Mail from our readers
Thanks so much for the article about the Grateful Dead (#161, March 12). The answer to your grammatically incorrect question on the cover is: ”You bet!” I do feel, however, that you went a little overboard with your drug references regarding Deadheads. I am a drug-free fan of the Dead, and have been straight every time I’ve attended one of their concerts. To be sure, I’m in the minority. But we’re out there.
Your article proves once and for all that the Dead aren’t just a bunch of old drug-crazed hippies. Next thing you know Jerry’ll be coming out with his own exercise-and-diet video. Move over, Richard Simmons. It looks like the Dead are gonna be around for a long time to come and the Deadhead population is growing, so ya better get used to it.
James Mullins Jr.
When I was 22, I met Lillian Gish during her last visit to my city, in 1980. I was at least as excited as many a modern 13-year-old would be upon meeting Michael Jackson or Madonna. But, sadly, all too many of today’s young people could only respond to Gish’s death by asking ”Who was Lillian Gish?” Let’s all make sure that the answers to that and other questions about the roots of film stay easy to find. We and future generations need to know about, preserve, share, and enjoy ready access to our irreplaceable silent-film heritage.
SWEET ON ‘SIMPSONS’
A big thank you for Ken Tucker’s positive article on The Simpsons. In a time when so many television comedies are not funny, The Simpsons continues to deliver laugh-out-loud episodes week after week. I’m always hearing complaints about ”those awful Simpsons” from people who have not even watched an entire episode. If they had, they would notice that mixed in with the wry humor, the spoofs of movies or TV cleverly hidden in each episode, and Bart’s naughty nature, is a strongly implied sense of family values. To those chronic cartoon complainers, I say, ”Don’t have a cow, man!”
I pray for that glorious day to come when everyone finally has had enough of Roseanne and Tom Arnold.
ROCK & READ
Your sidebar ”Bands That Can Read” listed 10 rock groups that took their names from literary sources. The students in my history of rock course came up with some more: Marillion (Tolkien’s The Silmarillion); the Go-Betweens (novel by L.P. Hartley); House of Love (Anais Nin, A Spy in the House of Love); the Boomtown Rats (Woody Guthrie’s Bound for Glory); the Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck); A Confederacy of Dunces (John K. Toole).
Professor of Musicology
University of Miami
Coral Gables, Fla.