Milli Vanilli's attack on my competence and integrity as a journalist requires rebuttal ("We Sold Our Souls to the Devil,' Nov. 21). I am the Time magazine reporter mentioned in your article to whom Milli Vanilli said, in an interview last February, "We are musically more talented than any Bob Dylan. Musically we are more talented than a Paul McCartney." After they said this, I gave them a chance to explain or retract it by asking, "What do you mean by that exactly?" They answered, "Creative. To be able to produce."
The context was their description of their music as the "modern rock and roll." In the same context they said to me, "(We are) the new modern rock and roller. I'm the new Elvis. I'm the new Roy Orbison at this time. I'm the new Beatles. . . ." At the duo's insistence, Todd Headlee, Milli Vanilli's ex-manager, was present during the interview, ostensibly to protect them from just such opinions and their "poor grasp of the language." Headlee never interrupted to modify or dilute these remarks.
The interview is on tape. The quotes are as I have presented them. And there are others, including, "It's more difficult to sing a song like Milli Vanilli than a Beatles song." Really, Rob and Fab, how would you know?