WELCOME TO LEGSVILLE

YOU’RE INVITED TO BECOME A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF LEGSVILLE, TO EXPLORE EVERYTHING ARTISTIC AND FASHIONABLE AND LITERARY AND GLAMOROUS AND VISUALLY EXCITING, AND WHAT’S GREAT AND WHAT SUCKS, AND WHERE ONLY BORING MUSIC, BORING ART, AND BORING WRITING IS FORBIDDEN!

GET YOUR PASSPORT TO LEGSVILLE: JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

RECENT POSTS:

More than sixty films. More than thirty television roles. More than seventy arrests.
Lawrence Tierney was the toughest, meanest, coldest actor in Hollywood, onscreen and off. An overnight sensation in 1945 as Public Enemy #1 in the movie Dillinger, he proceeded to drink and brawl his way out of a career by the early 1950s – or so it seemed. Lawrence Tierney is the great untold story of the dark side of Hollywood – a story of alcoholism, madness and violence, but also survival, loyalty, and genius … Read More

A few years ago, I was driving through Dallas, Texas on my way to Los Angeles, and dropped by the Texas School Book Depository and watched in horror as hordes of tourists kept running into Elm Street to pose for selfies at the exact spot where President John F. Kennedy was shot. There was an “X” permanently marked on Elm Street so the gangs of sightseers knew exactly where to stand. Too often, when a national tragedy occurs in the United States it becomes an event or an argument, rather than the loss of human life … Read More

Remember the line in the David Ayer film “End of Watch” about the four food groups of crime? That line resonated with me, because it’s funny and true. The drug dealer is definitely one staple of major crime food groups. I was always looking for huge drug dealer clients and drug user clients alike. What I was not looking for was a client who committed crimes against unknowing people … Read More

“Yoko Before John” by Legs McNeil
Published on Air Mail

November 19, 2022

To understand the most misunderstood woman of the last half-century, you have to go back to the beginning
The black town car would come once a week to pick me up from my St. Mark’s Place apartment in Manhattan and drive me to PepsiCo headquarters, in Purchase, New York. It was 1997, and I had been hired to write a book for the company, Pop Culture: Stories from Pepsi-Cola’s First 100 Years, because Brian Swette, the chief marketing officer of PepsiCo, was a fan of my book Please Kill Me. Even if the pay was measly, my status in the world had gone up a few notches.

READ FULL ARTICLE ON AIR MAIL

A LEGSVILLE ORAL HISTORY: Legs McNeil speaks with his friend Liz Hand, the acclaimed author of the Cass Neary mystery books, and whose next novel is inspired by Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and authorized by the Shirley Jackson estate … Read More

Lucid spoke about punk rock, politics, metaphysics, and more in this email exchange with Happiness author Zack Kopp. “To me punk and metaphysics seem to belong together,” says Tamra Lucid. “Both are rebellions against bullshit. And what is punk anyway? Punk can be for peace or violence, for racism or for equality, for noise or pop, for anarchy or for Broadway. My band has never fit any category … Read More

It’s very rare that 34 years after you date someone, you get a chance to witness a documentary about what was going on in that person’s life at the time you were dating them. Remarkable, really, but I got the chance recently when Showtime premiered the documentary, “Nothing Compares,” about Sinead O’Connor by filmmaker Kathryn Ferguson … Read More

SHOP NOW!

PURCHASE ITEMS FROM THE LIBRARY OF LEGS MCNEIL. EACH BOOK COMES WITH AN EMBOSSED TITLE PAGE, CERTIFYING: “FROM THE LIBRARY OF LEGS MCNEIL”

“The Misfits” by Legs McNeil
Published on Air Mail

Tony Notarberardino has been a resident of the Chelsea Hotel—and its unofficial photo-portraitist—since 1994
I was sitting outside the Roxy Hotel at midnight one night this past July, after a showing of Ciao! Manhattan next door. Rock ’n’ roll Zelig Danny Fields and artist and actress Bibbe Hansen were there to field questions about Edie Sedgwick, the film’s star, but now everyone was gone. The party was over.

READ FULL ARTICLE ON AIR MAIL

Krupa’s towering influence has not been confined to jazz and swing drummers. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that he was a major inspiration for some of punk rock’s most important timekeepers, including Jerry Nolan of the New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, Rat Scabies of the Damned, and Lucky Lehrer of Circle Jerks … Read More

Volume one (of many). As an artist, it must be stressful coming up with album titles. It’s a bit like naming a baby, if that baby’s name was a determining factor in its commercial success or lack thereof. More often than not, artists strive for interesting names, names that make you think, inspiring one to wonder what’s the story behind the title. Oftentimes however, throughout the history of modern music there have been plenty of instances where the band or artist clearly phoned it in, choosing a name so odd — in many cases, so dumb or gross — that no matter how great the songs contained therein may be, there’s no redeeming it. In no particular order, here are a few particularly stinky stinkers that really stink. … Read More

