Posted by
Christi Bradnox
• 02.28.08 08:50 am

legs.jpg
Anyone who saw Legs McNeil’s recent freak-out on VH1 is probably wondering to themselves, “Who the fuck is Legs McNeil?” Guys with t-shirt collections and small dicks will tell you he invented punk and is one of the most accomplished writers in the history of the New York underground.

legs.jpg

Anyone who saw Legs McNeil’s recent freak-out on VH1 is probably wondering to themselves, “Who the fuck is Legs McNeil?” Guys with t-shirt collections and small dicks will tell you he invented punk and is one of the most accomplished writers in the history of the New York underground.

Let’s pore over that carefully shall we? Legs did have a zine back in the mid-to-late 70s called “Punk” and it has often been cited as the origin of the name. Great. He had a zine. You know who else had a zine? All of teenagedom. It was the 70s equivalent of a blog. It’s great that he got the word “Punk” in the history books but Alan Freed invented the words “Rock and Roll” and does he deserve more than a yawn? ‘Fraid not.
Legs McNeil has two books to his name. They both involve tape-recording people for hours and then handing the tapes over to some well-meaning girl who furiously transcribes them and then dutifully disappears. Norman Mailer Truman Capote used to say Kerouac wasn’t a writer he was a “typer.” Legs McNeil is even less. He is a guy with a tape recorder.
So what’s with the attitude? Well, if you’ve ever met Debbie Harry or Lou Reed or Patti Smith or any of those Warhol cling-ons you will notice you’re being told to fuck off by a very old person with a shitty attitude. That’s because all those old East Village “legends” have convinced themselves being real means being an arrogant asshole, which is funny because we’re talking about entertainers from three decades ago who wore cool clothes. Today however, the emperor is nude.


Comments
  1. Bazing! says:

    Hell yes.

  2. o.h. says:

    vh1 wouldn’t let me watch it as I’m not in the us. they didn’t mind showing me a trailer for a programme about some tedious blogger…

  3. toddy says:

    yeah, but i bet he made eye contact with the people he tape recorded…

  4. fochez says:

    That was Capote’s zing, not Mailer’s.

  5. LIP$ says:

    If he had a small moustache drawn on his finger, he could be part of our movement.

  6. scott heflin says:

    him and glen e friedman need to do some serious face to face anal.

  7. olivia says:

    fuck you
    leggs will come to your house and take you away in the middle of the night and you will wake up in a turkish prison with a car battery connected to your balls and your nipples
    cuz yeah, he is a guy with a tape recorder
    but to deny that he deserves recognition?
    tisk tisk tisk

  8. Branson Carbine says:

    Roderick Edward McNeil is the worst kind of fraud.

    Recognition? For what? For lying for YEARS that he invented the term “punk rock” until it became evident that other rock scribes were using the term long before he did? He wasn’t even the main force behind PUNK magazine, for fuck’s sake.

    For claiming to be a “writer” when he didn’t even string a total of two of his own words together in both of his books?

    For being the same sort of pompous, insufferable cock to EVERYONE that he is in this VH1 clip? Ask anyone in NYC who knows him, and you’ll get the same story.

    There’s nothing worse than someone who acts like a rock star but isn’t a rock star.

    Recognize!

  9. moi says:

    “…There’s nothing worse than someone who acts like a rock star but isn’t a rock star…”

    bingo. myth busted. (i hate that fucking show btw.)

  10. Oscar says:

    Hell Yeah!

    Fuck Lou Reed!

  11. Jim Goad says:

    As Buddy Young would say in “Mr. Saturday Night”…Don’t get me started!

    I recently lived with Legs for over a year.

    Resounding testament to the fact that my prison-mandated “Cage Your Rage” anger-management classes were effective is the fact that I didn’t beat him to death.

  12. Jim Goad says:

    And it’s true. He’s not a writer.

    Gillian McCain gets almost no credit for “Please Kill Me,” and Jennifer Osborne gets none for “The Other Hollywood,” although it quickly became obvious to me they’d done nearly all of the hard work on those books.

    In my entire time there (at a house that was being paid for and continually bailed out by the super-nice and tolerant Gillian McCain), the only thing I saw Legs write were lecherous myspace come-ons to 22-year-old punk-rock chicks…when his rich fiancee wasn’t looking.

  13. marshall says:

    he and half of his crowd are dead. he will die too. just like punk rock did.

  14. Jeffrey Jensen says:

    How about the meticulously-matted and framed precious Iggy Pop “artwork” at the end of the clip. My Mom would like that. What a masterpiece-the Mona Lisa of the “I make my living bragging about how raw I was 40 years ago though now I scream at waitresses and Hotel porters for slight imperfections”-set. I.E. ALL OF THOSE GRIZZLED PUNK HERO-TYPES. True, slam-dancing at an all-ages show when your 70 is embarrassing and a little unrealistic but is aging with a sense of humor about yourself and saying JUST ONE unpredictable non-robotic sentence A YEAR too much to ask for? Here’s to Don Bolles who has done something unique in the history of punk…remained interesting.

  15. 000 says:

    GUYS IN FRONT OF LIQUOUR STORES ALSO TALK ABOUT THEIR YOUTH PRETEND THEIR THE RECREATORS OF SOCIETY

  16. Ferd says:

    Sut the fuck up Jenson and make me a fucking taco

  17. Sidney says:

    Alan Freed deserves a lot more than a yawn. Whoever wrote that is a dink!

  18. ih says:

    How many of these people who are accused of having shitty attitudes did the “author” of this entry ever actually meet? I’m fairly certain the answer is none of them. If you have problems with the subject of this entry, fine. But that doesn’t mean you should publicly defame others you have no clue about.

  19. Jim Goad is right says:

    I lived with and worked for Legs too – let me tell you, it was one of the hardest things I ever lived through. He needs serious help.

  20. Well-Meaning Girl says:

    I was one of the well-meaning girls who dutifully disappeared and he made my life a living Hell.

  21. anonymous says:

    No, no, no. Legs is in no way a dink, a “writer” nor a “rock star.”
    Legs is a con man!
    In fact he is, in his own words, a “GREAT” con man!
    Just see what he has to say about his amazing talents:
    http://youtu.be/3WAO4JMwWRI
    So now we know who he is.
    Gillian McCain, and anyone else who still gets suckered by this loser…
    Are you listening?
    You are working with a con man who only cares about stealing your money.


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