Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

More friendly feedback on my review of the Who at the Super Bowl

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Jim, I couldn't have said it any better regarding The Who performing at the Super Bowl. WHO PICKS THE PERFORMERS FOR HALF TIME ANYWAY??? Maybe that could be a topic for a future column.

They might as well have Milli Vanilli perform! I mean, they don't really exist, just the like The Who no longer does. I couldn't wait to change the channel when they started their halftime show. Exasperating! I know that no matter who performs it won't please everyone, but some of these old time rockers are just way beyond relevant!

Just my opinion!

Gary

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I think Townshend, Daltrey, McCartney & Ringo should form a band (guitar, vocals, bass, drums, respectively) and call it WHO ARE THE BEATLES?

John

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My first chuckle of the day yesterday was the irony in the origin of your surname. 1495-1505; LL dērogātōrius cursing, equiv. Used as an adjective it is perfect.

Daltry and Townshend will always be "The Who" and will continue to be icons long after some of the other bands you have awarded stellar reviews. They have spawned a generation that yours, will never match in musical creativity.

They were grizzled old pros and my guess is, there wasn't a Who fan in the crowd that didn't want to jump up and fan the strings of their air guitar with Townshend....if only we had help getting out of our wheelchairs!

Townshend's glasses were totally acceptable to a generation that has abused their eyesight from watching laser shows for a lifetime. I'm surprised you didn't mis-identify the earplugs for hearing aids. I'll bet the hat helped reduce the camera flashes from the non fans taking photographs.

I wish I was around to read your reaction to the half time show from Super Bowl LXXIV. Unfortunately I doubt the "Sun-quirer" will be around then.

Until then....."Long live rock, be it dead or alive."

Ed Iphish, Chicago

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YOU REALLY HAVE A LOT OF NERVE INSULTING THE WHO!! YOU HAVE TICKED-OFF A LOT OF WHO FANS, FROM FRIENDS OF MINE WHO ARE IN THEIR 20's TO LONG- TIME FANS WHO ARE IN THEIR 60's!!! THAT 12 MINUTES OF THE WHO WAS REALLY A SHOT IN THE ARM TO US WHO FANS THAT LIKE THEM NO MATTER WHAT SOME TUBBY 4-EYED MUSIC CRITIC HAS TO SAY ABOUT THEM. YEAH, I INSULTED YOU , CAUSE YOU HAVE INSULTED 1 OF THE BEST BANDS OF ALL TIME. I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO SEE YOU SAY WHAT YOU WROTE RIGHT TO PETES FACE!! AS OLD AS HE IS , HE WOULD PROBLABLY HIT YOU SO HARD, HE'D KNOCK YOU BACK TO DIAPERS. BY THE WAY, HOW OLD IS YOUR FAT-ARSE??? I AM 50 & I STARTED LISTENING TO THE WHO AT 9 YEARS OLD , WHEN MOST OF THE KIDS IN MY 4th GRADE CLASS WERE LISTENING TO THE " ARCHIES "!! AS THE SONG GOES " WHO ARE YOU?" , YOU ARE CRAP. FOR 1 THING ,I DARE YOU TO PRINT THIS LETTER TO, 2, WRITE AN ARTICLE SAYING YOU ARE SORRY FOR WHAT YOU WROTE, 3 , E-MAIL ME BACK SAYING YOU ARE SORRY TO ME, 4, I HOPE FOR YOUR SAKE, YOU DON'T RUN INTO ANY WHO FANS THAT HAVE READ THIS ARTICLE, CAUSE THEY WILL PROBLABLY KNOCK YOU IN THE HEAD, & 5 IF YOU DON'T DO 1,2,& 3 , I HAVE ATTACHED A PICTURE OF ME, CAUSE I WILL WANT TO HAVE A WORD WITH YOU FACE TO FACE. HEY, I KNOW WHERE YOU WORK, & IF YOU DON'T WORK DIRECTLY FOR THE SUN-TIMES, WELL, I AM 1 OF THE MILLIONS WHO ARE UNEMPLOYED,SO WHEN I'M NOT LOOKING FOR A JOB, I'LL BE LOOKING FOR YOU. OH, I'M NOT STUPID ENOUGH TO HIT YOU & THEN GET SUED, BUT I WILL DEFINITELY GIVE YOU AN EAR FULL!!

