Here are the Eagles during their golden era — when, according to our columnist, they were the worst rock band.
You’re welcome, America.
Judging by the response to my column Tuesday about how much I hate the Eagles, our nation has finally set aside its bitter debate over guns, Donald Trump, ISIS and Sean Penn in favor of laser-focused hatred of me.
Like I’ve always said, I’m a uniter, not a divider. Happy to do my part, nation.
For the record, all I said was that the Eagles were a bad rock band in an era of unparalleled innovation in music. It’s an opinion — one that I still believe is shared by a vast but silent minority of music fans.
Glenn Frey in 2016. No disrespect, man. Take it easy.
The column unleashed an avalanche of hate mail that buried me deeper than anything I experienced after more controversial pieces. Guns? Gay marriage? War? Peace? The lie of iced coffee? Nothing earned me so much anger as my contention that the Eagles were just Barry Manilow with guitars. (Sorry, Manilow fans!) One woman called me “the worst thing about America.” Not poverty, hunger, homelessness or violence. No, Gersh Kuntzman.
The hate mail led to unintended attention, making me a target on Yahoo News, radio shows, the New Yorker and countless blogs (here’s my favorite). Usually, I’d let a column speak for itself — hey, I had my say — but so many people are misrepresenting my motive that I need to offer an insight into why I wrote what I wrote when I wrote it.
First things first: I was not dancing on Glenn Frey’s grave. From all accounts, he was a good man. Was it tasteless to write negatively about the Eagles hours after his death? On this, I plead no contest: The main occupational hazard of journalism is that we must write about timely subjects. That’s what we do. And the Eagles, by unfortunate dint of Frey’s death, were certainly timely on Tuesday. People wanted to know everything they could about the band and Frey — and some Google searchers probably wanted columnists to assess the band’s place in music history.
In a fast-paced news culture, taste can be collateral damage. The goal is to make sure people who are interested in a topic can get all the news they need.
But we all know that opinions are like a–holes — and to most of you, mine stinks. But I never said my opinion of the Eagles is the only valid one. I just said it was mine. Many of my detractors — I’m looking at you, Boomer and Carton — suggested that the Eagles’ overwhelming sales figures by definition make them a great band.
Here’s Tuesday’s ire-provoking column.
No, sorry. Just because millions of Baby Boomers toss down billions of $ 10 bills for records doesn’t mean they are right. Kids today have made One Direction the era’s biggest selling band — but in 50 years, will we be mourning Harry Styles like Glenn Frey? I think not.
Other email writers said my goal was just a click-bait ploy of “going negative.” My record speaks for itself: I praise the praiseworthy and nip the heel of the overrated. Isn’t that what journalism is about?
Some of my correspondents have called for my death, which I think is a bit ironic coming from fans of a band that wanted us to “Take it Easy” and enjoy a “Peaceful Easy Feeling.”
You are right that my contributions to the world pale by comparison to Glenn Frey’s — and it is equally true that no one will mourn my passing except for a couple of kids in Brooklyn — but I will defend your right to cement my sub-par place in American letters after I am gone.
Finally, to those of you who just made fun of my surname, I think you could do better. I may be rightfully accused of dancing on a great musician’s grave, but noticing the vulgar possibilities of my last name reminds me of third grade (and here come those tears again!).
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