Please Kill Me

The Uncensored Oral History of Punk - 20th Anniversary

Tuesday 5th July 2016

As well as being the 40th anniversary of many iconic moments in British Punk's cultural history, 2016 also marks 20 years since the publication of 'Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk', on the other side of the Atlantic.

The critically and academically acclaimed book by Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil collected together reports from icons and innovators associated with the scene, including lggy Pop, Richard Hell, Patti Smith, Dee Dee and Joey Ramone, Malcolm McLaren, Jim Carroll, Debbie Harry, Lou Reed and many more. A record of America's punk movement in the form of first-hand accounts, the book also pushed literary boundaries, helping to popularize the oral history style.

Authors, Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil

McNeil and McCain explain, "The narrative oral history is such an incredible format because it draws from every art form," they write, "the chapters have the rhythm of song, the cuts are cinematic, newspaper headlines can punctuate incidents, slang is celebrated, and first-hand accounts bring the poetry of the spoken word." 

A special edition of the book complete with new photos, chapters and an afterword by the authors has been put together by Grove Press. 

Both with credentials in writing about the counter-culture, Gillian McCain has published works as a poet and was editor of a lit-zine called MILK, whilst Legs McNeil worked at Punk Magazine, Spin and currently contributes to Vice.

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