[26.7.05] [Andrew Gallix]
CLOSING THE BOOK: THE RICHARD HELL INTERVIEW 1
Here's a first extract from 3:AM's forthcoming interview with Richard Hell who has a new novel, Godlike, out this month, and a definitive CD compilation, Spurts: The Richard Hell Story, coming out in August. Here, the original punk explains why he is a writer and not a rock star:
"I've often had some kind of encounter with a trace of my mid '70s self and been really repulsed. On recorded interviews, I can hear myself slurring with narcotics in my system. I just seem pathetic and maddening. Mostly, I don't like that world, the world I inhabited then. I got out of it because I didn't like it. There was about eighteen months that were kind of ecstatic, but then it turned into the whole pop music thing, and being a public figure in that way, no matter what scale, where you're expected to stay current, and somehow speak for your constituency as some kind of representative of youth... And it's really competitive, everyone is always chewing each other up, and I found it hard to take. It had me turned around a lot. I'm just not interested in that. I don't go to any clubs. I basically think I wouldn't be interested in the mid '70s me. Punk is all water under the bridge. Frankly the only meaning of that to me is exploiting it. It's something people are excited by so I can take advantage of that in certain ways to make it possible for me to do the things that interest me now. Which I don't mean to be saying is cheesy or sleazy -- I was there, I earned it, I did what I did, and god knows the payoff whatever it is is smaller than what a half-competent sleazebag 'Christian' evangelist gets or even an average insurance salesman.
The CD is consciously an effort to close the book, and dispose of unfinished business and stamp a finish. I've wanted to do the CD for some time, but had to acquire rights that were complicated and time-consuming to get. I wanted to do it because none of my existing CDs satisfied me. Now I have no regrets, and can put it all behind me. I proposed to Warner Bros that they should present it as my 'only' recording. They didn't want to be that final, but we made it pretty clear.
It's a shame in a way because I like making records, but I left the music business because I'm not really cut out for it. You have to rehearse with a band, deal with record companies. All the elaborate business around making records. You are required to go out on tour in support of them. There's a lot more required of you than writing songs and recording them. Not to mention finding a way to sound a way you can stand when you're not a natural-born singer. As an author, I just sit down and write."