Dean Robbins has written some terrific pieces over the years, but I must take exception to his observation regarding this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony that "this year's list also includes Donovan, Laura Nyro and the Faces, whose names scarcely ring a bell anymore" (Television, 5/4/2012). Only to someone criminally ignorant of the glorious history of rock music. Donovan was extraordinarily prolific and influential from about '65 through at least '70. Before Rod Stewart and Ron Wood transformed the Small Faces into the Faces (and made the music much more derivative and watered-down), the Small Faces were enormously popular in England, and also epitomized the Mod scene. And no less a figure than Sir Elton John claims Laura Nyro to be a major influence upon his work.
It was hard to tell from his piece whether Mr. Robbins was lamenting this aesthetic amnesia or "piling on," adding to the notion that such apparent relics are unworthy of respect. I strongly advise readers to go back and listen to these artists. I believe that they will find, as the Small Faces sang on "Itchycoo Park," that the music is "all too beautiful."
All due respect?
In response to Ruth Conniff's piece about the so-called War on Women ("GOP Won't Win the War on Women," 5/4/2012), I would like to point out that many women do not share Ms. Conniff's perspectives on all issues. I and many others do not want our tax dollars to support Planned Parenthood, the leading executor of abortions. We believe that abortion kills our children and degrades us. Many women also object to the federal government's recent mandate that would require all religious employers to provide contraceptive services, including abortion-causing drugs, even when it violates their moral tenets. In fact, more than 26,000 women have signed an open letter voicing their opposition to this mandate, which you can view at womenspeakforthemselves.com.
I believe that women have great dignity, and women's rights are of fundamental importance - just not "women's rights" as Ms. Conniff defines them. With all due respect, Ms. Conniff, please do not presume to speak for all women.