The Randy Years of a Punk Musician
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The 1979 Teenage Diaries of Sean DeLear
Edited by Michael Bullock & Cesar Padilla
Semiotext(e). 215 pages, $16.95

A  HOST of accolades marks Sean DeLear’s posthumous reputation: “the Queen Mother of alternative music,” “a punk rock fairy godmother,” “a walking work of art,” “a person who single-handedly made counterculture feel viable,” AND “a fierce, fully formed faggot.” To use an expression DeLear often applied to others, he was a “bitchin’ babe.”

            “He was so many things,” writes Michael Bullock, co-editor of DeLear’s teenage diary I Could Not Believe It, recently issued by Semiotext(e): “punk musician, intercontinental scenester, video vixen, dance-track vocalist, party host, heavy-metal groupie, marijuana farmer, and even Frances Bean Cobain’s babysitter.” DeLear was the lead singer of the power pop-punk band Glue, which was a vital element in the Silver Lake scene of the 1980s and ’90s. Adored for his matter-of-fact androgyny and his “lyrical and vocal tempestuousness,” he later went on to collaborate with performance-based artists, joining the European art collective Gelitin and performing as a solo cabaret artist.

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Philip Gambone, a regular contributor to The G&LR, is the editor of Breaking the Rules: The Intimate Diary of Ross Terrill.