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Rock Hall Throwdown 

Letters published July 11, 2007

Fire a round for Guns N' Roses: I am writing in response to Denise Grollmus' opinion that Guns N' Roses should not be inducted into the Rock Hall ["Rock the Vote," June 20]. Does she even know what rock and roll is?

Music hasn't had a rock star since Axl Rose. His larger-than-life presence was a breath of fresh air during the late 1980s, when platinum-blond frontmen like Bret Michaels, Vince Neil, and David Lee Roth were a dime a dozen.

Appetite for Destruction has continuously been hailed as the best rock album of all time. The album had the radio favorites like "Paradise City" and "Sweet Child o'Mine," but also had gems such as "Night Train" and "Mr. Brownstone." These songs told the story of who Guns N' Roses really were: a group of misfits who didn't care if they sold out arenas or self-destructed. Sounds like rock and roll to me. As for "Welcome to the Jungle," it is a classic. You want nostalgia? Go to a Kiss concert.

Grollmus says that Guns N' Roses hasn't inspired any musicians since 1993, except the Darkness. Has she ever heard of Slash? Half the reason kids picked up guitars in the late '80s and early '90s was because of him. His signature top hat and cigarette inspired a whole generation of guitar players.

Guns N' Roses had lyrics like Zeppelin, a lifestyle like the Rolling Stones, and a musical style that crossed Aerosmith and AC/DC. That's rock and roll -- not Dr. Dre or Alanis Morissette.

Josh Womack
Mentor

A "hell, yeah!" from the black hole: Thank you so much for your words on John Mayer. He is the epitome of what is wrong with popular music today: no-talent hacks who get played because they are attractive and wear the coolest shit. You failed to mention he rocks the pseudo-long-hair-frat-boy-preppie-mop look.

This article was a breath of fresh air after having moved to the musical and cultural black hole that is Hawaii. Top-40 garbage and reggae are all that is played. Anyway, I digress. I mainly just wanted to say fuck John Mayer.

Devon McRainey
Honolulu, Hawaii

Hall ignores the Kraft in Kraftwerk: I could not agree with your article more on the importance and influence Kraftwerk has had on hip-hop, dance, techno, and electronic music.

Ever since my first listening to Kraftwerk in the early '80s, I have been a fan of their music. These guys were way ahead of the curve. Actually, they invented the curve.

The Rock Hall claims to induct bands that are influential and full of impact. There are bands and artists in the Hall now that aren't half as influential as Kraftwerk.

Unfortunately, the Rock Hall is just too commercial. Many bands deserve entrance, like Kiss and Judas Priest. But, of course, Metallica will be there for their commercial success and not their music.

Ray Francel
Cleveland

This snub's one jagged little pill to swallow: You made some very good points in your article. I would say yes to Dr. Dre (via NWA), Black Flag, and Kraftwerk, and no to the rest (though I'm conflicted on Judas Priest). But you danced around one of the biggest flaws of the Rock Hall: their snobbery toward progressive rock.

I can't understand the continual snubbing of an entire genre. Yes, Pink Floyd is in. But without Yes and Genesis -- two bands that brought musical virtuosity into rock -- the hall continues to be nothing. They made complex, beautiful music. They were innovative in artwork, theatrical stage presence, and show innovations.

One of my friends and I were talking about who deserves to be in and who doesn't. Yes to Run DMC, Public Enemy, Metallica, the Replacements, and Madonna. Beyond that, I don't really care.

As for Alanis Morissette -- she was a one-trick pony. Has she put out anything since Jagged Little Pill worth listening to? Give me PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, or Tori Amos any day.

W. Gregory Schmid
Olmsted Falls

Blame It on the Name
In rape cases, privacy is the best policy:
It is common ethical practice in the media not to identify sexual-assault victims ["Duke Comes to Akron," June 20]. Some states, by law, prohibit the publication of rape victims' names. There are very good reasons for affording them their privacy.

Rape is still one of the most underreported crimes, despite being one of the most devastating, due to the blame that society places on victims and the insensitivity with which they may be treated. Ideally, media could freely print all names of victims, and social stigma would not be an issue. However, many victims feel a great deal of embarrassment and shame, despite the fact that a sexual assault was not their fault.

After a rape, victims often feel a loss of control. By ensuring their privacy, the media can give victims back some of the power they have lost. Additionally, in most rape cases there is a wealth of information not available to the public that does not get addressed. An article should not imply that a victim is not truthful if the reporter is not privy to any information but that provided by the defendant. There are two sides to any story, and they should be presented equally before decisions are made about a defendant's guilt or innocence, or a victim's honesty.

Anne Spahr, Manager
Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties

Megan O'Bryan, Executive Director
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center

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