YOURS TRULY ( A WHO FAN),
CHUCK

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i do not like your words on the who what was you doin 62 years ago you sir can kiss my but

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I think it's sad people make fun of aging rockers. They're musicians, no matter what their age. Townshend still cranks out new music and plays with passion. You, on the other hand, apparently have nothing worthwhile to say.

Donavon

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You don't know your ass from a hole in the ground. You can't tolerate the sight of 65 year old men belting out a 12-minute medley of anti-establishment rock anthems that are now mainstay commercial props on our TV sets. There's certainly something sad and wrong about that, and I'm sure it's offensive to some that the surviving half of The Who would "Sell Out" for the Super Bowl stage. It's undoubtedly the last time we'll see this "tired act." It's too bad you couldn't show just a hint of respect. For old geezers, they performed well. Their voices weren't flat -- they chose lower-register alternatives to some of the original parts to avoid disaster. But Daltry's voice was yet powerful, and Townsend's guitar playing was sharp and out in front of the band. Most of his licks were updated. Your review didn't even address his playing. I think you just bashed these guys for being 65 years old.

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As a card carrying member of the "Old-Age Wasteland" I found your criticism of the Who's performance at the Super Bowl both amusing and addle-headed at the same time. As a group of over the hill football and music fans sat and sang along with the Who's performance we found it fun that the fans at the Super Bowl were singing loud and proud with the Who. You complained that songs were over 30 years old but here's a news flash for you...there has to be some relevance to the music that has endured for three and four decades. My 16 year old niece was singing along with us 50/60 somethings. She recognizes the music of all the groups you disparaged in your review. I daresay there aren't a hand full of groups or "songs/music" that will endure 30 years from now let alone a decade that will be sung by all ages of music lovers.

And finally "Who" do you think is in attendance at the Super Bowl...fans of Flava Fla? "Who" makes up the bulk of the viewing audience...fans of a bejeweled, lip-singing, studio enhanced hip-hopper with a career expectancy of a year? I don't think so. The people filling the seats and providing the eyeballs at home are the ones "Who" were singing along with the Who, "Who" have the money to attend THE game, "Who" normally don't watch the halftime entertainment because it just isn't entertaining or memorable. The Who and Bruce Springstein and the other "over the hill" groups you disparaged will endure and have their songs sung for decades to come as opposed to today's musical talent. Know your true audience. The Who were perfect for the fans actually paying the bills and buying the advertised products.

Steve

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Go f--- yourself. You suck as a writer. When you reach your mid 60's you will most likely be found in a adult video store jerking off in a back room.

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.....yep, they plain and simple sucked....can't sing, can't harmonize. I thought I saw the 'finale' of their touring prowess back in the mid-80's (or at least that's what they billed it as with a show at the then Rosemont Horizon), but they just won't go away!!!

Please help!!!!

Hank Arnold

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I find it amazing how the columns that I have read have bashed the Who. The stage and lighting were great. The band was great and Pete and Roger were Pet and Roger. If you want to talk about off vocals look at Queen Latifah and Carrie Underwood both were flat in parts. Come on it is live and the Who has always been The Who. Love them or hate them, you know what you are going to get...a bunch or loud fun!

Jeff Fox

Atlanta Georgia

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Jim,

Who are you, would be my question to you, to even try to understand what the consequences of singing, no make that screaming, your heart out to legions of faithful fans for DECADES, and even come close to what is expected of you. Yes I'll grant you that they're not the Who that hit the Auditoroum Theatre stage,spring of '70, the first time Tommy was performed in Chicago, I know I was there, you, on the other hand weren't even born yet. I empathize with you, having to grow up listening to the sewer that was rock & roll, in the 80s & 90s, but please leave the great rock bands from the 60s & 70s alone, to bask in the glow of their achievements, and be enshrined,rightfully so, in The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

Mike B.

