Week of September 15, 2004

G.E. Smith, a "most hated man in rock?" He's a footnote in the Hall and Oates and SNL catalogs. If you're into destroying icons, he's...not really an icon. Thought I'd let you know.

I could go on about artist selection and omission, but it would be as pointless as the article itself. In the future, how about some real coverage of local artists or musical trends, something that's newsworthy and not sophomoric.
Lance Tilford
St. Peters

Youth Will Be Served: Not only did Mike Seely insult very talented musicians, it felt as if he was insulting the people who love them. I can honestly say that at least half of the artists mentioned didn't belong on such a list, and obviously Mr. Seely is quite mistaken.

How he managed to go about saying such awful things about those people is beyond me. It's not exactly my generation of music; I'm only thirteen. I don't know who could hate Carlos Santana, John Cougar Mellencamp or even Adam Levine (the talented frontman of Maroon 5). I bet if you went to a concert of any one of the "Hated Men," you could easily see that there is more love in that concert stadium than there ever was for a music critic. Even if it was a William Hung concert, more people would respect that young man's courage to go up there and portray his talent (or lack thereof) than to hear Simon Cowell rant about "how dreadful" he sounds.
Angela Moltrup
Syracuse, New York

The Bob Weir Marching and Chowder Society will now come to order: Besides the fact that most of the "hated" people are talented enough to earn a living at an art form many starve at, these individuals are by far more talented than Mike Seely. But my main concern lies in the fact that Bob Weir is listed.

If Seely was versed in the years and ways of the Grateful Dead, he'd understand that Weir was a striving influence in the Grateful Dead style throughout all 30-plus years. Obviously Seely has little understanding of what makes the GD experience, and he should keep his moronic babbling out of an art form he knows nothing about. Weir found key additions, like B. Mydland, and added great styles of music that are revealed in tunes like "Samson and Delilah" and "Minglewood Blues." The GD was not and will never be a Garcia-only show (that's what JGB was for -- that's Jerry Garcia Band). Today Deadheads are lucky enough to have PLQ and Ratdog, two bands that are more musically able than most new musicians on the scene will ever be.

I am going to go on a hunch that Seely has no experience in music, let alone knowledge of the Grateful Dead, their history and what they evolved from. If he were well-versed, he wouldn't put down a man who sang over 60 percent of the Grateful Dead's songs in addition to the variety of other aspects of our world Bob Weir has affected. How many musicians that are so "hated" save thousands of acres of rainforest every year while performing over 100 shows (where each one is different)?
Rich Dobrushin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Who you calling anal retentive? I'm straining very hard not to lace this correspondence with the obscenities that the anal-retentive Mike Seely is seeking to elicit from baby boomers such as myself. How can you presume to write about such lunacy?

When the Beatles were first exposed to the U.S. audiences, the record label and promoters may have thought they had a boy band, but this group was anything but. Through their tenure, the band continued to evolve and produce fresh and revolutionary forms of music. This "overrated boy band" is one of the cornerstones of the music you still refer to as rock today. I can't think of any serious musician who would discount the Beatles (any of them!) as a boy band.

Seely, you must be relatively young or just ignorant. Don't try to rewrite history. Every album that the Beatles produced displayed evidence of a unit that was never complacent. Of course, John Lennon is one of my musical heroes but I refuse to discount any of McCartney's efforts. Since the demise of the Beatles, what should he have done to placate idiots like Seely? Stop playing or composing?

For that matter, why can't Carlos explore new idioms? Yeah, I loved Jerry Garcia's guitar playing, but he wasn't onstage alone. He is dead -- what the hell is the rest of the band supposed to do?

I can respect a cat like David Byrne. But Seely writes as though he's some kind of rock purist. Please! For years jazz musicians have endured the "sellout" label when they attempted to make their music more accessible. This juvenile assessment of people who play for a living is asinine to say the least. Seely enjoys a forum to express his narrow view of what is and is not rock. I guess I'm just too old and out of touch. But I enjoy people like Sting.

Are musicians not supposed to be popular? Does their artistic and musical integrity automatically come into question when they acquire a certain level of popularity? If Hendrix were alive, or Jim Morrison for that matter, what would they be doing in 2004?

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