How else to explain my continuing obsession with rock 'n roll music, which, as I was quoted in The Miami Herald earlier this year, has been going steadily downhill since 1966?
Why all the gloom, doom, and self-laceration, you ask?
It's mainly because I've been re-reading Mainlines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste: A Lester Bangs Reader the past couple of days, and I keep flashing back to when I was 16 years old, and had subscriptions to both Creem Magazine and The Village Voice. I loved reading Lester's stuff back then, and reading it again thirty years on, I have been getting little pangs of sadness and regret for all of the wasted energy and lost years spent on such an unworthy mistress.
Bangs, like me, was a true believer against his better judgment, and his stuff is still compelling 25 years after his death. I share more than a few parallels with him (for one, I'm writing this from Austin, where he once lived), and agree with his stance that "listening to music made 20, 30 years ago [now it'd be 40 or 50 years ago] is not living in the past, is not nostalgia...it's good taste."
Of course, in the very same piece ("Bad Taste is Timeless"), he also asserts that "I can guarantee you that there will be no Throbbing Gristle repackages from Japan in the year 2000."
Actually, I think most of the Throbbing Gristle import boxed sets, of which there are at least five, came out in 2003-2004.
Anyway, I could go on and on, but I won't. Suffice to say, I still love the music. Even if it doesn't love me back.