Ian ‘Snowy’ Snow­ball and Pete McKenna

The Last Black An­gel (New Haven Pub­lish­ing)

Scootering - - Club Do’s & Events -

Set pre­dom­i­nantly in New York, The Last Black An­gel is a novel that swings seam­lessly from 1965 to 1977 time and time again. Based on the ex­ploits of ex Lon­doner Suzi and her street­wise Amer­i­can friend Patti, who first meet in 1965 as Suzi ar­rives in Green­wich Vil­lage New York’s bo­hemian area. Patti takes some­thing of a shine to Suzi which re­sults in firstly Suzi be­ing taken un­der Patti’s wing, sec­ondly Suzi be­ing ac­cepted by and sub­se­quently join­ing a fe­male group of friends col­lec­tively known at the time as The Chelsea Girls. Noth­ing, of course, to do with the English, West Lon­don foot­ball team or the English chain of bou­tiques of the same name.

Their name came from where they of­ten hung out to­gether, the slightly seedy, al­beit hip and cool Chelsea Ho­tel in New York. Col­lec­tively the Chelsea Girls had an­other name be­stowed on them, by one of the band mem­bers of Fallen Spears, The Black An­gels. Scene-sters with groupie-es­que ten­den­cies and a taste for en­joy­ing life to the max­i­mum would be a rea­son­able over­view of The Chelsea Girls/The Black An­gels. The parts of this book set in 1977 re­call the New York art-punk scene of that era, in­clud­ing the leg­endary live mu­sic venue CBGB. Jacket notes by for­mer sticks­man of The Jam, Rick Buck­ler, con­firm that Snowy and Pete ac­cu­rately cap­ture the sense, spirit and even the smells of New York’s un­der­ground art-punk scene circa 1977. Ret­ro­spec­tive short dips back to 1965 help paint the pic­ture of what’s go­ing down, and even at times why, in the fast­mov­ing, at times slightly grubby fic­tional novel. If cult fic­tion set dur­ing a spe­cific time or pe­riod ap­peals, The Last Black An­gel is go­ing to be an­other ab­so­lute must read.

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