Lester Bangs might be the only thing musicians and journalists can agree on – someone who lived outside the snobbery of writers and the rock n’ roll desire to stick his dong in anything that walked by. He started off as the odd kid locked in his room reading Kerouac and listening to Mingus records, then graduated to psychedelic California before discovering the Stooges and New York Dolls while living in Detroit and writing for Creem Magazine.
He wrote, “total assault on the culture by any means necessary, including rock n’ roll, dope and fucking in the streets.” The irony of bands like the Rolling Stones wearing women’s clothes while exploiting young girls didn’t escape him, and he was sickened by glam rock – built up on imagery more than substance. “Balls are what ruined both rock and politics in the first place,” he declared.
When he moved to a Greenwich Village apartment above a Chinese takeout place, Lester found the response to vapid rock – punk. He occupied a small, dirty room crammed with records, but frequented CBGB’s at night and relayed his experiences back to the Village Voice or Rolling Stone. He dug the Velvets, Stooges and Beats because they dismissed middle-class restraint, but he loved being where the music was ; his writing came from that passion to infect others with the energy of rock n’ roll.
Lester, Patti + Lou.
“sexual.” xerox + ink. 2016. see more of my work in the gallery.