The term, “rock critic” has always mystified me and I don’t respect too many people who have “worked” in this profession. I really don’t believe that rock ‘n roll needs to be seriously “critiqued.” One exception to this train of thought for me is writer Lester Bangs. He always spoke and wrote the truth with a good dose of humor, lived a rock ‘n roll lifestyle and also had his own band. I’ve recently been re-reading the book, Let It Blurt, a biography of Lester Bangs by Jim DeRogatis and I’ve really been enjoying it. So here’s a half a dozen links for further Lester Bangs reading and then the obligatory MBIP Coming Attractions after that. Enjoy!
Lester Bangs: Truth-Teller - A New Yorker profile of Lester Bangs by Maria Bustillos. An interesting profile of Bangs who was her mentor and a man she describes as, “a wreck of a man.”
Cameron Crowe on How Philip Seymour Hoffman Became Lester Bangs - Philip Seymour Hoffman portrayed Lester Bangs in the movie, “Almost Famous.” Cameron Crowe who wrote and directed the movie shares his memories of how and why he cast Hoffman in the role in this Rolling Stone article.
Looking Back at Lou Reed’s Famously Contentious Relationship With Rock Critic Lester Bangs - This article which is about the back and forth feud between Lou Reed and Lester Bangs contains this passage Bangs wrote for CREEM magazine and I think it’s hilarious: “Lou Reed is my own hero principally because he stands for all the most fucked up things that I could ever possibly conceive of. Which probably only shows the limits of my imagination." Ha ha ha!
How to be a Rock Critic & Here's How - Lester Bangs wrote this humorous article about being a rock critic in 1974 and signed it, R.J. Gleason as an inside joke. Too funny and I bet “rock critics” can’t help but cringe as they read it!
A Final Chat With Lester Bangs - An entertaining 1982 interview that the author of Let It Blurt, Jim DeRogatis conducted with Bangs when he was a senior in high school. Two weeks later Lester Bangs was dead.
Lester Bangs, 33, Rock Critic For Many Publications, Dies - Lester Bangs’ obituary from the NY Times in 1982.
Tomorrow we’ve got a Saturday Night post from West Town Tap. This place has been redesigned and overhauled since it was once known as Champ’s West and it now has a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu! You can find out what I had for my Saturday Night dinner by tuning in tomorrow! Tuesday is our 41st week in our year-long tour of sandwiches and you can find out where we went for a between the bread treat then. Wednesday I’m going to showcase Steve Spain’s private world of Disney from his house and I’m not sure what the hell I’m going to be doing Thursday and Friday, so I better get to work here! Have a wonderful Sunday and we’ll see you all next week for another batch of local MBIP Peoria posts!