This AIN'T NO HOLIDAY INN
Book Topics
Chelsea Hotel
New York City
punk rock
bohemian culture
80s-90s
gentrification
Beat poets
Herbert Huncke
Gregory Corso
art scene
Warhol
rock stars
Jimi Hendrix
S&M
transvestites
Dee Dee Ramone
The Ramones
Johnny Thunders
The New York Dolls
heroin
opium
drug use
methadone
suicides
NY literary history
Sid Vicious
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This AIN'T NO HOLIDAY INN

Over the past several decades, New York's Chelsea Hotel has come to epitomize the lively and decadent world of the city's artistic fringe, providing a safe haven for writers, artists, musicians and eccentrics of all stripes. With THIS AIN'T NO HOLIDAY INN: Down and Out at the Chelsea Hotel, 1980-1995, author James Lough has provided a multi-faceted portrait of the Chelsea in a unique oral history format which draws together a vast array of creative individuals who made the hotel their home in the 1980's and 1990's. Here are fascinating portraits, from the basement to the penthouses, of its notorious denizens such as Beat poets Gregory Corso and Herbert Huncke, former Andy Warhol star Viva, rockers Johnny Thunders(of the New York Dolls) and Dee-Dee Ramone (the Ramones) as well as lesser-known figures, newly arrived on the scene, eager to make their mark, who found in the Chelsea a home away from home under the watchful eye of Stanley Bard, manager, landlord and "pater familias" to the motley household. Moreover, while exploring the myths, tall-tales and wild yarns that have emerged from behind these "Chelsea Walls," this book provides a Rashomon-like perspective on urban legends surrounding the death of punk rocker Sid Vicious, the mystery of Jimi Hendrix's demise, Dee Dee Ramone's post-Ramones re-emergence as a bleached blond bluesman, and vivid portaits of the various and nefarious characters from pimps to drug dealers, aging drag queens, dominatrixes, gamblers, gurus, and gangsters who thrived there in the waning days of New York's Bohemia at the end of the 20th Century.
Book Topics
Chelsea Hotel
New York City
punk rock
bohemian culture
80s-90s
gentrification
Beat poets
Herbert Huncke
Gregory Corso
art scene
Warhol
rock stars
Jimi Hendrix
S&M
transvestites
Dee Dee Ramone
The Ramones
Johnny Thunders
The New York Dolls
heroin
opium
drug use
methadone
suicides
NY literary history
Sid Vicious

Reviews and Comments

  • "Exuberant oral history...Drug-fueled debauchery and artists living 'close to the bone' in service to their work fill these reminiscences along with nostalgia for the enclave of 'freaks and weirdoes.'"
    July 15th, 2013
  • "the book mostly tells fantastical yet real-life tales of many of its lesser- or unknown residents, adds depth to some that the public knew only peripherally, and shares many wild, unhinged anecdotes that marked a very different era of New York City life."
    The New York Post
  • "Junkies, beats, smugglers, punks, dealers, lowlifes, artists, it's a look behind the doors of the Chelsea Hotel in its final glory years - fascinating and riveting."
    co-author (with Legs McNeill) of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk
  • "...a colorful oral history ...(that) often focuses on lesser-known faces of the landmark... making this a good option for fueling the fire of serious Chelsea obsessives."
    NYLON Magazine
  • "...a wonderful picture of the lives of some of the hotel's latter day famous guests ... wonderful descriptions of the building itself... Lough's writing belies a true passion for this 'beautiful old whore' of a building. His research is clearly a labor of love, and the book, while informative, is incredibly readable, thanks to his wit and a liberal dose of amusing stories that have otherwise been lost to history."
    Beatdom
  • "It's a pleasure, with lots of great loopy stories."
    of The New Republic
  • "Rife with colorful anecdotes, the book is sure to find a place in the homes of artists, writers and thinkers of all stripes."
    Savannah Morning News
  • "James Lough's book, THIS AIN'T NO HOLIDAY INN: Down and Out at the Chelsea Hotel, touts Bohemian failure as creative impetus, blurs the line between starving artists and the criminal element, and thoroughly explores the historic pairing of creative-types with their substances of choice...As graceful emcee of this collaborative account, Lough sets the tone for chasing Chelsea counterculture during a bygone era of safety pins, punk rock and anti-establishment... A bittersweet bricolage."
    ConnectSavannah
  • "An enjoyable oral history of one of the rock 'n' roll world's most enduring landmarks, the Hotel Chelsea. Lough performs a useful bit of archeology as he describes the hotel's down-slipping days through a chorus of narrators... a quick and interesting read... (that) serves as a bittersweet benediction to American Bohemia."
    Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
  • "Really enjoyed the book. It brought me back to the days I visited Dee Dee in his dingy pot smoke filled room at the Chelsea."
    Ramones tour manager and author of the book "On the Road with the Ramones"
  • "THIS AIN'T NO HOLIDAY INN is a superb oral history, and James Lough should be thanked for documenting a moment in American history that now really is history. If you've never shot heroin, snorted coke, smoked pot, encountered or dealt with crazies, sociopaths, geniuses, idiots, elderly drag queens, folklorists who practice black magic, or fallen eight floors out of the window of a storied hotel in New York and survived, you will feel like you have by the end of the book."
    The American Book Review