Richard Hell

Born in 1949, Richard Meyers was shipped off to a private school for troublesome kids in Delaware, which is where he met Tom (Verlaine) Miller. Together they ran away, trying to hitchhike to Florida, but only made it as far as Alabama before being picked up by the authorities. Meyers persuaded his mother to allow him to go to New York, where he worked in a secondhand bookshop (the Strand; later he was employed at Cinemabilia along with Patti Smith) and tried to become a writer.He arrived in the Big Apple at the tail end of the hippie scene. He took acid (and later heroin), but sought to develop a different sensibility in the manner of what he later referred to as 'twisted French aestheticism', i.e. more Arthur Rimbaud than Rolling Stones. He printed a poetry magazine (Genesis: Grasp) and when Miller dropped out of college and joined him in New York, they developed a joint alter ego whom they named Teresa Stern. Under this name they published a book of poems entitled Wanna Go Out?. This slim volume went almost unnoticed. It was at this point that Meyers and Miller decided to form a band. They changed their names to Hell and Verlaine, and called the band The Neon Boys.During this hiatus, Hell wrote The Voidoid (1973), a rambling confessional. He wrote it in a 16 dollar-a-week room, fuelled by cheap wine and cough syrup that contained codeine. He then played in various successful bands: Television, Richard Hell and The Voidoids.Hell recently returned to fiction with his 1996 novel Go Now.

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