“what even is a review?”

A formidable question, posed by Mark Sinker at Freaky Trigger, and a fetching/daunting examination of its many contours and contradictions. The surgery begins with a complaint (from a friend of Mark’s) about Nick Tosches’ review of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid in Rolling Stone, I think because Tosches seems to not address the record itself. Which leads to a trail of thought that includes Flaubert, the Grotesque (not the Fall album), Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and the dread NoiseBoysism. Sinker on the latter:

Richard Meltzer, Lester Bangs, Nick Tosches: when James Wolcott dubbed them the Noiseboys, he did everyone (as so often) a disservice, including them, by collapsing them into just one wild-style jerk-store project and mislabelling it to match. They were friends in mischief, to be sure, but they were none of them particularly like one another in style or even tactic. What they did in fact share was a perverse attitude towards deep cultural knowledge, a feel for how to write and how to play and what was out there besides just rock. Elsewhere rockwrite was already sleepwalking uneasily — so they felt — towards a narrow pedantry, autodidact learning as a mode of borrowed bad authority. One escape route: knowledge as all-purpose bust-it-wide toolkit, as weaponry on behalf of the militant mutant grotesque that was rockthink’s earliest best contribution.

Lester Bangs on stage

Play About Lester Bangs to Have World Premiere in California

Based on the life and words of Lester Bangs, How to Be a Rock Critic is by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, the husband-and-wife team behind The Exonerated, a play based on interviews with death row inmates. The play will be staged by the Center Theater Group in Culver City, California from June 17-28, 2015.

To write the play, Blank and Jensen went through 50,000 pages of Bangs published and unpublished work, which appeared in Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, Creem and elsewhere. Bangs died of an overdose in 1982 at the age of 33.

A one-man play, Jensen performs as Bangs — who was memorably portrayed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Almost Famous — with a mustache, a leather jacket and “a little padding”.

Interview with Raul Sandelin (dir. A Box Full of Rocks)


Because he’s so closely identified with Creem magazine and Detroit on the one hand, and New York City and post-punk on the other, it’s easy to forget that Lester Bangs’s roots lie somewhere else entirely, in the small-ish (current population less than 100,000) town of El Cajon, CA, just outside of San Diego. Raul Sandelin’s feature-length documentary, A Box Full of Rocks: The El Cajon Years of Lester Bangs, addresses this oversight, and except for a few (unnecessary? I couldn’t decide) clips of Bangs waxing eloquent about the state of popular music from the offices of Creem during the mid-70s, the movie never really leaves El Cajon; it’s as much about the city as it is about the writer. Though in truth, maybe what the movie’s really about–in any event, the aspect of the movie that most connected with me–is friendship and community, and it’s quite moving to hear all of Bangs’s old pals speak of him today with such love and affection. Not, to be clear, with mawkish reverence–this isn’t (thank God) The Early Years of Saint Lester–though sometimes with bafflement, as with Jack Butler’s perfect recollection of the time Lester tried to turn him on to free jazz: “What the hell is this? It was totally out of my comfort zone, and it was really atonal and… ”

Raul Sandelin, also a native of El Cajon, produced, wrote, and directed A Box Full of Rocks. It’s his first feature-length documentary (his second–see below–will also be of interest to readers of this site), and he was kind enough to answer a few questions about it.

You can watch A Box Full of Rocks in its entirety here. Tell your friends.

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Is this your first movie? I know you’re a professor, but are you also a moviemaker, or just a Lester Bangs fan who decided to make a movie about the guy?
This is my first feature-length movie, yes, and my first documentary, in which I had to do research versus writing a script. But, I had done several short narratives before this. With that said, though, I want to emphasize a unique characteristic about El Cajon (Lester’s and my hometown). The people of El Cajon have two long-time traditions, a love of movies and a loves of records. Both records and movies are forms of recorded (versus live) entertainment. And, they reflect a time when El Cajon was an isolated town. It’s 15 miles east of San Diego, which was a long, windy, mountainous trek in the early 20th century. El Cajon has always been considered out in the middle of nowhere. So, El Cajonians were amassing large record collections before Lester Bangs raided the bargain bins at the Thrifty Drug Store. Likewise, El Cajonians were always going to the movies. We had a couple of large theaters and several drive ins.

