What We Do Is Secret: A Novel by Thorn Kief HillsberyWhat We Do Is Secret: A Novel by Thorn Kief Hillsbery

What We Do Is Secret: A Novel

byThorn Kief Hillsbery

Paperback | April 12, 2005

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 105 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-2 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


“Why am I a punk? Because I wasn’t anything before, except different. And now it’s like I’m different, but with a vengeance.”

It’s been months since the suicide of Darby Crash, L.A. punk rock icon and lead singer of the Germs. He checked out on the same day John Lennon was shot: December 8, 1980. But for Rockets Redglare, it feels like yesterday. Darby was the hot-as-sun center of Rockets’s world. Part ringleader, part god, and all charismatic manipulator, Darby was as close to family as a hustler and street kid like Rockets might ever get.

Now, as Rockets amps up for another night looking for tricks and scrounging a meal, Sex Pistols and X lyrics on repeat in his head, he knows he’s come to a turning point–the scene is changing, and nothing’s as easy as it was when Darby brought him into the fold.

From the underground clubs to the back of the giant “H” in the Hollywood sign, Rockets and his crew of friends spend the night burning bridges, building new ones, tripping and talking and searching for answers. As the dark gives way to early morning, the punks and the cops engage in their ritual standoff–and Rockets faces the ultimate choice: Should he stay or should he go?
Thorn Kief Hillsbery is the author of the novels What We Do Is Secret and War Boy. He was born in Portland, Oregon, and is a graduate of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. His feature articles on surfing, skateboarding, and rock climbing have appeared in Rolling Stone, Outside, Mountain Gazette, and other magazines, an...
Title:What We Do Is Secret: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.82 inPublished:April 12, 2005Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0812973097

ISBN - 13:9780812973099


Read from the Book

Chapter 1This is supposed to be about DarbyCrash, but I don’t think it’s going to be. All my so-called life itseems it’s this boy here and that girl there and once they seemy Germs burn and hear it’s real they know what they wantas in word on the old-school LA punk scene and they knowhow to get it as in Tell it, Rockets, but now that I’m at theirservice sitting down to let my fingers do the talking the firstclue card on the table says the only secrets I’m spilling aremine all mine alone, which sounds like here comes trouble ifmissing in traction from slippage in the spillage are the bleedall-about-it excess-clusives that all those jacks and all thosejills are pitching pretty pennies to read.Like with yours coolly for instance, door number onethere’s the sex stuff that’s nothing to do with punk at all, anddoor number two there’s stuff like what happened that night atthe Nast Western that’s punk as fuckety-fuck, cross my coldcold heart and hope to cry baby cry, but still I’m not proud of,how could I be. And I try to be all, No Fear and No Regretsbut there’s one kind of fear you can’t exactly high-five withand make it all better now, that fear of who you really are,ocean deep inside.And I’ve had it for a while. Though not long enough to getover it, which I guess I will someday. So maybe what I shoulddo right now is just say Shine, and go back to the Jell-O factoryand wait bloody wait on someday bloody someday.But I hate waiting.I hate lots of things. I hate poseurs and trendoids and especiallyI hate vals and especially especially that Valley hesherhang called Rock Corporation where all these clueless Germetteswho didn’t know who I was picked me out for a pounding,and when I defended myself these dumb buff surf boysfrom Seamy Valley jumped in screaming, “Don’t hit a girl, faggot.”I hate the Bible and J. D. Salinger and Kurt Vonnegut. Ihate anything to do with fifties-based rock. I hate the FritoBandito. I hate Exene because she lied to me, once, and HellinKiller because she didn’t, twice. I hate that kid Elliot Mess becausehe’s dirty, he’s like so dirty he’s contagious, and I think ofhim with Darby and it makes me want to puke.I hate every single waitress at the IHOP on Sunset acrossfrom Hollywood High. I hate picture postcards with jackalopesand Jake the Alligator Man. I hate that chicken gamewhere you throw the knife between your fingers. I hate retardedpunk names like Donna Rhia and Adam Bomb andDinah Cancer. I hate Aleister Crowley and Jimmy Page. I hateAlice Cooper because he plays golf and I hate Avon Productstoo, Darby’s mom had a serious case of collection infection,you had to juggle rubber duckies just to close the bathroomdoor.I hate the Dils, they’re fakes, they’re not Communists. Ihate Farrah Fawcett-Majors. I hate sniffing spot remover. Ihate Rod Stewart haircuts. I hate that stuff that comes in a can,Party Slime or whatever, I hate when you get it in your hair. Ihate all those loser chicks, the Crash Trash. I hate Spock ears.I hate Gerber because when someone passes out at a partyshe’ll take a straw and blow vodka down their throat, and theidea is they’ll wake up puking, but sometimes they puke withoutwaking and that’s how Jimi Hendrix died. I hate the wayDarby comes in too soon on “No God,” on Lexicon Devil, afterthe instrumental part, and ruins it.I hate telemarketing and phone sex and maps to the homesof the oh my stars. I hate that dude who nails himself to theVolkswagen. I hate the Greeks and the Romans and all thatshit about how every advanced civilization is basically homosexual.I hate that sick fuck chickenhawk Tar. I hate all the HBbands with their fake English accents. I hate people who sayG.I. means Germs Incognito when it’s Guerrilla Insurgency,and I hate the Doors. I hate heroin. I hate Amber. I hate CaseyCola. I hate dry hits. I hate the fuckin tarantula that’s in TheDecline. I hate all those little punk trashettes where you walkall over them in your boots in Daddy’s living room and tothem it’s “having sex.” I hate Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palaceand I hate people who say Mohawk when they mean Mohican.I hate that Queen song “Another One Bites the Dust.” And Ihate Scientology, oh I hate it wicked bad, Darby said therewere twenty-six meanings for the word the and he liked toknow exactly what they meant, he learned that from Scientology.I love one thing in all LA, I love the purple sky at night.