January , 2014
By Mark McConville
Lester Bangs: Let It Blurt
Author Jim Derogatis
Lester Bangs was the true rock writer. He was a gonzo journalist, a gutter poet that revolutionised the way people write about music, all music journalists strive to be as great.
When I started reading this book, Lester Bangs: Let It Blurt, I was so excited to jump into the story, I was immediately interested in Lester Bangs rise and fall. Author Jim Derogatis pinpoints Lester's talents, he describes the man's escalation to awesome heights.
When delving in, I was over awed by Jim Derogatis's writing style. A compelling style that keeps you reading on. You can tell that Derogatis has researched thoroughly, that he hasn't written a half hearted book.
The book also describes Lester's upbringing. It talks about his Jenovah witness roots, it talks about his controlling Mother and her grip on his once stalling life. But, he broke the restraints, he moved away and wrote for Cream magazine and the colossal Rolling Stone magazine. He was a writer that didn't care about his self-image, his heart wasn't stuck to the underbelly of self-esteem.
As the book goes on, it becomes even more powerful. You begin to get dragged into the world of the Bangs. It begins to talk about hardships and hiis addiction. Bangs addiction for cough medicine is documented, his craving for the ultimate thrill is laid bare in the pages.
Lester slowly became friends with some of the biggest rock stars of the 1960's and 70's. Icons like Lou Reed and Patti Smith, Lester befriended the both of them and gained their trust. He really was a superstar writer of that period.
If you're looking for a book that talks about one of the most talented and complex music journalists of the 20th Century, then this book is for you. It hits on all of the major topics, it is diverse and different. It reads like one of Lester Bangs raw and relevant articles.