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Students fire back at Concert's Critic Print-ready version

by Polly Burdge
Greenfield Recorder (Massachusetts)
November 26, 1968
Original article: PDF

To the Editor:

We have just finished reading the article in your newspaper by Mr. Wayne A. Smith published on Tuesday. Nov. 19. He wrote a review on the concert given in the Northfield Auditorium by Joni Mitchell and The Hello People Saturday Nov. 16.

We find that his article was over-critical. To say all the things he did, he must be one of those who widens the generation gap. Most of the people at the performance enjoyed both the Hello People and Joni Mitchell. Her hair might have been long, but it wasn't long enough to cover her eyes. She had many complications in trying to come here; what they were, no one really knows, least of all Mr. Smith.

To question the Hello People's gender is absurd! Mr. Smith must think that only the length of one's hair tells a person's sex. If he were a member of this generation, he would probably have it the same way. The music they produced was quite varied, and to consider it loud, he must have been sitting with his ear to an amplifier. It may have been a little loud to the people sitting in front, but the acoustics had to be sufficient enough to allow everyone to hear.

Miss Mitchell did seem to have trouble with the microphones, but her voice still came over beautifully. Mr. Smith's ears must not have gotten over sitting so close to the amplifier so they were still buzzing throughout her performance.

Joni Mitchell's songs show originality and depth of thought which so many of today's young people possess. Mr. Smith does not have enough perception or insight to interpret what the songs were saying.

It is indeed unfortunate that Mr. Smith is so critical of such an outstanding performance when he has so little basis for judging the mass opinion. However, does he realize that this concert was for the entertainment of Northfield and Mt. Hermon students, paid for by the schools, and open to the public who are appreciative of contemporary music which has something to say, and not for such a closed — mind person as himself. We respect the opinions of other people, but not when it is given unjustly.

Northfield School
East Northfield

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