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An Open Letter To Rolling Stone (Joan Jett is PISSED and I don't blame her!)
JoanJett.com ^ | Joan Jett

Posted on 11/23/2002 4:57:59 PM PST by I_Love_My_Husband

An Open Letter to Rolling Stone

This letter was written to rolling stone after their "women in "rock" issue was published, but was not printed by their editors. Please forward it to all the rocking people you know!!!!!

I tried to find some cleverly worded way to express my disgust with your "Women in Rock" issue, but what i have to say is really quite simple: You guys are completely retarded.

By RS standards, Rock is no longer a style of music but a trendy costume to be whipped up by expensive stylists and slapped onto the latest pop tart barbie doll. Give a girl some tight pants and a spiky bracelet and POOF! She ROCKS!

Your poor choice of cover girls and featured artists brings to mind the Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions. There is nothing necessarily wrong with the breast-baring models inside..but we all understand that they have NOTHING TO DO WITH SPORTS--Which just might be offensive to women who are interested in sports or who might even be (gasp) real athletes.

Yes, Britney has a talented stylist and yes, somebody gave Shakira a Guns & Roses t-shirt to wear..but they ARE NOT NOW NOR WILL THEY EVER BE ROCK.

Maybe it's naive of me to expect any glimmer of rock'n'roll credibility OR respect for women from a magazine whose cover shot is regularly a naked underweight actress. The thing is , I AM a woman musician with a rock band, and as we all are I am STARVED for any little crumb of recognition that real women rockers might be thrown. So like a sucker I find myself short another five bucks ..and pissed enough to write my first letter to an editor. Avril Lavigne gets some studded accessories from Hot Topic so now she's "upholding the brazen tradition of teenage outrage"???!! Are you SERIOUS? And could someone please explain to me why people keep insisting on referring to PINK as rock? Wasn't she doing the white girl hip hop thing a minute ago? Yeah, she performed on the Aerosmith tribute show --big deal..she was on the Janet Jackson tribute show just before that--Whatever's trendy. WHO CARES. She's a Spice Girl reject...but I digress.

Jewel and Mandy friggin' Moore have full page features as Rock Icons...Meanwhile Joan Jett gets one line. ONE LINE. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, who have never stopped touring, recently did 10 days in the Middle East playing for the troops stationed in Afghanistan. In AFGHANISTAN, Joan would come onstage wearing a birkha, which she ripped off and stomped on before blazing through the purest and nastiest rock show ANYWHERE. But even in the RS WOMEN IN ROCK issue, a story like that gets ONE SENTENCE on the bottom of the last page of Random Notes.

Britney's Rock credentials? Well, she butchers the song "I Love Rock'n'Roll" on her latest record, and when asked about it the genius replies "Well, I've always loved Pat Benatar." And SHE is your Rock issue cover girl?? You should be REALLY embarrassed.

Sleater Kinney was the only rock group listed on the cover..and they got only half a page. Ashanti, the r&b back up singer who can't seem to do anything without "featuring Jah Rule," has two pages.

What about the Donnas? The Yeah Yeah Yeahs? The Distillers? A mag like RS has the power to shine important light on groups like these--instead they are afterthoughts, and that valuable spotlight is wasted on the same overexposed pop princesses WHO HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ROCK.

In your own letter from the editor you have the hypocritical balls to say "rock radio won't touch female artists, while the pop factory keeps churning out soundalike clones, and ambitious musicians with something to say find themselves left out in the cold."

The pages that follow those words are a blatant display that Rolling Stone magazine is happily working for the factory now too.

