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Let It Blurt

Let It Blurt

Lester Bangs, Robert Quine, Jody Harris, and David Hofstra


Had a Quaalude[1] romance,
a real modern affair.
f**king for hours
to Raw Power:[2]
a whole lifetime we shared.
She was my teenage dream,
but I was 25.
After the abortion,
only rancor left alive.
But that's okay, baby.
I just told her what I had to say:
"B*tch! B*tch! B*tch! B*tch!
I wish your ass was dead!"
And if it hurts,
just let it blurt.
Vitriol all down your bib,
you know you can always leave
if you don't like what's happenin'.
Sittin' by the dock of the bay,[3]
later on the same ol' D-Day,[4]
drinkin' port wine and singing "Sister Ray,"[5]
wonderin' why I wasn't born gay.[7]
Makes you feel just like an ofay.[8]
But that's cool too, baby.
Just say what you've gotta say:
"B*tch! B*tch! B*tch! B*tch!
The baby wasn't mine!"
You know it hurts.
Just let it blurt.
I know it ain't funny.
It ain't funny at all, baby.
That's why I'm crying:
because I'm laughing.
Ha, ha! And f*ck you!
I'll see you in hell, baby.
I'll see you in hell, baby.
I'll see you in hell.


"Let It Blurt" 7-inch single, 45 rpm
Track A§1
Spy Records Ltd., SPY 003 (1979)

Bangs, Lester. "Letter to Richard C. Walls." in Throat Culture 02 (Collector's Edition, 1990): 46.

Last Updated: 08/29/2016


The title of Lester's first official vinyl release, “Let It Blurt,” encapsulated Bangs’s decade-long reputation for refusing to stymie his own strong feelings about life and music. The phrase, “let it blurt,” promoted that same spontaneous catharsis people had come to expect from Bangs as a journalist. The title would also inspire rock author Jim DeRogatis to the title of his Bangs biography.

Bangs admitted that some of the other lyrics of "Let It Blurt" are an homage to songs by other artists he respected, Van Morrison being among them. The track was initially slated to be on a Lester Bangs EP for Ork Records, owned by producer Terry Ork, who helped Patti Smith to release her first singles. Bangs writes, "We went into [Ork's] Lower East Side studio and taped three hours of me singing standards like 'Sister Ray,' '96 Tears,' 'Raw Power' and 'Mendocino'...and then I mostly recited my own songs for them."

The lyrics of "Let It Blurt" are alleged to be inspired by a rumor surrounding Lester Bangs's Canadian ex-girlfriend, Dori, which involved her abortion of a baby she claimed to have been conceived by Lester. Others are convinced the lyrics arose out of Lester's relationships with manipulative women in general, but specifically about his smothering mother. How factual and literary Lester intended the lyrics to be is debatable. In his letter to friend and fellow rock critic Richard C. Walls, Bangs spelled out his prospects on his songwriting career in less serious tones: "My attitude about the whole thing is that I'm totally serious about doing [songwriting], but I don't take myself overly seriously, if you know what I mean." To bring home the point, Bangs writes in the very next sentence, "I figure I'll at least have something to toss my kids someday and say, 'See, I lived out my fantasies when I was young, now you go and do like wise"—ironic for a song about the abortion of Lester's child. (Source: "Letter to Richard C. Walls" Throat Culture 02: 46-47).

[1] Quaalude: methaqualone, a non-barbiturate sedative.

[2] Raw Power: the title of the 1973 album by The Stooges, released on Columbia Records. Lester once cajoled two businessmen to leave the airport bar and come home with him to listen to the album.

[3] "Sitting by the dock of the bay": popular Otis Redding blues song of the same title.

[4] D-Day: World War II Allied invasion of Normandy, code-named Operation Neptune, on Tuesday, 6 June 1944.

[5] "Sister Ray": groundbreaking and transformative Lou Reed/Velvet Underground hit praised by Lester Bangs and many others for its improvisational style of punk.

[6] "wonderin' why I wasn't born gay": see notes for "Accidents of God."

[7] ofay: a pejorative term for a white person; synonym: cracker. (Lyric, "And now comes time for the Ofay": from "I Plan To Stay A Believer" on Curtis Mayfield's 1971 album Curtis Live)

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