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©2023 BY BURT KEARNS
From the moment they blasted off in the Casbar Lounge in Las Vegas in December 1954, there was no stopping Louis Prima, Keely Smith and Sam Butera and the Witnesses from becoming the most popular act in show business. No one but themselves. In a pair of exclusive Legsville stories based on long-lost interviews with sax legend Butera and jazz and pop goddess Smith, Burt Kearns unearthed the beginnings of the legendary act, Now, a year later, he traces the beginning of the end — the personal dramas and betrayals that would end the rocket ride, not in a glorious splashdown, but in flames. We return to the Casbar Lounge. Four years after lift-off, it’s now the “Casbar Theatre” — and everybody wants in. Including Frank Sinatra … Read More
I was asked to write a remembrance of my former husband, Howie Pyro, and I didn’t realize how therapeutic it would be for me. As I write, the pending anniversary of his passing May 4, 2022 has brought up so many overwhelming feelings. Howie’s illness and death is the heaviest thing I’ve ever been through and I suppose I have done a lot of mourning in public posting pictures and memories on Facebook.
I was devastated that I couldn’t get to LA for his funeral– finances and work schedule prevented it but I was able to go back to my hometown, NYC, for the Memorial there. I thought I’d try to share some of the stories I told at that intimate event at Bowery Electric … Read More
THE MILLIONAIRE DRUG ADDICT, THE HOT CAR, AND THE ROOKIE MISTAKE
I would get a shot of adrenaline into the vein every time I wrote a bond. I would be completely interested to hear the circumstances of my client’s unfortunate situation. That’s because my clients are an interesting type. This client was a millionaire drug addict. They had the means to support a very taxing drug addiction that nearly took their life. Idle hands, as they say.
To keep this strictly confidential, I will use everything in my word power to never reveal the gender of this client. We’ll call them Casey (my favorite androgynous name). This young person had a family that cared about them and went to various lengths of treatment to help them. … Read More
“The Filth and the Respectability” by Legs McNeil
Published on Air Mail
NOFX singer Fat Mike Burkett originally wanted to open a punk-focused record store. “And the idea just grew,” he says.
Fat Mike Burkett—blue-haired, self-described submissive cross-dressing queer, lead singer of the punk-rock band NOFX, and co-author of the best-selling memoir The Hepatitis Bathtub—just added another title to his résumé: founder of the Punk Rock Museum, in Las Vegas.
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)
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.
On the 20-year anniversary of ‘Please Kill Me: An Uncensored Oral History of Punk,’ Legs tells 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.