Wishbone Ash Is Alive and Well | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Wishbone Ash Is Alive and Well


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To the editors:

Ignorance, ineptitude, and some downright nastiness are evident in Peter Margasak's October 29th one-sentence commentary on Wishbone Ash's November 3rd pre-tour date at Beaumont [Spot Check]. As a classically trained musician and longtime connoisseur of both music and musical venues, I was appalled at Margasak's pompous dismissal of Wishbone Ash's pre-tour date as "less a chance to cash in than an attempt to pay an overdue phone bill." It was obvious that Margasak hadn't done his homework. Wishbone Ash, along with Blue Oyster Cult, Uriah Heep, and Nazareth, kick off their two month "Total Recall" tour of North America and Europe on November 5th. The four-band show will perform at 2,000-9,500 seat venues, and many shows have sold out, precipitating the addition of more concerts. When Wishbone Ash returns to Chicago on December 3rd with the "Total Recall" tour, they will perform at the Rosemont Horizon. The November 3rd date at Beaumont was an opportunity for Ash fans to preview the band's new material which will appear on their upcoming album due to be released in early 1994. Wishbone Ash is alive and well, and they are continuing to create innovative, solid rock 'n' roll.

Margasak's passing comment also revealed his complete unfamiliarity with Wishbone Ash. The Ash is not a 60s band, Peter; their first album was released in 1970 and went on to become a gold record. Moreover, Wishbone Ash has released over 12 albums, all of which have enjoyed long-term success. Both Andy Powell and Ted Turner's artistry on acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and slide guitar displays depth, mastery, and creativity. Powell and Turner have both made countless guest appearances with other major-label bands through the years, and both musicians were voted among the top 20 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone. Andy Pyle, bassist for the Ash, is renowned for his superb work with the Gary Moore band. He has also backed up or appeared with numerous artists such as the Faces, George Harrison, and Keith Richards. Drummer Ray Weston, who recently completed work on new material due for release by Belinda Carlisle, is a phenomenal, seasoned live and session drummer.

The combined talent that is Wishbone Ash deserves far more consideration and commendation than Margasak's misstatement suggests. Wishbone's November 3rd date at Beaumont was thoroughly enjoyable. Beaumont's large "Rock Garden" music room allowed the band to rip through its classic favorites and present its new material in an intimate setting. Wishbone Ash sounded great that evening. There was, incidentally, a large turnout and an appreciative audience. It is indeed unfortunate that in areas where he is so blatantly unknowledgeable about musical groups, concerts, and rock industry trends, Peter Margasak relies on sophomoric sarcasm to lend credibility to his critiques.

Mary Beth Rowley
N. Bissell

Peter Margasak replies:

Although Wishbone Ash formed in 1969, as Rowley points out, their first album was released in 1970. I stand corrected.

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