This letter appeared in The Oregonian on April 3, in response to coverage of the Bruce Springsteen concert in Portland several days earlier:
Bruce Springsteen’s band member tells us that it is a rush to him to “turn your guitar amp up to 11 and scream and shout and be presenting amazing music.” Amazing to me that anyone older than a demented 6-year-old can call that racket “music.”
True, my standards are high, as they are generated by the Metropolitan Opera. But the reaction to the Springsteen noise proves the truth of the old adage that “some people grow up, others just grow old.”
Robert E. Vanderzanden
Assuming this letter is legit and not meant as a joke, I have to conclude that Robert E. Vanderzanden is the following things:
1. Very, very old. Anyone who was younger than about 20 in the mid ’50s, when rock ‘n’ roll came around, would almost certainly have succumbed to at least SOME of its charms. To have such disdain for the entire art form — and Springsteen isn’t even “niche”; his stuff is pretty much basic, pure rock ‘n’ roll — you’d have to have been already set in your musical tastes in 1955. At least generally speaking.
2. A pompous crotchbag.
For the record, being a fan of the Metropolitan Opera does not automatically make you a pretentious, insufferable jerk. But citing it as a credential does.