If the issue had been called "Women in Music"..or maybe "Some Cute Girls with Top 10 Records out Right Now"..I would have no beef with it. Corny as it may sound, ROCK is something which is still meaningful and even sacred to some of us. Use the word "rock" in bold letters next to a picture of Britney Fucking Spears, and you're turning your whole publication into a joke...and an offensive joke at that.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: joanjett; music; rock; rockmusic
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
The day I saw R.S. editor give a "Beasty Boy" c.d. a 5 star rating {highest possible}, was the day I began to ignore R.S.
101 posted on 11/23/2002 6:30:14 PM PST by TJFLSTRAT
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To: Bella_Bru
My teen years were spent in LA traveling around to see X, and other local bands like Fishbone and the Chili Peppers. Clearly, X, during the Billy Zoom years, were the best of the bunch. I ended up going to college in Louisiana and in the Fall of 87 the Chili Peppers were starting to get a national following and appeared at Storyville in the French Quarter on their 'Rock Out with Your C$&ck Out tour. That night X opened and Exene was like 8 months pregnant. X was huge here. their vaguely countrified punk rock sound did wonders for drowning out the Sunset Strip scene of the time (Poison, Ratt, etc.) I have seen X in recent years at the House of Blues here in LA and it is a pleasant event, but kinda sad to see how we've all aged and how the spirit of your teens and 20s can't be replicated.

On another note, I hope they gave a nod to Liz Phair. she has sorta waned in recent times, but her first two albums, Exile in Guyville and WhipSmart were excellent.
102 posted on 11/23/2002 6:31:23 PM PST by andrew
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To: andrew
Just a note of useless trivia: Billy Zoom taught Jane Weidlin how to play the guitar.
103 posted on 11/23/2002 6:33:59 PM PST by Skooz
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To: Erasmus
I just loaded up Best of The Pretenders in Winamp, those were the days !!
104 posted on 11/23/2002 6:37:52 PM PST by John Lenin
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To: Erasmus
Chrissie Hynde RULES. The new Pretenders CD is AWESOME.

Others not mentioned here:
Tina Weymouth
Annie Lennox
Tina Turner (esp. pre-"Private Dancer")
Bonnie Raitt

105 posted on 11/23/2002 6:40:06 PM PST by Dems_R_Losers
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To: Skooz
Niether did Maria McKee or Exene Cervenka.

God has blessed Maria Mckee with about the best set of pipes that has bestowed a human being. I have a Lone Justice album and her first solo album in my collection and they do get occasionally brought out.

Madonna, who can't sing her way out of a paper bag is a millionaire... Maria Mckee is mostly unknown. Go figure.

106 posted on 11/23/2002 6:41:04 PM PST by dogbyte12
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To: Skooz
Jane Wiedlin! Damn! I could not remember her name! She rocks too.
107 posted on 11/23/2002 6:41:43 PM PST by Dems_R_Losers
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To: dogbyte12
Madonna, who can't sing her way out of a paper bag is a millionaire... Maria Mckee is mostly unknown. Go figure.

Maria has more talent in her discarded fingernails than Madonna has in her whole body. Not even close.

I remember seeing Lone Justice on Saturday Night Live about 14-16 years ago. I was so blown away by her that I wanted to marry her, or at least someone exactly like her!

108 posted on 11/23/2002 6:45:03 PM PST by Skooz
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To: Bella_Bru
Neither did Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon either.

Any press Sonic Youth ever got was too much. One of my absolute least fave bands of the era.

But to each his own...

109 posted on 11/23/2002 6:54:14 PM PST by WarSlut
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
David Bowie was on Last Call with Carson Daly last week, he made some similar comments when asked what he thought of the state of the music business & some of these boy bands, Britany Spears, etc.
110 posted on 11/23/2002 6:55:58 PM PST by Ford Fairlane
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To: All
I can't believe no one has mentioned Janis Joplin yet!
111 posted on 11/23/2002 6:56:30 PM PST by Morrigan
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To: sneakypete
Posted on her forum at joanjett.com

Joan Darling!
Two Things:
Your letter to Rolling Stone!
BAM ! Nailed em to the wall...
watta piece of fluff that rag is!

Shows for the troops in Afghanistan!
What can I say but, others may talk the talk...
But YOU gotta know going there, and doing something for our troops,
means more than anything the rest of the 'entertainment' industry has done as a whole...

