No Fun

No Fun
Reviewer: IanGilchrist
Rate this Review
Rate this Reviewer
Rate this Book
I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp:
An Autobiography
304 pages
Reprint Edition
February 18, 2014
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:

An acutely rendered, unforgettable coming-of-age story, Richard Hell's memoir evokes with feeling, lyricism, and piercing intelligence both the world that shaped him and the world he shaped.

I can't say that I'm at all surprised that the abiding impression Richard Hell's autobiography left me with was of a rather dour, self important, quite humourless man. Didn't you have ANY fun during the '70s Lower East Side/CBGB's era, Rich (I know some people who were there who had a ball)? I know you were a junkie and that your music never really made you a dime, but still....

And yes yes, we know you 'invented' that classic ripped/thrift store clothes 'n' helicopter blade hair cut look, you've told us that a thousand times, we've already given you that one.

There's nothing like memorialising a 'golden' era while whining about it, athough Hell does profess affection for many of the key players, unlike say Johnny Ramone (although JR's slim posthumous volume is a lot funnier, albeit largely unintentionally). Hell certainly made his way through a veritable harem of interesting/attractive women.

I did enjoy the book...I'm clearly fascinated by the time and place, and the 'lost' NYC...but after reading the book I didn't feel Hell was somebody I would want to sit with and hear the stories from first hand...