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Published on January 31st, 2013 | by Stefan Rogenmoser


X-Rated Rock ‘n’ Roll Storytime with Legs and Gillian

At the Tin Roof on Monday evening (Jan. 28), author and music journalist Legs McNeil said that at every reading, someone asks him if the stories about the size of Iggy Pop’s cock are true. Immediately after that statement, someone from the audience asked if it was true. McNeil put his right hand on the table and looking up raised his left arm as high as it would go. “It’s this big,” he said, laughing. He added that Iggy’s relatively short stature makes it even stranger.

McNeil and poet Gillian McCain co-authored Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. They visiting Charleston to present a reading at the Tin Roof, drawing a full house.


Legs McNeil at the Tin Roof (photo by Stefan Rogenmoser)

McNeil started the evening by reading from his forthcoming book Live Through This, which is about his former girlfriend Shannon McNamera, whom he met during a book tour more than a decade ago. Unbeknownst to McNeil she was using heroin. She eventually became infected with a flesh-eating bacteria and did not survive the operation. Only recently did McNeil begin writing about the affair.

McNeil and McCain then read excerpts from Please Kill Me, focusing mostly on “Chapter 15: Open Up and Bleed,” which tells the story of the Stooges living in Los Angeles and hanging around David Bowie and various groupies.

McNeil read the male voices (Lee Childers, Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton, etc.) and McCain read the female voices (Cyrinda Foxe, Bebe Buell, etc.). It came across somewhat like a play with only direct quotes from the people who were interviewed by the authors or excerpts taken from various magazines and sources.

The two authors used articulate inflections and dramatic pauses to bring the pages to life. McCain, reading a quote from Cyrinda Foxe, the former wife of David Johansen of the New York Dolls, as well as Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler said, “David Bowie and his wife had a very open marriage. They were sleeping with anybody they felt like sleeping with. David and Angela and I had a ménage à trois for about five minutes, but then I made her leave because David and I were gonna play. Angela was fucking David’s black bodyguard, and David and I used to get down on all fours and peek into their keyhole and watch them fuck. I was sort of like a new toy for David on the Ziggy Stardust tour.”

Reading as Stooges’ guitarist Ron Asheton, McNeill said, “In the beginning, living in the house of Torrenson Drive was great—we’d come back from practice and there’d be naked girls in the pool. It was classic rock ‘n’ roll: naked girls in the pool, Cadillac in the driveway, getting paid, maids, plenty of pot … We had a gig at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go when we first moved out there, and that’s when we met Sable Starr, who was a really nice girl. First she was Iggy’s groupie, then with me, then go back to Iggy, then back to me, and then go to my brother and back to me. We would do two sets at the Whiskey, and in between sets, Sable would say, ‘Can I suck your dick?’ She was real open about stuff, and that’s what I always liked about her. So in between our sets Sable would suck my dick in the upstairs men’s bathroom.”


Gillian McCain at the Tin Roof (photo by Stefan Rogenmoser)

The book starts with the Velvet Underground and goes over the anecdotes of the Stooges, the MC5, the New York Dolls, Richard Hell, Television, Blondie, Patti Smith, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols and countless other punk and new wave bands based mostly in New York. It’s filled with stories of sex and drugs, mostly heroin. McCain said everyone was open during their interviews and never became politically correct.

McNeil mentioned said Johnny Thunders was in rehab coming clean when a young fan asked him to smoke a joint. When Thunders hesitated, the fan called him a pussy, Thunders got high and retreated further into addiction.

He also said the worst cover of the Stooges was the Sex Pistols’ version of “No Fun.” McNeil added that he was doing a story for Punk Magazine (which he was known as “resident punk”) on the Sex Pistols.

The authors answered more questions and signed books. Among the various answers, McNeil commented that he was the architect of the book and McCain was the interior decorator. The crowd of music fans and musicians in attendance appreciated them both.

Photos by Stefan Rogenmoser.


Legs McNeil poses with Tin Roof bartender Johnny Puke (of Cletus fame), who helped organize the reading (photo by Stefan Rogenmoser)



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About the Author

Stefan Rogenmoser

Stefan Rogenmoser is a Charleston-based musician, freelance writer, and photographer. He currently plays keyboards with rock band Sans Jose.

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