's Hell's original from his greatest hits compilation--which sounds best in the uncompressed 2013 remastered digital downloads, not the compressed 2005/2011 CD--Spurts)... New Jersey band The Skullers recorded a valiant version of Hell's "I'm Your Man" for charity
- WINTER 2016-Winter 2018: During the last two weeks of January (2018) an exhibition of Richard's many small press publications will be held at New York's White Columns Gallery. The opening night reception, on Tuesday 16 Jan, is also a party and book-signing for Hell's new pamphlet Untitled. There's full info and a short interview with Richard about the exhibition at the Please Kill Me website... Richard wrote in the years's-end Village Voice about a favorite art experience from 2017, namely the exhibit of Francis Picabia at the Museum of Modern Art in New York... [Happy Holidays and New Year for 2017-2018!!! To bid adieu to '17, we present the uncut version of a 2009 piece in Uncut magazine by reporter Damien Love comprising an oral history of the making of 1977's Blank Generation as recounted by our Richard along with Ivan Julian, Richard Gottehrer and Craig Leon.] All right, this is really ridiculous, how we've lost initiative with the site. We're kind of disillusioned about the whole interwebs, but that's probably just an excuse. Anyway, we're going to list here, with links, the online evidence of Hell's relatively recent activities... On 24 Nov 2017 Warner / Sire / Rhino released a 40th Anniversary 2-Disk Deluxe Edition of Hell's Blank Generation. There were approximately 10,000 pressed--4,500 of the double LPs and 5,250 of the double CD. Nearly all of them sold the first day of release, but there are probably a few left at independent record stores and on eBay. It's a fantastic package, featuring a great remaster of the original record, a brilliant booklet with a new long essay on the album by Hell and previously unpublished Roberta Bayley band pix, and a second disk with never-before-heard studio outtakes as well as the band live at CBGB on the weekend of their debut, 19 Nov 1976, etc. ... A few recent media stories on Richard: a lengthy profile of him by Amanda Petrusich in the annual music issue of the magazine of the south, the Oxford American; a brief interview about the 40th Anniversary Blank edition at the Village Voice; a piece in the New York Times in their "Show Us Your Wall" series about Hell's library; Richard is interviewed about his collaborations at the Creative Independent interview site; and he wrote an essay on book collecting for the Village Voice this last spring; also there's a new book about poetry and punk with things about Hell, written by Daniel Kane and published by Columbia University Press... Some more odds and forgotten ends: Richard wrote a review of Martin Scorcese's and Mick Jagger's and HBO's Vinyl series (soon cancelled); in a benefit for Richard's beloved Screen Slate film site, Hell introduced a screening of The Wizard of Oz; and he wrote about '50s NYC painting for the New York Review of Books (online).
- SUMMER 2015-FALL 2016: In November '16 Richard appears at two museum events; on the 10th at the Brooklyn Museum with Marilyn Minter, whose spectacular retrospective is up there now, and on the 16th at the New Museum with genius novelist Dennis Cooper. ... A new group show at the Anton Kern gallery--basically a survey of all the dealer's artists across the gallery's 20 year history in Chelsea, NYC--features a sick portrait of Richard by the acclaimed artist Nicole Eisenman. We hope she doesn't think he's evil. He likes the painting.
... In 2015 New York's indispensible White Columns gallery asked Richard to supply 18 minutes of audio for a one-sided LP for which the gallery and Hell invited artists to create unique 12" x 12" works as album cover prospects for it. The audio is a tribute to Robert Quine with previously unreleased material by both Hell & Quine. The album's release (two weeks ago, mid-Sept., 2016) includes a 68-page booklet of all the art at near full-size. The LP/book package is an edition of 400 -- the 26 signed/lettered are already sold out, but there are copies of the trade release still available -- here are complementary further info listings: 1) audio tracks & ordering info; and, 2) all artists along w/ photo spread of package. ... At Postmodern Culture there's a scholarly article about the multiple artistic identities created by Richard when he was aged 19-25.
