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Prefab Doubt

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Dear Reader:

Is it just me, or did anyone else out there, while reading Bill Wyman's review of the September 12 Rolling Stones concert [Rock Etc., September 23], get the distinct impression that he walked into Soldier Field pretty much knowing what his impressions of the event were going to be? And that he also basically knew what he would think of the band's new record, Voodoo Lounge, before he gave it a listen?

As for the "sad thing in the second row," describing her as "probably a plant" may help Wyman make his argument, but without any substantiation the charge falls flat. I was there too, and I and those around me concluded that she was not a plant, as evidenced by Keith Richards's surprised bemusement. (Incidentally, if baring one's chest a "sad thing" makes, Wyman may wish to steer clear of the dismal and gloomy beaches of southern France. They're just breasts, Bill. Get over it.)

Obviously, Wyman is entitled to his opinion of the Stones' music, lyrics, and performance, and I'd defend to the death his right to continue being way off base on all three counts. But the level of personal animosity he displays toward Mick Jagger suggests that, for whatever reasons (unlike Wyman, I'll decline to idly speculate about someone else's motives), he may lack the objectivity needed to provide balanced coverage of Jagger's work.

I do want to thank Wyman, though, for pointing out how uniformly awful the band's last 16 years' worth of releases has been [Hitsville, July 29]. I didn't know any better before, but now that I do, I can stop enjoying them so much.

Paul McComas

Evanston

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