Jeff McLeodMontgomery, AL
I must say, I was extremely surprised to see Nels Cline on the March cover of your magazine. I know this move probably did not sell as many magazines as putting a more well known musician on your cover, but I can’t think of anybody else more deserving of this attention. Cline has devoted his whole life to playing music, and after 30-plus years is finally getting some real recognition. I had the pleasure of meeting him when he played at Skidmore College with Wilco, and the man could not have been more humble and kind. Thank you for the story.
Philip SimchakVia Internet
Well, the comment that prog rock has died couldn’t be further from the truth. I write music reviews for a Web site called Proggnosis that features music from both the progressive and fusion worlds, and trust me, there are a lot of artists out there who are still deeply committed to creating music that falls into the progressive genre. Sadly, the only thing that died is prog’s popularity in relation to radio airplay and mainstream media attention. Apparently, GP has now taken that route, and, not surprisingly, it must be for the money.
It would be great to see GP recognize that there are amazing musicians laboring underground playing music that they love, rather than compromise for the ambitions of money and popularity. As I remember coming up as a guitarist, the most interesting articles in the late ’70s in GP were the features on such players as Steve Morse, Allan Holdsworth, Darryl Stuermer, etc. These guys are progressive musicians—and are still highly touted even by today’s standards—and there are more guitarists in prog circles that are doing equally amazing things. Perhaps GP may be interested in inspiring a new generation of genius and innovation?
MJ—The article is formatted as a “Style Council,” which is solely intended to provide a very basic overview of a genre. In addition, it was explained in the article’s introduction that the scope was limited to a handful of the most significant bands of the period. Reasonable people may disagree about whether those bands peaked in the late ’70s, but as one who followed their careers firsthand, that is my view (as well as the view of many of the original musicians). The article did not, however, say anything disparaging about prog metal, neo-prog, or any of the other styles that followed in the wake of the original bands, and GP still covers classic prog artists such as King Crimson and Steve Hackett, as well as some newer artists (e.g., Spock’s Beard in April, and Porcupine Tree coming in July). Also, please note that Allan Holdsworth was featured in the Nov ’04 issue, and Steve Morse is a regular columnist. As to GP making editorial decisions “for the money,” a quick look at recent issues will confirm that lots of the artists we cover neither receive huge amounts of airplay, nor sell millions of records. And as for “inspiring a new generation of genius and innovation”—one of GP’s prime objectives—please note that the prog rock article appeared in an issue with Nels Cline on the cover. —BC
Michael KingVia Internet
Tom StrattonVia Internet
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