Author: Lester Bangs

  • I Saw God and/or Tangerine Dream

    1977 Lester Bangs article in the Village Voice_I saw god and or tangerine dream

    I decided it would be a real fun idea to get fucked up on drugs and go see Tangerine Dream with Laserium. So I drank two bottles of cough syrup and subwayed up to Avery Fisher Hall for a night I’ll never forget. For one thing, emerging from the subways into this slick aesthete’s Elysium […]

  • Everything Above 14th Street Is Gila Bend, Arizona

    Everything Above 14th Street Is Gila Bend, Arizona March 18-25, 1981 Recently I read the most offensive arti­cle I can ever remember encountering in the pages of the Voice. I refer of course to “With Malice Toward Everything Below 14th St.” by Marcelle Clements. Now I can understand that the Voice is a liberal paper […]

  • The Rolling Stones Cruise on Eighth Street

    I was talking to a friend of mine one night a couple of years ago, after ten thousand varyingly voluntary rehearings of Some Girls had convinced us it wasn’t so bad after all, that in fact we really actually liked it: “Do you think the Stones should break up now while they’re tem­porarily ahead,” I […]

  • Dylan Dallies With Mafia Chic: Joey Gallo Was No Hero

    Whenever Bob Dylan puts out a new album, it is sure to generate a lot of talk. What is he thinking, what is he saying, what does he mean? A cynical person might respond that he releases these things, no matter how sloppy they are and no matter how long we might have to wait […]

  • Blondie Is More Fun 

    Punk rock was kind of a joke in the first place, as a listen to Count Five or the Seeds makes clear, and given the campily ironic distance most CBGB groups bring to it, it becomes a joke once removed, which is like seeing the punch line approaching from a mile away. It’s been said […]

  • The White Noise Supremacists

    The White Noise Supremacists April 30, 1979 The other day I was talking on the phone with a friend who hangs out on the CBGB scene a lot. She was regaling me with examples of the delights available to females in the New York subway system. “So the train came to a sudden halt and […]

  • What If They Gave a New Year and Nobody Came?

    Lester Bangs 1979 article what if they gave a new year and no one came_2

    Lately every time you turn around somebody’s saying: “The eighties are coming!” Like at the stroke of midnite on New Year’s it’s all gonna be different! And when you tell ’em, “Come on, you know everything’s just gonna keep on slowly sinking,” they get downright mad! Spoilsports! No sense of social duty! It’s true that […]

  • Where Were You When Elvis Died?

    [Editor’s note: Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977. It took more than a week for Lester Bangs’s obituary to appear, but it was worth the wait to watch the passionate critic zero in with trademark intimacy: “Where were you when Elvis died? What were you doing, and what did it give you an excuse […]

  • A Sid Vicious Story

    A Sid Vicious Story October 23, 1978 Before last Thursday, what I always thought of whenever anyone mentioned Sid Vicious’s name was what a photogra­pher friend who’d been on the Pistols’ American tour said when I asked him what Sid was like. “A dying child,” he an­swered, rather nonchalantly I thought. “Just like a giraffe […]