Wednesday, July 21, 2004
As long as you know what you're getting: Aging singer Linda Ronstadt has gotten a lot of press lately for last weekend's performance in Las Vegas. Ronstadt's apparently scripted dedication of love and devotion for the propagandist Michael Moore caused a ruckus at the Aladdin which reportedly prompted concertgoers to dump drinks, rip down posters, boo and demand refunds.
Well, it appears she got a roughly similar response when she tried it here Sunday night.
Ronstadt can say whatever she likes on stage, but if she's going to turn her concerts into political statements, her fans have a right to know ahead of time so they can choose whether or not they want to be a part of it.
I have to disagree with the Union-Tribune's music critic, George Varga, on the "responsibility" of art and artists.
Those who complain that Ronstadt should just sing, rather than express her opinions, forget that all art has a responsibility to inspire and provoke, not just soothe and entertain.
Ansel Adams wonderful photographs inspire me, but they don't "provoke" me. Are they "art"?
One expects the kind of partisan political statements like Ronstadt made at a fundraiser for John Kerry. One doesn't expect it at something billed as a "concert."