I spent a year in the Saudi desert prior to the fight in 90-91, never saw one face from the 'entertainment' industry the whole time.
Thanks for showing the grunts a good time!
FReegards!
Semi
112 posted on 11/23/2002 6:58:35 PM PST by 45semi
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To: McGavin999
So a Public Relations ploy wipes the slate clean. OK. Now she can go back to doing the work of the Democrats, Liberals, Feminists, and Abortionists. No doubt she will be selling lots more records as a result of her so-called patriotism.
113 posted on 11/23/2002 7:00:59 PM PST by Search4Truth
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
Dude, Wanda Jackson, Janice Martin and Brenda Lee rule!
114 posted on 11/23/2002 7:02:31 PM PST by Revolting cat!
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
Britney's Rock credentials? Well, she butchers the song "I Love Rock'n'Roll" on her latest record, and when asked about it the genius replies "Well, I've always loved Pat Benatar." And SHE is your Rock issue cover girl?? You should be REALLY embarrassed.

JJ, you are so, so, right!

Personally, I can't stand Jett's original "...Rock N Roll", and while most of Joan's covers are pretty good ("Roadrunner" and "Do You Wanna Touch" are better than the originals IMHO), others sound like the original put through a meat grinder (Her jackhammer version of Tommy James' "Crimson and Clover" and a limp-wristed attempt at "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"). Nevertheless, when you do a remake, you should at the very least know WHO DID THE ORIGINAL!

(Tip to Brit: NEVER attempt to cover anything by Pat Benatar. You don't have the pipes. True, few do, but you ESPECIALLY don't.)

I haven't heard Britney botch Joan yet, but if Spears' cover of the Stones' legendary "Satisfaction" is any indication of what her version of "...Rock N Roll" sounds like, Joan has reason to be angry.

115 posted on 11/23/2002 7:03:34 PM PST by L.N. Smithee
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
...and you're turning your whole publication into a joke

Gee, Joan. They did that 20 years ago.

116 posted on 11/23/2002 7:03:47 PM PST by hattend
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To: Search4Truth
I hardly think it was a public relations ploy since it got almost NO coverage here at home. It was also quite dangerous for her since she performed at the Bagram Airport and she didn't exactly dress "modestly".

It doesn't wipe the slate clean, but it does give her a measure of my respect. I'll argue with her about her views, but at least she put those kids first before her own safety. That's more than I can say for most of the popular scum that masquarade as "entertainers".

117 posted on 11/23/2002 7:04:33 PM PST by McGavin999
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To: hattend
BTW: I vote for Ann and Nancy Wilson. Heart rocks. Maybe not as hard as Joan, but they still rock.
118 posted on 11/23/2002 7:07:50 PM PST by hattend
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To: McGavin999
Point taken. It is conceiveable of course, that she has had a change of heart and has have moved to the Right side. I'll be watching :)
119 posted on 11/23/2002 7:08:06 PM PST by Search4Truth
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To: L.N. Smithee
I haven't heard Britney botch Joan yet, but if Spears' cover of the Stones' legendary "Satisfaction" is any indication of what her version of "...Rock N Roll" sounds like, Joan has reason to be angry.

Oh my God. I just listened to that link you provided. If that is not a Saturday Night Live skit, it should be. It's so bad it's funny. This belongs in the MST3K Hall of Fame, Music Wing.

120 posted on 11/23/2002 7:13:20 PM PST by ABG(anybody but Gore)
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To: 45semi
Joan with the troops...


121 posted on 11/23/2002 7:15:26 PM PST by TopDog2
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
Akansawyer's daughter says:

Britney Spears thinks that Pat Benatar sang "I Love Rock'n'Roll". Ahem. I'm younger than her and I know that that's not true. (And count me biased against Britney since '98. "I'm a virgin." :: cough :: Yeah, right. We all believe you, Britney.)

Joan Jett DESERVES the recognition she craves; she's the foremother of women in rock. She deserves to have more publicity than Pink, Ashanti, or any other girl "artists" that she mentioned in this letter. (I like Avril, though, she seems to be against people like Britney, which is ultra-cool of her.)

I count Joan Jett and the Heartbreakers as one of my inspirations in music, and it's just unfair the kind of treatment she's gotten.
122 posted on 11/23/2002 7:19:10 PM PST by Arkansawyer
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To: ABG(anybody but Gore)
Oh my God. I just listened to that link you provided. If that is not a Saturday Night Live skit, it should be. It's so bad it's funny. This belongs in the MST3K Hall of Fame, Music Wing.

Brit's vandalism of "I Love Rock n' Roll" is perhaps the worst cover of all time. But Vitamin C's (the Hershey commercial song girl) butchery of Split Enz's "I Got You" is a very close second.

