Lester Bangs, Austin Surf Punk and Jook Savages on the Brazos (1980)

“Austin’s surf punkers The Delinquents are joined on stage at Club Foot by professional rock critic Lester Bangs. Bangs, who is swinging the microphone stand in the [below] picture, is also featured as guest vocalist on an upcoming elpee [sic] by the Delinquents.” – 1980 photo caption, WILD DOG zine

That LP was Jook Savages on the Brazos, which Lester Bangs and The Delinquents recorded on the band’s label, Live Wire Records, in 1980. According to Let It Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs, America’s Greatest Rock Critic by Jim Derogatis, the famed music journalist briefly transplanted in Austin in an earnest attempt to front a band in the local music scene widely recognized for its outlaw country and psychedelic influences.

Most notably, Lester Bangs and The Delinquents opened for NYC experimental rock new wavers the Talking Heads at the Armadillo World Headquarters Nov. 21, 1980, before Bangs would record his lone studio effort with the band. After packing the house on the eve of its final closure, the Armadillo (formerly the legendary psych venue Vulcan Gas Company), shuttered on New Year’s Day 1981.

Formed in the late 1970s in Austin, The Delinquents debuted their 1960s garage/psych/fuzz rock inspired EP Alien Beach Party in 1979. Its self-titled album was independently released the following year via Live Wire Records.

Lester Bangs, the writer whose poison pen and harsh criticism of MC5’s Kick Out the Jams first landed him a gig with Rolling Stone in 1969, died from an accidental overdose on April 30, 1982.

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(Photo by Michelle Levinas; original galley courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)

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(Original Delinquents shirt courtesy of Wild Dog Archives.)

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