Review not fit for Queen


April 23, 2006


Dear Jim: Paul [Rodgers] was not there to replace Freddy [Mercury]; he was there to carry on the music. Yeah, there were just a couple of slow moments, but come on, my friend: The show was awesome.

James Wallentin

Re: Your review of the Queen-Paul Rodgers show at Allstate Arena [March 25]: As a '70s fan who has seen both Queen and Bad Company in the height of their popularity, I went into that show with a bit of skepticism. What I walked out with was a greater appreciation for what both those bands meant to my youth and how great they really were. I felt sorry for hundreds of Chicago faithful that missed out, and I just wanted to give a fan's view to a show you obviously did not care for. I don't quite figure where you come from with your classic band reviews; you've really written some stinkers.

Jeff Coburn, Merrillville, Ind.

I do not regret paying $200 to see Queen. The ingenious Brian May is a guitar virtuoso and an underrated vocalist, but he was overshadowed by the garish Paul Rodgers. Rodgers significantly diminished the aura of the show, but I will always embrace an opportunity to see guitar phenoms such as Brian May and Jeff Beck as a means to listen to their dynamic tones and wonderful riffs.

Brien Comerford, Glenview

Remembering Rick Johnson

Dear Jim: I just read your excellent piece about the great [late rock critic] Rick Johnson [Sunday Show, April 16]. I grew up in Mexico City buying/stealing Creem magazine in my teens. Now, as a 41-year-old banking executive, I still remember Johnson's stories. Best regards, or, as we say in Mexico, "un abrazo" (a hug).

Ernesto Flores

Mr. DeRogatis: I've read your columns in the Sun-Times for years, and I have always admired your work. But never before have I been as touched and moved by an article as I was by your tribute to my friend and mentor Rick Johnson. Growing up in the little college-farming town of Macomb, Ill., I never knew that there was a rock-history legend living amongst us, selling the newspaper to my dad and telling dirty jokes while he rung up my Mountain Dew. Rick was a good man, a friend, and apparently an amazing writer. I had no idea that he had inspired journalists as diverse and widely read as yourself and Dave Barry.

Clinton J. Boomer

Rankled by reviews

Dear Mr. DeRogatis: I am writing in response to your review of Morrissey's new album, "Ringleader of the Tormentors" [Spin Control, April 9]. Your review speaks a lot about yourself: You seem detached, indifferent and negative overall. I can understand if you don't care for Morrissey's new album, and I can understand if you don't care for Morrissey in general, but you never mention the impact Morrissey has had on music and the music industry. You are definitely out of touch with the fans, but I hope to see you this summer when Morrissey comes to Chicago, and I hope you enjoy yourself.

P.S.: Morrissey moved out of Los Angeles several months ago. He now lives in Italy.

Kenneth G. Stavitzke

Hi Jim: I read your review of Coldplay's concert [April 1] and I was compelled to write. I would have loved to have been able to go, but being a recent grad and unemployed at the moment, it's hard to cough up 50+ dollars. I consider myself a fan of Coldplay, and I would have been disappointed that they played only 17 songs, and that Chris Martin's "goofy" antics were as annoying as antics seen on the Austin City Limits show. I firmly believe their music better fits small venues such as theaters and small-capacity arenas, somewhere between the United Center and the U.I.C Pavilion. Their music is too "soft" to be played for 25, 000 fans, and I totally agree that they need to find a compromise.

Rafael Delgado