See what MTV has done to music? I yearn for the days of talented, butt-ugly rock stars.

123 posted on 11/23/2002 7:22:54 PM PST by WarSlut
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To: Search4Truth
Well maybe age, and alienation by cannibalistic liberals is starting to change her. Maybe some encouragement is in the works...
124 posted on 11/23/2002 7:23:39 PM PST by Axenolith
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
Let put in a good word for Polly Styrene of the legendary New Wave band X-Ray Spex.


125 posted on 11/23/2002 7:25:51 PM PST by Physicist
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To: Search4Truth
It is conceiveable of course, that she has had a change of heart and has have moved to the Right side.

Pray she has. Pray everybody does. That's what I do every night before I go to bed. It's the only we we're going to end abortion.

Regardless, I love what Joan did for our troops. And I dropped her a note telling her so.

Hearts and minds... that's how we win this thing.

P.S. If you come across anything saying the Foo Fighters are pro-abort, please, don't tell me. I don't want to know.

126 posted on 11/23/2002 7:28:03 PM PST by WarSlut
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To: Arkansawyer
I kinda like Avril too, and she had a great writeup by Susan Konig on NRO, of all places: Will Avril Lavigne Save the World?.
127 posted on 11/23/2002 7:28:59 PM PST by ABG(anybody but Gore)
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To: section9
Here ya go:

Joan Jett email

128 posted on 11/23/2002 7:31:10 PM PST by facedown
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To: L.N. Smithee
WHY DIDN'T YOU WARN US ABOUT THAT CLIP!?

Good Lord, I clicked out of curiousity and now I'm DEAF!

prisoner6

129 posted on 11/23/2002 7:32:26 PM PST by prisoner6
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To: andrew; Bella_Bru; Skooz; I_Love_My_Husband
Well, I suppose I have to agree that all of us age over time but so what? X still rocks and so do I! I will see them Tuesday night at the Fillmore in S.F. Original lineup, don't ya know, and I'm psyched! (Tonight is Seattle and tomorrow, Portland, for any rockin' FReepers who might dig some of their fine stylin's.) Now that Country Dick bought the farm and Hoaky Hickel has left the business, we cowpunks can't afford to take any of the remaining greats for granted.
130 posted on 11/23/2002 7:35:18 PM PST by rogue yam
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To: WarSlut
What's truly scary is that I can almost guarantee you that some idiot producer is probably thinking that Britney can do a new version of "Stairway to Heaven". If they would let her mangle "I Love Rock'n Roll" and mutilate "Satisfaction", I shudder to think of what she would do to Led Zeppelin's alltime classic.
131 posted on 11/23/2002 7:35:26 PM PST by ABG(anybody but Gore)
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To: WarSlut
See what MTV has done to music? I yearn for the days of talented, butt-ugly rock stars.

That's a very good point. Before MTV, no one knew or cared what rock stars looked like.

Could these guys make it today?

132 posted on 11/23/2002 7:36:34 PM PST by Skooz
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To: rogue yam
You do know that it is your obligation to make us a bootleg of the gig and share it with us?
133 posted on 11/23/2002 7:38:13 PM PST by Skooz
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
Wow, that last paragraph, well, ROCKS.
134 posted on 11/23/2002 7:38:56 PM PST by seams2me
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To: ABG(anybody but Gore)
How about Britney's version of Dark Side of the Moon?
135 posted on 11/23/2002 7:39:49 PM PST by Skooz
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To: Search4Truth
Dang, if I worried about the politics of the musicians I listen to, I'd have to toss 90% of my CDs. I figure if I can grow up singing along with the Weavers, Ewan MacColl and Woody Guthrie, and still have voting Republican since age 18, it doesn't matter too much.

Putting Black 47 on the CD player, now....
136 posted on 11/23/2002 7:40:36 PM PST by Celtjew Libertarian
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To: Skooz
How about Britney's version of Dark Side of the Moon?

Now you're really scaring me........

137 posted on 11/23/2002 7:41:53 PM PST by ABG(anybody but Gore)
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To: rockfish59
That's funny - I always liked the Steve Miller song: "Big 'ol Jed Left the Light on!"
138 posted on 11/23/2002 7:44:06 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: dead
What about Courtney Love, Liz Phair or Kim Deal? Those chicks rock.

