Life After Death is a deep dive into the subcultures of Los Angeles and London in the 1980s, as glam turned to punk and goth. Susan Compo captures the lives of aspiring musicians, scenesters, and obsessive fans—lives in which reality is a constant threat to cherished illusions, and death, while never far away, is sometimes not the end of the story.
The awesome Cathi Unsworth (Weirdo, Bad Penny Blues) raves about this timely reissue of Compo's cult classic: “A dazzling time capsule that, once re-opened, brings back in vivid and lurid detail a counter-cultural moment that spanned cities and continents, uniting lost souls under layers of black hair dye, bleach, mascara, torn fishnets and smeared lipstick at the altar of doomed punk icons and screen goddesses. As perfectly preserved as Dracula rising from his tomb, this cast of outsider poets, prophets, pissheads and punkers do not seem like figments of Susan Compo’s vivid imagination but very real manifestations of the rebel spirits who burned Punk’s trail from London to LA in the years between Glam and Goth.”
Susan Compo grew up in Orange County, California, where she published the pioneering Fanzine for the Blank Generation. She is the author of two story collections, Life After Death and Malingering, and a novel, Pretty Things, as well as A Wild Life, a biography of Warren Oates. Her most recent book is Earthbound: David Bowie and The Man Who Fell To Earth.
Raves from the original 1990 edition:
“Susan Compo peels back the gloss to expose the seamy, nutty rock ’n’ roll underbelly. I’ve met people like this backstage at the Whisky A Go Go.” Pamela Des Barres
“A pretty girl with a dirty mind.” Charles Bukowski
“A good, fast-paced read . . . Good insight into men. Susan’s done her time.” Henry Rollins