Mail from our readers -- Check out letters from those who agreed with us, and those who didn't, on River Phoenix, Michael Bolton, and more

By EW Staff
Updated December 17, 1993 at 05:00 AM EST

Drug Lessons
I commend you on ”Drugs and Young Hollywood” (#198, Nov. 26). It was a step in the right direction toward showing what a problem drugs are. I thought River Phoenix’s death would wake people up, but it seems like it takes more than one death for people to start realizing drugs aren’t something to mess with. I hope I wasn’t the only one moved by your article.
— Jennifer Geho
N. Charleroi, Pa.

Your excellent report on the Hollywood drug scene was harrowing. Contrary to what you might think, we conservatives are also saddened when such a talented actor as River Phoenix dies of a drug overdose. Instead of returning to partying and business as usual, wouldn’t it be nice if a group of fellow film thespians banded together to drive the dealers and pushers out of Tinseltown — much as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is forcing killers behind wheels off our nation’s highways?
— John D. Boland
St. Louis

City of Angels? City of Lost Souls is more like it. I think I’ll stay in New York.
— Debbi Villa
Smithtown, N.Y.

I just finished your ambitious yet disappointing article about the drugged Hollywood youth. Even though it’s a 100 percent accurate depiction of the club scene here, an opportunity to educate was missed. Someone should print the information that could have kept Phoenix alive. For instance, the author seems clueless that GHB can produce violent and irrepressible side effects, like vomiting and heavy sleep. This type of knowledge might arm those susceptible to peer pressure and prevent the loss of more brilliant careers.
— Rob Seate

Robert Seidenberg is out of touch when he suggests the popularity of DRS’ ”Gangsta Lean” is due to gangsta-rap-related headlines. I teach high school in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and this song is the students’ favorite, because it reflects their brutal reality. Each one has had a brother, sister, or lover murdered, arrested, or damaged somehow by the vicious cycle of violence. They aren’t living vicariously through the record; they only have to walk outside.
— Stacey Sarnicola

Fan Fare
Finally, an objective review of Michael Bolton. Thank you, Greg Sandow, for proof that a review doesn’t have to totally trash someone. Plus, the fans’ grade was a nice touch. You took into consideration what the fans think, which is more than I can say for other critics.
— Traci Kishbaugh
Berwick, Pa.

A New Diet
I confess: I subscribed to EW for the free Rock Anthems CD. But I was wrong; I should have subscribed moons ago. EW is full of stuff; I’m never bored. Thanks. My subscription will end soon (I’m a student who never has any money), but there’s a possibility that I’ll renew it. I’ll find a way. I’ll budget. I won’t eat for a week. I need to lose a couple of pounds anyway. You’re worth it.
— Susan Antunes
San Jose, Calif.