Lester Bangs anthology, Main Lines, Blood Feasts and Bad Taste: A Lester Bangs Reader explores the explosive writing of the celebrated rock critic-Fashiontribes Book Blog
When speaking of rock critics, there shall truly only be one who comes to mind. Lester Bangs, Credited with the word punk, the vision of seminal Creem magazine, and the explosive-yet-loving reviews that dotted many a magazine, Bangs was widely considered the last free bird in a dying profession. Portrayed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a manic genius in Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical Almost Famous, if you like music you should nose around and do a little reading on Lester's work. Hailed by his fellow critics as a gonzo journalist-
Lester Bangs was the great gonzo journalist, gutter poet, and romantic visionary of rock writing- its Hunter S. Thompson, Charles Bukowski, and Jack Kerouac all rolled into one. Out of tune with the peace 'n' love ethos of the '60's and the Me Generation navel-gazing of the '70's, he agitated for sounds that were harsher, louder, more electric, and more alive, charting if not defining the aesthetics of heavy metal and punk. Where others idealized the rock 'n' roll lifestyle or presented a distant academic version of it, he lived it, reveling in its excesses, drawing energy from its din, and matching its passion in prose that erupted from the pages of Rolling Stone, Creem, and the Village Voice. In the process he became a peer of the artists he celebrated, brash visionaries and dedicated individualists such as Captain Beefheart, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Richard Hell, and most of all Lou Reed, with whom he had a relationship that was equal parts Johnson/Boswell, Vidal/Mailer, and Mozart/Salieri (and it was often difficult to tell who was who).
His overdose proved to be a tragedy that hurt the forum in which he worked professionally. As a music fan, you should definitely appreciate his stellar work.