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Surely you jest! How can you possibly rag on the half-time Who leftovers when they sounded neither better nor worse than any of the other maladjusted, spoiled-brat misfits 40 years younger, making the same maddening racket, that you inexplicably adore? There's no "there" there.

To a performer, they think their high-decibel noisemaking is an exercise in artistry when in fact they are merely throwing angry, rebellious, narcissistic temper tantrums like all the rest in the genre. It's all a scam. Evidently it's easier and cheaper than seeking professional help ---- especially when there are so many foolish enough to pay to be aurally tortured by them.

Bully for you for riding such a godawful wave of popularity among the music know-nothings; at least it's a meal ticket. It only means that either you know better, but are willing to play along for money, or you're posing because your editor has saddled you with this reporting assignment and you dare not object or quit, or that you're as musically ignorant as the fools who throw money at any of countless
rock groups, plague take them.

Will the next "new" wave of popular musical expression please step forward? The sooner, the better? Nothing could be worse than the tastelessness we are bombarded with now, pretending to be music.

Ted Manuel

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In refernce to your comments about the WHO. I will consider the source. The new genration who loves Rap music and wants to be black. It was great to see the Who perform since the new generation has nothing better to offer.

Paul

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Hi!

Read your column about the Super Ball's half-time entertainment....

Observation: Obviously, you are too young and/or didn't care for the music of the last five talents that crossed the stage. Funny, but most of those men didn't move around much to begin with and they happen to have more talent that you have in your little finger nail. And yes, they're getting old. Look in the mirror lately? I image the mean age of attendees is between 40 and 70. Duh. It's what we want to hear and we are spending the money. Maybe we should have some rapper??????? Oh, how about Nine Inch Nails??? I believe you like them.... I'm sure that they would wow the crowd. Grow up. It's business. Good thing no one says the same thing about you!

Ellen

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Your review of THE WHO, proves that you have a tin ear. THE WHO did not lip-sinc, or undress, as in years past performers. Furthermore, LIVE music in a venue will not have studio quality sound. THE WHO sounded better last night than most of the wannabe, alleged, no talent bums of the Music Industry over the past 25 years. However, I would not expect someone from your generation to know talent from garbage. My condolences to you for being born too late, to have seen many of the truly Great Rock and Roll Bands. Keep up your bad work.

Fred

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Typical of your condescending reviews. As one DJ in Chicago put it so well Jim will rip into legends like the Who or the Stones yet tell you some no name band will change the world. Usually a band that will sell life insurance in about a year. It's too bad your bitterness affects your judgment.

Sean

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Jim,

Boy, you really took it in the head re your review of the Who's performance at the Super Bowl. Sorry to disappoint all the 50-60-somethings that can't let go, but I thought the Who kinda blew myself. I'm in my mid-50's, grew up on the British Invasion and have been playing music since 1966. The difference between myself and the Who-sterbators is that I'm not afraid to show my age by letting go of past heroes who have seen much, much better days.

While many, including yourself, claim the Who died along with Moonie, I think they died when the Ox passed. I saw the first tour with Kenny Jones on drums, and I was pretty much blown away. The thing about that tour was it happened in the late 70's, when Pete and Roger still had John and were still relevant. I've never been overly-enamored with Pete Townsend. I think his writing is just above average, especially when compared to many of his contemporaries. For some reason, too many people worship at the altar of Pete. Maybe one day I'll understand why.

