In Praise of Lester Bangs

May 1, 2011 § Leave a comment


It gives us nostalgic pleasure to see our rock & roll memories (via Leslie Conway Bangs’ kick-ass writing in Rolling Stone and Creem) tied to the gritty essayistic tradition of old “Blood and Guts” Montaigne.  Joe Bonomo loves a good rock memoir as much — no probably more — than the next guy, and he digs the classic essay, so here he is making the case on his ever-lucid blog.

We’ll start you off with a little bit, but take the leap to the full article, we tell ya, take the leap:

Anyone who turns his prime attention onto himself will hardly ever find himself in the same state twice” (Montaigne). Which I why on days when I’m feeling the pull toward the petty confession, toward the shallow but no less human end of things, I turn to Lester Bangs. I don’t know that there’s a greater example of Montaigne’s “obedient servant of naive frankness.” Patricia Hampl writes of listening to Fats Domino at a freshman mixer, of the intimation of sex’s “heavier pleasure” there but denied her; Bangs heard sex and rock & roll too but he barreled right in, decorum be damned. Made a career of it, in fact.

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