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Books  >>  Biography

Richard Hell

I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp

Richard Hell I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp An Autobiography
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Review quote:

“[Hell] almost single handedly created ‘punk’ as we know it.... Few people have been as important--yet as underappreciated as Richard Hell. Poet, musician, fashion icon and terrific, terrific writer. Chances are, you have been deeply influenced by Richard Hell your whole life. You just didn’t know it.”

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Tramp gave me the same feeling I had as a kid... I cozied up and fell in love with a world that wasn’t mine. There are very few books that make me want to start writing my own; this is one of them.”

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“A rueful, battle-scarred, darkly witty observer of his own life and times.”

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“A skilled writer…In recalling the days when love came in spurts, Hell is precise, telling a lot without ever seeming to tell too much. He nails the essence of both scenes and people, from rock peers to exploitative record producers…A deft, lyrical chronicle.”

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“An exquisite snapshot of early punk possibility--that so beautifully captures the exuberance of starting a band!”

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“Charming and impossible, Hell is the first (and best!) name in punk rock. His insights are informed by the romance of running away to the mystery heard in the rowdy grooves of a dirty LP or in the pages of a thumbed book of verse.”

Review quote:

“Hell brings his searingly honest songwriting style to this candid and page-turning memoir... [Hell’s] portrait of the artist searching for himself offers a glimpse into his own genius as well as recreating the hellishness and the excitement of a now long-gone music scene in New York City.”

Review quote:

“Hell brings to his new autobiography more literary experience than your typical rock memoirist…I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp ultimately celebrates passion, in all its complicated, sometimes dangerous forms.”

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“Hell is a fine writer and full of self-knowledge, and part of the pleasure of this randy, drug-addled memoir are his descriptions of New York during the bad old days when crime was rampant and the streets filthy. A compelling and entertaining memoir.”

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“Hell is an enthusiastic reporter of the critical artistic crossover of the avant-garde art scene and the world of punk rock... his account rings true and it entertains... a treasure both to those present during gritty, heady ‘70s NYC and to those not.”

Review quote:

“His book shines its own dirty light. Which means it has lots of sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll. Pick up I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp, if you want poetry and insight.”

Review quote:

“In his poetic memoir, I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp, Hell takes us on a tour of a lost world and stakes out his place in cultural history.”

Review quote:

“Mr. Hell has an excellent new memoir, I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp, that describes that wild, reckless and important era in downtown Manhattan with candor, wit and reverence.”

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“Other rock bios are tasteful and cautious — you feel the writer take you to a certain point but then pull back... Hell will take you right there, and that is why this book is an honest and special treat.”

Review quote:

“Richard Hell designed and executed a sustained performance of rock stardom as if he had invented the concept himself. Radically self-aware, he wields prose keen as a diamond knife, sharpened by the light of the moon.”

Review quote:

“There are many shivery, illicit pleasures in this louche memoir… Hell was a virtuoso of taste, a critic with a sensibility so fi“This valuable book... is not only an absorbing cultural history but also a clear-eyed story that superbly channels the attitude expressed in the first blurt to his best-known song ‘Blank Generation’: “I was saying let me out of here before I was even born.”


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