Anyway, I thought you might like a little companionship in your dislike of the half-time show. However, to put Prince and Petty in this same basket is a large mistake. I'm not a big Prince fan, but I though he kicked some purple ass in his half-time show. Petty and the Heartbreakers are still, IMO, one of the best live bands around. Sure, there are no windmills nor screaming, but for my money, Mike Campbell's solos blow away anything average Pete ever played, especially live. If Pete's hearing is so bad as to affect his singing in such a derogatory way, maybe he should take that hint and hang up the live performances.

Jimmie Scott Lawless
Guitar, vocals and songwriting, The Lawless Brothers

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Ok, now it's my turn for a free swing. In the next few yrs. my friend, the artists like Springsteen, Mcartney, Petty, Stones, Who etc. will be gone from the music world. You and your ilk can then petition for Lady Ga Ga, Lil Wayne, Black Eyed Peas, Jay Z or whatever flavor of the month you desire. These classic artists bring something called passion to their performances. The talent and creativity spans a couple of generations. They play instuments, write songs which stand the test of time, and draw the largest live concert audiences along with country. There is something compelling about bass, drums and guitars. Oh....you have to practice and be dedicated as opposed to the electronic, lip-synching garbage. Of course you sing in a lower key at 60 plus than you do at 30. However, the essence and instrumental skill do not diminish. What is the most active and passionate thing you do in life when you leave your cubicle? Cut the lawn, try to walk a mile? We should all be so fortunate to do something we truly love, and yes, still be damn good at it. Most of us tolerate our jobs. These lucky and talented people embrace and share something with the world. They brought serious force for 64yrs. old. Snow Patrol ain't getting that gig. Maybe NIN or Metallica or Chili Peppers. Be cool.

Gary

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Are you out of your mind? Sure the years have taken their toll on Daltry's vocal cords.. but God love him and Pete. It seems sacrilegious to discredit or smear such legendary talent. I thought they were spectacular last night.. (and Townsend's guitar work was absolutely superb). Your critical analysis was abhorrent.

Paul

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Hey, who ever you are - You are so full of s--- on your Who review.

I watched it with a packed house and everyone loved the halftime show.

Remember: Those who can, Do. And those who can't, Review.

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Mr. DeRogatis,

Your review of The Who's halftime show tells me that you don't know a damn thing about Rock 'n' Roll. That was a wild and raucous performance worthy of The Who's legacy. Townshend and Daltrey were occasionally out of sync? Who cares?!? What is this, chamber music? It's Rock 'n' Roll! Tell Strummer and Jones they were out of sync. Tell Neil Young he's out of tune. Tell Bob Dylan his voice is weak. Heck, why don't you go tell Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis to hang it up, since you're so convinced that performing is a young man's game? Comparing rockers playing music to athletes playing football? Are you really that clueless? You even have the nerve to say The Who haven't really been The Who for twenty years, now. Twenty years ago is 1990, one year after The Who's uber-professional, thoroughly rehearsed, perfectly in sync, and utterly soulless 25th anniversary tour. That wasn't Rock 'n' Roll. But that Super Bowl halftime show? That was thrilling and wild and exciting and powerful. I loved every second of it. To paraphrase Ash in Army of Darkness: You know two things about Rock 'n' Roll, Jim. Jack and Shit. And Jack left town.

Tim Eimiller
Manhattan, NY

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Jim -

Finally, someone with an honest assessment of a painful spectacle.

As a music lover, I have the utmost respect for what this band has contributed over time (and that's from a guy who has little patience for The Who's music). However, it's time Daltrey and Townshend focus their efforts in the studio - specifically sharing their craft and knowledge, etc. with up and coming bands. Otherwise, as demonstrated last night, they have become a characture of themselves.

Nice piece.

P.S.: Spoon is over-rated (just one guy's opinion).

All the Best,

Dave

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Man I hate articles like yours.

