At the end of January, on Thursday the 31st, Richard will give a solo reading and book signing--in honor of the publication of Hot and Cold (signed copies available)--at 8:00 PM at the National Arts Club,15 Gramercy Park South (which is East 20th St.), (212) 475-3424. There's a wine and cheese reception following and the whole evening's free.
It's official, Matador Records will be releasing this coming spring (March, probably) a two CD set of 1975-84 material by Hell. It will be an expanded version of the original R.I.P. set of demos and alternate versions, etc. (added are a 1975 Heartbreakers demo of "Chinese Rocks" sung by Richard as it was intended to be, the original demo of "Time" that appeared on the 1980 Shake EP, and the 1979 live version of "Funhunt" that was on the live ROIR tape of the same name), plus a live disk consisting of the frenzied '77 Music Machine (London) gig which was the only date the band booked to headline on that Clash tour, plus a four song set from a benefit at CBGB's a few months later that includes Elvis Costello singing Hell's "You Gotta Lose." Matador's "News" page displays the CDs' full song listings.
Richard's new full length Hot and Cold compendium of "essays poems lyrics notebooks pictures fiction" has finally arrived. Advance review copies have been sent out by the publisher, powerHouse Books, and the book will be in stores by mid-to-late October. (We'll offer copies from the site as soon as they're released from the warehouse. [Oct. 13 update: book now available from us signed by Richard --and check the excerpt page) It is quite a production: a thick hardcover that includes color pictures, all his lyrics, the best writing about "punk" music and musicians there is, ten years of unpublished notebooks, and a lot more... Publicity is starting to accumulate. There's an informative interview with Hell--conducted by novelist Rick Moody--in the tabloid-sized ultra-luxe fashion / art / culture magazine V (Sept/Oct issue) and a page with interview in the October Gear (where they drew Hell out on Madonna, resulting in a New York Post Page Six item), as well as some short reviews (Fader, Maxim Blender). There's going to be a big publication party and book-signing at Spa on 13th St. and Fourth Ave. on November 7th. We're going to have a contest here to give away inscribed books and some tickets to the party. [Contest now under way.] Oh also the new Mojo (October) rates the top 100 punk singles and "Blank Generation" comes in at six--behind 1) "God Save the Queen" (Sex Pistols), 2) "Blitzkreig Bop" (Ramones), 3) "Neat Neat Neat" (The Damned), 4) "White Riot" (The Clash), and 5) "In the City" (The Jam), and ahead of 7) "I'm Stranded" (The Saints), 8) "Gloria" (Patti Smith), 9) "Oh Bondage, Up Yours" (X Ray Spex), and 10) "Damaged Goods" (Gang of Four), plus 90 more...
[posted September 25, 2001]
It's very sad that Joey Ramone is now gone (dead of lymphoma at 49 on the afternoon of Sunday, the 15th). Richard says, "I saw him last fall. I knew he'd been sick, but he seemed just the same as ever (he always looked so different from everybody else that it must be partly why he never seemed to age at all). Yesterday I walked to CBGB's to go to Alan Betrock's memorial and there at the entrance to the club was a crowd of quiet street-looking kids circled around a propped-up shrine of pictures and T-shirts and flowers and candles for Joey. It was moving and suddenly made me feel how things were changing. Joey was the big-hearted Ramone. " Hell wrote a little article about the Ramones for Hit Parader in 1976, before they had a record contract. It was probably the first feature about them in a national publication. We've now added it to the site here. [Re Alan Betrock, who died a year ago--see previous Update entry.]
[posted April 17, 2001]
Richard will be reading poems and fiction and presenting some of his video-projection projects at the Tune Inn in New Haven, Connecticut on Friday, April 13. The club's address is 29 Center Street; doors open at 7:00 p.m., showtime's 7:45, admission $8.00, phone (203) 772-4310. In other news, there's a pretty interesting article in the current (March) The Wire magazine, issue 205 (though the article's only in the print issue), called "The Blank Generation: Alan Licht explores a tendency of blankness in the films of Godard and Antonioni and the music of The Velvets, Sex Pistols and Richard Hell." The Wire is also the music magazine that printed the smartest review of the British Blank Generation cd re-issue last year, so right on for them.
[posted March 11, 2001]
Happy New Millennium. The notorious original magnificent super-stupid Punk magazine (1976-1979)--John Holmstrom, Legs McNeil, Roberta Bayley (original staff) and all--has awoken and is publishing again, first issue due out later this month. Hell is contributing a column it seems, entitled "Mouth of Hell," each installment of which will tell a true story of oddness he's seen. There will be a benefit (for "stop prisoner rape!") concert/party night at CBGB Wednesday, January 10th to celebrate the reanimation. Also, posted at the Forum is a picture published in the New York Post of Hell and daughter Ruby at the Punk bash last night.]
         
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