Before his untimely death in 1982, Lester Bangs was inarguably the most influential critic of rock and roll. Writing in hyper-intelligent Benzedrine prose that calls to mind Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson, he eschewed all conventional thinking as he discussed everything from Black Sabbath being the first truly Catholic band to Anne Murray’s smoldering sexuality. In Mainlines, Blood Feasts, Bad Taste fellow rock critic John Morthland has compiled a companion volume to Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, the first, now classic collection of Bangs’s work. Here are excerpts from an autobiographical piece Bangs wrote as a teenager, travel essays, and, of course, the music pieces, essays, and criticism covering everything from titans like Miles Davis, Lou Reed, and the Rolling Stones to esoteric musicians like Brian Eno and Captain Beefheart. Singularly entertaining, this book is an absolute must for anyone interested in the history of rock.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Main Lines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste|
|Release Date: 12-10-2008|
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Main Lines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste
DRUG PUNK: from Two Assassinations and a Speedy Retreat into Pastoral Nostalgias.
Today Andy Warhol was assassinated-well, I shouldn't say "assassinated," he was shot by some chick who wanted to murder him, and right now he's in critical condition, 50-50 chance or so they say. I was over at my girlfriend Andy's today listening to my new William Burroughs album for the first time (it just came in the mail) when suddenly they shouted for me from the bedroom. When I went in Andy's mother told me the news. Somehow I got the feeling they were expecting me to get distraught or something, so I faked this bunch of guffaws. Actually the news had no effect on me, at least no kind that could be measured positively or negatively, except that kind of vibration that sudden real-life surrealism sets off in you. It blew my mind is what I meant to say. When you say "Blow my mind," you don't mean anything to do with sadness or happiness, you mean WHAM!, the sudden impact of something outrageous, incredible, unthinkable, and I guess you could say that that's a positive feeling. Andy's mother went on to say blandly: "Some New York woman art critic shot him. Blew his whole head right off."
"What?! Is he dead then?"
Andy started to laugh. Her mother corrected her own surrealism (Burroughs had just been saying on the phonograph, "Trak news service. . . We don't report the news we write it"): "No, he's just in the hospital in critical condition." I went back into the living room and wrote on the paper slipcover from inside my Burroughs album: "June 3, 1968-Day Andy Warhol was assassinated." It looked better that way tha