Legs McNeil

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Legs McNeil
Legs McNeil.JPG
Born Roderick Edward McNeil
(1956-01-27) January 27, 1956 (age 58)
Cheshire, Connecticut
Nationality US
Occupation Author, writer, rock historian
Known for Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk

Roderick Edward "Legs" McNeil (b. January 27, 1956 in Cheshire, Connecticut, United States) is a writer and rock music historian. He is the co-founder and a writer for Punk magazine; he is also a former senior editor at Spin, and the founder and editor of Nerve magazine (print only; 1992).

Punk Magazine[edit]

At the age of 18, McNeil gathered with two high school friends, John Holmstrom and Ged Dunn, and decided to create "some sort of media thing" for a living. They settled upon a magazine, assuming that people would "think [they were] cool and hang out with [them]" as well as "give [them] free drinks". The name "Punk" was decided upon because "it seemed to sum up...everything...obnoxious, smart but not pretentious, absurd, ironic, and things that appealed to the darker side". In Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, McNeil said that the magazine was inspired by two chief influences: cartoonist and editor Harvey Kurtzman, and The Dictators' debut album The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!, indicating that the magazine was started strictly so that its creators could "hang out with the Dictators".[1]

Nicknamed "Resident Punk" in the magazine, he claims (to much dispute) that he was the first person (along with co-founder John Holmstrom) to have coined the term "punk" to describe a certain type of music, fashion, and attitude. He says he came up with the name punk because Telly Savalas used the line "You lousy punk!" on the show "Kojak." According to McNeil: "After four years of doing Punk magazine, and basically getting laughed at, suddenly everything was "punk," so I quit the magazine."


Oral histories[edit]

  • Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk with Gillian McCain (Penguin Books, 1997).
  • The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry, with Jennifer Osborne and Peter Pavia (Regan Books, 2006).


  • "I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir" with Mickey Leigh. (Simon and Schuster, 2009).


  1. ^ McNeil, Legs; McCain, Gillian (2006), Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk (10th Anniversary ed.), Grove Press, p. 268, ISBN 978-0802142641 

External links[edit]