Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Voidoids

A logical place to start the Quine retrospective would be with the music that made him famous - his work with Richard Hell. The students of New York punk would know that Hell, together with the guitarist Tom Verlaine, was a founding member of the great, groundbreaking band Television. Unfortunately, tensions between Hell and Verlaine forced Hell out of the band. After a stint as a bassist with the Heartbreakers (the post-NYDolls Johnny Thunders band), Hell left them to pursue his own direction and started assembling the Voidoids.
In the meantime, Robert Quine completed a law degree and made a few failed attempts at living a square life. His stint as a tax preparer in New York finally pushed him over. He played in bands while in college, and he decided to return to playing. Fortunately for all of us, a chance acquaintance with Hell grew into an invitation to join his new band.
Richard Hell's volatile personality and the bohemian environment of downtown Manhattan were responsible for the rise and fall of the band. They made the Voidoids' music gritty, edgy, dangerous, and gave us their brilliant debut album - "Blank Generation" - on which Hell's poetry meshed with swinging, twitchy rhythms of the rhythm section and blasts of guitar skronk from Quine and Ivan Julian, the second guitarist. The combined pressures of music industry indifference, the hardships of touring and the members' drug habits eventually crushed the band.

Richard Hell and the Voidoids - Blank Generation
1. Love Comes In Spurts
2. Liars Beware
3. New Pleasure
4. Betrayal Takes Two
5. Down At The Rock And Roll Club (Alternate Version)
6. Who Says?
7. Blank Generation
8. Walking On The Water
9. The Plan
10. Another World
11. I'm Your Man
12. All The Way

The artwork above is the original cover for the album; a CD reissue adds two songs (I'm Your Man and My Way) and a new cover.

A compilation of Hell's

Spurts: The Richard Hell Story
Reviews and song details
1. Love Comes in Spurts -- Neon Boys
2. That's All I Know -- Neon Boys
3. Chinese Rocks -- Heartbreakers
4. Blank Generation -- Richard Hell & The Voidoids [*]
5. Liars Beware -- Richard Hell & The Voidoids [*]
6. Walking on the Water -- Richard Hell & The Voidoids [*]
7. Love Comes in Spurts -- Richard Hell & The Voidoids [*]
8. Kid with the Replaceable Head -- Richard Hell & The Voidoids [*]
9. Crack of Dawn -- Richard Hell & The Voidoids [*]
10. Time -- Richard Hell & The Voidoids [*]
11. Ignore That Door -- Richard Hell & The Voidoids [*]
12. Lowest Common Denominator -- Richard Hell & The Voidoids [*]
13. Downtown at Dawn -- Richard Hell & The Voidoids [*]
14. Dim Star Theme -- Dim Stars
15. Baby Huey (Do You Wanna Dance) -- Dim Stars
16. Monkey -- Dim Stars [*]
17. Night Is Coming On -- Dim Stars
18. Oh -- Richard Hell & The Voidoids [*]
19. She'll Be Coming (For Dennis Cooper) -- Richard Hell
20. Rip Off -- Dim Stars
21. Blank Generation (At CBGB) -- Television

Recordings on which Quine plays are marked with [*]


  1. Thank you, this sounds interesting. I am interested to hear this Robert Quine.


  2. just bumped into your blog!
    It's great!!!
    can't wait for the rest of the Quine retrospective

  3. Both links to Spurts don't work: I had been really looking forward to hearing the Neon Boys for the first time!!!! Thanks for all your generous sharing!

  4. Hello Toby,
    You can get it here on shareonall.
    I think some Neon Boys recordings also came out on a ROIR bootleg - Funhunt? or maybe another one, I will have to look it up.

  5. it's actually "dominator' not the math term "denominator"(song 12-r.hell story

  6. Thanks. "Dominator" fits the verse better, although the song list on my CD may have it as denominator...