From Publishers Weekly
For fans of one of the most vocal and irreverent critical voices in rock and roll, this newly issued Bangs reader will be a boon. Serving as a companion to the 1987 collection Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, this volume is a selection of 54 pieces, some of which have been recently uncovered. In his introduction, Morthland, a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly, offers a paean to Bangs, who died in 1982 of a drug overdose, describing him as the "best-known bull-in-a-china-shop... who was always dangerously loaded, who could be so insulting and malicious as well as self-destructive... who had an expansive lust for life and a sense of humor and (sometimes even, and for no apparent reason) cheerfulness to match it." Within these pages, the acerbic Bangs takes on Dylan ("Dylan merely used Civil Rights and the rest of the Movement to advance himself in the first place") and encourages the Stones in a 1973 Creem article ("I challenge those lazy, sniveling, winded mothermissers to PRODUCE"). There's plenty here to entertain music fans and inspire today's critics of rock and roll.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A collection of the rock critic's essays from 1968 to 1982. Bangs is as engaging to read today as he was in earlier years as his themes-music and musicians, and how people react to them-are timeless. His writing conveys the many layers of feeling that music can create. Some of the bands and musicians are still popular and some are still active, but even when he writes about those no longer current, he can make readers think anew about any type of music. The other great appeal of this book is the sheer quality of the writing, which connects the audience effortlessly and instantaneously with Bangs's thoughts. Those who truly love music or who enjoy good writing will appreciate this book.Ted Westervelt, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
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