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The Ross Who Knew Too Much






Wednesday, April 27, 2005

From my inbox, part one

I always love hearing from readers. I mean, much of the time, readers who do take time to drop me an e-mail (or call or write a letter) are doing so to tell me they think I'm an idiot. But it's always good to be reminded that there are actual people actually reading the things I'm writing.

In my last job, I had a guy who called me every week when my column was published. He'd leave a voicemail message, and the time stamp was usually 5 a.m., which led me to believe he worked at a convenience store, or had some other reason to be awake -- and reading the paper -- at such an early hour on such a consistent basis.

He was a metal fan. And he left long, rambling messages telling me how he hated whatever band I happened to be writing about and how I really should be covering Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. For some reason, he seemed to think I was a fan of mook rock (i.e., Limp Bizkit, Korn) and would often say things like "F--- new metal. True metal rules." He sounded a lot like Jim Breuer but, like, serious.

When I did happen to write about a band he liked -- Van Halen was a big one for him, too -- he'd leave these encouraging messages like "You must be listening to me, Ross. True metal!"

Over time, I started to really look forward to getting to work on Thursdays so I could listen to this guy's latest message. On those rare weeks he didn't call, I actually got a little worried. Didn't he care anymore? Or was he just in lockup for the night?

Once, for some odd reason, he called me during the middle of the day. I was at my desk and picked up the phone. I could tell he was a bit startled he didn't get my voicemail, but he started in on his daily rant, as if he were leaving a message anyway. I started laughing and attempted to ask him a few questions (like "Who are you?"), but he didn't answer and soon hung up.

I miss this guy.

ANYWAY, onto my inbox. Typically, my live reviews get the most feedback. And thanks to rabid fans, a lot of my reviews get posted on message boards and I'll hear from people all over the world.

Here's a few recent unedited (save for language) favorites:

I heard from quite a few Duran Duran fans after my review ran. Here's one of the more, uh, passionate examples:

I CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT U WROTTE ABOUT THE DURAN SHOW LAST TUESDAY......WHAT KIND OF A REPORTER ARE YOU? I WOULDNT SAY THAT IM A COLLEAGUE BECAUSE MY CRITIC WOULD BE REALLY DIFFERENT, ALTHOUGHT I AGREE THAT DOMINIC BROWN IS NOT ANDY TAYLOR AT ALL.
FIRST THERE WAS MORE THAN 6.000 SOULS THERE.......SECOND... THE CROWD HAS RECEIVED THEM IN A VERY GOOD WAY, AND THEY ARE SOUNDING MUCHE MORE BETTER THAN THE GLORY DAYS OF THEM BACK IN THE 80'S, EVEN WHEN ORDINARY WORLD DOMINATED THE WORLD CHARTS.
IM A HUGE FAN OF NOSTALGIA BANDS AND 80'S MUSIC, AND DURAN IS NOT A NOSTALGIA BAND ANYMORE, AND ASTRONAUT IS ONE OF THE BEST RECORDS ( THATS FOR ME) I DONT CARE ABOUT THE SALES AND THE CHARTS., THATS B-------, WE ALL KNOW THAT HIP HOP RULES AND AS LONG AS THAT MUSIC BE ON TOP WE ARE NOT GOING TO ENJOY THIS AWESOME BANDS. YOU SEEMS TO BE ONE OF THOSE WHO PREFER THE BEST SELLERS INSTEAD OF THE QUALITYOF THE BAND.
I COULD BET THAT U2 IS ONE OF YOUR FAV BANDS....AM I RIGTH?
GREETINGS


The thing is, I actually like Duran Duran (much more than U2, for what it's worth) and I was really looking forward to the show. If they had stretched out and played the not-technically-a-Duran-Duran-song-but-still "Election Day," I might have plotzed. But as my review said, it was a dull evening and clearly an off night.

Duran Duran prompted an e-mail from a woman I went to high school with who I hadn't heard from since, well, high school. She sent a very nice e-mail after my pre-concert interview with Simon Le Bon ran in the paper. In it, she wrote:

I'll be somewhere in the first 5 rows and I've got $25 with your name on it. Do you remember back in high school when I bet you $25 that CD's would never take off? Well, I guess I lost that bet hands down and it's time to pay up.


I didn't see her at the show, but she later posted her own wonderfully profane review of the show on her blog. (Among other things, she touched Simon's bottom.)

I'll share more of this stuff tomorrow. Until then here's something to ponder:

Mr. Raihala,

If my timeline is correct, Husker Du could be voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year (First LP January of '82, induction as early as '07)

Of course most of the stiffs who vote for such things will ignore the most influential band of the 1980's.(Ask everyone from Metallica to REM)

Let the campaign start in Minnesota!!!!

Cheers
A.J. Remes
Charlotte, NC


Sounds good to me. Are you listening Jann Wenner?

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