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Feb 01, 2007

Joe Queenan on Michael Bolton

Joe_queenan "For years, I'd been vaguely aware of Michael Bolton's existence, just as I'd been vaguely aware that there was an ebola virus plague in Africa. Horrible tragedies, yes, but they had nothing to do with me.

"All that changed when I purchased a copy of The Classics. When you work up the gumption to put a record like The Classics on your CD player, it's not much different from deliberately inoculating yourself with rabies. With his heart-on-my-sleeve appeals to every emotion no decent human being should even dream of possessing, Michael Bolton is the only person in history who has figured out a way to make "Yesterday" sound worse than the original. He's Mandy Patinkin squared. His sacrilegious version of Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me" is a premeditated act of cultural ghoulism, a crime of musical genocide tantamount to a Jerry Vale rerecording of the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK" And having to sit there, and listen while this Kmart Joe Cocker mutilates "You Send Me" is like sitting through a performance of King Lear with Don Knotts in the title role. Which leads to the inevitable question: If it's a crime to deface the Statue of Liberty or to spraypaint swastikas on Mount Rushmore or to burn the American flag, why isn't it a crime for Michael Bolton to butcher Irving Berlin's "White Christmas"?"

-- Joe Queenan in Red Lobster, White Trash and the Blue Lagoon.  Longer excerpt here at the NYTimes.

I've been wanting to read this book ever since I heard Joe Queenan on the radio during what I guess was his 1998 book tour.  Ahhh, finally.

02:11 AM in Quotables | Permalink


It's pretty funny - I read it some time ago.

Posted by: pinky | Feb 2, 2007 9:40:31 AM

Any other Office Space fanatics out there? I just love it that the phrase "no talent ass clown" generates over 50,000 Google hits.

Posted by: Bob S-K | Feb 2, 2007 5:18:16 PM

Bob -- it's testimony to my idiocy that it took me 12 hours to see the connection between Office Space and this blog. I'm putting on my "D'oh!" face ;-)

Posted by: Phil | Feb 3, 2007 3:18:36 PM

Funny! Well, I should have explained myself a little better. I agree with this excerpt about Michael Bolton. (But he should have left Mandy Patinkin alone; I liked him in The Princess Bride, though I'm not one to annoy others by constantly quoting lines--kind of like Monty Python freaks. Okay, enough. We could talk for hours.)

Posted by: Bob S-K | Feb 3, 2007 9:41:28 PM