The young Cameron  meets Lester

 

From the screenplay by Cameron Crowe

Copyright 2000, Vinyl Films

 

 

 

INT. RADIO STATION -- DAY

LESTER BANGS rants on air for the benefit of a FEMALE DJ.

BANGS

Music, true music, not just rock íní roll, it chooses you. It lives in your car, or alone, listening to your headphones, vast scenic rituals and angelic choirs in your brain. Itís a place apart from the vast benign lap of America.

DJ

Quite an honor to have the worldís greatest rock critic and editor of Creem magazine back home in San Diego for a few days -- Lester Bangs.

BANGS

(Rifling through the stacks)

The Doors? Jim Morrison? Heís a drunken buffoon posing as a poet! Ah, give me the Guess Who. They got the courage to be drunken buffoons, which makes them poetic. Give me some White Light/White Heat. Iggy Pop! Amen! Put this on!

DJ

Donít you think itís a little early for that?

BANGS

Not for me.

DJ

O.K., well, that was Lester Bangs with some valid wisdom, and here is Iggy Pop.

Cue "Raw Power" by the Stooges.

EXT. SAN DIEGO STREET -- DAY

Bangs walks up the hill with William Miller, the kid, whoís been waiting for him outside the station.

BANGS

So youíre the kid whoís been sending me stuff from your high school newspaper.

WILLIAM

Iíve been doing some stuff for a local underground paper also.

BANGS

What are you, like the star of your school?

WILLIAM

They hate me.

BANGS

Yeah, youíll meet them all again on their long journey to the middle. Your writing is damn good, itís just a shame you missed out on rock íní roll. Itís over. You got here just in time for the death rattle, last gasp, last grope.

WILLIAM

At least Iím here for that.

INT. DINER -- DAY

BANGS

Yeah, what do you type on?

WILLIAM

Smith-Corona Galaxis Deluxe.

BANGS

You like Lou Reed?

WILLIAM

The early stuff. In his new stuff heís trying to be Bowie. He should just be himself.

BANGS

Take drugs?

WILLIAM

No.

BANGS

Smart kid. I used to do speed -- and sometimes a little cough syrup. Stay up all night, writing and writing, like 25 pages of dribble about the Faces or Coltrane, just to fucking writeÖ. Alright, itís been nice to meet you. Keep sending me your stuff. I just canít stand here all day talking to my many fans.

No one is paying him any attention

WILLIAM

I understand.

BANGS

If you go to L.A. youíre gonna have friends like crazy, but theyíre gonna be fake friends. Theyíre gonna try to corrupt you. You got an honest face, theyíre gonna tell you everything. But you cannot make friends with the rock stars. If youíre gonna be a true journalist, a rock journalist, first, youíll never get paid much, but you will get free records from the record companyÖ.

(Laughs) Thereís fucking nothing about you that is controversial. God, itís gonna get ugly, man. Theyíre gonna buy you drinks, youíre gonna meet girls, theyíre gonna try to fly you places for free, offer you drugs. I know it sounds great, but these people are not your friends, these are people who want you to write sanctimonious stories about the genius of rock stars, and they will ruin rock íní roll and strangle everything we love about it and then it just becomes an industry of cool. Iím telling you, youíre coming along at a very dangerous time for rock íní roll and thatís why I think you should just turn around, go back and be a lawyer or something. I can tell from your face that you wonít. I can give your thirty-five bucks. Give me a thousand words on Black Sabbath.

WILLIAM

An assignment?

BANGS

Yeah. Yeah. (Laughs) Hey, you have to make your reputation on being honest and unmerciful. And if you get into a jam, you can call me. I stay up late.

Cue Black Sabbath, "Paranoid."

 

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