Down at the Rock and Roll–um, Memoir Writing–Club: Richard Hell Pens His Life Story

Libby Edelson at Ecco has acquired the memoir of Richard Hell, the punk icon who retired from music in 1984 to focus on his writing. It is called I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp.

Mr. Hell is the man behind such tunes as “Blank Generation” and “The Kid with the Replaceable Head.” He was co-founder of the band Television, but left in 1975 after creative disputes with fellow songwriter Tom Verlaine. He went on to found the Voidoids with former members of the New York Dolls.

Since 1984,he has written the novels Go Now and Godlike, as well as the essay collection Hot and Cold.

“Writing this book was complicated and fraught,” Mr. Hell said in a statement, “and took a long time, but all that melts in my pleasure at being taken on by this great publisher.” He also mentioned Ecco’s “do-it-yourself” roots. The press release about the memoir mentions “endless nights with club denizens,” “encounters with literary luminaries like Susan Sontag” and “a long procession of vividly evoked girlfriends.” And heroin.

It’s worth noting that there are a ton of these rocker memoirs coming out right now (they come in spurts, as Mr. Hell might say). Courtney Love, Pete Townshend, Duran Duran’s bassist and Neil Young are all chronicling their stories as rock & roll royalty.

This is a cause for celebration! You probably ought to watch this video of Richard Hell playing “Blank Generation.”