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Defending U2

May 17, 1987

Until reading Evan Marlowe's letter, I thought you made selections on the basis of merit, insight, or wit (Calendar Letters, May 10).

However, I am now inspired by the evidence that even vacuous babbling can make the cut.

Marlowe laughed at praise given "The Joshua Tree" before he listened to it. U2 has not suddenly appeared on the scene to become the latest flash in the pan.

They have developed a following based on a progressively improving body of work, impassioned concerts that jerk audiences out of apathetic indifference, and lyrics that sometimes approach the best that rock has offered (e.g., "A Sort of Homecoming").

The assertion that the band's admirers are musically incompetent victims of the latest craze ignores the praise given the group by cultural observers not easily fooled by fads.

Has Dylan played any Bon Jovi concerts lately?

EDWARD CARROLL

Los Angeles

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