Wayne Kramer still remembers reading Lester Bangs’ bad review of Kick Out The Jams in Rolling Stone. From the review: Most of the songs are barely distinguishable from each other in their primitive two-chord structures. You’ve heard all this before from such notables as the Seeds, Blue Cheer, Question Mark and the Mysterians, and the Kingsmen.
Wayne K: My entire motivation was a knee jerk reaction to the criticism I got from Lester Bangs. His review in Rolling Stone fucked me up. I was on acid, I read the review on acid, and I’m young and creative and believing the hype, and my heart sank. He was a young writer, trying to make his bones, so he thought he’d say something provocative and contrary to the current consensus, as people were loving the MC5. And he was going to come out and say ‘these guys talk a good game, but they can’t tune their own guitars.’ Writers had been coming out on junkets and then writing glowing reviews about us, hired by the record label. It was paid for. Like most people, I thought you got in the paper on merit. That isn’t how it really works in the world. So I’m on acid, and I’m reading the review, and the guy is just ripping us apart. It got to me because I knew there were great weaknesses in the band and the music, the rhythm section in particular. The bass playing and the drumming.
Steve Miller is an investigative reporter with over two decades of experience in daily newspaper, Web and magazine reporting and writing. Miller has done time as a court and cops beat reporter at the Dallas Morning News and as a national reporter for the Washington Times, and as a correspondent for national publications including People magazine, High Times, Boston Magazine, Miami New Times, Houston Press, The Daily Beast and U.S. News and World Report. In 2012, he was an Edgar award finalist for his book, Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender. He is a recipient of the digital investigative award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Miller was also the former vocalist in the Midwest punk rock outfit the Fix in 1980-81.
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