OVERRIDE

fromDa Capo Press

My Damage

The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor

By Keith Morris, With Jim Ruland

Keith Morris is a true punk icon. No one else embodies the sound of Southern Californian hardcore the way he does. With his waist-length dreadlocks and snarling vocals, Morris is known the world over for his take-no-prisoners approach on the stage and his integrity off of it. Over the course of his forty-year career with Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, and OFF!, he's battled diabetes, drug and alcohol addiction, and the record industry...and he's still going strong.

My Damage is more than a book about the highs and lows of a punk rock legend. It's a story from the perspective of someone who has shared the stage with just about every major figure in the music industry and has appeared in cult films like The Decline of Western Civilization and Repo Man. A true Hollywood tale from an L.A. native, My Damage reveals the story of Morris's streets, his scene, and his music-as only he can tell it.
Keith Morris is a cofounding member of Black Flag, the most recognizable name in West Coast punk, and the Circle Jerks, which cemented his reputation at the forefront of hardcore vocalists. He has recorded over fifteen albums, appeared on countless albums and compilations, and has a half-dozen film credits to his name. The intensity of the music produced by his latest bands OFF! and FLAG are equal to his best work from the '70s, '80s, and '90s, and add to a legendary career that is still being carved out one gig at a time.

Jim Ruland caught the punk rock virus when his mom took him to see the Ramones when he was 15. He has been writing for punk rock zines like Flipside since the early '90s and has written for every issue of Razorcake, America's only non-profit independent music fanzine. He is the author of the award-winning novel Forest of Fortune and the short story collection Big Lonesome and is the curator of the irreverent reading series Vermin on the Mount.

“I came late to Southern California and its Punk Rock scene, but after reading Keith Morris's memoir, feel I was there from the start. My Damage is like Neal Cassady's The First Third read aloud by William Burroughs for his private enjoyment: clear and unapologetic as a bell, fast as you can go, a rolling dumpster on fire, and a treasure trove for any student of West Coast Punk history. Lonely, funny, brave, tragic, anonymous, and famous all at once, until the moon disappears and everything goes to sleep. And wakes up again to dream a new song.”—Viggo Mortensen

“Kill your idols, please. Check that tired rock star shit at the door. Keith Morris is nothing less than a living, breathing symbol. He's a snot-voiced, Southern California archetype and prototype, an influential fuckup whose ripple effect in punk has been felt every single day since he spat out, ‘I'm about to have a nervous breakdown' in 1979. Without My Damage's middle-finger-shaped piece snapped into place, no history of L.A.'s punk rock puzzle is complete.”—Todd Taylor, Razorcake

Praise for Keith Morris and My Damage

"Keith Morris is a human firecracker. You can literally hear his leg kicking under the table as you rip through the pages. If his life were the bars, these words are the file hidden in the cake. He is as truthful as funny, and if you don't read this book you might as well join an REO Speedwagon cover band.”—Ryan Adams

“Keith Morris, survivor of bouncers and blacklisters, thrown down the stairs yet still standing tall, damaged, patched up, last laugher of all, this is the punk rock story I've always wanted to hear.”—Exene Cervenka of X

"In My Damage, Keith Morris lets loose with a shotgun blast of funny, often harrowing vignettes/opinions in every chapter, chronicling growing up in Los Angeles' South Bay and the evolution of not just Southern California punk (and his part), but rock music in general, from the late 1960s up to the present. I found it so readable I finished half the book in one night's sitting."—Chris D., author, singer/songwriter of the bands The Flesh Eaters and Divine Horsemen, and in-house producer at Slash/Ruby Records (1980–1984)

“Even though Keith was so wasted most of the time, that nebb'd up surfer who lived on The Strand made me want to be a punk singer.”—Greg Graffin of Bad Religion

Publishers Weekly, 8/15/16
“[An] engaging autobiography…Morris puts the reader in the passenger seat as he details the wild and woolly early days of punk rock with plenty of debauchery and hijinks accompanied by police brutality and rampant drug use…Fans of punk rock will get the most out of the book, and those interested in the music industry in general will also appreciate Morris' candor as he details the machinations and manipulations he's encountered over the years—up to the present day, as he's still recording and touring—in this roller coaster of a book.”

LA Weekly, 8/26/16
“An illuminating read…The droll wisecracks and unexpected detours almost make it feel as though Morris is sitting next to you on the couch, telling his story to you himself.”

The A.V. Club, 8/29/16
“A winning memoir from a punk icon.”

Punknews.org, 9/6/16
“A portrait of a famed frontman that is complex but earnest.”

Record Collector, October 2016
“The trials and tribulations of a 70s fishing shop employee who goes on to front two of America's greatest punk banks…delivered via his astute observations on life and with an extra healthy dose of wit.”

"An insightful and expansive look at an unconventional life."—Men's Journal, 10/27/1

"A wild tell-all told in a no-holds-barred style, My Damage is an epic autobiography told with humor, honesty, and courage."
The Good Men Project, 11/15/16

"Morris' book benefits from the same energetic, frenetically authentic style that makes his music so memorable. His description of the early punk scene and the inception of his two most famous bands is a fascinating read."—Under the Radar, 11/18/16

"[My Damage] delivers the behind-the-scenes kind of stuff we all love reading in rock autobiographies."
No Echo

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