Friday, 24 March 2006

In Praise Of Bangs

Roy over at alicublog has a great post on Lester Bangs, although he then goes on to praise concerts from the past because everyone was loaded at them so they must have been better than anything today, which seems a stretch too far to me. The bit that stood out to me was this:
When he loved artists, like Lou Reed and Richard Hell, he rode their asses mercilessly just for the snap- or smash-back; he asked Reed questions like, "When you recorded Berlin, did you think people would laugh at it?" Who would ask Reed anything like that now?

Well, no-one would ask Reed that now for fear of being lectured on the greatness of Reed and how, as an interviewer, you couldn't possibly understand, but the flip side of that is: Who would you ask something like that today? Well, I'd ask it of U2, probably, though my question would more likely be "When you recorded your latest craven attempt to get your fans back, did you think people might not buy it?" which self-evidently isn't quite the same thing.

It's hard to think of any popular band for who the question would make any sense. The Darkness or Robbie Williams would tell you that was half the point, Radiohead or Coldplay wouldn't have thought that someone might laugh at them and plenty of other bands just weren't very much to do with the actual recording process. So your answers would, in all probability, consist of "Of course, dearie", "No!" and "What's an album?"

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