LT / Let it blurt

12:00:00 AM

My friend Allen, bassist of SinoSiKat?, lent me the book "Let It Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs, America's Greatest Rock Critic." Penned by Jim DeRogatis, the book is a posthumous biography of Mr. Bangs, who passed away in 1982, four years before I was born, due to apparent drug overdose.

Rock n roll!!!
I first heard about Lester Bangs when I watched the Cameron Crowe film "Almost Famous." In the movie, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Lester, who helps Patrick Fugit's William Miller, a budding rock and roll critic, with his writing. When I did some digging, I learned that Almost Famous was a semi-autobiographical feature based on the director's life, and there was indeed a time that Lester Bangs existed.

It took me a long time to finish reading Let It Blurt because of my crazy schedule, and because I alternated reading it with Yann Martel's Life of Pi. And before I even got to the end, I already knew what happened to Lester. Not because I read about it online, but because I deduced it from the chronicling of his drug and alcohol habits, which started when he was too young.

The music scene now is radically different from what it was during Lester's time, and I for one would give anything to bring back the greats. Some people tell me that I need to move on, musically speaking (I often like to joke that I'm stuck in the 70s, 80s, and most especially the 90s), because I cannot live in the past. When Lester received the same criticism, he responded by saying that choosing the past's greats over (bad) new music is not nostalgia but good taste. BOOM - he put the words right in my mouth!

Let It Blurt has two appendices, the first of which is a piece called "How to be a Rock Critic," written by Bangs and publised originally in Shakin' Street Gazette in October 1974. It was the first piece of his that I've ever read, and it was then that I understood why, to this day, Lester remains on the pedestal as the greatest rock critic who ever lived.

I'm not sure if the book is available in local bookstores in the Philippines, but if you're interested enough to read it, I think you can order it from Amazon. Too bad I have to give back Allen's copy; it's something I would have loved to read again.


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Hello, reader! Thank you for wasting your time reading my blog. I do hope you enjoyed whatever you stumbled upon. :)