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Lester Bangs

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I was in high school (oh, I told you — that was kind of where they put you when they didn't know what to do with you — when you were too big for the Kiddie Kokoons and too young to go out an' hafta assume what we used to call Manhood, which involved going at the same time every day to some weird building and doing some totally useless shit for hours on end just so you could get some bread and have everybody respect you).
"Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: A Tales of These Times" (June 1971), p. 7

Lester Bangs

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I was imprisoned in Concepción for a few days and then realeased. They didn't torture me, as I had feared; they didn't even rob me. But they didn't give me anything to eat either, or any kind of covering for the night, so I had to rely on the goodwill of other prisoners, who shared their food with me. In the small hours I could hear them torturing others; I couldn't sleep and there was nothing to read except a magazine in English that someone had left behind. The only interesting article in it was about a house that had once belonged to Dylan Thomas. … I got out of that hole thanks to a pair of detectives who had been at high school with me in Los Ángeles…

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I used to go to school with my hair looking like Johnny Thunders', totally sewn into my jeans and wearing women's shoes and a Sex T-shirt from Malcolm McLaren's shop. I'd turn up every day looking like this Martian. I used to get abused all the time, but I didn't give a shit in those days. I knew I was onto something.

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Don't live in this place. If you're a grad student or if you have a few more courses to pick up, fine. But if you're still hanging out in Orono or Old Town three years from now, living like an undergraduate in some sleazy apartment or trailer park, there's something wrong with you. This is not Never-Neverland. Peter Pan graduated back in '73 and now has a nice little farm in Bethel. You are not the Lost Boys and Lost Girls, but if you stay here too long, you will grow the equivalent of donkey ears. For most of you, it's time to move on. If you didn't have a better time here than you did in high school, you're weird. If you want to stay here and keep being an undergraduate, you're very weird.

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Jasper Johns

There isn’t anything weird about my music. Weird is a skeleton in the closet, wearing a rubber mask with warts all over its nose, and all that kind of shit. That’s not what I do. The thing that makes my music unusual is that people only hear one kind of music all the time over the radio. It’s wallpaper to their lives. Audile wallpaper. There’s one acceptable beat and there are three acceptable chord progressions. There are five acceptable words: baby, love, tears, yat yat. Just because I don’t deal in those terms doesn’t mean I’m weird. So tell these people: I ain’t weird; I’m rational. I’m a person who can choose to write stuff like that, or choose to write stuff that includes all the notes on the piano played at once, followed by a cement truck driving over the piano, followed by a small atomic explosion. Nothing weird about that as long as you do it in a meaningful way.

Frank Zappa
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