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The Legsville Bail Bondswoman, Raquel Vasquez, tells the hard lessons she’s learned in Part Two of Bail Tales: Getting Paid!

First, I learned quickly that the cops and sheriffs were contentious, but that was a known fact. My clients’ adversities and dramas were much more complicated than expected. You’d think rappers who pulled up in Maybachs would have cash dusted with cocaine particles, but that wasn’t the case. And not all my clients had celebrity status. Some of my clients were just hard-working white boys from the San Fernando Valley who happened to have a heroin addiction … Read More

I went to a preview of David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar’s Theater of the Mind, inspired by both historical and current neurological lab research, in a warehouse in Northeast Denver last night. Official shows begin next week, but a friend of mine got me a ticket, and what follows is my review of the experience. No doubt there are things I’ve forgotten to mention, like the Scottish interlude of traffic changes so gradual they go unnoticed until the guide hits rewind, the whole production having been designed to illustrate the unreliability of the senses we go by, but not many … Read More

“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.


Labor Day Weekend will always be Jerry’s Weekend. It will for a great many people at least, at least a great many people I know. For us, Labor Day and Jerry Lewis go together like, well, like Jerry Lewis and France — or Jerry Lewis and people who can’t stand Jerry Lewis. In any case, for forty-four years, Jerry Lewis gave his life to and hosted the Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon (soon to be officially the “Jerry Lewis Telethon”) from New York, from Los Angeles, and for twenty-eight years from Las Vegas, raising over the course of those years, more than two and a half billion dollars for the cause. And for some reason, he took a lot of abuse from critics for doing it. … 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

Liz Hand is one of my favorite contemporary writers, as well as being a friend. As her website (elizabethhand.com) tells it; “Her work has received multiple Shirley Jackson, World Fantasy and Nebula Award, among other honors, and several of her books have been New York Times and Washington Post Notable books.” My favorite books of Liz’s are her critically acclaimed novels featuring her fictional character, Cass Neary, a bisexual, alcoholic, speed freak, who published an acclaimed photo book in the 1970’s, but has faded into obscurity, supporting herself by authenticating photos for weirdo collectors around the world. This is where the fun begins– as inevitably someone gets murdered– and instead of wanting to solve the crime, Cass wants to get the fuck out of town! … Read More


Originally Published At The Criterion Collection

Duncan Hannah is a New York City–based artist whose paintings have been featured in over seventy solo exhibitions around the world since his debut in 1980. His work has been collected by both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Mick Jagger. Hannah has occasionally acted, and his filmography includes Amos Poe’s Unmade Beds (1976), Jennifer Montgomery’s Art for Teachers of Children (1995), and Michael Bilandic’s Hellaware (2013) … Read More

I’m not going to lie, it was exciting for me to go to Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. I’m not sure if it’s the “high power” inmates or just nervous energy. You see, in LA ex-cons are everywhere and they’re not embarrassed to tell you about it. Having been in Men’s Central Jail can earn you a pack of sycophants for the rest of your life. So yes, I’ll admit, on my first visit to MCJ I was genuinely giddy. I was there to interview a defendant in custody. I needed to feel him out and determine whether he was worth the risk of posting his bond. All my rookie enthusiasm changed very quickly … Read More

Now that she’s gone, after a long and valiant battle with cancer, Olivia Newton-John is receiving well-deserved honors, but she has left this plane with a mystery that dangles and clouds her legacy. It’s a mystery partially of her own making, a question left unanswered: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO PATRICK MCDERMOTT? … 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

[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

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

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

I wanted to share a eulogy I wrote for my dear, dear friend Howie Pyro. We said goodbye to him today at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. There will be an NYC memorial for him July 20th and a big celebration of his life concert July 23rd at The Bowery Ballroom With D Generation , Brian Fallon , HR , Theo Kogan from The Lunachicks and many more … Read More