Former head Kink waxes eloquent about his mom and dad, Village Green Preservation Society, the Beatles, Keith Richards, “Madame” Jagger, Rod Stewart and the Queen Mother’s teeth. … Read More

The book is squalid, evocative and often very, very funny — full of contradictory versions of the same story, all of which have some grain of truth — and that’s how real life is; his version, his version and the truth, which is still compromised … Read More

[Originally published on pleasekillme.com]

Legs McNeil interviewed him in New York in early 1995. At the time, Morrison was undergoing chemotherapy. Sadly, he did not live long enough to witness the answer to his very first comment in this interview. He died on August 30, 1995. The Velvet Underground were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame the following year … Read More

©2022 By Legs McNeil

We’ve all seen that horribly facile Oliver Stone film, “The Doors” and we still watch it anyway, even though it sucks– thus is the power of Jim Morrison. He still captures our inner belligerent souls. And Val Kilmer looked and imagined Morrison they way we believed him to be. If only Val had a script to work with … Read More

(Or: How a Jewish Mariachi Trumpeter Turned a Chicano Rock ‘n’ Roller into an Easy Listening Pop Crooner) | ©2022 By Burt Kearns … Read More

Al Martino played crooner (and wedding singer) Johnny Fontane. It was a role that Frank Sinatra tried to rub out. Frank believed the character in Mario Puzo’s novel was based on him, but it was a role Martino knew was his. A popular Italian-American balladeer in the early 1950s, he’d been forced to move to Great Britain after he defied the mobsters who’d bought his management contract. Martino returned to America and fought his way back onto the charts and success in the 1960s … Read More

Before the bus and after, tales of Ken Kesey, LSD, the Hells Angels, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg and more … Read More

PURCHASE PLEASE KILL ME, SIGNED BY LEGS MCNEIL. INCLUDES CUSTOM INSCRIPTION.
MONTH-TO-MONTH! NO COMMITMENT! WE PROMOTE YOUR BRAND ON LEGS’ SOCIALS AND LEGSVILLE.COM
ABOUT LEGS
LEGS MCNEIL IS THE GUY WHO NAMED A MOVEMENT, AND THEN TOLD THE TRUE STORY OF HOW THAT MOVEMENT CAME TO BE IN PLEASE KILL ME; THE UNCENSORED ORAL HISTORY OF PUNK, AMONG SEVERAL OTHER BOOKS.

Photo by: Burt Kearns

APPLY FOR YOUR VISA AND ENJOY YOUR VACATION TO LEGSVILLE!

JOIN OUR MALING LIST

INTRODUCTION TO MY COURSE:
ZEN AND THE ART OF THE NARRATIVE ORAL HISTORY

Copyright August 2021 by Legs McNeil ©2021-2022 by Legs McNeil (Based on the techniques developed by Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain)

Too long has the Oral History format been thought of as the bastard child of literature; assumed to be a “cut and paste” job for hack writers looking to make an easy buck. In other words, the bottom of the prose barrel. But when the art of the narrative oral history is mastered, it can transform the written spoken word by primary subjects—people who were in the room when the event occurred—into actually experiencing the event being described, with all the human emotion, even more so than the traditional omnipotent narrator.

Master Class zoom course Coming Soon: “Zen and the Art of the Narrative Oral History”

On the 20-year anniversary of ‘Please Kill Me: An Uncensored Oral History of Punk,’ Legs and Gillian tell Marc why they wrote it in the first place and why it still resonates two decades later.

Author Roderick “Legs” McNeil — whose 1996 book, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, documents Bowie’s wild early-Seventies New York period — reacts to Bowie’s passing.

Relive the golden days of punk with Legs McNeil in this exclusive article from the April, 1982 issue of High Times, which we’re republishing on the occasion of McNeil’s 65th birthday on January 27.

“Legs, you asshole,” I said. “I am not doing this story on you. I am not taking the responsibility for making you famous.”

Various articles on Vice.com featuring Legs McNeil

“The more we fear the future, the more we recycle the past.” Legs McNeil

At the age of 19, McNeil gathered with two high school friends and decided to create “some sort of media thing” for a living. The name “Punk” was decided upon because “it seemed to sum up…everything…obnoxious, smart but not pretentious, absurd, ironic, and things that appealed to the darker side”.

McNeil occupies the oxymoronic status as an underground icon, thanks in part to his role as co-founder of PUNK, the irreverent ‘70s magazine that chronicled the New York punk scene and popularized the term ‘punk.’

McNeil stated that he has left the pleasekillme.com website. He stated simply: “I’M NO LONGER ASSOCIATED WITH THE PLEASEKILLME.COM WEBSITE.” Later, he added that he will be starting a website and project called Legsville.

At the age of 18, disgusted with the hippie movement that seemed to be going nowhere, McNeil gathered with two high school friends, John Holmstrom and Ged Dunn, and decided to create “some sort of media thing” for a living.

View The Legsville Archives