Forget them.Girlschool blows them all away.

139 posted on 11/23/2002 7:48:57 PM PST by Uncle Meat
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To: Bella_Bru
Saw X in the early-mid 80's. Unreal show, what was the guitarists name? Johhny Lightning or something? He was the the coolest looking band member ever ( execpt maybe Danny Elfman). Decent chops, but like a cartoon come to life in person.
140 posted on 11/23/2002 7:50:03 PM PST by singletrack
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
The letter is right on. Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, Melissa Ethridge, Linda Perry (4 Non-Blondes), Belly, Heart, Grace Slick, and that's just the beginning - - there are plenty of examples of real women rock 'n rollers. But that is no longer what Rolling Stone is about.

And frankly, that's the only thing about this letter that disappoints me. Rolling Stone is such a washed-up has-been of a "counter-culture" publication that I hate to see anybody take it seriously. I mean, Britney Spears is right down their alley these days, LOFL!! The publication is now like a weird National Lampoon parody of itself.

141 posted on 11/23/2002 7:50:38 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: ABG(anybody but Gore)
And I don't think she really qualifies as a rocker, but Natalie Merchant

I do. She has a very powerful voice.

142 posted on 11/23/2002 7:51:15 PM PST by sneakypete
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To: Skooz
Maria Mckee and Lone Justice were about 13 years ahead of their time. Too bad. I don't think there's a song of theirs that I don't like. I hear a lot of her influence in today's music.

And Maria's first two solo albums were unbelievable.

Saw her in Ventura, CA about 10 years ago. David Grey opened for her. Great discovery he was for me.
143 posted on 11/23/2002 7:52:34 PM PST by hoppity
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
Damn,but she is looking FINE in that photo!
144 posted on 11/23/2002 7:53:09 PM PST by sneakypete
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To: singletrack
what was the guitarists name? Johhny Lightning or something?


Billy Zoom

145 posted on 11/23/2002 7:53:33 PM PST by Skooz
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To: L.N. Smithee
I haven't heard Britney botch Joan yet, but if Spears' cover of the Stones' legendary "Satisfaction" is any indication of what her version of "...Rock N Roll" sounds like, Joan has reason to be angry.

Ouch. That was unlistenable.

While I can't stand Britney Spears (except as a sex object; she's the queen of the mute button), at some level it actually does succeed as a cover.

Too many covers sound as if the artist is trying to sound as close to the original as possible. To me, that's the sign of someone who had nothing to add, and shouldn't have bothered. The goal for the artist should be to make the song his own. As an example, I give you Devo's cover of "Satisfaction"; they took the song and turned it into a Devo song.

It seems from the clip that Britney Spears has likewise turned it into a Britney Spears song, and I can respect the effort. The only problem is that a Britney Spears song intrinsically sucks.

146 posted on 11/23/2002 7:54:58 PM PST by Physicist
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To: McGavin999
She is also a woman who gave her time and put herself in considerable danger to entertain our troops when they needed it most.

While we're at it,let's give Robin Williams a little credit,too. He went over there and entertained the troops,and didn't do it for the publicity. I've heard him speak about since he's been back,and he sounds VERY respectful of the troops he visited with.

147 posted on 11/23/2002 7:55:10 PM PST by sneakypete
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To: stainlessbanner
That's funny - I always liked the Steve Miller song: "Big 'ol Jed Left the Light on!"

Honestly, for the longest time, I thought he was singing "Big 'ol Chad in a Lineup!" 8^)

148 posted on 11/23/2002 7:59:17 PM PST by ABG(anybody but Gore)
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To: Dems_R_Losers
Annie Lennox

One of the most powerful voices in the business,but I always feel like she's holding back.

Bonnie Raitt

Some of the sweetest slide guitar in the known solar system.

Let's not forget Pat Benetar,either.

149 posted on 11/23/2002 8:00:09 PM PST by sneakypete
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To: 45semi
Read my post about Robin Williams going to Afaghanistan.
150 posted on 11/23/2002 8:02:08 PM PST by sneakypete
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