Like Lester, I’m an El Cajon kid too. So, I grew up heavily influenced by both records and movies. Of course, Lester Bangs was a hometown legend. So, when I started making films, Lester was a natural subject. Also, I had already founded the Lester Bangs Archive at Grossmont College, Lester’s alma mater and where I now teach. The synergy dictated that this film had to be made.

What led you toward the subject of Lester Bangs? What is the particular appeal of Bangs for you?
Again, Lester and I are both El Cajon kids, both with a love of rock music and counter-culture. Lester was 15 years older than me. So, he was writing for Creem when I was 14 and reading Creem for the first time. I remember a friend’s older brother saying, “Read this article. The guy’s from El Cajon.” From that point on, I’ve always read Lester with El Cajon hometown pride.

You are currently a Professor at Grossmont–have you lived in El Cajon all your life? Was it always your intention to focus on his early, formative years?
Yeah, I’ve lived in El Cajon (and its sister city La Mesa) my whole life spotted with a few ventures out into the world. But, I strongly identify with El Cajon. And, I’d like to see these aspects of El Cajon history recorded for posterity and for the world to know.


Is it safe to say that Lester Bangs is the most famous person to come from El Cajon? What else is El Cajon known for?
Lester is definitely one of the most famous people to come out of El Cajon. But, there are others. Iron Butterfly (the band that invented Heavy Metal) came out of El Cajon. Frank Zappa lived here around age 14 and bought his first record player here. (Zappa bought his first Varese album in nearby La Mesa, the sister city mentioned before.) Songwriter Jack Tempchin, who wrote the Eagles “Peaceful Easy Feeling” amongst many other hits grew up just a few miles away, as did Tom Waits. All of these guys were living in or around El Cajon in the 1960s. So, Lester had company. Other than that, El Cajon is also known for its great motocross racers not to mention stock car champion Jimmy Johnson. A number of professional athletes as well as artists and actors came from here too.

Stock car champion, Jimmie Johnson

How did you manage to connect with so many of his old friends?
A lot of Lester’s friends are still very much around the local scene. Jerry Raney, a Lester friend and founder of the Beat Farmers, performs every weekend right down the street from my house. Jack Butler, Gary Rachac, Milt Wyatt, Rob Houghton. All these guys live right here to this day.

Did you encounter any resistance to the subject from people you tracked down?
Well, we weren’t able to talk with Andrea “Andy” Di Guglielmo, Lester’s high school girlfriend. It wasn’t as much resistance as much as the door to her was closed long before we started our project. We were told that she had given her last interview about Lester years before and didn’t want to revisit that part of her youth anymore. So, we just left her alone. The same kind of thing happened with Ben Catching, Lester’s nephew and childhood companion. Through a mutual friend, he politely let us know that he had retired from the whole Lester Bangs thing.

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Are all the interviews with his older friends conducted right in El Cajon?
Yes, usually at various schools and parks although we interviewed Gary Rachac at Gary’s childhood house on Herbert Street. Lester was a frequent guest there. So, we had a spiritual communion of sorts.

Jon Kanis provides voiceovers in the film. Tell me a little bit about how that came about–i.e., the decision to do voiceovers and working with Kanis.
A lot of documentaries now are avoiding the use of a voice-over or narrator. There’s something always stilted about a narrator, like in those old science films they showed in elementary school. So, I never felt completely comfortable with the scripts we were writing because I didn’t feel comfortable with the role of the narrator in the first place. But, nevertheless, I was prepared to have a narrator out of convention. Then, serendipitously, the guy who was going to do the voice-over bailed on the project. Suddenly, it all made sense: We wouldn’t have a conventional narrator. But, we still needed something. That’s where Jon Kanis came in. He has an extensive Creem collection and has read Lester out loud at public readings. So, it was natural that Jon would read Lester. We went through Lester’s writings, searching for all of the mentions of El Cajon (or San Diego). Then, we rearranged all of those citations in chronological order to conform to the timeline of the film.

Jon Kanis
Jon Kanis

Talk a bit about the nuts and bolts of the thing. Did you do all the interviews yourself? What about the filming and editing?
Much of the film was made as a student film under the auspices of the Media Comm department at Grossmont College, where I teach. I actually took a year-long class and made the film as a “student.” Other students in the class crewed on the interviews with me and helped with some initial editing. The English department at Grossmont found a couple of stipends to keep the wheels greased. Finally, Ed Turner, who owns an entertainment investment company called Road Ahead Productions, gave us several thousand dollars to finish the film. We used that money to hire a professional editor, Tony Butler, who happens to be the brother of Lester friend Jack Butler. Then, Tony and I sat for hours and days finishing it.