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Dear Jim,

I follow you on Sound Opinions, and love that NPR show (I'm even a Fan on Facebook!). Ironically, it was my parents, being from Chicago, and visiting me in Durham this Spring, who forwarded your review the Super Bowl Half Time "Show" - The Who. I'd been griping and snipping since I sat down for the game last night and learned that the half time show would be performed by The Who. It's the only reason I watch the Super Bowl, so I want to look forward to it. But I dreaded it from the start of the game. I was able to name, with incredible accuracy, the boring, tired list of songs they'd play. I mean, when was the last time The Who had a new release, anyway? (only you would know) I only recognized two of the band members, and your review explained why. I think it is time that the NFL, or whoever the powers-that-be are who select these acts, to review the statistics on the decade's top selling albums, artists and singles, the one you shared with us on Sound Opinions. Not that I can see Eminem doing a Super Bowl show (even if he isn't incarcerated at the time)...but it doesn't hurt to ask him.

Sincerely, reverently, and with appreciation,

Sabrina

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Greetings,

Wow, I just read your Who review from the SuperBowl. Seriously, was this supposed to be an "attention grabber" on your part? I thorougly enjoyed the Who's performance. Most of the reviews I saw today also were very positive except for yours.

I like all kinds of music from various generations. I have no emotional investment in the Who what so ever. I like to hear songs I know, I like the artists to have energy and appear to be enjoing the moment, and I like the crowd to be into it. I believe the Who accomplished all of the above. I'm not quite sure what you were watching.

Thanks for reading my input. I just wanted to take a moment to write you with my thoughts. It seemed to me from your artice you are either very young and don't appreciate some of the true music pioneers or you wanted to get some headlines by trashing the Who. It is sad you could not have a non-biased view of the Who. I think you had your mind made up way ahead of time about how your article was going to go. This is unfortunate and made you look like a music amateur. I "Won't Get Fooled Again" and read any of your out of left field music reviews.

Thanks,

Charles Johnson

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Maybe we need some of that corporate country rock eh? You know -
where nobody even knows who actually wrote the song on Protools - but
it's current? Rock is dead they say...

Tim

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I am not a football fan, but I checked out the Super Bowl as civic duty. It's not just the Who, the entire thing is so hyped and self-important that it collapses under its own weight.

I did notice the Arcade Fire music used in all the NFL promos. Maybe next year the NFL will give Arcade Fire a shot. We can only hope.

Jack Siegel

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Jim, I found this part of your article ("Out there in the field, fossils barely resemble the Who") particularly amusing:

But the lasers, fireworks, geysers of flame and an elaborate illuminated stage that put U2's current tour setup to shame couldn't disguise the fact that these were two grizzled old pros going through the motions for a high-profile payday, with barely a hint of the powers they possessed at their peak.

Uh, Jim, I've seen U2's current tour twice (once at Soldier Field and once at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta) and that stage show isn't 1/10th of what U2's current setup is currently like. Have you even seen the current U2 tour? Apparently not or you wouldn't have told such a big lie. Critics lying. Who knew?!

Give me what is left of The Who over the s--- that passes as music today every single year during halftime. Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson or some other senseless pop/rap bulls--- is just that. Bulls---.

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Turn it up and give it another listen. Best halftime show in years. Beats the hell out of trying to mash up country/hip-hop and rock and roll into a Donny-and-Marie style medley, as they've done in the past. I'm surprised by your opinion, especially since as a musician you understand the value of seeing a band perform live playing all its own instruments. Too bad you felt the need to add your voice to the youth chorus that abhors anything but the latest thing. Grow up, Jimbo.

Gary Lazarski, Chicago

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I noticed you not only ripped the who but every halftime act since Jackson/timberlake. Do you just hate life in general???? Ok who should be the halftime act since no one else is qualified to do it?

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Jim, I normally agree with and enjoy your reviews, but will have to
disagree with you about the halftime show. Not about the Who being old
and past their prime, yes, they are. But, I still think that was a
great halftime show. We all thoroughly enjoyed their performance and
it was far better hearing a menagerie of old hits rather than the
latest top 40 one hit wonder (timberlake/jackson) then forgotten by
the next day (the song, not the titty). Yes, I'm older and grew up
with the Who, so I'm biased. But that was still a great halftime show,
again, thoroughly enjoyed at our place.

