Rock writer, critic, and sometime (failed) musician, he was born Leslie Conway Bangs in 1948. The son of Jehovah's Witnesses, he grew as far away from the Witnesses as possible. He changed his name to Lester for no apparent reason, and became quickly fascinated by drugs. He used LSD, but by the time it became popular he had moved on to his lifetime addiction-- Romilar Cough Syrup.
He entered rock journalism through the almighty Rolling Stone, but was thrown off when Jann Wenner found his drug abuse distasteful and his irreverence dangerous. He found his niche at the now-defunct Detroit-based Creem magazine, where he eventually became an editor and wrote until the very end of his career. He constantly fought with rock stars, but his ultimate sparring partner was also his idol-- the Velvet Underground's Lou Reed. Bangs and Reed had a love-hate (but mostly hate) relationship throughout their respective careers.
Lester died in 1982 of a propoxyphene (Darvon) overdose.
Interesting note: Lester Bang's family tree was actually a closed circle, the result of a marriage between second cousins.