Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain bring new book to Star Bar
Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain read from Live Through This and Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk at the Star Bar on Wednesday, Jan. 30
- Joey Ramone and Legs McNeil (right) catching up on some light reading.
Last week, author and Punk magazine co-founder Legs McNeil put the finishing touches on his latest book, Live Through This. To celebrate, he’s heading South to find respite from the harsh winter weather of the Mid-Atlantic, and he’s bringing a few passages from the new book with him as well. On Wednesday, Jan. 30, McNeil and cohort Gillian McCain will be at the Star Bar, reading from Live Through This, along with a few highlights from Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, which they co-authored.
Live Through This relives a five-month love affair between McNeil and a woman named Shannon McNamera, who was secretly using heroin. After shooting a dose that was infected with a flesh-eating bacteria, she was taken to a hospital to have her leg amputated. Less than 48 hours after the surgery, she was dead. Although Live Through This sounds like a dark entry into McNeil’s body of work, and it is, he reiterates that it’s also a love story that’s more about their brief but intense time together.
Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain read from Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk and Live Through This at Star Bar on Wed., Jan. 30. $8. 8 p.m.
Why take the new book on the road before it’s published? Are you looking for feedback?
Yeah, it’s also my birthday. The book is about my girlfriend who died, and she died on my birthday, so I thought, let’s go somewhere warm and do some readings.
It sounds like a pretty dark tale ...
Well, we had just been in New York for the Punk magazine relaunch party and she went home early - she was from Seattle and had flown home. I was in the middle of interviewing Chuck Traynor - I had to drive down to Gainesville, Fla., to interview him. I was driving from New York City, because I don’t fly. She called me and said her leg hurt, so I said, “Please go to the hospital,” and she wouldn’t go, and wouldn’t go, and then finally she went, but once she got there I couldn’t talk to her anymore.
I was living in L.A. at the time because I was working on the porn book The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry, so I had my assistant, Neil, fly to Seattle to find out what the fuck was going on. By the time he got there, her leg had already been amputated.