Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: The Work of a Legendary Critic: Rock'N'Roll as Literature and Literature as Rock 'N'Roll
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Vintage presents the paperback edition of the wild and brilliant writings of Lester Bangs--the most outrageous and popular rock critic of the 1970s--edited and with an introduction by the reigning dean of rack critics, Greil Marcus. Advertising in Rolling Stone and other major publications.
Economics and get that degree. Man must have some form of constructive work to do; otherwise he’s an ignoble weasel without meaning. So Mick gulps the rest of his champagne, disengages himself from the sweet thing at his side, and runs off to register. Eventually he earns a degree in Art and when the Stones fold he settles down to teach the drawing of the straight line to a succession of eager moppets. What an example that would be! He might even get blessed by the Pope, or invited to the White
listeners. But more about that later. Right now, while we’re on the subject of politics, I would like to make a couple of things perfectly clear: 1. I do not know shit about the English class system. 2. I do not care shit about the English class system. I’ve heard about it, understand. I’ve heard it has something to do with why Rod Stewart now makes music for housewives, and why Pete Townshend is so screwed up. I guess it also has something to do with another NME writer sneering to me, “Joe
teenaged and wonderful and white and urban.… ” You could say the “white” jumping out of that sentence was just like Ornette Coleman declaring This Is Our Music, except that the same issue featured a full-page shot of Miriam and one of her little friends posing proudly with their leathers and shades and a pistol in front of the headquarters of the United White People’s Party, under a sign bearing three flags: “GOD” (cross), “COUNTRY” (stars and stripes), “RACE” (swastika). Sorry, Miriam, I can go
that we see the plight of what I’ll be brutal and call a lovelorn drag queen with such intense empathy that when the singer hurts him, we do too. (Morrison has said in at least one interview that the song has nothing to do with any kind of transvestite—at least as far as he knows, he is quick to add—but that’s bullshit.) The beauty, sensitivity, holiness of the song is that there’s nothing at all sensationalistic, exploitative, or tawdry about it; in a way Van is right when he insists it’s not
woulda said if he’d been hangin’ out on that scene: “We made it. We won.” And it was true. All those early songs about rock ’n’ roll were successive movements in a suite in progress which was actually nothing more than a gigantic party whose collective ambition was simple: to keep the party going and jive and rave and kick ’em out cross the decades and only stop for the final Bomb or some technological maelstrom of sonic bliss sucking the cities away at last. Because the Party was the one thing