Appearing in early 70s New York City as primal prototype street punks, Suicide are now hailed as one of the most important and influential groups of the 20th century, inspiring that decade's major musical movements but too feared and shunned to be awarded their rightful acclaim at the time. Confronting shocked audiences with their electronic "New York blues", singer Alan Vega and instrumentalist Martin Rev fearlessly mirrored the city's sleazy underbelly and decay on blood-freezing gutter-scapes such as 'Ghost Rider' and 'Frankie Teardrop' while invoking doo-wop purity on timeless love songs like 'Cheree' and 'Dream Baby Dream'.The book charts Suicide's uncompromising roller coaster from formative days in performance art and avant garde experimentation to chaotic early shows at drug-infested downtown hotbed the Project of Living Artists.Along with detailed accounts of Suicide's influences, contemporaries and environment which spawned them, the book will position the duo as one of New York's most pivotal but derided outfits as the story moves through their pioneering first album, 1978's shockingly violent UK tour supporting The Clash and subsequent recordings, live sorties and respective parallel solo careers, going up to the present day.
The author's eye witness accounts and extensive first-hand interviews with Alan Vega and Martin Rev are joined by conversations with producers Craig Leon, Marty Thau and Bob Blank, contemporaries including Blondie, Jayne County and the New York Dolls and fans such as Nick Cave, Bobby Gillespie and The Clash; adding to a definitive account of this most unique group. With an introduction by Lydia Lunch
Kris Needs is a former NME journalist and Zigzag editor. He has written several rock biographies about Blondie and George Clinton (both published by Omnibus Press), Joe Strummer and the Legend of the Clash, The Scream: The Music Myths and Misbehaviour of Primal Scream and Trash! The Complete New York Dolls. H. He is a regular contributor to Record Collector and Mojo.