Richard Hell was born in 1949 as Richard Myers. He was the early frontman for the American punk band Richard Hell and the Voidoids. They came out with an album in 1977 titled Blank Generation.
Richard was from Lexington, Kentucky. He was a high school dropout that aspired to be a poet and traveled to New York. Eventually he wound up in the punk scene in downtown New York in the mid-1970's. In his early twenties he formed the band Television. Television performed at CBGB's, which held a lot of aspiring artists such as Patti Smith, who wrote the first press review of Television for the Soho Weekly News in June of 1974.
Richard Hell left Television after a dispute of creative control. Hell and Verlaine had evenly divided the song-writing, but Verlaine insisted on using his own songs.
Soon after that, with former New York Dolls members, Jerry Nolan and Johnny Thunders, he formed a band called the Heartbreakers, and later moved onto his own group - the Voidoids.
Richard Hell, Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Thunders, and Jerry Nolan were all heroin users together.
Richard Hell is often thought of as one of the inventors of the punk fashion. He spiked his hair, which he said was inspired by the 19th century poet, Arthur Rimbaud. He also tore and cut his shirts. A lot of people believe that Malcolm McLaren had the Sex Pistols imitate Richard Hell's look. Richard Hell thought that punk fashion should be cheap and easy to access to anyone, in contrast to disco's expensive styles.
Recently, Richard Hell has started writing literature again. He published an autobiographical novel Go Now in 1996, and has released a collection of short pieces consisting of poems, essays, and drawings titled Hot and Cold, in 2001.