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Lester Bangs interviewed for Australian radio.
December 16, 2012 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Lester Bangs interviewed by Sue Matthews for Australian radio in 1980 Originally posted here, with transcript.
posted by OmieWise (14 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
The YouTube has some trouble from minutes ~4:00-8:35, but is then fine.
posted by OmieWise at 8:48 AM on December 16, 2012


Great find, thanks. Interesting to note he was jamming Alexander "Skip" Spence's masterpiece Oar at the time. Rest in peace, Lester.

Pours out Darvon prescription bottle on the curb for America's greatest rockcrit.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:24 AM on December 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks for this; it's great to hear his voice (and powerful opinions... and he'd have plenty to say about the recession we're in now and what it's doing to culture).

Still misses Lester.
posted by languagehat at 9:47 AM on December 16, 2012


Bangs is alive and well in the insufferably annoying form of Chuck Klosterman.
posted by xmutex at 10:38 AM on December 16, 2012


Reading Creem in the Winn-Dixie while Mom shopped for groceries was like receiving transmissions from a distant, cooler, far more exciting planet. Who were these dangerous god so far away but walking among us? Why were Robert Johnson and John Coltrane so important? And who's this Lester guy with the prose that drips and crackles like lava? Is rock and roll really that important?

The only music in my home was the Reader's Digest Collection of Classical Favorites, the Perry Como Christmas album, a dusty stack of 45s left over from when Dad was a square-dance caller, and a bunch of Hank Williams it would take me a decade and several gallons of bourbon and youthful heartbreak to properly appreciate.

I had no idea what this music was that stirred such passion, but Lester made me want to find out. And that opened a door I've never regretted walking through.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:03 AM on December 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Lester Bangs and Jack Kerouac fit together for me. Essential yet inconsistent, prone to ramble and be in desperate need of a proper edit. But essential regardless, because when their stuff clicks, it clicks -- like they're getting their souls directly into their fingers, into their words, into the culture. Talk about eternal life.

But holy shit, have both inspired a whole lotta not-near-as-good!
posted by philip-random at 12:35 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


bwaa ha ha


Sue Mathews: How much relevance do you think Rock’n’Roll can have to an ageing population?

Lester: Well, It’s like a friend of mine said when I asked him “ Do you think The Rolling Stones should break up now that they’ve put out ‘Some Girls’ and quit while they’re ahead or should they keep going? ”. And he said “Oh no, absolutely, they should keep going until they’re totally senile, and a little bit more creepy and pathetic and creaky each time playing the same old Chuck Berry riffs until they’re 60 years old”


Sir Mick is 69 now. I'd rather Lester Bangs was still around. In fact, if his zombified corpse was available, I'd personally help it track down and devour Chuck Klosterman's derivative little brain, because come the fuck on.
posted by hap_hazard at 1:26 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah...glorious cassette tape hiss /Wow & Flutter. Gotta love it...
posted by Skygazer at 1:35 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I heard Chuck Klosterman read a couple of years ago, it was funny entertaining, if perhaps a bit too cute. I haven't read anything else by him and didn't realize he was seeking to channel the venerated Bangs...

What do people recommend reading first by him?
posted by Skygazer at 1:40 PM on December 16, 2012


Man, the tape hiss in this interview is tedious. I'm realizing there must've been a time, we were much more tolerant of it, but I'm glad this interview survived...


Holy shit, he just slammed The Pretenders first album, and The Clash's London Calling, as both being too obsessed with 60s derivativism.

And sorry, but for all the hero talk of Bangs, he wasn't without his foibles, and misreadings, and plain old crankiness..


posted by Skygazer at 1:42 PM on December 16, 2012


And sorry, but for all the hero talk of Bangs, he wasn't without his foibles, and misreadings, and plain old crankiness..

Naw, for my money that's a lot of the point of the hero talk- it's much like his hero/goat Lou Reed. On the one hand, Sally Can't Dance. Or in a different vein of ffffffffuck you, Metal Machine Music. But once in a while, he was a goldang idiot genius.

Sir 'Fuck You' Lou is 70 this year. OMF(U)G
posted by hap_hazard at 1:56 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bangs is alive and well in the insufferably annoying form of Chuck Klosterman.
posted by xmutex at 10:38 AM on December 16 [+] [!]


Explain how? Have read both obsessively - don't see the resemblance AT ALL.
posted by tantrumthecat at 7:13 AM on December 17, 2012


Skygazer: You might as well start with the mother lode: "Psychotic Reactions And Carbureator Dung," edited by Lester's friend Greil Marcus. I have never looked at the world the same way again, and what a glory that's been.

You'll also find some web archives here, and here. I suggest starting with the "Astral Weeks" review, although it wouldn't hurt to play the album, too. Only the Greatest Album Ever Made. ;)
posted by dr. zoom at 12:50 AM on December 21, 2012


"Psychotic Reactions And Carburetor Dung," excuse me...
posted by dr. zoom at 1:14 AM on December 21, 2012


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