Week of September 15, 2004

4) The Adams Family: Well, maybe you aren't so bad after all.

5) Elton John: Are you homophobic? Check out Madman Across the Water. Great album. In his pre-emergence from the closet (mid- to late 1970s), he was the incarnation of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis.

6) Johnny Rzeznik: You just wish you could wear you hair like his.

7) G.E. Smith: See the Adams Family.

8) Conor Oberst and Chris Carrabba: To be on a most-hated list that more than seven high college kids must know who they are.

9) Fred Durst: You are coming around, my friend. How could anyone do to "Behind Blue Eyes" what he did? I wouldn't be surprised if Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend cornered him in an alley and beat him up.

10) Bob Weir: Give him a break. Everybody compares him to Jerry Garcia. Let's face it, Jerry's trust continues to make a bunch of money because of his necktie collection.

Regarding the rest: I suspect you don't like them for various personal reasons, not musical reasons. Dave Grohl -- get over it. He is a very talented guy. Nirvana is the most "grotesquely overrated boy band" in history. Cobain was nuts -- not even a genius nuts -- just nuts. Anyone who would commit suicide and leave a child to be raised by an equally nuts Courtney Love tells you all you need to know. But to be fair, the four chords Cobain could play he could play well.

Yet to me, the most undeserving on your list is Peter Gabriel. The man doesn't try to churn out album after album. He writes words and music that defy the standards of what is commercial music. Now for a few names that are missing: How about Madonna (besides the breasts, prove she's not a man), Kurt Cobain, all of those involved in the Jefferson Starship, Journey after the first album, Boston and the guys in Chicago after Chicago 3? I feel better. Now that I think of it, I bet you felt better after you wrote your article.
Reggie Knowles
Kerrville, Texas

That's it -- Seely's fired! Mike Seely, last time I looked, didn't have a fan base that even came close to a canceled, never-aired TV pilot. While I disliked some of the artists mentioned in his horrid, slanderous article, I could not see how they are hated.

If all those artists are so hated, then why do they have millions of loyal fans who go to their shows and buy their albums? Osama bin Laden is hated. Adolf Hitler is hated. No one would buy one of their CDs -- or Mike Seely's. This article should have been called "The Ten Rock Stars That Tick Me Off Because I'm Not Half As Talented or Well-Respected As They Are."

Also, when did Bob Weir become a rock star? Everyone knows Paul and Elton, but most people don't even realize the Dead are still around, let alone name the remaining members. Mike Seely, go out and find a loyal fan base of devoted diehards because you did something that had a profound impact on someone's life, and then run your mouth. Until then thank your bosses that you have a job, because it has to be a gift and not based on any intelligence or talent that you have. This is obvious.
Clinton Legendre
Collinsville, Illinois

Actually, we're sophomores: Has the Riverfront Times been taken over by high-school freshmen who are just beginning to express opinions about musicians? Mike Seely's shallow, unfounded diatribe doesn't even come up to the standard of baseless criticism. This is the kind of thing they were doing in my junior-high-school paper, from young wannabe writers who had just discovered a notion that it's cool to tear down rock icons. Wow, what a concept! It's not worthy as criticism. It's not news. It's as old and stale as the ridiculous "best of" and "least of" lists that masquerade as entertainment trivia. Is this the best that St. Louis' only urban weekly can muster? And who made the decision that this was not only worthy of article space, but the cover as well?

Like punk music, it's actually the most simple-minded, conformist attitude that thinks it's being cool and rebellious. I'm sure many readers will agree with Seely's picks, personally. But what kind of diatribe is "hated"? Valid criticism is usually constructive, or at least provocative. This was just idiotic. How about the word "overrated," or "just not icon-worthy"? Is "hate" really true or valid? If your music critic is expending energy and wasting words as a hatemonger, maybe he needs to find a less stressful line of work.

I travel frequently and read several of the nation's urban weeklies on a regular basis. Village Voice, LA Weekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Chicago Reader. I'm always defending the fact that St Louis has a decent culture and music scene, but I sure couldn't send this kind of piece to friends in New York, LA, Chicago or even Omaha as an example.

And Mr. Seely -- as long as you're trying to tear down and "hate" icons, here's just a couple of things to consider: You're obviously into your own opinion, but get some facts. It's no longer cool to rip Paul McCartney as the overrated Beatle, or haven't you heard? Guess what -- Lennon was the overrated hypocritical one. Let's see -- Lennon wrote about love as he abandoned his wife and child; he wrote against materialism as he purchased very swanky digs on Central Park West. Paul McCartney wrote what he always admits are "silly love songs" as he remained dedicated to his wife and raised his children on a farm in Scotland. So he worked with Michael Jackson when Jackson was at the peak of his creative abilities (if you'll recall, lots of people did; who knew he was a pedophile then?); McCartney was against Jackson's purchase of Beatles songs. "Go fuck yourself, Paul McCartney?" Wow, dude, you have issues. I think they go beyond dissing a writer of silly love songs.

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