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Richard Hell

Related: punk rock - American music - punk - CBGB's - hell - 1977 - nihilism

Blank Generation (1977) Richard Hell and the Voidoids [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Richard Hell (born October 2, 1949) is the stage name of Richard Meyers, an American singer, songwriter and writer, probably best-known as frontman for the early punk band Richard Hell and the Voidoids. Their 1977 album, Blank Generation, contained many elements that would become identified with punk, from the nihilism of the title track (a play off of Rod McKuen's 1959 spoken-word song Beat Generation) to the frantic energy of the anti-romantic anthem, "Love Comes in Spurts".

Hell is often regarded as the original source of much punk fashion, including spiked hair (inspired, Hell says, by 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud), with torn and cut shirts often held together with safety pins (a testament more to his inability to afford replacements than to any avant-garde deconstructionist fashion sense). It's commonly believed that Malcolm McLaren had the Sex Pistols imitate Hell's look and used it as the basis for safety-pin accessorized clothing he sold in his London shop. Hell articulated the notion that punk fashion should be cheap and easily accessible to anyone, in contrast to disco's expensive, flashy styles.

McLaren said he told the "Pistols" to write their own version of "Blank Generation" and they came up with "Pretty Vacant".--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Hell [Mar 2006]

Blank Generation (1977) - Richard Hell and the Voidoids

Blank Generation is an early punk album by Richard Hell and the Voidoids, released in 1977 on Warner Brothers' Sire Records imprint.

The lyrics on this album, in keeping with the late 1970s punk style that Hell helped to create when he co-founded the band Television, are nihilistic and self-consciously degenerate, but they are also very strong poetically. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blank_Generation [Mar 2006]

Amazon review:
If the title track didn't sum up an entire generation, it certainly captured the frazzled swagger of early punk rock. Launched from New York City's famous C.B.G.B. nightclub, the Voidoids released this debut in 1977, around the same time as Television's Marquee Moon. A rewrite of an old cornball Beat song, "Blank Generation" echoes the Sex Pistols's cries of "no future." "Love Comes in Spurts," the 1977 album's other classic, is a double-entendre both playful and menacing. The rest is the sound of Hell's nervous voice rubbing up against Robert Quine's equally nervous electric-guitar playing and an unyielding rhythm section. -- Steve Knopper

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