Lexicon Devil is an oral history that probes the brains of over 100 characters, containing 140 never-before-seen photos, going beyond early punk rock into secret regions of suicide, mind control, suppressed sexuality, corrosive humor, self-abuse, + addictions to rock celebrity, drugs + cults. Thieves, surfers, skinheads, nymphettes, chickenhawks, skateboarders, Scientologists, boho artists, under-age sado-masochistic punk kids, + TV stars confront + hustle each other in a late ’70s L.A. history that reads like bowdlerized chapters of Hollywood Babylon that have finally come to light.
It took three improbable co-authors to put together this amazing book. Brendan Mullen founded the Masque, the urine-stained basement from which Los Angeles punk rock was created, (+ with Mark Spitz) wrote We Got the Neutron Bomb, the ’70s Los Angeles rock history. Don Bolles played drums for The Germs, Vox Pop, 45 Grave + Celebrity Skin; when not homeless Bolles DJs horrifying children’s records at KXLU. Adam Parfrey was known for his apocalyptic sociology, + the volume Extreme Islam: Anti-American Propaganda of Muslim Fundamentalism. Softcover. 294 pages.
Lexicon Devil is, pure and simple, the finest volume on L.A. punk – world punk – PUNK! – to have seen the light of print. (Yes, folks: that includes Please Kill Me.) As oral histories of ANYTHING go, I would put it right up there with Jack’s Book and Edie: An American Biography. Great book!
— Richard Meltzer