Week of September 8, 2004

Let me tell you a few words about both Kenny and Sting: Their music has evolved, progressed as in life, hopefully when one matures and grows. As with anything in life that is original, it is not about appealing to the masses, it is about being true to one's craft. They write music that touches one's heart, spirit, they write music that changes one's life.
Enough said.
Martita Hamilton
Cleveland, Ohio

Next week we trash chamber music: What qualifications does Mike Seely have as a music critic? Why would you publicly humiliate yourself with what you have written about some of the most talented men in history? Are you jealous of them, perhaps? Do you like any type of music? I think you missed out on trashing chamber music.
Sandy Heffel
Newmarket, Ontario

Mike Seely, pubescent perv: Wow. Using expletives is just so hip! So out there and cutting edge! I don't know about everyone else, but the overuse of expletives just shows me what a true literary giant a writer is. You know, really down with it, and a man of the people and all that.

"Overrated boy band known as the Beatles"? This statement about what is probably the most influential group to ever pick up a guitar pick only begins to illustrate Mike Seely's ignorance of rock history. To dismiss the Beatles' work as that of a boy band completely ignores their ground-breaking contributions to rock music. And let's not leave out his personal invective against Paul McCartney's wife -- the "one-legged starfucker." What kind of paper allows such childish verbal diarrhea to be published? Surely you can find a better rock critic than that, even in St. Louis. This one sounds like a twelve-year-old trying to impress his schoolyard buddies with how cool he is because he can swear a lot and dismiss any musician over thirty.
Libby Armstrong
Long Beach, California

Love is all you need: What a joke! I happen to be a huge Paul McCartney fan, and if this man is so hated as you have stated then why were his concerts in 2002 selected as the biggest event of 2002? I saw his concerts in 2002, and there was no one in that audience who seemed to be "hating" Mr. McCartney. You don't know what you are talking about.

The rest of the ones you selected are loved by millions as is Paul. Your list means nothing!
Cindy Brumback
Keokuk, Iowa

What's on Seely's iPod? What a horrible list. Band on the Run could've been written by a third grader? Hardly. The Beatles an "overrated boy band"? Makes me wonder what type of music you listen to. I think you can only plead ignorance. I got about halfway through your article and stopped reading. Thanks for playing.
Jason Pierce
Indianapolis, Indiana

Stung four times: I love Buffett! He obviously has a better way with words than you, because he is making millions and you're writing trash columns for a third-rate news rag. Sir Paul, Lars [Ulrich] and Max [Weinberg] are also among my favorites.
Rita Cabata
Southington, Connecticut

On the John again: I think you're dead wrong about Elton being one of the ten most hated men in rock. He is much liked and admired by millions of people -- ordinary and stars alike. His and Bernie's songs are still standing, better than they ever did.

As for cashing in on a dead princess, shame on you! Elton and Bernie rewrote "Candle in the Wind" as a tribute to a dear friend, and all the royalties went to Diana's charities, not Elton's pocket. Elton does not only write cheesy power ballads for animated movies -- he's got two hits on Broadway with two more coming next year, two more movies and a new CD. Plus he continues to raise money for AIDS and other charities. His garish awards show after-parties are to benefit his AIDS foundation, not his ego. He has single-handedly raised more money for AIDS than anyone. Apparently you haven't been to an Elton concert lately. He still belts out his rockin' hits with gusto. The buildings he plays in literally rock when he's onstage!

All in all, I think Elton should be on the list of the ten most admired men in rock. He's done and is doing much more than any other megastar in history.

By the way, it's not a toupee, and personally, I think Elton is quite handsome. We should all have Elton's energy and commitment, no matter what our age or path in life. Thank you, Sir Elton!
Patricia Gennario
Hewitt, New Jersey

Bob up: I'm not in the business of defending rock stars, but your take on Bob Weir was mean-spirited and not worthy of paper it was printed on [Mike Seely, "Rock's Ten Least Wanted," September 1]. By all accounts, Weir is a thoughtful musician who has been in the music business for 40 years. He has written some very good songs that have been vehicles for the Grateful Dead's improvisional approach as well as his own more R&B bands Ratdog and Kingfish.

While admittedly I am a big fan of his music, I'm not some fanatic who just hopped off the Dead Tour. Your statement that Rat Dog is just a below average bar band is just plain idiotic and not backed up by the facts or the music. Tell you what: I will send you a copy of a recent twelve-minute version of "Desolation Row" from a Ratdog show I attended at the Blue Note last fall. Upon listening no doubt you would be embarrassed about your sophomoric diatribe against Mr. Weir.

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