Tuesday, September 09, 2008

the first mistake of art is to assume that it's serious

"There's an important difference between 'fashion' and 'style'; it's like the difference between 'normal' and 'healthy'"


Where could such wise words have come from? Which fashion maven spake so eloquently on the topic?
Would you believe...him:
If you've seen Almost Famous (and of course you have), you're somewhat familiar with the genius that is Lester Bangs. Brilliance cannot even begin to describe his writing. When I read it, I feel like something inside me is coming alive. It is so clearly life translated to word, in the most honest, but most incendiary way.
He is, of course, first and foremost a rock critic, but I've always found his work to be way more rock'n'roll than anything he was reviewing.

"Things started to go downhill. Instead of singing about taking tea with Mary Jane and boppin' your dingus on ol' Sweet Slit Annie it was Help me God I don't know the meaning of life or I believe that love is gonna cure the world of psoriasis and cancer both and I'm gonna tell the people all about it 285 different ways whether you like it or not. And Why is there war well go ask the children they know everything we need to know, and Gee I sure like black folks even if my own folks don't and endless vinyl floods of drivel in similar veins. At that point I started to pack in and resort back to my good old ' 66 goof squat rock. I got out records like 96 Tears by Question Mark and the Mysterians, who were mysterious indeed, and re-whooped to jungle juju cackles like "Wooly Bully," which is indescribable and was recorded by a bunch of guys who drove around in a hearse wearing turbans."
-"Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: A Tales of These Times"

Lester Bangs makes me want to live my life to the absolute fullest and write like I'm about to explode. He died in the 80's from a drug overdose, but continues to be hugely influential. If you're an interesting person (you know who you are), try to find some of his work. I hope it will do you like it did me.


"Every great work of art has two faces, one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity."

18 comments:

Sister Libby said...

I am ashamed to say that I did not know Lester Bangs was a real person. I feel ignorant, kind of like when I'm sitting in a room of doctors. But you are a doctor of the soul, and I will look at his writing per your perscription.

Interstellar Overdrive said...

You are so exactly right... what disturbed me, while reading his collected works, was that he cared more about the integrity of music than the musicians did themselves... and that seemed to hurt him deeply in the end. The "battles" with Lou Reed are priceless. Love your blog, by the way, found it through iamthechildofthemoon.

miss fashion said...

i love the quotes you used here. so inspiring

*i will link you to on my blog roll*

PrettyInBlack said...

I just read everything you posted since you came back. Sounds like you've been having fun!

I'll have to check out Lester Bangs.

jess said...

I loved Almost Famous.Lester Bangs seems like an interesting dude.I think I'll have to look up some of his work

jayne said...

oo fascinating! he is an amazing part of almost famous

WAT said...

Nice little tribute to Lester!

ALMOST FAMOUS! OMG! YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE THAT MOVIE! YOU KNOW IT! I FEEL A TRIBUTE TO THAT FILM ON MY BLOG SOMETIME SOON, YET AGAIN!

Penny Lane!

Don't do drugs!

Singing Elton John on the tour bus!

So many great moments!

melmo said...

i loved to read your report. it was quite interesting.

biba_46 said...

I like your blog! really nice
xoxo

coco said...

I love that quote. I have a thing for quotes. I seem to collect them for no real reason.

Sunniva said...

I have to read more of his things, his writing is brilliant and he really captures the reader!

Cate said...

i loved the long sentences in the quote from "Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: A Tales of These Times"
by the way, can you tell me exactly what you did not get about my video so i can put an explanation in the description? it was basically just me and my brother and two cousins starring in a little fictional harry potter scene.

Diana Coronado said...

I luv ur report, his work is amazing

Secretista said...

I agree with all the quotes here.

sydneydoll said...

such a funny film.
at time sad.

Tru said...

very interesting post as usual. though I must confess I wasnt a fan of almost famous I know blasfamey

sophia said...

The quote made me laugh, so needless to say, i will have to find more...sadly, i did not know that this person existed before now *hides head in shame*

ellastica said...

ever since i saw this movie i always equate the word "incendiary" with "Almost Famous." i loved that scene.
philip seymour hoffman was fucking brilliant as lester bangs.
he made the movie for me. watching that movie(over and over and over)
always renews my faith in rock'n'roll and the life-changing power of music in general.
great post.