Yes, Springsteen is uplifting. Yes, Prince is electrifying. Yes, Fogarty has "pure rock vision." But it would be appreciated if Calendar paid more than minimal attention to the figures who aren't redefining old music, but creating new sounds that are too revolutionary for mainstream acceptance and that, when the world catches up to them, will themselves be redefined.
Why isn't more mention made of Peter Gabriel's experimentation with rhythm and his fusion of theater and music? Or of Brian Eno's innovative studio techniques? How about an interview with Bryan Ferry, whose vocal style has been copied so widely?
And why isn't a lead article ever done on Talking Heads, the group Robert Hilburn himself describes as "perhaps the most influential American rock band of the decade?" Just how is that influence making its presence felt, Mr. Hilburn? Inform us.
Robert S. Coughlin's little diatribe against certain forms of contemporary music (Calendar Letters, Jan. 20) amused me more than the degenerate punk rock noise I experienced the night before.
The "further development of a humane and responsible society" would presumably include tolerance for all human beings, not just those in one's "family, home and country." This includes the freedom of expression through art and music.
Of course, there is some really awful punk and acid rock out there, but there is also some really awful classical music, and bad jazz, etc.
What I want to know is: What "fried away the primitive vestige's" of Coughlin's brain into thinking that by attacking punk music he can save the world and get his 15 minutes of fame in Calendar?
And, if he really thinks the traditional values of home, family and country are working, and if they are, how come so many express their disillusionment with it via punk?
Although I agree that acid and heavy rock are garbage, it shocked me to see that Father Coughlin seems to be alive and well and living in Rancho Palos Verdes.
DAVID J. MANN
If anything, Dan Sullivan's review of "Cats" was much kinder than the amateur critic from Pasadena, Alice McIntosh (Calendar Letters, Jan. 20), gave him credit for.
While the production of "Cats" now playing at the Shubert has some fond memories for me, the song "Memory" is not one of them. A Grizabella Kim Criswell is not; she sounded remarkably like the cats in my back alley.
DORIS P. BRYCE
Congratulations on Terry Atkinson's insight and good taste, naming Paul Simon's "Rene and Georgette Magritte" as one of the outstanding music videos of 1984 ("The Year Music Videos Became Entertainment," Dec. 30).
Unfortunately, Joan Logue went unmentioned as director; a New York-based video artist, Joan was solely responsible for the video's concept, realization and editing.
Big Z Productions
Due to the record industry's habit of taking vacations during the Christmas season, Atkinson also was unable to supply the directors for Van Halen's "Jump" video, which were Van Halen and Pete Angelus.
Leonard Feather proclaims, "Traditional jazz, which many of us thought was obsolescent decades ago, stubbornly refuses to die" ("The Beat Goes on for Pros, Aficionados Alike," Jan. 20).
Mr. Feather, I have to know: What (and who) determines obsolescence of an art form? And is it also applicable to dance, theater, films and art works? If art has a shelf life, are we to include your own dubious pianistic accomplishments, or haven't they expired yet?
I find it disheartening that a person in your responsible position can pass such definite judgment on an activity that thousands of people immensely enjoy. I don't believe the role of a critic is to condemn portions of his highly subjective sphere of experience simply because it isn't his cup of tea.
Ah, but wait! Reading further in the same article I see Feather acknowledging a "vital point": "We should encourage the youngsters to begin learning and improvising, and to study jazz history. . . ! Does this possibly mean the study of an obsolete form of music that refuses to die?
We named our collie Charles II of Spain because of his narrow oval face, aristocratic nose, beady eyes and long flowing mane.
Please don't stop the Charles II letters now--Chuck needs to know his heritage.
Um, before Chuck the dog gets too fond of his name, you best read the following historical information supplied by Joseph Slockbower of Huntington Beach, who found it in a Time-Life book on the Spanish painter Velasquez. Calendar Letters Page has supressed the truth and protected the King's fans for far too long. As a human and as a monarch, Charles II was a mess:
"Philip IV's son and successor on the throne of Spain was Carlos II, a scrofulous, ricket-ridden, ulcerated testimony to the perils of the Habsburg's habitual inbreeding. As the years passed, his hair fell out, his teeth rotted, his bones weakened, his eyesight dimmed, and he was stricken with paralytic distemper. As a final curse--or perhaps it was a blessing for Spain--he was impotent. This misbegotten monarch, known to his subjects as Carlos the Bewitched, died in 1700 at the age of 39."
I am one of your dedicated readers who is disappointed that you no longer print Charles II letters.
I am sure that you must still receive a large volume of those letters. Therefore, what I suggest is that you forward those letters directly to me so that I can respond.
Grand Niece of Charles II)
To the Wonderful People who put together the Calendar Letters Page:
I thank you for making my Sunday mornings so enjoyable. I must mention (forgive me those of you who are sick upon hearing of the death of good ole King Chuck) how marvelous the King Charles II rigmarole was. How my family and I laughed!!!
Letter-writer Dickerson of Los Alamitos was right--that old star quality just can't be hidden. I hope King Charles is well. Please give the old darling my family's and my regards. Could you please reserve three places for some great admirers at the King Charles II of Spain Awards?
Thank you once again. You people made us laugh, and what a great gift that is in these times, eh?
LESLIE ANNE SMITHERS