... SORRY to be so far behind with updating news. Actually we need to create an efficient new site and re-order Hell t-shirts! We have simply been busy and gotten lackadaisical about Web presence, but we're coming back; we'll catch up gradually in the coming weeks. There's plenty of news, including Richard's second major book since 2013 (when Tramp was published): Massive Pissed Love: Nonfiction 2001-2014 (one astonishing review, from Barry Schwabsky, poet and the art critic for The Nation, was published at Hyperallergic)... Just to get started we'll list some doings from the past month and more that are scheduled for the coming couple of months... The Criterion Collection line of impeccably curated and bonus-featured DVDs of movies has published Richard's annotated list of his top ten films from the Collection; and an interesting new site called Cover Our Tracks, created to discuss LP and CD cover art, posted an interview with Richard detailing the creation of the designs for his Blank Generation and Destiny Street album covers... On Saturday, July 30th Richard will read new work in a collaboration with Haxan Cloak, who will supply accompanying music, in an elaborate evening featuring seven artists in various media, at the new Broad Museum in Los Angeles (see an interesting new L.A. Record interview with Richard in this connection; there's another one at Billboard);
and, a month later, on September 2nd, will read in Berlin at the weird, German Pop-Kultur festival... ... We will complete this listing of a year's worth of activity soon... Thank you!
... Working backwards--more: Recently posted at the Society for U.S. Intellectual History is a scholar's thoughtful, surprised, and respectful article on Hell's youthful notebooks... The Brooklyn Rail published Raymond Foye's priceless anecdotal recollection of the incomparable Rene Ricard. A few copies of Rene's 1999 book, Love Poems, with illustrations by Robert Hawkins, are still available from Richard's Cuz Editions here...
... MORE from 2016: In May Richard helped organize and performed in, singing three or four songs each night (which public appearance singing he promises never to do again), two sold out benefit concerts for Ivan Julian. Debby Harry hosted the first night, Lydia Lunch the second. Kurt Vile made an unadvertised appearance and sang with Richard. Get this: Ivan has now been declared by his doctors cancer free!!!... [Further 2016/2015 info coming soon... ]
- WINTER/SPRING 2015: Richard was contacted by Pussy Riot's U.S. representative last December (2014). She said they wanted to meet him. After ascertaining that he wasn't being pranked, his eyes went moist and he started neatening his apartment. A gang of the Russians tumbled by for gumbo and whiskey (Nadya posted a picture of her and Masha with Richard from the visit), and then everybody ended up in the studio that night (till 7:00 AM). Pussy Riot had been participating in Eric Garner protests and wanted to make a song about the Garner horror. Also in the studio were musicians Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (check the control room snapshot he posted), Andrew Wyatt (of Miike Snow), and Shahzad Ismaily (of Mark Ribot's Ceramic Dog). The spectacular Sasha Klokova (of Jack Wood) sang, and the basic composition was by Matt Kulakov (of Scofferlane), both of which Russians had been enlisted by Pussy Riot for this visit to the U.S. Masha asked Richard to speak on the recording and he did. The track was created in the studio on two nights that December week, but wasn't released until late February, 2015, once Nadya and Masha completed a video for it in Moscow. Read the original announcement of the song's release and see the two separate videos created for it. The videos were viewed over a half million times in the first two weeks of their release ... Former leader of the now defunct The Virgins, solo artist Donald Cumming was a knockout in his appearance at the most recent installment of Symphony Space's "Night Out With Richard Hell" series. See one, first,
two, second, and three, altogether, audience pictures posted from that hot, sweet night. Now, at the Symphony Space website, you can hear all the audio--Richard's interview as well as the performance set of each artist--from the first three bookings: breathtaking "cowpunk" singer/songwriter Lydia Loveless, brilliant poet Ariana Reines, and stunning filmmaker Kelly Reichardt. There's one more event scheduled in the series. On Friday, April 3, Richard will interview the artist Jayson Musson, who originally broke through to an adoring public in the guise of "Hennessy Youngman," an hilarious as well as surgically incisive commentor on the art world (check a Hennessy Youngman YouTube clip). Musson's history and career will be discussed as well as displayed in multimedia (see shots of his most recent show at Salon 94). Here's where to reserve Richard Hell/Jayson Musson tickets. The Village Voice published an interview with Richard about the series ... In the February Teen Vogue, Miley Cyrus reiterated her love for Richard's autobiography I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp ... There's a pretty extensive interview with Richard in the new San Francisco Arts Quarterly
