The names you'll find here are musicians whose artistic ability - genius, in some cases - has dwarfed their limited commercial success. So don your white robes and join us as we count down the 20 gods of cult.
Meanwhile, head to NME.COM/video to hear NME writers discuss these artists - and don't forget to let us know your own personal cult heroes.
The man who wrote New York punk's defining anti-anthem
Richard Hell might not – as he claims – have actually invented punk rock but, at the very least, he was the man who gave it its identity.
Sporting the kind of haircut previously only modelled by lunatic asylum patients and wearing a shirt held together with safety pins, Hell – born Richard Myers in 1949 – wasn’t to know that 40 years later his sartorial statement would be a uniform for fledgling rock troupes worldwide.
Forming spindly art-rockers Television with schoolfriend Tom Verlaine, Hell then started the Heartbreakers before writing New York punk’s defining anti-anthem – see below – then becoming a prolific and respected poet and novelist.
Download: Richard Hell & The Voidoids – 'Blank Generation'
The punk icon opens his back pages...