What makes the photo greater than just another smirking portrait of Bangs is the family on the right. The mom's mildly intrigued by the Lower East Side scuz, or she's beating it out of there, her boy staring directly into the camera, a less guarded and more innocent version of the gaze that Lester's trying to level. There doesn't need to be a fence between Lester and His Girls and the family; there already is. I wonder: does the kid want to jump over, or does he want run away? What would you do?
There's something about this photo that is very rock and roll, though I can't quite quantify what that is. Lester At The Beach, Smelling of the Bells Of Hell. Where he went after this, I haven't a clue. Ruby's? The train? Someone's floor? I resist mythologizing the man, but this street-meets-beach noisy beaut of an image doesn't help me do that.