Like mute metal newsboys on a corner, newspaper racks are the slot machines of journalism. You put your money in and take your chances that there’s news you want to peruse. Slot machines, and piggy banks. When you own a newspaper with racks you have little cash stashes all over town. Run short in the video store because the girls forgot to bring back the DVD for a week … Take some change out of the rack out front. I pay for lots of things in quarters … Read More

Joe Friday was a fictional Los Angeles police detective, created and portrayed by Jack Webb, on radio in 1949, on television and screen in the 1950s, and revived as an NBC television series in 1967. The deadpan, dedicated detective sergeant, upholding law and order against the threat of thieves, scam artists, killers – and, in 1967, drug-pushing hippies — was a square, and the series propaganda for the LAPD … Read More

The real world of the private investigator… Read More

On the 51st Anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death, we present this memorial by one of his closest drinking buddies, Tom Baker’s…


[First published in High Times Magazine, June 1981] … 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

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

Dunc had it all; the charm, the clothes, the looks, the brains, the talent, and more importantly, he was not an asshole. He didn’t need an entourage, he enjoyed going to see his friend’s work, and he enjoyed explaining why he liked something or did not like it. He was extremely accessible and his take on “the work” was inspiring. And his manner was classy, in an unpretentious way; more Mid-West down home. And his smile was infectious … Read More

The Senders lead singer, talks to Legs about his memories of Johnny Thunders and the New York Dolls, Nancy Spungen, Sid Vicious, CBGB’s, Blondie, Richard Hell and more … Read More

Brooklyn’s best vintage destination is helping the environment while serving up unique looks … Read More

So Elvis is alive. There’s a lot of talk about that new Baz Luhrmann movie with Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker, and an uproar in Las Vegas now that the licensor for the Presley estate is suddenly demanding licensing agreements (meaning thousands of dollars) from wedding chapels and tribute artists using Elvis’s image. Elvis’s reincarnation brought to mind an interview I did back in 1988, when there first was talk of proof that Elvis had faked his death on August 16, 1977. What follows is an edited version of a piece I wrote in June 1988, I think for Spin magazine when Legs was an editor there, but was never published. Thanks, Legs … Read More

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

Remembering the legendary Ramones bassist … Read More

The following interview was conducted in 1989, a few months after he left the Ramones. He called me and said he wanted to spill the beans. Since we’d been friends since 1976, I was happy to turn on the tape recorder and let him go—which he did for about ten hours. … Read More

A chance encounter with Jonathan Richman led to a wild ride as one of the founding members of the legendary Modern Lovers, perhaps the greatest alt-rock, pre-punk, indie band that no one has ever seen … Read More

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

This was the 144th day of 2022. There have been more mass shootings than days in the year. Let me clarify that: there have been more mass shootings in America than days in the year. This is the only country in the world that can claim that dishonorable distinction. Think about that .. Read More

A Product of Legsville: A Legsville Oral History – Legs McNeil Talks with Bobby Grossman … Read More

The classic album made in exile takes an inevitable journey to Main Street where it remains relevant fifty years on. … Read More

I wrote this for a presentation remembering Arturo Vega that I read at the Howl Gallery on March 31, 2016, and while I was reviewing it, I thought something was missing … Yes, Artie’s voice! That’s what’s missing! … Read More

Bobcat Goldthwait comes out and introduces the clips that Jerry brought, and the clips are running. There’s the famous dance down the stairs from Cinderfella. There’s him doing the incredibly famous boardroom bit from The Errand Boy. And I’m watching Jerry look at himself. He was seventy-six, overweight and nobody knows who he is anymore, and he’s looking at the twenty-six-year-old version of himself when he was super-famous. And I see Jerry look out at the half-full crowd, and then Jerry fell to the ground. And I think he’s dead … Read More

In 1967, someone spray-painted the phrase “Clapton is God” onto a wall in the central London borough of Islington. Later around the same time, a photo of the graffiti went viral — inasmuch as something could do so back in that day — probably as much for the defaced wall as for the fact that in the photo there was a dog pissing on the wall. I am that dog … Read More