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What was your biggest challenge getting this movie made?
Definitely, the financing. Film is an expensive medium and money seems to disappear into the smallest details. I remember looking at the clock dozens of times as hundreds of dollars just ticked away as we fixed some three-second transition or some illogical glitch in the video files. So, a 90-minute film needs a good budget needless to say. I’d recommend to anybody: Find your money first. It’s hard to get going, gain momentum, then, run out of money. Fortunately, Ed Turner and Road Ahead Productions financed my second film, The Rock Bards, which explores the broader history of rock journalism in the 60s and 70s. It’s not really a sequel to Lester’s film. But, there’s definitely an organic link between the two.

You’ve piqued my interest–what can you tell me about The Rock Bards? Is it a movie about the birth of rock criticism? Can you reveal who is, or might, be in it?
The Rock Bards is currently in production. The film covers the heyday of rock journalism and the rock magazines that nurtured the great rock writers like Lester Bangs. Basically, we are looking at the years 1966-81, from the founding of Crawdaddy magazine to MTV, which signaled the end of this era. We have interviewed several people already including Mike Stax, John Morthland, Billy Altman, and Ed Ward. Jaan Uhelszki, Susan Whitall, Cindy Lee Berryhill, Ben Fong-Torres, and Robert Duncan, are planned over the next two months. The documentary is being funded by Ed Turner’s Road Ahead Productions, an entertainment investment company. So, we actually have a decent budget. Rock Bards should be completed by the end of 2014. Then we plan to send it out on the festival and art house circuits before going to DVD and Netflix.

Lester & Philip

That night, after I interviewed Hoffman, I went back to my hotel room and had a dream about Lester, something that happens with some regularity. In every dream, he isn’t dead, but instead has been hiding out somewhere. Waiting. This time, I asked him where he had been. He told me Florida. “I’ve just been waiting for you to get it right,” he told me.

Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lester Bangs, and ‘Almost Famous,’ by Jaan Uhelszki (Spin)

Was on vacation (in, oddly enough, Florida), when the news of Philip Seymour Hoffman broke, and of course, my thoughts ran directly to his portrayal of Lester Bangs in Almost Famous (though not only to that; from Boogie Nights onwards, he was terrific in pretty much everything I saw him in). Thanks to Don Allred for pointing me to this excellent piece by Bangs’s old Creem pal, Jaan Uhelszki.


Critical Collage: Metal Machine Music

“This record is not for parties/dancing/background romance. This is what I ment by ‘real’ rock, about ‘real’ things. No one I know has listened to it all the way through including myself. It is not meant to be. Start any place you like. Symmetry, mathematical precision, obsessive and detailed accuracy and the vast advantage one has over ‘modern electronic composers.’ They, with neither sense of time, melody or emotion, manipulated or no. It’s for a certain time and place of mind.”
Lou Reed, liner notes to Metal Machine Music

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“I think that, in this time of recession/depression

and with the whole music business tightening

its belt, it is truly thoughtful of Lou to cut recording

costs as much as MMM must have, especially

when you consider the stupefying self-indulgence

of so many of today’s rock ‘masterpieces’ with their

overproductions so baroquely lavish it all

turns to tinsel. Only James Brown, I think,

approaches Lou’s achievement here in terms of

sheer economy and minimal booking of expensive

studio time. MMM is actually, far from some

nihilist rampage, one giant WIN button.

Or more precisely, two since it is a

two record set.

– Lester Bangs,
“The Greatest Album Ever Made”
CREEM (1976)
{available in full here}

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Original CREEM review of MMM



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“The fact that he somehow made us all listen to this hour of feedback over and over, literally crawling into the speakers, trying to catch a glimpse of the hidden Evil, the outspoken cruelty of such a venture and the redeeming quality of living through it, while Lou obviously didn’t care about us or this release, proves in retrospect what a tremendous impact the man had on me.”
– Alexander HackeNo Sell Out (The Wire, Nov. 2013)

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Lester Bangs, interview with Lou Reed, 1975

