cover for The Lester Bangs issue featuring an illustration by Gary Ciccarelli

The Lester Bangs Issue

If you know who Lester Bangs is, you’re gonna need this issue. If you don’t know who Lester Bangs is, you’re also gonna need this issue.

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Lester Bangs. Photo by Charlie Auringer.
Lester Bangs in the CREEM office. Photo by Charlie Auringer.

Lester Bangs At 75

Lester Bangs is more than a genius, a savant, a beautiful soul, and the north CREEM star in the nighttime CREEM sky: he is also the rock critic that people, gun to their head, can name. In tribute to both his unfettered brilliance, and his name recognition, CREEM is celebrating Bangs in the way that he would appreciate most: hyperbolic praise, borderline slanderous revisionism, and by attempting to sell enough t-shirts riffing on our dead friend to fund a statue of Lou Reed made entirely out of ketamine.

Do we come to praise Lester Bangs? Bury Lester Bangs? Or did we just run out of money for the year and needed to bring in our December issue for under ten grand, and some Lester Bangs hoo-ha seemed the smartest way to do it? (The dead don’t do much, but they do work cheap.) And if it’s the latter, how did Lester Bangs know to plan his 75th birthday at the same time to save our asses yet again?????

Find out


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Lester Bangs and Patti Smith in 1975. Photo by Kate Simon

What’s Inside

  • Editor-at-large Zachary Lipez on the everlasting yet ever fluctuating influence of Lester Bangs
  • Never-before published writing
  • Selections from the CREEM archive
  • “How NOT to Be A Rock Critic” with Jeff Tweedy, a reverse take on the classic Bangs essay
  • We call upon the ghost of Lester Bangs to review some current bands
  • Jaan Uhelszki, Sue Whitall, and Connie Kramer tell us what it was really like having Bangs as your editor
  • Cover art by Gary Ciccarelli, illustrator of classic CREEM covers
  • And more....

the CREEM Archive

Subscribers get access to all of Bangs’ original CREEM writing in our archive.

“If anything is going to drive you up the wall it might as well be a RECORD”

--Lester Bangs, CREEM, 1971


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