R. Hell Site Forum Message

my problem with the TIMES story, pt. 2

Posted by:Richard Hell (‘in forum heading’)
Posted on: 10 Jan 2004

So I resent the way Leland presents me as some kind of hoarder of “punk” ephemera cashing in at a university library. It’s really weird the way for instance he dwells on Tom Verlaine. I guess he’s really into Tom Verlaine but I wish he could have separated us in his mind and he overdoes it to the point of deception, though I know it isn’t deliberate, it’s just typically careless. I showed him a first edition Theresa book (Tom’s and my 1973 collaboration) at my house because it was a good anecdote (though I showed him a lot of other things too), so he leads off his piece with that. Then he mentions two other items relating to Tom and he describes them as seperate scraps of paper as if I’d been hoarding Verlaine’s shopping lists for god’s sake, when actually what happened was at the library the reporter asked to look at some boxes and a random reach into a carton yielded a 1972-73 spiral-bound notebook of mine that we then thumbed through as I gave a running commentary. The notebook was mostly early song lyric drafts of mine including the first draft of “Blank Generation” with various alternate lines, but what Leland picked up on was a page that had a meaningless note scribbled to me from Verlaine, and a sentence I told Leland about a song that happened to be a Verlaine composition in a list of songs of both of ours that we were working on (it wasn’t a “setlist”--this was a good year before our “band” was anything more than a serious fantasy). These were bound pages in a notebook of mine, not “punk memorabilia.” I know that to some degree Verlaine and I will always be linked (I heard he had to deal with audience members requesting songs of mine at dates of the ’90s Television reunion too), but Jesus, the lengths Leland went were demeaning. It pissed me off.

One last thing that also embarrassed the director of the library, Marvin Taylor... Leland suddenly drops in a quote from Marvin going, “Students at N.Y.U. come to us and they want to do papers on tattoos, graffiti and punk rock. They know that they can come in when some crazy punk guy came and talked in their class." This is at a spot in the article where it’d be easy to assume Taylor is talking about me. He isn’t. I’ve never been in a classroom at NYU. Marvin is actually talking about himself, though he’s a very distinguished, highly groomed, and suave middle-aged man to be described by anyone as a “crazy punk guy.” But he was telling Leland how the Downtown collection has increased the popularity of the library with students.

That about gets it off my chest. Thanks for indulging me. I feel better now.

By the way, someone was asking about the book I've been working on. I've finished it, a novel, tentatively entitled GODLIKE. Now we'll try to find a publisher.

Happy New Year everyone...

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Message thread:

         my problem with the TIMES story, pt. 1 by Richard Hell, 10 Jan 2004 (6)
                 my problem with the TIMES story, pt. 2 by Richard Hell, 10 Jan 2004
                         Good footage gone to Hell........ by jetboy, 11 Jan 2004
                         right to moan by Hannah, 12 Feb 2004
                 Times Article by Therese, 23 Jan 2004
                 Mr.Dick Hell by Johnny Hasbeen, 8 May 2006
                 Mopars by Hemibill, 8 Feb 2008

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