Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Did Lester leave a mark?
The always interesting rockcritics,com blog asks if Lester Bangs really had much of an influence on anything to do with rock writing here. Interesting to see the first reply was a vote against imitators and in favour of Dave Marsh.
Lester was, of course, larger in death than he was in life and squandered much of his talent by boxing himself in as a self-defined record reviewer who was unable to branch into other things. Of course, when he was "on" he was really "on", but most people forget he wrote some tripe too that even his friends wouldn't sanction as publishable once he was gone.
On balance, he really was a great writer as much for the fact that he was idiosyncratic, self-revelatory and flawed - sometimes all at the same time. Obsessive rants about stuff that didn't count held attention as much as his so-called more insightful stuff (I'm thinking his Stooges rants and his railing against Lou, which were also self-deprecating self-character assassination jobs.)