Rockers Reading: Peter Hook, Richard Hell Look Back

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 11.17.45 AMEcco Press

Time for another installment of rock stars reading!

Mark your calendars: Richard Hell’s long anticipated autobiography, “I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp,” comes out March 12. The punk-rock pioneer best known for his work with Television, the Voidoids, and the Heartbreakers is reading at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square two days later, on March 14, and he’ll appear at Bookmarc, in the West Village, March 19.

The memoir of his life up to age 34 (or the year 1983) was five years in the making when Ecco Press acquired it in 2011 and issued a press release describing the book thusly: “From his early days as a struggling writer to the opening of CBGB’s and his subsequent endless nights with the club’s denizens, such as The Ramones, Patti Smith Group, Blondie, and The New York Dolls, to Hell’s encounters with literary luminaries like Susan Sontag and his relationship with high school friend and Television co-founder Tom Verlaine, to a long procession of vividly evoked girlfriends, to the heroin addiction that threatened to derail him completely, ‘I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp’ is an acutely rendered, lyrical portrait of a life as lived in a particular city and era and the people who defined them.”

You can get more of a feel for the memoir’s content by reading Hell’s personal timeline, which starts with the young Kentuckian escaping school and hitchhiking with his buddy and future Television bandmate Tom Verlaine. It wasn’t the first time Hell ran away from home; an account of an earlier incident appeared in his autobiographical collection “Hot and Cold,” and can be read online.

As it turns out, Hell (who, by the way, recently made a cameo in Tom Tom Club’s ode to the CBGBs crowd, “Downtown Rockers”) isn’t the only endlessly influential musician who has penned a tell-all.

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 11.20.11 AMHarperCollins

Jan. 29 at The Strand, a bookstore that’s no stranger to such legends, Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order will discuss his newly released memoir, “Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division” with Sasha Frere Jones, music critic for The New Yorker. That’s right, the guy whose singing and bass playing emits from pretty much every jukebox in the neighborhood will appear live and in the flesh, to “candidly discuss the in and outs of Joy Division from the suicide of Ian Curtis to the rehearsals to the recording sessions,” per The Strand’s blurb. (Mr. Hook, who has also been known to pop up around town as a DJ, will be coming off a Jan. 28 appearance at Powerhouse Arena, in conversation with Brandon Stosuy of Pitchfork.)

To attend the Strand event, buy a copy of the book or a $10 Strand gift card here; if you can’t make it, you can pre-order a signed copy at the Strand’s Website as well.