Rock's resident middle-brow theoretician seems to be at it again ("Couch Potato Rock," by Robert Hilburn, Nov. 29).
Hilburn has the temerity to suggest that Prince, Springsteen, Sting, U2 et al., are somehow rescuing rock from mediocrity. This is like arguing that Leroy Neiman is the savior of painting.
The truly "activist" audience wants no part of Hilburn's yearning for the bad old days when rock concerts were pseudo-religious communal gatherings or his crusading call for a rock music of "political significance" that merely reduces political discourse to mindless sloganeering.
Since punk, the very best rock has had, and always will have, a very small audience (Pere Ubu, Joy Division, Jonathan Richman Yo and Sonic Youth--to name but a few disparate examples).