- FALL 2014: Richard's NEW PERFORMANCE SERIES, "Night Out with Richard Hell"--this coming season Richard will curate and host a series of evenings of performances for Symphony Space in NYC, each of which will be accompanied by Hell's live onstage interview of the artist he's presenting that night. You can view the program listings and buy tickets here. First off will be Lydia Loveless, 17 Oct, 2014 (Lydia is the only singer/songwriter the power of whose music and voice consistently makes Richard cry); Ariana Reines, 14 Nov, 2014 (Ariana is an ever fresh through-and-through true poet who rivets from the stage as well--Richard wrote about her at Bookforum); Kelly Reichardt, 4 Dec, 2014 (Kelly will be presenting her filmmaking apotheosis to date, the astonishing 2011 Meek's Cutoff, about which Richard wrote for the DVD release package, "Over and over this movie does things differently than other movies. Kelly Reichardt is brave and stubborn. Like the characters in her film, she's determined to find her way to [... ] new territories and she knows she can only rely on her own instincts and judgement to figure out, moment by moment, how to get there. Regardless of the fate of her westward wagoning pioneers, in this movie Reichardt arrives."); Donald Cumming, 12 Feb, 2015 (along with Karen O. and Julian Casablancas, D. is one of the most innately talented NYC rock and roll/pop musician/singer/songwriters to come up in the aughts--he founded and led the Virgins 2007-2013, and will have a new solo album out just about the time of the "Night Out" event). The interviews will last 20-30 minutes and the performances 40-50 (except the film, which is feature length and will be projected through 35mm celluloid). The room is the Thalia Theater, which seats only 168, so these are intimate evenings. Expect bonuses. Once again, for tickets go here and click on the events of your choice. ... Speaking of Richard interviewing artists, we never posted Hell's funny 2013 talk with the middle school metal band Unlocking the Truth that just signed a major contract with Sony ... Continuing catch-up--for you poetry loving bibliophiles, Serpentine Gallery in London commemorated its 2009 Poetry Marathon with one of the coolest-designed book sets we've ever seen, a two volume, illustrated, physically interlocking presentation that includes every text presented by the dozens of poets and artists, including Richard as well as Tracey Emin, Brian Eno, Eileen Myles, Jeremy Reed, Barry Schwabsky, Kenneth Goldsmith, Sean Bonney, etc.; at Serpentine and at Amazon ... There's a well-done radio podcast interview by Sean Cannon of Richard about Hell's autobiography, I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp ... Chris Stein and Debby Harry have always been salt and pepper of the CBGB earth. Chris has now published a book of his photos, called Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk, mostly of Debby but with plenty of pictures of other players from the '70s and later, including a number of Hell (in fact, in the NY Times Chris called Hell, "after Debbie, probably my favorite person to photograph"), such as this and this...
- MAY-JUNE 2014 Hell spottings: EXTRA--from just before he quit dope, a 1983 cable TV interview with Hell ... Time Out NY ranks Richard #2 among New York's all time "Top Ten Rock Stars" (kind of a stretch even to us)... Kate Moss spotted again in Hell t-shirt (scroll down at the blog) (Moss previously seen in tee in 2007 ... Sorry we've let tee stocks languish--will restock soon!)... We love genius artist and suicide Mike Kelley's acute definition of "the 'blank generation'" (from his book of essays Foul Perfection) ... The Gallerist site reported on the memorial for notorious, brilliant poet and art-writer Rene Ricard, at which event Richard spoke. Chris Anderson shot the portraits for New York magazine's music issue and there's a pretty cool shot of Hell as the battered hypnotist or implorer ... Off The Shelf, a book site written by people in the literary and publishing world, rates Hell's I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp among the top six very best rock and roll autobiographies ...
- Early April 2014 ACTION:Watch and hear Sheelagh Bevan, Richard's wife, describe for PBS (channel 13 in New York) the current show on woodcuts and the modern book she curated for the Morgan Library and Museum... Hell has a little piece on the Velvet Underground in the current New York Magazine... The 33 1/3 book on Hell's Blank Generation LP drops this week and its author, Pete Astor, has created an odd--sometimes inaccurate--abecedary of "the blank generation" at the publisher's website... There's a new enlarged edition of Christopher Makos's early "punk" glamour nightlife photo book (featuring some of the best pictures of Hell taken by anyone 1974-1976), White Trash, now retitled White Trash Uncut out May 1 (discount copies already available at Amazon)...
- MARCH 2014 R. HELL APPEARANCES: Except for the evening at the Art Institute in Chicago, these events all celebrate the publication February 18 of the paperback edition of Richard's autobiography I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp. Three of them are public interviews. The bookstore appearances all also include book signings for customers...
