To the editors:
Just the thought of a college sponsored "academic-journalistic summit on rock" is enough to make one violently avoid any request from one's alma mater for money [Hitsville, February 12].
Besides the offensiveness of assigning a "natural arrogance" to an age group (and defending it with an infantile parenthetical), Bill Wyman seems to argue for a critical middle ground, somewhere between "geezerism" and "overcomprehension," a position he would pillory any musician for adopting. He also seems adept at eyeing the work of other rock "critics," evidently, the same criteria that makes someone a good music critic also makes that person a good literary critic. Can't wait to read Harold Holzer's take on Smashing Pumpkins' new release. Of course, anyone who can find similarities between critical reaction to French Impressionism and a 45-year-old's trouble "understanding new and youthful works" like Tribe 8's "Pig Bitch" would have to enjoy the rarefied air of a collegiate rock summit.
Conceptual problems giving "criticism" a worse name than it already has? How about the concept of the rock critic as the priest railing against the evils of sex. Who's really going to listen to someone who's never done it tell you about it?
And really, don't you just love to read someone who refers to himself in the third person?
Hitsville, why don't you form a band, hit the road for a couple of years, and then write a book about your real experiences. There's a chance it might be interesting.