Lester Bangs – Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung (1987)


“The late rock critic Lester Bangs was, like many of his colleagues, a frustrated musician. He even recorded a handful of records: the single ‘Let It Blurt’ and hard-to-find LPs with his New York group Birdland and the Texas-based Delinquents. But his finest hour may have come when he played typewriter at Cobo Hall in Detroit with the J. Geils Band. I’m serious—he played typewriter. The details are contained in a hilarious piece, ‘My Night of Ecstasy With the J. Geils Band,’ part of the recent posthumous collection of Bangs’s writing, Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung. … He even took a curtain call. This strange routine is much like Bangs’s writing—it’s funny, dumb, inspired, fantastic, and self-aggrandizing all at once. As a critic commenting on his chosen field, popular music, Bangs was a creature of polar opposites—genius and buffoon, observer and participant, fabulist and mundane reporter, sober analyst and drunken fantasist. He stood apart from his colleagues by virtue of his willingness to take a creative dare. That daring, which may be seen in his stage shot with the Geils Band, is also vastly apparent in the 370-plus pages of Psychotic Reactions, collected by fellow critic Greil Marcus. …”
Reading: Lester Bangs Played Typewriter
W – Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung
W – Lester Bangs
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