written by Cameron Crowe
Lester Bangs: You know, because once you go to LA, you're gonna have friends like crazy. But they're gonna be fake friends. They're gonna try to corrupt you. You know, you got an honest face, and they're gonna tell you everything. But you CANNOT make friends with the rock stars. If you're gonna be a true journalist, you know, a rock journalist - first you never get paid much. But you will get free records from the record company. There's just (chuckles) fuckin' nothin' about you that is controversial, man. God, it's gonna get ugly, man. They're gonna buy you drinks. You're gonna meet girls, they're gonna fly you places for free, offer you drugs--I know, it sounds great, but these people are not your friends. These are people who want you to write sanctimonious stories about the genius of rock stars, and they will ruin rock 'n' roll and strangle everything we love about it, y'know. 'Cause they are trying to buy respectability for a form that is gloriously And righteously dumb. Now, you're smart enough to know that. And the day it ceases to be dumb is the day that it ceases to be real, right? And then it just becomes an industry of...cool. I'm tellin' you, you're coming along at a very dangerous time for rock 'n' roll. I mean, the war is over. They won. And 99% of what passes for rock 'n' roll these days, silence is more compelling. That's why I think you should just turn around and go back, you know, and be a lawyer or something. (William's face drops) But I can tell from your face that you won't. I can give you 35 bucks. Give me a thousand words on Black Sabbath.
William: An assignment?
Lester: Yeah. Yeah. (sighs) Hey. You have to make your reputation on being honest and, y'know...unmerciful.
Lester: And if you get into a jam, you can call me. I stay up late.
[ please return to the main movie monologue page ]