Tue, 4 Mar: B'klyn, NY
^--powerHouse Arena interv. by Robt. Christgau, w/ signing
Thu, 13 Mar: Chicago, IL
^--Art Institute on bill with James Nares film Street (w/ live Thurston Moore guitar), and Joe McPhee/Milford Graves live jazz
Fri, 14 Mar: Chicago, IL
^--Seminary Co-op/57th St. Books reading/signing
Thu, 20 Mar: New York, NY
^--Strand Book Store interv. by Bryan Waterman, w/ signing
Sat, 22 Mar: New York, NY
^--Cooper Union Great Hall interv. by Brandon Stosuy in a program that also includes a panel of Vivien Goldman, Kathleen Hanna, and Tamar-kali, moderated by Avital Ronell, on occasion of "Punk Turns 40" [attendees of sponsoring NYU conference will be admitted at 6:30, general public at 7:10]
- HELL NEWS Dec 2013-Feb 2014: In December 2013, Richard read in Tokyo--here's a blogger's report--and Warner in Japan brought out a limited edition CD of Blank Generation in it's original album packaging... In early Feb, Hell was in England to read at the University of Sussex. In London he was the presenter to Thurston Moore of a "living legend" award sponsored by The Fly magazine at a gala Forum evening. Thurston was brilliant, hilarious, and drunk in his acceptance speech... Check these wonderful paintings in guache by Amanda Konishi (click on them for larger versions), each illustrating a passage in Hell's 1996 novel Go Now... A spectacular exhibit, curated by Richard's wife Sheelagh Bevan, has just opened at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. It displays woodcuts and is called Medium as Muse: Woodcuts and the Modern Book.
- 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.
- RECENT ODDS AND ENDS:
At Animal site, a nice report, with photos, on the Basilica Soundscape weekend (for which Richard read) in Hudson, NY...
In Memphis, there's now a 48 foot wide billboard of Hell advertising his upcoming reading at the Brooks Museum there... The Gibson guitar site places Hell & the Voidoids' Blank Generation alongside Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, and Hank Williams records among a list of ten great guitar albums... See Sibling's pretty outrageous, entertaining runway fashion show that features designs that refer to Richard's "PLEASE KILL ME" t-shirt as well as the Hell banner tattoo Paula Yates sported and which appears on the cover of Hell's CD Time... Some recent "backstage" photos of Hell with the photographer Elizabeth Waugh and interviewer Mickey Woods for an upcoming Beautiful Savage magazine interview... Two interesting links relevant to Hell's autobiography I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp: Videos of Lizzy Mercier (Descloux) singing and dancing, and a wack seven minutes of Peter Laughner musically riffing on Hell's "Blank Generation".
- 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
Wed, 9 Oct: Columbus, OH
Thu, 17 Oct: Memphis, TN
Sat, 16 Nov: Jacksonville, FL
Wed, 20 Nov: NYC, NY
Sat, 7 Dec: Tokyo, Japan
^--Shinjuku Harmonic Hall
- LATE JULY 2013 THIS AND THAT: Richard is interviewed about his apartment for the real estate section of The Wall Street Journal... There's an elaborate appreciation of Hell's Tramp autobiography at Rock Town Hall... Christian Joy, house costumer for Karen O, has designed a Hell T-shirt for the Yeah Yeah Yeah's singer (See Karen wearing it too... !) BlackBook magazine, for which Richard once wrote film reviews, has reprinted a 2004 article by Hell on U.S.A. v. world film... Chris Stein of Blondie has a photo exhibit up in Los Angeles, and the L.A. Times displays a 1978 (or so) pic of Hell from the show...
- NEW INTERVIEWS, APPEARANCES, T-SHIRTS, ETC.: There is a new Hell interview with soulful visage in the current Paper magazine, two more in the British magazines Loud and Quiet and (this unavailable free of charge) Uncut, and an interesting, well-researched, award-winning Notre Dame University American Studies senior thesis by Ross Finney online called "A Blank Generation: Richard Hell and American Punk Rock." Cool (if unlicensed) offsite Hell merch discovered includes, in addition to the Indiana Hell t-shirt, a nice Japanese Hell shirt, and a Purple magazine limited edition, Richard Prince designed, Hell tote bag.
