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Let It Bang

As a writer for Creem for years upon years I consider Bangs a patron saint but on the few times I met hit him I thought he wasn’t much fun. So what? Jim Derogatis ties bangs to his Dad’s death (all of us who lost dads early lose em the same way) and tied him to jazz , to Mingus and to Miles). I would pay cash money to read Bangs on Armstrong.. Jim is so self controlled, so smart in “Let It Blurt” -it is easy and yet hard written. It doesn’t blink. And he talks to the people he needs to: name we knowa: Morthland, Christagau, Marcus, big timers. And they give Bangs the respect he deserves. Christgau (I know, he’s my Conor Oberst of rock criticism) does Bang the biggest favor imaginable from an editor: he takes him seriously. I do the same with Mike Nessing. I like other writers, I love Nessing, he gets it. Christgau gets that Bangs got it. The book is a bit iffy on Christggau , but Christgau published him which speaks for itself..

Jim Derogatis gives Bangs the ultimate compliment, he doesn’t Bangs him. Jim writes an informative,important bio of the patron saint of rock crits. Jim overestimates the music Bangs sang (it is awful) but he gets the important stuf correct. Nobody who writes about

Jim Derogatis flawless biography of Let It Blurt I am coming to late. Anybody who writes about pop music owes Bangs a debt. I remember calling Creem editor Dave DiMartino and hearing him cry on the phone. Me? I love Bangs to death but only to a point. He never grasped the inflamable uselessness of pop. He Never revelled in it.

Bands introduced me to Mingus, for that alone I owe him, but he would have ismissed the undismissable Black Eyed Peas. He believed pop music was important and he was right, it is, but not always.

Derogatis superb biography is the one Bang deserves. Jim is a real writer and a great writer and he grasp Bangs without ever descending (and with Bangs it isddeliriously tempting -note the use of the word deliuslly) instead Deroratis is smart and scjholrarly, he doesn’t cringe from Bangs excesses but he doesn’t embrace em either,

Bangs is a child of the Beat Generation, he likes like a hippie but he aint one. His style, lingo, eccentricness, its all be bop par excellence. The run on sentences, the hip shakes, the way he distills himself. He is a Jack Keroac for the rockers and when you read him he beats you in, he smiles you out. It’s like free form jazz -you don’t know where the adverb is coming from and why it’s there. He writes fast, his worst tumble and crash against each other and you follow em but you don’t know where they’re going. Heis greatness is so mammoth when you get caught up it’s ‘Trne -it’s like religion. And Jim knows this an he presents this.

pop music doesn’t write from the book of Bangs, art does.: I stole my entire style from Bangs, Burchill  and christgau. RIP, you big teddy bear, you.

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