Lost & Found: Richard Hell and the Voidoids Are Prone to Spurts
Richard Hell proclaimed loudly, “Oh no, it hurts!” We say to him, “Maybe you shouldn’t do whatever you’re doing that hurts, then.” Richard Hell and the Voidoids could be called many things, but low-key and composed isn’t one of them. The above video should illustrate our point nicely. Hell and company play ‘Blank Generation,’ the title track from their debut album.
Sex Pistols manufacturer Malcom McLaren credited Hell as inspiration for the look he put together for the Sex Pistols and then sold in his clothing store. Hell certainly does look the part, and to his credit, he can actually play his instrument, unlike some other punk rock bassists we could mention.
The top video, in addition to showing two performances of the Voidoids, also contains some footage of an interview with some old-school punk fans. And in case the lo-fi nature of the first video isn’t your thing, we have a second video of the band playing ‘Love Comes in Spurts.’ And to the band frontman we say, “Nice shirt, Richard.”
Before the Voidoids, Hell played in a litany of other important punk bands you’ve probably never heard of. One of the biggest of these bands was Television. Hell’s blustery antics ultimately proved to be a bad fit with the laid-back sound of Television. After band leader Tom Verlaine told Hell to “stop jumping around,” Hell took his songs and went home. You can hear Hell, allegedly the first person to safety-pin his T-shirt together, talk about stuff, including Television, in this interview.