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“Well, I have. Played it, that is. Once. Which is one of the better feats of endurance in my life, equal to reading The Painted Bird, sitting through Savage Messiah and spending a night in a bus terminal in Hagerstown, Maryland. Yet, when my turntable mercifully silenced Lou Reed’s cosmic scrapings, I felt no anger, no indignation, not even a sense of time wasted, just mild regret.”
James Wolcott reviews MMM in Rolling Stone


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Back cover of Kraftwerk’s RadioActivity (1975)
Lester Bangs, “The Greatest Album Ever Made”

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“When Sally Can’t Dance sold well, Reed rubbished it himself (“I was imitating me”). And he bleached his hair, cropped and shaved a cross into it, and put out Metal Machine Music – The Amine B Ring. ‘An act of despicable elitism,’ wrote Ed Ward. Reed insisted that MMM stood comparison with Xenakis: four sides of screaming process-electronics, each exactly 16:01 minutes long. RCA put it out as a standard Reed release and suffered the consequences. Withdrawn within two weeks, it immediately becoming a rite of overamped passage for the true Lou fan, the prize, behind the feedbacking fuzz-drone, a dancing moiré of overtones, delicate and endless.”
Mark Sinker, “Contract Breakers,” 2007 (The Wire)




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“As a chronically-depressed person, I find that Metal Machine Music actually does convey my mood at times. If you listen for a while, you can almost make something out of the din. I played a few seconds once for a co-worker (who moonlights as a singer), and she said it sounded like dinosaurs roaring, which I guess it does at that. At low volumes, the album can be almost soothing. Something about my brain likes the constant droning sound. I can’t sleep if my room is absolutely silent. That’s why I keep an electric fan going every night, even during the winter. I need the reassuring, constant hum. If nothing else, Metal Machine Music certainly comes in handy on the train, as it helps to drown out the sound of other passengers’ cell phone conversations.”
Joe Blevins, “Metal Machine Music: Why I sorta like one of rock’s most infamous albums

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Geeta Dayal, Slate, October 2013
Teenage Rioter and MMM fan, Thurston Moore

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“The fact is, I haven’t listened to Metal Machine Music since coming to the UK thirteen years ago, but I remember it as quite listenable, in a post-rock ambient way, despite its notorious reputation. Sonically, the tape was surprisingly resonent and with the added bonus of the 8-Track’s permanent loop, I reckon it was an ideal MMM experience.”
Thrifty Vinyl blog


“I’ve written about it before and I’ll write about it again, not least because you cannot really call yourself a rock writer if you haven’t written at least 15,000 words about the damned thing, which – here I go again – is an intense collision of surreal object, hate letter, emotional outburst, poetic assault, bubblegum serialism, artistic bombshell, infected ambition, celebrity breakdown, creative exhaustion, sinister confession, nervous tension, practical joke, artistic tantrum and psychedelic documentary.”
Paul Morley, The Guardian, 2010


“The pleasures were there, if you only trusted the artist: La Monte Young’s Theater of Eternal Music Dream-House in your own home, and without all the phoney number-mysticism. But most fans and rock critics were unwilling to buy into such High Art justification. Other explanations proliferated for why Reed would choose to release MMM, two favourites being the revenge-on-the-record-company theory and the getting-out-of-a-management-contract theory.”
Mark Sinker, “Contract Breakers,” 2007 (The Wire)


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“In its droning, shapeless indifference, Metal Machine Music is hopelessly old-fashioned. After a decade of aesthetic outrages, four sides of what sounds like the tubular groaning of a galactic refrigerator just aren’t going to inflame the bourgeoisie (whoever they are) or repel his fans (since they’ll just shrug and wait for the next collection). Lou Reed is disdainfully unveiling the black hole in his personal universe, but the question is, who’s supposed to flinch?”
James WolcottRolling Stone

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“…a very
sexy album
designed to
cut in heavily
on the hot
Barry White market.”
Lester Bangs

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“I just think it’s one of the most remarkable pieces of music ever done by anybody, anywhere. In time, it will prove itself.”
Lou Reed, quoted in Victor Bockris’s Transformer: The Lou Reed Story


8-track 8-track-back

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Metal Machine Music was released the same week — twenty years ago — as Discreet Music.

Discreet Music is soft,

calm, melodic and

reassuringly repetitive, without a single sound other than tape hiss about 1500 Hz, whereas MMM is as abrasive and unmelodic as possible, with almost nothing below —

and yet they occupy two ends of what was at the time a pretty new axis — music as immersion, as sonic experience in which you float.

