We have been following the Irish actor Liam Neeson’s career since 1984, when he appeared in The Bounty with Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins. Now, with your cover story and his role in Michael Collins (#349, Oct. 18), everyone will know what we’ve known all along: Liam is bang on! Loosely translated, Liam rocks.
The Tulsa Book and Movie Club
Neil Jordan is wrong to compare Collins’ potential to incite controversy with that of Martin Luther King Jr. Their methods were diametrically opposed. Replace King with a figure willing to commit violence (even with good intentions) and then ask if such a biopic is ”necessarily inflammatory.”
A Small World
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is definitely for the weak of heart. My friends and I were playing the much more challenging Four Degrees of Kevin Bacon when the authors were most likely still pumping quarters into Pac-Man. An example: Humphrey Bogart was in The African Queen with Katharine Hepburn; Hepburn was in Suddenly, Last Summer with Elizabeth Taylor; Taylor was in The Flintstones with Elizabeth Perkins; Perkins was in He Said, She Said with Kevin Bacon. Need I say more?
Writers Chris Willman and Dan Snierson say in their feature ”Van Wailin”’ that ”Van Halen were already the only major rock and roll band — ever — to thrive equally behind two successive frontmen.” What about bands such as AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Marillion, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Kansas, and Bad Company?
Van Halen essentially dissembled in order to squeeze two lucrative new songs out of their erstwhile partner, David Lee Roth. Rarely have you reported so disingenuous a statement as Eddie’s ”If we’d hired somebody three months ago, we would’ve got that person to sing on the best-of!” Yeah, let’s get some virtual unknown to contribute two songs to the greatest-hits package. What could be a better marketing ploy? It is clear from the band’s own statements that they were not straightforward with Roth about their intentions. But I guess that’s the modern version of rock and roll outrageousness — doing whatever it takes to sell more records.
Santa Monica, Calif.
I think true Van Halen fans should give Gary Cherone a chance. He has a great voice, and combined with Eddie’s timeless licks, Al’s pounding skins, and Mike’s thundering bass, VH could reach another level. If not, get back the best singer ever to head the band: the Red Rocker Sammy Hagar. Sorry, not-so-Diamond Dave!
CORRECTIONS: At the recent MTV Awards, Van Halen presented an award to Beck, not to Jeff Beck (”Van Wailin”’). Faith Hill’s first husband is music publisher Daniel Hill (#350, News and Notes).