- LATEST TRAMP AND HELL DEVELOPMENTS: There's a new interview with Richard at Songfacts. Novelist and memoirist Jeanette Winterson writes at Oprah's O magazine that Richard's book is "A lovely memoir--modest, arrogant, and aware of what it means to dream." There are also new reviews at Dissent, The Austin Chronicle, The Forces of Geek, and Tulip Frenzy. The book's paperback edition, due in February 2014, will have a fresh cover photo, already displayed at Amazon. Books and papers by Richard from the period of his teenage relationship with Patty Oldenburg--described in Tramp--are now on view in an interesting new exhibit at New York's Tibor de Nagy art gallery. The site "Geekleetist" is offering merchandise, including t-shirts, that combine Richard Hell & the Voidoids with Indiana Jones.
- 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.
- HELL TRAMPS ON: It was standing room only at every reading/signing Richard gave on his recent swing down the west coast (plus Minneapolis). We've found blog accounts by an attendee each at Powell's in Portland and City Lights in San Francisco. There is another reading/signing scheduled for New York--it will be a relatively substantial reading, followed by a reception, on Wednesday, 3 April, at Fales Library, NYU. See details at Time Out. More media regarding book: In an unusual development there's been a second review published by the New York Times, this one by National Book Award finalist Rachel Kushner. The most incisive review yet is by Zach Baron in the new Bookforum. The classy young Brooklyn literary site The New Inquiry sports a smart essay by Helena Fitzgerald on the book. Brandon Stosuy at Pitchfork introduces his interview with Richard with a savory account of Tramp, and there are also new Hell interviews at Rolling Stone and Vice.
- 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."
- RICHARD IN THE NY POST AND ON THE RADIO: There was a heavily illustrated full page in the Sunday Post listing Hell's New York. Yesterday's (Monday, March 11) 20 minute interview with Richard by Leonard Lopate at WNYC is now online. He was interviewed by the wonderful Delphine Blue at East Village Radio, as can now be heard online as well.
- 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.
- TRAMP PRESS CONTINUES PRE-PUB... New York magazine asks Hell their "21 Questions"; The New York Observer curiously covers book's story; The New Yorker lists its choice of the eight books to "watch out for" this month (most of the others are by New Yorker writers); and Richard answers some questions about the book at Esquire.
- PRE-PUBLICATION COVERAGE of Hell and his autobiography includes two stories in the New York Times. One has Richard presenting a favorite object he owns, and the other's a snarkily amusing show of feminine insecurity regarding the book. At the two big publishing business papers that review books in advance--mostly studied by buyers at libraries and bookstores--Publisher's Weekly, in a starred review, wrote about Tramp, and Kirkus did too.
- "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
- DIM STARS LIVE: someone turned up footage of the only time Dim Stars played live, a two or three song appearance at a benefit for radio station WFMU in 1991. You can see Richard singing "Monkey" and Thurston Moore singing "The Night Is Coming On."
- RICHARD'S AUTOBIO: listed at Amazon for pre-order (you can see the cover design).
- BLANK GENERATION: among this year's choices for the 33 1/3 series of books about albums. Pete Astor of the Loft and the Weather Prophets will write it. Astor was interviewed at the 33 1/3 blog about his intentions for the book. At another blog, he lists his ten favorite albums. The Loft released a cool, Byrdsy cover of Hell's "Time" back in the '80s.
- HELL SMILES: for Tom Tom Club video of their recent E.P. cut, "Downtown Rockers".
- TEENAGE LITERARY HELL: at a top Wm. Burroughs site, a little discussion of Hell's early '70s poetry period with reference to Daniel Kane's scholarly article on Hell's earliest poetry. Also re Hell juvenilia, see blog of publisher New Directions reprinting a poem Richard wrote at 18 or 19 that was published in the ND Annual in 1970.
- 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.
- For $10,000 (seriously, but we'd recommend haggling) you can buy a first edition, inscribed by Hell, of Wanna Go Out?, a book of poems attributed to Theresa Stern, but actually written (in 1971) by Hell and Tom Verlaine. It was published by Richard's Dot Books in 1973. Great contemporary artist Richard Prince, who is also one of the world's premier book collectors, had the inscribed copy he owns custom clamshell-boxed in leather, as seen at his new gallery/store/blog, Fulton Ryder.
- The talented and appealing young country-western influenced singer/songwriter Lydia Loveless briefly explains why she loves Richard's Blank Generation album. She can really write and sing.
