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Reference and Resources

A Lester Bangs REFERENCE DESK begins almost as soon as his education at Grossmont Junior College ends in 1968. 

His first published Rolling Stone review in November, 1969 lead to a more than decade-long, but prestigious and highly influential, career as an internationally renowned music critic and rock philosopher.  Until his untimely death in 1982, Bangs had written prolifically for Circus, Creem, Fusion, Let It Rock, Music Gig Magazine, Musician Magazine, New Musical Express (NME), Phonograph Record, Rolling Stone Magazine, Shakin' Street Gazette, Stereo Review, The Village Voice, and others.   His ideas about "heavy metal" and "punk rock"—terms he is credited for coining—as well as his literary prose style, are a touchstone even now for scholars and music critics, poets, creative nonfiction authors, musicians and lyricists, alike.  Many of Lester's published and unpublished articles have since been posthumously gathered into collections and translated into a variety of foreign language editions; several of his essays, such as "Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung," have become standard readings in textbook anthologies, and Bangs, himself, has been the subject of many books, articles, critical essays, and documentaries by respected contemporary scholars.  He has been credited countless many more times by a second, and even third, generation of writers who respect Lester Bangs for his beauty and authenticity as a rock intellectual.
Because these sources are prolific and varied, the Lester Bangs Reference Desk has been organized into the following drawers:

  • About Lester Bangs: citation index of works about Lester Bangs and related or relevant topics

  • By Lester Bangs: indexes of primary and secondary sources with Lester Bangs authorship

  • Discography: an illustrated catalog of official and unofficial music releases; with thumbnail illustrations of artwork (album sleeves, cassette inserts, CD covers, etc.)

  • Lyrics: an annotated database of song lyrics attributed to, or covered by, Lester Bangs, including published and unpublished works, demos, and known songs whose lyrics may still be at large

  • Multimedia: media clips about Lester Bangs, including contemporaneous and current works)

  • Timeline: a chronology of events pertinent to Bangs's life

  • Tribute: illustrated index of works, projects, bands, dedications, attributions, and lyrics honoring Lester Bangs

  • Who's Who: a roster of artists and musicians with whom Bangs performed, wrote, or recorded music


Last Updated: 05/01/2019
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
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