Tag Archives: lester bangs

“He’s just a big schlub from Detroit. He’s fat and he’s got a mustache. I wouldn’t shit in Lester’s nose.”

Lou Reed, in a jab at Lester Bangs after the rock critic referred to his transvestite (but possibly transsexual) lover Rachel as “the bearded lady” in a column — in an interview with “Zig Zag” magazine, circa 1973.

Lou Reed – Lester’s nose

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“Purely strange, a mother lode of unholy awe. If the album ‘Berlin’ was melted down in a vat and reshaped into human form, it would be this creature.”

Lester Bangs, from Jim DeRogatis’ biography of Bangs, “Let It Blurt,” describing Bangs’ impression of Rachel, a transvestite (but possibly transsexual) Lou Reed was dating and who was in tow when Bangs interviewed Reed at the Detroit Hilton in 1973. More info and photos of Rachel and Lou here.

Lester Bangs – Rachel the transvestite

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“I don’t blame Helen and the rest of womankind for being so mad. All men but me are puds. What I’d like to see is an all-girl band that would sing lyrics like ‘I’ll cut your nuts off, you cretins,’ and then jump into the audience and beat the shit out of the men there. Meanwhile, Helen’s chops are up: she’s no artist, she’s a constant pulsation, 50,000 watts of Helen Reddy arcing into diffusion with a glow that touches ever stucco nautilus in every housing project from here to Bobby Goldsboro’s composite dream suburb. … Helen is a beacon, the perfect Seventies incarnation of Miss Liberty herself in pantsuit and bowler crooning for America in a voice like the tenderest walls brushing together — the real velvet underground.”

Lester Bangs, in a review of Helen Reddy’s album, “Long Hard Climb,” in the August 1974 issue of Creem

Lester Bangs – Helen Reddy

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9. My pet land hermit crab, Spud, who sometimes goes for days at a time curled up inside his shell in a corner of the cage so you gotta check to see if he’s dead, likes MMM a lot. Every time I put it on, he comes out of his shell and starts crawling happily around the sand and climbing the bars. It is, in fact, the only time I ever see him get any exercise. Either that or he’s dancing.

Lester Bangs, from his review of Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music,” in the March 1976 issue of Creem, in which he listed 17 reasons why it was a good album

Lester Bangs – Metal Machine Music

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“I’m not interested in writing about [love]. It’s certainly not something I would ever use music to discuss, at least not in clear terms like that. You see, the problem is that people, particularly people who write, assume that the meaning of a song is vested in the lyrics. To me, that has never been the case. There are very few songs that I can think of where I even remember the words, actually, let alone think that those are the center of the meaning. For me, music in itself carries a whole set of messages which are very, very rich and complex, and the words either serve to exclude certain ones of those, or point up certain others that aren’t really in there, or aren’t worth saying, or something. It’s like David Byrne said to me the other day: ‘Sometimes I write something that I really can’t understand, and that’s what excites me.’”

Briano Eno, in an interview conducted by Lester Bangs in 1979, that was to be included in an unfinished book, “Beyond the Law: Four Rock ‘n’ Roll Extremists,” which was to also include critiques of Marianne Faithfull, Danny Fields and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Brian Eno – unpublished Lester Bangs interview

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