- We now have up a relatively full account of Richard's crazed April week in Glasgow with Jim Lambie. You can read a quick account of the schedule and see Jim's studio while Richard was working there with him, and the new club Jim built for Hell to inaugurate, and also see installation shots of the "you drunken me" art show Richard & Jim created together. Still online is the original announcement of the trip, with flyers advertising the show and the reading.
- 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.
- The current issue of Bookforum, literary sister of Artforum, contains a review by Richard of recent books by the perfect new poet, Ariana Reines.
- There's a kind of monstrous (disgruntled werewolf?) new short interview with Richard (by Kurt Vile) with photo (by reknowned fashion team Inez & Vinoodh) on line at V magazine. It will be in their 2012 Music Issue, out soon. (Then check out Kurt's lovely version of Richard's and Thurston Moore's--Dim Stars'--song, "Monkey".)
- 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]
- Richard's reading at Justine's in Austin on September 27 is reviewed at the Austin Chronicle. Hell gave a reading in Marfa, TX on that trip too.
- 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.
- We're informed that in 2008 Sonic Youth's sublime Kim Gordon named "Blank Generation" her favorite song ever, AND just weeks ago goddess Lydia Lunch went "Blank" as well in her top ten favorites.
- Verlaine & Hell in the birth of modern "punk" 1974 (photographed by Chris Makos for Interview magazine)
- 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...
- See a review of Hell's recent pamphlet "Chapter 28", which is an excerpt from his nearly completed autobio...
- At YouTube, hear Blondie performing Hell's "Love Comes In Spurts" live, in 2002...
- New 2nd edition (w/ a few small corrections to text) of Hell's 2005 novel Godlike now in stock
- Play this--it's free--a birthday song for Hell, discovered over a year later... And you're really sweet too... Also, have you heard about Destroy All Movies!!!? It's the craziest and most brilliant of all punk books. You can read an interview with the editors at Interview magazine
- Richard reviews Jim Carroll's posthumous novel, The Petting Zoo at The New York Times Book Review
- New pamphlet , (published November 2010) by Richard, called Disgusting, with unique hand-painted endpapers by Josh Smith, just arrived at merch...
- A music collector/blogger has created and posted an audio file of The Voidoids' very first gig. November19th 1976, at CBGB's.
- 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.
- Check out nicely revisionist blog assessment of Hell in 1974 Television, including a clip of the band in rehersal.
- Phil Knott's innovative graphical tabloid Tally Ho (#2) includes much art by Richard
- There's an illustrated entry by Richard discussing dreaming and how he's used dreams in his works at the smart and seductive site "This Long Century"
- John Kenyon appreciation of Hell's new Destiny Street Repaired and revelatory interview w/ Hell about album
- The 1978 35 mm color feature fiction film Blank Generation gets re-released on DVD again and Richard talks about it at The Wall Street Journal
- at YouTube excellent animated video of Hell's 1979 "Kid With the Replaceable Head"
- Video of Richard's intro remarks as host of Nat'l Book Awards event; The New Tough print Hell interv. and autobio excerpt
- Order the deluxe signed / limited LP / CD / poster of Hell's "new" album Destiny Street Repaired; ALSO, lavish artist's book Psychopts by Hell & C. Wool available well discounted; AND the stunning new illustrated edition of Hell's '73 novelina The Voidoid; FURTHERMORE now signed posters of 1982 Hell from DSR
- Oct/Nov 2009: Hell reads at London's Serpentine Gallery, hosts official Nat'l Book Awards party, and shows works in three-person group exhibit, Nincompatibles
- Richard Hell writes about Jim Carroll (at the site Forum)
- Hear Hell talk and play music for three hours on Mike Watt's online radio show
- Hell book launch, Hell in new show at Museum of Modern Art, and Hell writing on a summer romance for NY Mag--details at the Forum
- two new interviews w/ Hell: one long one in text talking to Donald Cumming of The Virgins and one short video interview with Richard at Ludwig Museum following his recent lecture
- FINALLY updated Hell (New Year's, 2009) news (incl. links to 21 pages of RH's notes on poetry & punk and to his "Notes" to Godlike novel)
- fancy custom links list to favorite poets' works online
above collage pix by (l. to r.): Roberta Bayley (1977), Echo Danon (2003), R. Hell drawing (c. 1981)
Site est. December 27, 1998; updated March 23, 2021.
Contents of site © 1998-2021 by Richard Hell. All rights reserved including right of reproduction in any form.