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Burgie Benz

December 27, 1994

Re "Rocking Role Model," Dec. 20: Here is my advice to Hermosa Beach Mayor Robert (Burgie) Benz.

Forget the music business. Stay in politics. Because you never, ever will impact a music audience as much as you will influence a political constituency.

Take it from me, a former music industry honcho. No matter how outrageous you may appear, you can never be outrageous enough to satisfy a fan following accustomed to the likes of Henry Rollins (a true eccentric) or an Ozzie Osborne, who made a bizarre attempt to reach Nirvana-like notoriety when he bit off the head of a dove, and whose career has never matched his adolescent promotional exploits. And how about formerly-known-as-Prince, speaking of bizarre. Or Michael Jackson. Doesn't anyone care about Kurt Cobain anymore?

The point, Burgie, is that the music industry in all of its infantile wisdom still regards strange behavior with a certain affection. It welcomes, demands even, eccentrics. Politics needs them. Did someone mention Jefferson or Tom Paine or Lincoln? Someone who, in your words, "questions authority"?

Stay in politics where you are necessary, not in the music business where you will be redundant. Otherwise we turn things over to Newt and Dan Quayle and Bob Dornan and Pat Robertson. Oddballs, to be sure, but dangerous and sour and vindictive. Burgie, you are a beacon of truth and reason. We need you. So does your country.

ROCCO CATENA

Los Angeles

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