Rock 'n' Roil: Debates on Who's No. 1, Racism, Sexism and Criticism

The coverage of the Rolling Stones, Guns N' Roses and related bands by Robert Hilburn, Patrick Goldstein and Jonathan Gold (Oct. 15) has proven the adage "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

Despite the emergence of punk, post-punk, gothic and industrial music, as well as abundant contributions from the black community from funk and rap to reggae and socca, we are reminded that mainstream America is a traditionalist lot--resistant to change.

Such "new" bands as Guns N' Roses are little different in style or theme from the Rolling Stones of 20 to 25 years ago (one of the reasons they are touring with the Stones).

This continuing prevalance of aging bands such as the Rolling Stones and those that emulate them is disappointing as well as boring. What happened to rock's irreverence toward tradition? Let's hope the generation of the '90s will have enough pride and guts to take us out of this tired old mainstream hard-rock rut.

CHRIS ELLIS

San Bernardino

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