Top 10 Punks (That Weren’t Punks)

02 May

Top 10 Punks (That Weren’t Punks)

10. Eddie Little
Little was did a long running column for L.A. Weekly, and then wrote two very intense books, Another Day In Paradise, and Steel Toes. He was brutally honest about his life of crime, and the thing that ended up taking his life midway through his third book . . . his heroin addiction. In one of his columns he recounts time spent as a Mohawk wearing street punk.

9. Mickey Rourke
The director of 9 1/2 weeks once said of Mickey Rourke “I often think if he had died after Tasking Angel Heart, he would have been a legend on the scale of James Dean. Maybe he still will be.” Who else, but Rourke would’ve launched into a story about doing women in wrong end at an award show only weeks before possibly winning his first and only Oscar?

8. Steve McQueen
A big time movie star who in his later years chose to live in an airplane hanger with his woman, motorcycles, and rare cars. Always cool.

7. James Frey
His incredible book, A Million Little Pieces set the stage for the type of books people would write about when dealing with recovery, or addiction. His second book, My Friend Leonard recounts him and friends slam dancing at a Vandals show.

6. Charles Bukowski
What do you say about Bukowski? A man who gave up a suburban life to live on the streets, and be a drunk. Through this life he found cult-like fame, and vindication. He traveled the hard road, and yet made it . . . his way.

5. Hunter S. Thompson
George Plimpton once wrote a book called Shadow Box. In the book he talks about flying to Zaire to cover the Ali-Foreman fight. On the flight was Thompson. Once they landed Plimpton went to the stadium to cover the fight. Thompson went into the jungle to get mind-altering drugs from a local Witch Doctor.

4. J.D. Salinger
After a bit of controversy, Salinger disappeared for good. Every once in a while someone would leak information about the tremendous amount of writings he had locked away, that may never see the light of day.

3. James Dean
The actor lived however the hell he wanted to. Success came despite the way he lived.

2. Waylon Jennings
Hated the traditional Nashville way of doing things, he was often a “non-invitee” to country music award shows. On the eve of the original We Are The World recording, Stevie Wonder brought an Ethiopian with him, and explained to the all-star gathering that they were going to sing the first chorus in Ethiopian. Jennings walked out stating, “Ain’t no good ole boy ever sang in Ethiopian.”

1. Johnny Cash
At his debut at the Grand Ole Opry the man In Black in a stupor decided to destroy all the foot-lights in the place. It took many years, and many album sales before he was ever asked to return.

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2 Responses to “Top 10 Punks (That Weren’t Punks)”

  1. 1
    Dave Gurz Says:

    You forgot Burroughs and Diane Arbus, but otherwise stellar list.

  2. 2
    Mike E. Says:


    Maybe next time I’ll do a top 20 list.

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