Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Adjective Noun: Blank Generation

My fave anthem of the ´77 punk generation, with built-in escape route. "I belong to the blank generation and I can take it or leave it each time... I belong to the - generation but I can take it or leave it each time..." Hell sings it like the devil´s hot on his heels, but the real star here is the underrated Robert Quine on guitar.

Hell based Blank Generation on a fun ditty that was the title song of a ´59 exploitation flick featuring Mamie Van Doren. "I run around in sandals, I never ever shave, and that´s the way I want to be when someone digs my grave..." The brain behind all this was none other than songwriter and self-proclaimed poet Rod McKuen, while the backing band is rumoured to be Bill Haley´s Comets. Can you dig it?

Richard Hell (born Myers) is still around, but apart from a short return to music in the early 90´s with Thurston Moore´s Dim Stars project, he mainly gets by as a ´vagabond art hustler´, writing novels and reviews. A few years back, he sold his extensive archives (anything from manuscripts and handwritten lyrics to gig flyers and videotapes) to the Fales Library at New York University for $50.000. Not a bad deal. You can see its fascinating contents here.

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