Bangs was the first -- and arguably only -- music critic to ever achieve
full-fledged rock star status. Working with a deep and opinionated
knowledge of music history -- as well as a Hunter S. Thompson-style
appetite for chemical excess -- Bangs made his name in the mid '70s,
writing for such publications as Cream, Rolling Stone and the Village
Voice -- in the process unabashedly boosting bands like the New York
Dolls, the Stooges, Richard Hell's Voidoids and the MC5.
Always ragingly outspoken and elegantly wasted, Bangs lived a life that was more Keith Richards than Greil Marcus and ended up paying for it -- dying of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 33.
Chicago Sun Times music critic Jim DeRogatis was the last person to interview Bangs, just weeks prior to his death, and took on the weighty prospect of summing up the writer's short but savage life.
In all, he properly accomplishes the task by way of first-person oral history, numerous citations of Bangs' work and plenty of music history.
And while "Let it Blurt" does a great job of dissecting Bangs' twisted legacy, the only true way to look at his life is through his work -- which was anthologized posthumously in "Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung."
-- Adam Gnade