Letters: The Doors’ John Densmore on David Crosby; monuments to mass shootings

David Crosby gestures with a hand in the air
David Crosby in a scene from “David Crosby: Remember My Name.”
(Edd Lukas / Ian Coad / Sony Pictures Classics)

Sticking with the band

Joe Hagan’s appreciation for David Crosby [“Imperfect Harmony,” Jan. 23] is imperfect, indeed.

Maybe a quote from Galway Kinnell, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, will help: “There’s this theory that goes around that it doesn’t matter how many wrecked lives lie behind us, the important thing is to get that brilliant painting, that amazing sonata, that great poem. And all sins are forgotten. But I really don’t believe this. I think, actually, on the contrary, it’s the absence of feelings for others, that damages the great work.”

I don’t agree with Hagan that “Crosby’s music backed up all his talk.”


In calling my band (The Doors) “crap,” Crosby revealed that his singing and songwriting ability compared with Jim Morrison‘s — who he regularly dissed — is clearly the lesser of the two.

John Densmore
Los Angeles

Monuments to tragedies

I read with personal interest Carolina A. Miranda’s column on monuments commemorating mass shootings [“Communal ‘Embrace,’” Jan. 30]. I want you to be aware of a monument in our area, on the campus of Cal State Fullerton, where seven people were shot and killed, and two others wounded, on July 12, 1976. My sister, Debbie Paulsen, was one of the victims.

There is a large boulder with a bronze plaque with the seven names of the victims, surrounded by seven large trees. It is commonly referred to as the Memorial Grove and lends itself to quiet contemplation.

The CSUF monument also serves as a “permanent expression of that moment, both the tragedy and the communal recovery.”

Paul Paulsen


Last week, while visiting downtown Tucson, we were awed by the city’s memorial to the Jan. 8, 2011, mass shooting. The site, which Carolina A. Miranda described, is a lovely tribute to the six killed and 13 injured — including then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — by a lone gunman.

However, there is no obvious explanation that it memorializes a notorious mass shooting. We had to ask inside the adjoining visitor center to understand its significance.

Sam Atwood

Baldwin also duty-bound

Of course the death of anyone on a movie set is a horrible event, but I beg to differ with your letter writer’s defense of Alec Baldwin [“Feedback: Wrong Focus in ‘Rust’ Case,” Jan. 29].

When an actor is no longer just an actor — in this case, Alec Baldwin chose to be a producer on “Rust” — the actor shares direct responsibility for on-set safety.

The proliferation of talent also being credited as producers may very well slow down as a result of this tragedy.

Jon Merritt
Los Angeles

Recognition is past due

Regarding “Oscar Nominations: John Williams Scores His 53rd at Age 90” [Jan. 25]: “The Fabelmans” offers the Oscars an opportunity to honor two film industry icons, as well as an actor who should have won a statuette long ago.

Steven Spielberg and John Williams are the greatest director-producer and greatest film-score composer of all time.

Their many collaborations, including “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T.” and “Schindler’s List” are among the greatest films ever made. Yet neither one has won an Oscar since the 1990s.

Judd Hirsch should have won an Oscar 42 years ago for “Ordinary People.”

Stephen A. Silver
San Francisco

Prescient comic

Sunday’s “Candorville” [Sunday Comics, Jan. 29] was shockingly prescient. It portrays a policeman threatening a driver who he has just pulled over for a possible traffic violation with serious violence.

This, of course, was printed soon after Memphis police officers were charged with second-degree murder of a motorist they had pulled over for a possible traffic violation.

Bob Lentz