‘A Final Chat with Lester Bangs’ by Jim DeRogatis
Jim DeRogatis always wanted to be a journalist. While a high school senior, the overzealous teen was told by his journalism teacher to go interview his “hero”. It had to be Lester Bangs. DeRogatis went to great lengths to “get” Bangs, the famed rock critic and noted gonzo journalist. And on April 14, 1982, his hard work and diligence paid off. What transpired was a candid, insightful look at Bangs, the man, and music journalism. DeRogatis led the interview well for a novice. Although meeting and interviewing his idol was a thrill, DeRogatis didn’t know what was soon to come. The subsequent untimely death of Lester Bangs, just two short weeks later, on April 30, 1982, cemented DeRogatis as Lester Bangs’s final interviewer.
Being a journalist is about passion, dedication, and talent. One never knows where an interview will go, if it will be tossed aside, ridiculed, or go down in history books. In DeRogatis’s case, ‘A Final Chat with Lester Bangs’” provided the basis to transition his passion of music and writing into his first book, Let it Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs and ultimately, a career. ‘Luck is when preparation meets opportunity’ – Seneca the Younger.
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