Just had to give you my 2 cents.

Thanks,

Dean

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Your review of the Who ...sucked...and was wrong.

They were great. you're just another music critic who doesn't know squat.

You're worthless. Now f--- off.

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8 Comments

Jim, you are completely correct! I saw The Who at the Kinetic Playground in the 60s. They were GREAT! It saddened me to see them on Sunday night. It's 2010, let's get some music from this millennium.

Wow, some bitter people out there. It's just a guy's opinion of a very short uneventful show. He found it uninspiring and agree or disagree it is his opinion, he's not hired to poll all the readers and write something that will please the majority or most vociferous people in the crowd. Lighten up. For those who think that was exciting and energetic, I think you need realize that you are older and that what you consiider exciting and energetic has aged along with you. Any one song from their heyday had more energy and excitment in 16 bars than that show had on Sunday, ths is coming froma guy who loved the Who, but who has come to terms with the fact that they are no longer relevant. While I still listen to them, I have moved on, try it you might like it.

I wonder if "WHO FAN CHUCK" is really Kanye West in disguise? Anyway, I'm down with your criticism of The Who at this year's Super Bowl. And I'm a fan of the band. But, please. Enough is enough already.

My favorite:

"Typical of your condescending reviews. As one DJ in Chicago put it so well Jim will rip into legends like the Who or the Stones yet tell you some no name band will change the world. Usually a band that will sell life insurance in about a year. It's too bad your bitterness affects your judgment."

I'm guessing this guy was doing cocaine with Mick and Keef during the entire late 1970s and 1980s and totally missed all those "flash in the pan" artists like the Ramones, R.E.M., Nirvana and Radiohead. Whoops.

Are you that much of a moron to be surprised that the Who were only a fraction of what they used to be? Duh, it's been how many years since their hey day? They bring these acts back not expecting them to magically return to form overnight, but to entertain. E-N-T-E-R-T-A-I-N. Which, most would agree they did. Just another case of some underqualified, immature wanna be journalist pouting because his favorite flavor of the week rapper wasn't selected. You rip these old bands because you'd rather see who- the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Justin Timberlake? Well, at the party I was at, I didn't hear one of the 30+ guests that were there say a single negative thing about the performance other made how old they looked. Even my 12 year old daughter who hasn't a clue who the Who is, watched the ENTIRE SHOW! Whether for the music, the lights, or just for the hoopla, she was entertained, which is the point of it all. 0 out of 30+ is a pretty good percentage. Isn't a critic supposed to be speaking on behalf of many, painting a picture for those who missed it? That said, you are a joke! You're like a pouting little girl. Go watch you're Metro Station videos now.

Merriam Webster defines critic as 'a person who judges literary and artistic works and/or one inclined to find fault'. That is exactly what Jim does and what all critics do. He shares his viewpoint and you are welcome to agree or disagree, but you can at least keep it civil.

If you want a picture go to a museum. If you want some truth talk to a critic. No one is forcing people to read these posts at gun point. If you don't agree with it, just leave it be.

Thanks for the definition. For the record, I wasn't reading these posts, as I usually never do. I read the column in the paper and came here simply to give "my opinion" on his garbage column. Keep it civil? Was he civil in his review? Problem is, these critics can say whatever they want in their forum that goes out to thousands, millions, whether its warranted or not. This is my opinion Toots. That's it. No one is forcing you to read it at gun point. If you don't agree with it, just leave it be.

wow Jim, thank you for posting these! amazing feedback. i particularly love the guy in caps lock. so did you email him to apologize? aww you hurt his feelings. i for one applaud your unfiltered review of the who. if people want someone to blow smoke up their butts/reword press releases they can read the CNN review of just about anything. and while i admit the who was better than another country band and they didn't lip sync, it was not as good as Prince or even the Stones.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on February 9, 2010 2:25 PM.

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