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Lester Bangs

Posted by:
fnord 11:35 am MST 04/06/18

If you are a music fan, you probably know who Lester Bangs was. He was a music critic and writer in the 1970s who garnered a lot of comparisons to Hunter S Thompson for his fearless, gonzo style, his affection for drug use, and the fact that he was a world class author who seemed to be slumming it in his chosen field (writing for magazines like Creem and Rolling Stone and The Village Voice).

I'm reading one of his collections right now. Lester wrote a long essay about Elvis, his public image and his legacy, on the event of his death in 1977. In that essay, Bangs used a very interesting phrase: "erection of the heart." No, really, it's right there in the book. The previous owner of the book even highlighted it for us.

I have no doubt Jim was familiar with Bangs' work-- Jim's a music fan and would no doubt keep up with a figure like Lester. Is this where Jim first heard the phrase? Or did he use it himself earlier and somehow influence Bangs?


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