I enjoyed Robert Hilburn's article on Garth Brooks ("Coming Down to Earth," March 3). However, it emphasized Garth's desire to sign autographs at Kmart and work hard for his fans as some sort of pacifier for his fear of failure or rejection. His work ethic goes back much farther than his recent slower than normal record sales.
The independent music supplier I work for began taking Garth into Kmart and Wal-Mart stores for autograph sessions soon after the release of his self-titled debut album. From the beginning, Garth took more quality time with his fans than any country artist in recent memory (with the possible exception of Reba McEntire). I remember one in-store in Fresno where he signed autographs for nearly six hours, skipping a sound check for his show in the process.
If more artists were as dedicated to giving their fans a quality product as Garth, we would have more long-term careers in the record business.
Assistant Branch Manager
Handleman Co. Los Angeles