I moved to Hollywood in 1997 and was quickly initiated into the music scene, which at the time was hanging by a thread to a lost rock & roll dream that grunge had laid waste to a mere six years earlier. The glitz and glam of Sunset Boulevard had moved east – away from Gazzarri’s and their tasteless “hot body bikini contests” to more turtleneck and ponytailed nightclubs like the Roxbury, where cocaine became less of a party drug and more of a designer hangover from the 1980’s. (Yes, the Will Ferrell-Chris Kattan sketch was based on a real place)
On the 66th Anniversary of the Integration of Public schools, I present “The Untold Story of the Little Rock Nine”— about nine Black high school students who were the first to integrate the whites-only Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957, after the Supreme Court ruled in “Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka” in 1954 that segregating Black and white students was unconstitutional. Central High School in Little Rock would be the major test case for integration. And the nine sacrificial lambs and exceptional nine Black students who had been selected to be thrown to the huge wolf pack of 2,100 mostly racist, white high school students, and became known as “The Little Rock Nine.
“I like to be worshiped,” Richard Hell declares in “Love Letters,” one of the first poems featured in his latest offering, What Just Happened (Winter Editions, 2023). The collection comprises new poems—his first in decades—followed by “Falling Asleep,” a morbidly driven essay written with a hint of optimism, and “Chronicle,” a list of musings from Hell’s notebooks kept in recent years. The concept of worship coupled with a punk ethos poses an intriguing juxtaposition, going against the popularized “no gods, no masters” ideology that defined the early stages of punk in the 1970s. But this contrast is precisely what makes Hell’s work, and his place in the pantheon of punk culture, so appealing.
Cheetah Chrome, guitarist and songwriter for punk originals the Dead Boys, is alive and on the road with a new version of the iconic band. Legs talks to his old buddy about the good old days at CBGB, Dead Boys, dead friends, and life as punk survivor … Watch The Video!
The long-awaited conclusion to Legs McNeil’s interview with his friend Elizabeth Hand, the acclaimed author of more than fifteen books, including the Cass Neary mysteries. Her upcoming novel, A Haunting on the Hill, was inspired by Shirley Jackson’s classic The Haunting of Hill House. In Part I, Legs and Liz talked about the iconic Cass, the punk rock photographer turned reluctant amateur sleuth. In Part II, Liz tells why she was selected by Shirley Jackson’s family to carry on the literary tradition – and more.
At the age of 12, Tommy was already on the road to stardom. His brother Bob Stinson put a bass in his hands to keep him out of trouble and “voilà!” The Replacements were formed in 1979, inadvertently joining the punk circuit and sharing the bill with bands like Black Flag and X. They blazed a trail throughout the 80s, helping to pave the road for future indie bands and do-it-your-selfers in the music biz. After cutting a few albums for Twin Tone Records, they were signed to Sire Records by Seymore Stein in 1985, eventually calling it quits in 1991. Tommy has remained a permanent fixture ever since, fronting his own bands Bash & Pop and Perfect, even joining Soul Asylum for a brief stint. He also served as a longtime member of Guns N’ Roses from 1998-2014 before reuniting with Paul Westerberg for a successful Replacements reunion tour. His latest project is Cowboys in the Campfire.
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.