Saturday, September 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Hoffman, Bangs share similarity beyond screen

decicco column sig

By
From page B1 | February 07, 2014 |

There’s cruel perfection that actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died at age 46 Sunday in New York, once played Lester Bangs, a rock music critic who died in April 1982, on the big screen.

There’s a sliver of pain that comes with the appropriateness of their similarities – both men who enjoyed Van Morrison and were so passionate about their work that they intimidated and earned deep respect of their peers.

Even in the manner of death – accidental overdose – it appears Hoffman and Bangs will unite.

It’s fitting that Hoffman played Bangs, a firecracker with a Hunter S. Thompson wild man streak after deadline, in a manner that captured his essence. He peeled back the veneer of Bangs’ hard-partying ways to find him alone, human and frail, making him a relatable mentor to the protagonist of “Almost Famous,” teenage up-and-coming writer William Miller. Bangs guides Miller through the experience of writing a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine.

When Miller needs to write his story, he has trouble being honest because he’s made friends with the band he’s covering and doesn’t want to upset them. Hoffman, who had a cold during shooting, croaks into the receiver that Miller must keep his objectivity and remember he’s not one of them.

“I met you. You are not cool,” Hoffman chides as Bangs. “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”

It was one of many flawless soliloquies Hoffman delivered during his 20-plus-year career. He’s perhaps best remembered for 2005′s “Capote,” a role that earned him an Oscar for best actor.

During his acceptance speech, an overwhelmed Hoffman thanked the director and writer of “Capote,” who he said, “I love, I love, I love.”

“You know the Van Morrison song, ‘I love, I love, I love,’ and he keeps repeating it like that?” Hoffman said off the cuff.

Hoffman was referencing the song “Madame George,” a track from Morrison’s “Astral Weeks.”

Bangs, too, loved “Astral Weeks.” He wrote an immense, arresting piece on it for “Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island,” a collection of critics picks for such a scenario, even singling out the same passage from “Madame George.”

“He sings the word ‘dry’ and then ‘your eye’ 20 times in a twirling melodic arc so beautiful it steals your own breath and then this occurs: ‘And the love that loves the love that loves the love that loves the love that loves to love the love that loves to love the love that loves,’ ” Bangs wrote.

More than his work as Bangs, Capote, Caden Cotard, Brandt, Father Brendan Flynn, Plutarch Heavensbee, Art Howe or any other of a number of memorable appearances, however, is the body of work Hoffman leaves. It’s a résumé impressive and expansive enough to make many actors and actresses jealous. Even the few roles I mentioned are far from a comprehensive list.

The death of Hoffman brings the hurt of loss, but also, as a movie lover, the pain of knowing how phenomenal he was and that we’ll never see new work from him after the “Hunger Games” sequels.

Hoffman was awesome, not in the overused sense of the word to mean that something was great, but in the truest sense of the word – he inspired awe.

His death leaves the sting of a greedy, unsatiated audience weeping for more about what could’ve been.

It’s similar to Bangs, who was critical of rock and begged relentlessly for it to maintain a vitality that kept playing after the needle lifted. He was committed and devoted to his craft and died at a time when readers would’ve loved more from such a luminary force of criticism.

There’s a profound sadness that, even in death, Hoffman parallels Bangs. It cements them together in a way that will color all of the work they left behind differently.

But to read Bangs’ writing or to watch Hoffman’s work? Oh, to love. To love the love that loves to love.

To read more of Nick DeCicco’s blogs, visit http://dailyrepublic.typepad.com/forthoseabouttorock. Follow him on Twitter @ndeciccodr.

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco is the editor of the Tailwind and writes the pop culture blog/column For Those About to Rock. Before joining the DR staff in July 2007, DeCicco (pronounced Deh-CEE-Coh) worked at The Union in Grass Valley, Calif., and the Greeley Tribune in Greeley, Colo. A 2004 graduate of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, DeCicco spends his free time attending concerts, listening to music, going to movies, traveling and hiking.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Will RobinsonFebruary 07, 2014 - 7:55 am

    I have another analogy: Punksutawney Phil, and Punksutawney Phil(ip) Seymour Hoffman; they both ran back into their respective holes on Groundhog Day.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano jobless rate drops, jobs rise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
 
Memorial focuses on hope, healing from addiction

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Vacaville High graduate shines at tech event

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
New law aimed at urban water district reports

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Travis celebrates KC-10′s 20 years at base

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Highway 37 detours in place

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Maintenance begins on Rio Vista Bridge Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Mother gives late daughter a voice by helping others

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B8, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Record-setting retardant used on California fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Brown vetoes diaper changing-station bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Oakland mother charged in cocaine death of son, 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

California man accused of killing fellow gym-goer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
California school gender equity ruling upheld

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

State to ban smoking at home day cares

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Driver of stolen van that hit dog gets prison time

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

License plate scanner networks capture movements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Feds approve California’s immigrant license words

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Fence-jumper makes it into the White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Florida town knew shooter had troubled past

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Daughter calls Utah doctor a monster at sentencing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
3 guilty in Ga. salmonella-tainted peanut trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Fierce fighting in Yemeni capital kills 120

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Sierra Leone begins 3-day Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ambush suspect could be aided by dense woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
France joins US against Islamic State over Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

After vote to stay in UK, Scots must heal divide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

Lots of services available for Solano veterans

By Ted Puntillo | From Page: A8

 
Cheers, jeers for the week of Sept. 14-20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Fairfield Ford boosts animal adoption efforts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Sept. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
Make sure you get educated during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

Fallon to pay up, broadcast show in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Big plays in second half lift Vanden past Center

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Legs power Mustangs in win over Falcons

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s Lester holds Phillies to 5 hits in 7 innings in 3-1 victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Keselowski wins pole at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gordon has suspension reduced to 10 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

After NFL, baseball addresses domestic violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Goodell: ‘Same mistakes can never be repeated’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kershaw gets 20th win as Dodgers pound Cubs 14-5

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders could be down 2 starters on defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sharks open with new vibe after playoff collapse

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers’ Davis, McDonald questionable for Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stewart slogs through tough day at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Vista gets easy football win over Delta

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

The Kuro taste: Peppery tang and hint of squid ink

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Pabst Brewing to be sold to Russian company

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

China fines GlaxoSmithKline $492M for bribery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Procter & Gamble cancels on-field NFL promotion

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

California adopts olive-oil labeling standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

 
Yahoo rakes in another jackpot from Alibaba’s IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Alibaba stock soars in jubilant trading debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Allie M. Zell-Jones

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Charles Randolph Orr

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Corazon Libunao Thompson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 09/20/14

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.23 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

New Standard Pacific models in Vacaville

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Real estate transactions for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3