‘How to Be a Rock Critic’ plays on the passion of Lester Bangs

Raised in California by a mother who was a devout Jehovah’s Witness (his father, a truck driver, died in a fire when Lester was a child), Bangs was a self-described isolated mama’s boy who early on discovered the writing of the Beat generation (Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac), penned his own stories (burned by his mother), combed the bins at record stores, and for a long time sent out unsolicited reviews to Rolling Stone before he was finally given a chance as a legit freelancer.