A Box Full of Rocks: The El Cajon Years of Lester Bangs is a new documentary film about legendary music journalist and former San Diegan Lester Bangs. Lester Bangs (1948-1982) is one of the greatest music journalists of his generation. Best known for his writings in Rolling Stone, Creem Magazine, and Village Voice, Bangs is also remembered for his numerous contributions to films and anthologies between 1969 and 1982; two posthumously released collections of his reviews and essays; and a biography, Let It Blurt, authored by Jim DeRogatis. Bangs is best known because of Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning movie Almost Famous. Bangs was an early mentor to Crowe, also a San Diegan. Lester Bangs grew up in El Cajon, CA, a suburb 15 freeway miles east of San Diego. A Box Full of Rocks captures these formative years. Born in nearby Escondido, Bangs moved to El Cajon in 1960 at age 11 with his mother. His father had already burned to death in a house fire. From 1960 to 1971, Bangs became an avid music fan and writer. In 1969, he published his first music reviews in Rolling Stone, which he wrote from his mom's apartment in El Cajon. In 1971, he finally left El Cajon to accept a job writing for Creem in Detroit, MI. A Box Full of Rocks runs 90 minutes and features interviews with Bangs's childhood friends Jack Butler, Rob Houghton, Gary Rachac, Jerry Raney, and Milt Wyatt. Biographer Jim Derogatis is also featured along with various music critics and historians, who analyze Bangs's ultimate role in post-60s American counter-culture.
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