Bill Wyman – “Lester Bangs’ Basement” (2011)

May 7, 2011 at 1:55 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

A fascinating recent Slate magazine article about internet downloading, from April 19th…

What it means to have all music instantly available.

Lester Bangs, the late, great early-rock critic, once said he dreamed of having a basement with every album ever released in it. That’s a fantasy shared by many music fans—and, mutatis mutandis, film buffs as well. We all know the Internet has made available a lot of things that were previously hard to get. Recently, though, there are indications of something even more enticing, almost paradisiacal, something that might have made Bangs put down the cough syrup and sit up straight: that almost everythingis available.

Music and movie fans of a certain age and a certain bent have strong visceral responses to this issue of availability. We grew up in an age of excited, roiling change in the music and film worlds, but the vicissitudes of the technologies and industries involved made the logistics of merely keeping up—much less being an expert—a time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes impossible chore. I won’t bore you with the details, but let me tell you—it was a drag.

Actually, I will bore you with the details. The music you wanted to hear wasn’t played on the radio and you couldn’t find the records you wanted to buy. You couldn’t even find the magazines that told you what records you should want to buy. It was almost impossible to see filmed footage Read the rest of this entry »

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