Richard Hell

Biography

Legend has it that a decade before the formation of the Neon Boys in New York, Richard Meyers and Thomas Miller, two wayward Delaware prep school escapees, were apprehended by authorities after setting fire to a field in Alabama. Miller (who opted to later change his name to Verlaine) claimed freezing temperatures had motivated the arson. Meyers, who eventually chose the last name Hell, said that he had "just wanted to watch it burn." Hell would continue to leave a blazing trail, burning through rock's conventions and destroying its outdated traditions. Beginning as the bassist in what would become Television, Hell moved on to help found the legendary Heartbreakers, and emerged as the leader of the Voidoids before finally venturing out on his own. Armed with his poetic rants and a mournful wail, Hell inadvertently became the voice of the "Blank Generation," inspiring a group of kids calling themselves the Sex Pistols to rip their clothes and spike their hair. By the time he called it a day, sliding from music into movies, he'd left a slew of indelible marks along the Punk timeline, popping up in some of the genre's most important and interesting musical moments.
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