Richard Hell (born Richard Meyers) is a singer, songwriter, bassist and writer American poet born October 2, 1949, very influential in the punk movement. He has been a member of Television, The Heartbreakers and The Voidoids.
Hell is one of the main instigators of the specific punk look, he is the first to wear a bristly hairstyle and safety pins. to his clothes.
Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, acknowledged Hell's important influence on the attitude and posture of the Sex Pistols.
Hell was leader of the punk band Richard Hell & the Voidoids.
In 1977, their first album, Blank Generation, influenced many punk bands of the time.
He grew up in Lexington, Kentucky in the 1950s. He met Tom Miller - the future Tom Verlaine - at a private school in Delaware. Both passionate about poetry, they fled together at the age of sixteen and were arrested in Alabama for vandalism. If Tom Verlaine returns to high school, Richard Hell reunites New York where he starts writing, trying parallel to all kinds of drugs. Tom Verlaine joined him in the late 1960s and together they formed The Neon Boys, which became Television, a cult band on the New York scene. Richard Meyers chose Richard Hell as a pseudonym, in reference to Arthur Rimbaud's collection of poems A Season in Hell.
Television is looking for a place to perform regularly and brighten up the Sundays of CBGB's, a Bluegrass and Desert Country club. They earn respect and audience (Lou Reed and Patti Smith are part of the public audience) but no or little money. Richard Hell, impetuous but not really musician, gets along less and less with Tom Verlaine, more demanding and ambitious. He left the group in 1975, a few weeks after Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan left the New York Dolls.