“The roots of Ambient.”
Brian Eno, A Year with Swollen Appendices, 1995

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“As a teenager MMM had summarised for me all the things I loved: modern orchestral music, free jazz, industrial music, heavy rock and feedback. I heard it as a guitar orchestra version of ‘Xenakis-and-likes’ and fantasised about setting it for orchestra. It took me more than 20 years to make this dream a reality: I’ve now done performances of MMM with five different ensembles in various countries, continuously revising and refining my transcription and arrangement each time.”
Ulrich Krieger: Unclassifiable (The Wire, Nov. 2013)

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“No, it’s not the truth. I wouldn’t put out a record I don’t like just to get out of a contract. That’s ridiculous but it is a great story. It’s almost a shame to say it’s not true. But in fact it’s not true. I made it because I liked it, not to get out of a contract.
Lou Reed interviewed in Metal Machine Music Revisited, by John Doran in Quietus

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Was this review helpful to you? (Christgau’s Consumer Guiide)

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“Most of you won’t like this and I don’t blame you at all. It’s not meant for you. At the very least I made it so I had something to listen to. Certainly Misunderstood: Power to Consume (how Bathetic): an idea done respectfully, intelligently, sympathetically and graciously, always with concentration on the first and formost goal. For that matter, off the record, I love and adore it. I’m sorry, but not especially, if it turns you off.”
– Lou Reed, liner notes to MMM

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Geeta Dayal, Slate, October 2013

BackCover - Metal Machine Music

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That MMM is now living and breathing as an enduring, taunting piece of contemporary composition means that Lou is on the way to having the last laugh (another of his favourite things). Not so much because Metal Machine Music is, after all, an elaborate conceptual joke, but also because – and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it is not. It is, unless being a rock critic I am entirely wrong, quite an insight into the turbulent spirit of the age.”
Paul Morley, The Guardian, 2010

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Alejandro Cohen “High Velocity, A Tribute to Metal Machine Music

inner sleeve

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JD: I tell you what though I’ve found myself listening to it in the bath a few times this week and it’s been quite relaxing. It’s not something I could imagine doing with the original.
LR: Well, yeah… What are you listening on headphones?
JD: No, on speakers.
LR: What kind of speakers could you possibly have in your bathroom?
Lou Reed interviewed in Metal Machine Music Revisited, by John Doran in Quietus


“Later I came to understand that Lou took the rejection of it by fans and press alike very personal. This piece was a serious piece of love – love of sound and the guitar. Even more so, MM3 came as a late artistic confirmation. He had been right all along. MMM had come home. Completely unexpected by him, a younger generation of musicians and listeners now got it. At 2009’s Lollapalooza MM3 played a ten minute noise interlude between well known Reed songs to the frantic cheers of a large audience.”
Ulrich Krieger: Unclassifiable (The Wire, Nov. 2013)

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“What’s most distressing is the possibility that Metal Machine Music isn’t so much a knife slash at his detractors as perhaps a blade turned inward. At its very worst this album suggests masochism.”
James Wolcott, Rolling Stone

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“It was great, great fun. I was trying to do the ultimate guitar solo. And I didn’t want to be locked into a particular drum beat, or pattern or a particular key or beat that was the idea. Just guitars, guitars, guitars.”
Lou Reed interviewed by John Doran in Quietus

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“As way of disclaimer.I am forced to say that, due to stimulation of various centers (remember OOOOHHHMMM, etc.), the possible negative contraindications must be pointed out. A record has to, of all things Anyway, hypertense people, etc. possibility of epilepsy (petite mal), psychic motor disorders, etc… etc… etc.

“My week beats your year.”
– Liner notes to MMM

Lou Reed interviewed by John Doran in Quietus


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(See previous critical collages)

