People Watching: Lester Bangs
So, when did Lester Bangs first enter my consciousness? God knows. I think I had heard about some legendary interviews with Lou Reed. I got into Lou Reed through Heroin which was on The Doors movie soundtrack. I got into The Doors because Echo & The Bunnymen covered People Are Strange on The Lost Boys soundtrack. I got into Echo & The Bunnymen because of some connection to Julian Cope and Ian Broudie, and I got into Julian Cope because I loved World Shut Your Mouth.
Or perhaps it was through exposure to Creem magazine at college when I was tentatively doing a project on the beats and my lecturer gave me ‘yage letter’, a poetry collection. ‘letters between william burroughs and allen ginsberg’ and some issues of Creem.
Maybe he stuck there finally because of Almost Famous. Anyway — he is of a breed that no longer exists; or is at least very rare in music journalism. He had big brass motherfuckin’ balls, he had opinions, flights of fancy, opinions and jesus he could write like a fucking poet. He is the man — you need to buy Psychic Reactions And Carburettor Dung; you need Mainline, Blood Feasts and Bad Taste. You will feel the passion leaping off the page, you will feel the heft of every single idea that a music loving intelligent writer wanted his contemporaries to feel, you will find Bangs so vital that you will find it hard to believe that he is no longer with us. The thing that you will want most? You will want the whole music press to wake and reinvest something in the ideas and ideals that this man put out there. You will tear up your pre-packaged, badly written, advert smothered bullshit and you will call for a journalistic revolution. You will smile and you will go and get out some of the albums that he talks about and you will feel passionate yourself. Thanks Lester, you are a God.
Now playing: Pearl Jam – Sometimes