First of all, she is once again copying Johnny’s style as she too is wearing a vest under a blazer just like Johnny is wearing and has been wearing throughout the trial … Read More

Louis Prima, Keely Smith and Sam Butera revolutionized Las Vegas, the lounge scene and 20th century popular music when they launched their spectacular act in December 1954 at the Sahara hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The story of their success has never been told in full, and never accurately – until now … Read More

In one of his many interviews, John Lennon called it the most exciting day of his life. I rather doubt it, but then I grew up with the Elvis that was making movies like “Clambake” and “Girls, Girls, Girls,” so I was never impressed. Like Lennon, I loved Elvis’ early Sun Records stuff and believed Presley went to hell when he joined the army. Still, I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall the night the Beatles finally met Elvis. I hope you enjoy this! … Read More

“For me, Rock n’ Roll is about freedom. It’s about the freedom to express your feelings very loudly in public. And for me, the idea of expressing your feelings is what life is all about. And the bands I follow have that message.”
– Bob Gruen
©2022 By Veronica Vigil

Watching this was like watching someone herding cats. Live streaming this is not the way to go as there are a boat load of security trying to steer the attendees around the red carpet. In addition there are what can only be referred to as “Dress Wranglers” moving overdone, ridiculous trains around after every turn and step … Read More

Cynthia was truly an original thinker and a meticulous goofy artist who took the job of casting rock stars’ erect “rigs” extremely seriously while never losing her sense of humor about the job at hand. Join me now as we listen to Cynthia Plaster Caster’s story … Read More

On April 29, 1992, jurors in Simi Valley, California acquitted five Los Angeles police officers in the videotaped beating of Rodney King. Los Angeles citizens responded to the news with a display of widespread civil disobedience and destruction that became known as the Los Angeles Riots … Read More

Excerpted from CORPORATE ROCK SUCKS: The Rise and Fall of SST Records by Jim Ruland. Copyright © 2022. Available from Hachette Books, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.Read More

After consuming magic mushrooms in Basel, Switzerland, I ran into Albert Hofmann, the chemist who catalyzed the psychedelic era. | By John Horgan on April 19, 2014 (Reprinted with John Horgan’s Permission) | © 2022 Scientific American, A Division Of Nature America, Inc … Read More

Louis Prima, Keely Smith and Sam Butera revolutionized Las Vegas, the lounge scene and 20th century popular music when they launched their spectacular act in December 1954 at the Sahara hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The story of their success has never been told in full, and never accurately – until now. Based on long-hidden interviews with the principals and extensive research, Burt Kearns reveals how all the parts fell into place, long before that historic debut. In Part One, we meet the man who answered the call of The Wildest, the key player without whom this success story would never have happened … Read More

Johnny’s body language is open and his tone is appealing. He is articulate and his drawing out his articulation and pacing time is engaging. He comes across as in control and level-headed in his delivery and appears to be credible. While many of the revelations are shocking, he openly describes his experiences with Amber and holds nothing back. He is also credible in the fact that he openly admits his flaws and embarrassing issues as well … Read More

Here’s something I discovered over the last couple of years: Tell somebody you’re putting together a book about music and their response is usually something like, “Cool! I love music.” Tell them it’s a book revolving around punk drummers and the response is more like, “Damn. I hate math.” … Read More

©2022 by Legs McNeil | Legsville welcomes comedian, actor, writer & director: Bobcat Goldthwait. A Legsville Oral History … Watch the video

©2022 by Legs McNeil | Contradictory evidence was immediately destroyed, photographs were stolen, and FBI interviews were altered to complete the picture of Sirhan Sirhan as the sole assassin. So join us as we travel back in time to June 5th, 1968, when the promise of a Presidential candidate dedicated to ending the Vietnam War, working for racial equality and integrity in government, seemed within our grasp … Read More

©2022 by Legs McNeil | Legsville welcomes comedian, actor, writer & director: Bobcat Goldthwait. A Legsville Oral History … Watch the video

