In the last few years, YouTube has been a great place for avid music listeners to discover music. If you’re on YouTube long enough, you may find a whole treasure trove of obscure rock albums- many of which are sourced from the vinyl record. One of the bands you might’ve come across is a hard band by the name of Bang. Formed in Philadelphia, Bang were around during the early 1970s. The band were signed to Capitol Records and released three albums before calling it a day in 1974. If you were to search for them online, you’re mostly likely going to find a paragraph long summary on the band and nothing more. The band’s new biography, The Bang Story, is the only way you can learn about the band’s history. While it isn’t without its flaws, The Bang Story makes for a pleasant read.
The Bang Story gives an overview of Bang’s history from beginning to end. The book is able to do so through the use of interviews with the band’s three members: Frank Ferrara, Frankie Glicken and Tony Diorio. As a whole, the book was mainly written and complied by writer Lawrence Knorr. While reading this book, I found it difficult to read. Compared to the average rock biography, the writing here pales in contrast. The sentence structure and use of words are fairly poor at times. Along with this, there are several grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
Throughout the book, Knorr tries setting the scene of each month and year by giving facts about what else was going on in the world during this time. While there is nothing wrong with this, the facts that Knorr gives come off as very random. For example, I now know that Bang were on tour when The Godfather was released in March 1972. One chapter even ends with a paragraph about the death of baseball star Roberto Clemente, when the paragraph before it was about the band sending their manager his termination papers. Given the band were interviewed, this book would’ve been better had the story been told as an oral history.
Despite its many flaws, I still think The Bang Story is worth reading. Without giving too much away, the story of Bang is a very interesting tale. With a story this strong, you can still get through the book despite its many issues. While The Bang Story is a 186 page book, about some hundred pages are devoted to the band’s story. The extra pages feature some bonuses, such as a slew of pictures at the end of each chapter. At the end of the overall story, every pressing and issue of the band’s discography is listed. The book even includes the lyrics to every song the band wrote during their original run- making this book a companion piece to their music.
If you’ve heard of Bang before or have even owned one of their albums back in the day, I’d say this is worth a read. If you’re a stranger to the band’s music, I would recommend checking it out. All of their albums are online for purchase and/or streaming. If you’re a fan of early hard rock/heavy metal, you might like these guys.