Lou Reed

I’m not embarrassed to say — and hardly alone, I suspect – that my first meaningful encounter with Lou Reed was via Lester Bangs. I had heard of Reed before then, was familiar with “Walk on the Wild Side,” which I thought was just a slightly more offbeat radio song than the dozens of offbeat radio songs then dominating the airwaves (though something or someone eventually clued me in to the fact that there was a Bowie connection, too, and that intrigued me, because I was a total Bowiephile). But I recall the day my brother waved the Bangs vs. Reed Creem Showdown in my face (“Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves — or How I Slugged it Out with Lou Reed and Stayed Awake”), more or less ordering me, “You have to read this.” Which I did. And which I found exciting and strange. And mostly incomprehensibly intimidating, though I guess I picked up just enough of the gist of the arguments (which were about nothing more than, I don’t know, the future of the human race) that it became an instant touchstone for me, something I would think about (and occasionally attempt to re-read) time and again. I recall in particular being struck by this retort of Lou’s: “You know that I basically like you in spite of myself. Common sense leads me to believe that you’re an idiot, but somehow the epistemological things that you come out with sometimes betray the fact that you’re kind of onomatopoetic in a subterranean reptilian way.” I can’t pinpoint what appealed to me about this; there are at least four words in there I wouldn’t have understood. The sarcasm was quite obvious, and maybe that was the hook for me. Or maybe it’s the poetry of the lines, by which I really just mean their rhythm (you know, they “sound good”). Indeed, I can almost hear Lou talk-singing these very words over one of his more delicate guitar figures.

“You know that I basically like you
in spite of myself.
Common sense leads me to believe
that you’re an idiot,
but somehow
the epistemological things
that you come out with
sometimes betray the fact
that you’re kind of
in a subterranean
reptilian way.”

That was my first meaningful Reed encounter, but it was nothing like my last (and thank god for that). Punk took over my life in ’77/’78, and soon enough I figured out that Bangs wasn’t making this shit up, and that Reed and the Velvets were crucial figures — forefathers and all that. Still, I didn’t hear a single note of their music until the fall of 1981, when I bought the first album on a family trip to Boston (one of my two favourite record shopping excursions of all-time; I came home from that same trip with Sandinista!, Entertainment, a four-LP Motown set, and — well, I forget what else right now — the second Specials LP, maybe?). I’ll never forget steeling myself up for my first listen to the Velvet Underground and Nico, preparing to be pulverized by violent, raucous noise, nervous that I would be disappointed or, worse, just not get it. So I drop the needle on side one and receive a much bigger shock than I was prepared for: “Sunday Morning,” a hushed, tender, awesomely beautiful folk-sounding thing that seemed weirdly true to its title. (Believe me, as a wavering though still-obligated Catholic boy, the connection mattered; this was still, if I recall correctly, the era of “the folk mass,” where certain hymns accompanied by strumming acoustics would sometimes induce a lump in the throat.) Of course, it was followed immediately by “Waiting for the Man,” later “Venus in Furs” and “Heroin” (which itself was much prettier than I was expecting) — but “Sunday Morning” was the one that initially stunned. I could not believe this was the Velvet Underground. And I could not have been more thrilled about it. (I know that for many people the first VU album is a massively important 1967 — or anti-’67, as it were — record. And rightly so. For me, however, and for reasons I’ve explained in too much detail elsewhere, it’s got “1981” written all over it. I can’t understand that year, or that era, without turning to the first Velvets album.)

The story doesn’t end there for me, but I’ll end it here for now. There’s going to be (there already is) so much to take in about Reed in the next few days, I imagine it’ll be hard to keep track of it all.

“Fear of Everything”

So of course I always thought Talking Heads were about the individual human units (ha!—and fuck you, Fripp) response to cybernation, depersonalization, the effect of corporate consciousness on individual identity, all those great contemporary questions nobody can seem to come up with any real or workable answers for. Richard Hell was about the same thing on a darker, more hermetically selfenclosed/obsessed/possessed level, in fact the Ramones, Clash, just about all these New Wave bands that really count seem to be trying to deal with these questions which is why no matter what happens to it commercially New Wave for me will always be a lot more crucial than the R’n’R bands explosion of the Sixties, when it was all too easy to croon how there’s somethin’ happenin’ in here and what it is ain’t exactly clear. The point is, now we’re all “in here,” and apart from each other, and how are we gonna get out?

– Lester Bangs, unedited review of Talking Heads’s Fear of Music (3,000 or so words, nary a sneeze about “music” per se, and it’s a remarkable piece of writing).

Bangs Bio on Kickstarter

Richard Riegel, in a Rock’s Backpages post about A Box Full of Rocks, the Lester Bangs movie I mentioned a while back (it’s directed by Raul Sandelin), notes that the movie is actually a Kickstarter project, something I wasn’t aware of. More info about how you can contribute (and why you might want to) here.  Contributions have been slow, and there’s only a few weeks to go in the funding period, which ends August 28.