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January 14, 2013
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Rolling Stone c/o Jann S. Wenner
1290 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10104-0298
Re: "Angry Young Man"
Dear Mr. Wenner;
There are several reasons I am not a fan of Billy Joel's song "Angry Young Man," and it is important you understand this.
First, the song is fascist.
Second, I resent someone using the phrase "angry young man" to rhyme with the phrase "angry young man." That's not clever. That's lazy.
Third, do you really want to be on good terms with some jerk who really likes this song? I don't.
Fourth, while I hate using "straw man" arguments, almost as much as I hate using unnecessary "quotation marks," "Angry Young Man" is clearly "of the ilk" of Bob Segar's "I Like That Old Kind Of Rock and Roll." "I Like That Old Kind of Rock and Roll" is crap. It's song about an old, fat, bearded curmudgeon who goes to a wedding dressed in jeans. Everyone else is dancing and hooting and hollering, while he's sitting at his table, eating cake, and generally being belligerent about the wedding DJ. "Why won't that DJ play any Chuck Berry tunes?" he asks while his nephews and nieces dirty dance to the Black-Eyed Peas. Everybody beckons him to get up and dance. "C'mon, Old Man, get up and dance!" Finally, the wedding DJ starts playing some Chuck Berry. Everybody turns to our guest. The fat, old, bearded man gets up, stands near his chair, and twists his hips side-to-side with a shit-eating grin on his face for a minute or two. Then the DJ plays Ke$ha, and he sits back down, revisiting his layer cake.
Fifth, I once went to a wedding where a Billy Joel impersonator belted out "Angry Young Man" while the confused Jewish wedding party was still completing the Hora. And it cursed their marriage. The hubby lost his job, and they've moved in with her family. Friggin' Billy Joel.
Sixth, there are beautiful things in life. A first kiss. Inhaling the dew on a spring morning. Lying in the grass and watching Fourth of July fireworks. "Angry Young Man" is the opposite of all this. It is pretentious, disingenuous, and fraudulent. It's the ugly billboard interrupting the horizon as you're driving down some long, forbidden highway during twilight.
Mr. Wenner, I hope you appreciate and understand my position on this important matter.
Very truly yours,
© Copyright 2016 Roger Feldstein. All rights reserved.