Recommended Reading

Monday Reading: Five Books for the Punk Fan

Do you enjoy reading all about punk? Here are five books with high ratings.

1) Please Kill Me – Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain

An oral history of punk, Please Kill Me begins with the electroshock therapy that Lou Reed received in his teens and through the untimely deaths of icons like Sid Vicious, Johnny Thunders, and Nico. This book emphasizes the self-destructive side to the movement.

2) Perfect Youth – Sam Sutherland

From DOA to Teenage Head and all the lesser-known acts in between, Perfect Youth tells the story of Canadian punk. It covers all regions of the country from Victoria to St. John’s.

3) We Got the Neutron Bomb – Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen

Focusing on the late 70s and early 80s, We Got the Neutron Bomb focuses on the Los Angeles punk scene. The book includes interviews and anecdotes from musicians, groupies, zine writers, and others involved in the scene.

4) I, Shithead – Joe Keithley and Jack Rabid

Learn about DOA right from the founder Joe Keithley, aka Joey Shithead. This book is an autobiography about his experience in the punk scene.

5) Punk is Dead: Punk is Everything – Bryan Ray Turcotte

Turcotte’s book looks at the lasting impact of punk on visual culture. It also includes interviews from major players in the early punk movement that helped shape its image.

If you have a favourite book about punk that you recommend, let me know in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Monday Reading: Five Books for the Punk Fan

  • 2 that I’ve particularly enjoyed are:

    Punk: The Definitive Record Of A Revolution by Stephen Colegrave


    Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs by John Lydon
    The follow up to this is Anger Is An Energy, which is sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read still.

  • Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond 1977-1981. By Liz Worth.
    It’s like a Canadian version of Please Kill Me

  • Gods Of The Hammer – The Teenage Head Story, by Geoffe Pevere

  • Early and British: England’s Dreaming by Jon Savage. Later, and US: All Ages by Beth LaHickey.

  • The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX was an amazing read and really opened my eyes about just how wild the early 90s punk scene really was. Greg Graffin (Bad Religion) also wrote Anarchy Evolution, in which he talks a lot about his life in Bad Religion, as well as science and atheism. But I still like I, Shithead the best. DOA used to live in Cherryville!


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