A California contact recently sent me a newspaper obit. The notice read, “Lester Bangs — died in his Manhattan apartment — He was 33.” A very sad piece of news. Lester had few equals as a rock critic. At his best he was unpretentious, acerbic, incisive. His passion was rock ‘n’ roll. He truly CARED.
Bangs was a master of summation. He closed out the 1976 CREEM book Rock Revolution in typically brilliant fashion: “It’s no lament to say that the future lies behind us — the question, crucially, is what we will do with it, where will we take it. And the carriers of the rock revolution who will be written up in the last chapter of this book’s next edition are none other than you out there reading this, right where you are sitting now. Do it, and we’ll all meet on this same street corner again, an outlaw mob united forever, ready to forge the fire they’ll call the rock ‘n’ roll revolution of the eighties.”
Lester Bangs may no longer be with us physically, but his zany spirit rocks on.
Lester, we miss you,
Rockin’ Rod Gaskell