Lester Bangs

Genres: Pop / Rock
Decades Active: 1990s


14 December 1948, Escondido, California, USA, d. 30 April 1982, New York, USA. One of America’s most original and distinctive rock critics, Bangs’ first major review appeared in Rolling Stone in 1969. His declamatory attack on the MC5’s Kick Out The Jams was later recanted, but although Bangs then praised the album as fulsomely as he had savaged it, this volte-face was typical of the writer’s emotional approach. A passionate, almost naïve, love of music ensured his position as one of the paper’s most virulent voices, promoting acts that concurred with his ‘trash aesthetic’ while denigrating work perceived as pompous or pretentious. Bangs was banned from its pages in 1973 for showing ‘disrespect towards musicians’, but his stream-of-consciousness articles had already become the mainstay of another publication, the Detroit-based Creem. His articles praised personal avatars - 60s garage-bands, John Coltrane, Captain...

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