Gilbert Gottfried was a fearless, hilarious, and truly great comedian. He also was a horror movie expert, a keeper of show business tradition and a gentle, humble man. Oh, and he was also a Ramone! Here’s the classic from USA Up All Night. 1-2-3-GIL! … Watch the video

The punk rock stylist and fashion icon has passed away in her home in Seaford on Sunday. Jordan styled the Sex Pistols, managed Adam and the Ants, worked at Vivienne Westwood’s famous store, Sex and starred in the film Jubilee by Derek Jarman. The actress, model, artist and vet has been mourned by the masses on social media … Read More

I’d heard that something had happened to Frank Sinatra’s grave. That someone defaced the memorial to the most important musical artist of the 20th century. Attacking Sinatra? This was like taking a wrecking ball to Graceland. Reading about it was one thing. I had to see for myself. … Read More

George Jones’ drunk daddy used to wake him up as a child in the middle of the night and make him sing for him and his buddies or get a beating. Maybe that harsh pressure helped create a country diamond. Maybe it just created a mean SOB who also happened to be able to sing … Read More

Joe Coleman is a world-renowned painter, writer & performer who’s exhibited for four decades in major museums throughout the world … Read More

Behold… the transfiguration of Iggy Pop, during a legendary Stooges show at Ungano’s, New York City, which was recorded by Danny Fields and heavily-bootlegged for years … Read More

When I was doing a reading tour of the south last winter, I became friendly with Johnny Puke, from Charleston, South Carolina, where he books and manages the Tin Roof, a fun, dumpy punk club. Johnny told me that he was with G.G. the night he died and I thought it would be an interesting story to get on tape. So I asked Johnny if I could interview him some time, Johnny said, “Yes,” and last October, just as it was getting really cold outside, I headed back to Charleston to interview Johnny Puke. This is his report … Read More

An Amy Haben Report … Watch Video

Gerard Malanga, Edie Sedgewick, Bob Dylan, Nico And The Velvet Underground, La Monte Young, Brigid Berlin, Ondine, Etc., Etc… Read More

The X-Ray Spex singer’s daughter, Celeste Bell, has made an award-winning documentary on her mother’s inspiring yet dysfunctional life … Read More

Keith laid out the entire history of the hardcore scene. It probably helped that I started off by saying, “Talk to me like I’m a moron and don’t know any of this stuff.” … Read More

Johnny “Guitar” Watson was a hardcore guitar gunslinger with a sound described as “an icepick to the forehead.” He was the Gangster of Love, and he proved it in the way he played, the way he lived – and the way he died … Read More

©2022 By Legs McNeil | In honor of Black History Month, February 2022, I present “The Untold Story of the Little Rock Nine”—nine Black high school students who were the first to integrate the whites-only Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957 … Read More

by Alexis Arakelian
Check out these vintage shops!
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Already frustrated by growing tensions within the band, the group was less than excited about their arrival in Toledo. Later, tour manager David Libert would be quoted saying, “If the Lord ever wanted to give the world an enema, this is where he would stick the goddamn nozzle.” … Read More

©2022 By Amanda Sheppard | Austin 1965, a UT psychology student and LSD evangelical named Tommy Hall, was a man on a mission. Inspired by Bob Dylan and Timothy Leary, Hall would spread the message of mind-altering consciousness expansion through rock & roll. Meanwhile, singer-guitarist Billy Gibbons was destined for stardom.

“At age 20, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat emerged from the downtown scene with a budding sophistication equally rooted in abstract expressionism and the post-punk, no-wave, hip-hop, graffiti grit of the Mudd Club avant-garde.” … Read More

By Tom Wynbrandt | “The rooster hair, the platform shoes, the quiet acceptance of all the adulation— I’d never seen anyone quite like him.” … Read More

These new Metal bands remind us why we fell in love with Heavy Metal in the first place. Here’s 5 picks for you
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Photo by: Burt Kearns


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.

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