Richard Hell was one of the original punk rockers to emerge from New York City in the early to mid-'70s, and is often pointed to as a major influence by other subsequent punk bands -- whether it be with his music, poetry, or even fashion sense (he was one of the first punks to wear ripped clothing). Born Richard Meyers in October 2, 1949, and raised in Lexington, KY, Meyers discovered rock & roll via the usual suspects (Rolling Stones, etc.), and befriended another local music fan, Tom Miller. Miller and Meyers embarked on an unsuccessful hitchhiking journey down south before being picked up by police and sent back to their families, but the taste of life on the road was enough for Meyers to realize that he wanted to relocate to New York. During the late '60s/early '70s, Meyers worked on original poetry and picked up the bass guitar, as he was soon joined in New York by his old pal Miller (who had become quite an accomplished guitarist by this time).