Please Kill Me – 20th Anniversary Release with Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, March 13, 2017, McNally Jackson Independent Booksellers
The best part of moving to NYC is being in a room that contains all the names I read when I was a lowly college DJ in the early 80’s. I walk around in a music nerd haze-for-daze after shaking hands with Clem Burke, Bob Gruen, and Danny Fields. But my NYC time machine is somewhat faulty as everyone looks much older than I remember from the magazines.
Legs McNeil cannot help but be Legs. He liberally drops “fuck” throughout his conversation, tells a woman in the audence, “Nice lipstick” and makes sure we all know that he has to go out and smoke before signing any books. Is having a long scarf hanging from his neck a trademark? I expected him to have that look, and he did! Legs immediately announced that he’s over Please Kill Me. He’s been talking about it for 20 years. Instead Gillian McCain and Legs launch into promoting their upcoming book featuring Charlie Manson, “69.” The title is not yet set, but may be something like “69 – The Story of the California Music Scene.” I don’t think too many people were so invested in Please Kill Me as to take umbrage.
Gillian was styling an Esso gas station coverall from the 1940’s, tailored, and paired with classic red Chuck Taylors, She is the calm sane one to Legs’ manic presence. She seems quite comfortable dealing with the “Legs McNeil Show.” Like all great duos, this bit works well.
Legs and Gillian took turns reading aloud from a chapter of their new book, “69.” In this chapter, a William Morris agent, Stan Shapiro, must reign in the spending of Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson while also driving a cab to supplement his William Morris income. (William-Morris pays Shapiro a princely sum of $67.00/week) Shapiro was surprised to pick up Dennis as an ordinary fare and ended up being Dennis’s regular cabby nearly every day as Dennis had drivien his Ferrari under a semi and given away the 16 cars he bought for himself. Not yet published, this book will have the typical oral history style as in Please Kill Me and The Other Hollywood- a book about the adult film industry from those on the inside.
Legs tooks some questions about Please Kill Me. Nancy Spungen is talked about in chapter 34, and I asked if Rockets Redglare had killed Nancy. Legs laughed and said Rockets liked to brag. He went on to say that Please Kill Me has the stories that were once rumors and that he kept to the personal stories rather than focusing on the music. He then regaled us a story about smashing a rat with a board in the “Punk Dump” where he had lived in those days on 10th Street. “It was a dump.” Oh, for those halcyon days! Probably best that I was in California.
But guess what? After Gillian and Legs signed my first edition, it’s worth 250 bucks!! I knew moving to NYC would pay off. I just knew it!