R. Hell Site Forum Message

Reading of 6/29/05

Posted by:S. Derkins
Posted on: 30 Jun 2005
Here’s a little report for those who couldn’t make it to B&N in NYC last night.

Richard arrived right at 7 pm, fit and very handsome, and slightly wet from the rain. After briskly moving the podium aside, he remarked on the truly awesome turnout -- standing-room only and deep -- by saying "Where did you all come from? Last time I read here for Go Now there were like, fifteen people."

Richard removed his chewing gum and explained that he’d be reading two passages from Godlike. He began with Paul Vaughn’s opening letter and slowly moved through Chapter 1, pausing right before T. asks Paul how it feels to be a faggot. Then he read from the T./Catherine chapter ("the only heterosexual chapter in the book"). That, coincidentally, happens to be where I found my bookmark this morning as I opened Godlike for rereading. The second time around, Catherine seems far more tragic, almost like a wounded bird (T. says "a dove and a person are just the slightest variations of each other"), and I’m certain it’s due to the delicate way in which Richard’s voice brought her to life. (Side note: I adore the line "You sound freckly.")

Afterwards there was a brief Q&A. Maybe the most interesting question/response concerned Richard’s choice to write about gay poets. Richard replied that he wanted to avoid the erroneous assumptions of autobiographical-ity that took place after Go Now was published. He also wished to challenge himself artistically with creating these particular characters. Finally, he astutely pointed out that many poets of that time were indeed gay men.

Richard then quite graciously answered a few annoying/boring questions, such as "What advice would you give to the next Richard Hell about becoming rich and famous?" and "Who are your musical influences?" Answers: "Quite obviously, I don’t know about becoming rich and famous" and (in jest) "Tom Verlaine."

Richard stayed to sign books, and then, alas, it was over.

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Message thread:

         reading and book signing by Joe, 29 Jun 2005 (6)
                 just missed it! by Brendan, 30 Jun 2005
                 Reading of 6/29/05 by S. Derkins, 30 Jun 2005
                          would have been nice by anonymosity, 2 Jul 2005
                                 sugar and spice by Roy Suggs, 3 Jul 2005
                                         spicey Roy by anonymosity, 3 Jul 2005
                                                 Richard's upcoming readings schedule by Roy Suggs, 3 Jul 2005

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