The Critic From Another Planet | Letters | Chicago Reader

The Critic From Another Planet 

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Whatever Bill Wyman feels about Rick Telander's opinion about Kurt Cobain's lack of a coach [Hitsville, May 20], it is just that--an opinion. Mr. Telander is well versed in the facts of his chosen field, something that cannot equally be said for Mr. Wyman.

Bill Wyman states, "Organized sports consists almost entirely of suit-and-tied strategists" whereas "rock 'n' roll is basically a forum for artists to express themselves." What utopian planet does Bill Wyman live on? I'm sure many musicians would love to go live there too.

Sure, maybe at the level of bar bands and small indie labels music may be played purely for art's sake--people who play ball in college and the minor leagues may play for the love of the sport. But once you sign to a major label you become part of a giant selling machine that refers to you and your music as "product" and your talent is assessed by how many "units" you sell. Who do you think caused Nirvana and Jane's Addiction to change the cover of their albums for K mart? A bunch of their buds going "Whoa dude, I find this kind of offensive"?

Maybe the Reader should have Steve Albini write your music column. At least he knows what the music business is really like.

Mark Springer

Chicago

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