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February 09, 1987 - Image 7

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-09

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ARTS
MIA~1 B~AC1i i~reaK Destinatlofl

The Michigan Daily

Monday, February 9, 1987

Page 7

,o*

Joel had to be a big shot, didn't he?

,By Ben Ticho

Billy Joel dropped acid at Crisler
Arena Thursday night. They spent a
long time looking around for it, but
eventually they had to bring out
another battery.
After that things got really
charged up, and the trip began.
It was wild.
First, all these thousands of
people show up and make tittering
noises and pull out cigarette
lighters when the overhead lamps
go out. Somebody puts on a lush
string arrangement of "Rhapsody in

Blue" and he walks on. Not Woody
Allen, but Billy Joel himself,
dressed crazily in short haircut, dark
jacket, jeans, and white sneakers.
The other guys play various
instruments and he sings "A Matter
of Trust."
He makes these twitching
shoulder and leg movements and
runs from one end of the ring to the
other, gesturing strangely at the
thousands of people yelling at him.
Paranoia, the destroyah, ya know?
So much for trust. Can't handle
pressure.
Well, you couldn't blame him
for losin' it after 15 years in this
game. Fortunately, he settles

down, gets his second wind and
draws chinky-plinky sounds out of
the grand. And the deedle -
deedledeedle reverberates pretty in
such an expansive barn. Controlled,
deliberate, sane.
But the piano man reverts his
chronosense and mumbles
something 'bout BrenderanEddie
from the summer of '75. Then he
really loses track, shouting stuff
about steel mills in Pennsylvania,
waiting for people in Vienna, and
going down together to Southeast
Asia. This guy's been places, or
thinks he has.
"This next is a kind of attitude
song," Joel gurgles, putting on his
dark sunglasses. Man, this is
getting out of hand. The blueblue
soft lights are humming; he really
thinks he is Ray Charles, complete

with slight growl and head sways.
Everybody's swaying to the baby
grand, blurry-eyed in this mass
trance. My head hurts a little. After
the longest time, something snaps.
I mean, how can one 37-year old
man handle continuous adulation
with Christie and two kids waiting
at home? Complete pandemonium,
with thousands of people rising up
from their $17.50 seats and
clapping vigorously; carefully
coiffured undergrads strain to touch
his pant legs, maybe a feel of his
hand.
Together, we work through the
catharsis of good people dying at a
tender age. It strikes suddenly that
though this spectacle may all be
just a fantasy, it's still just a good
R 'n' R trip to me. Hell, I don't
know; you may be right, I may be

nutty, but if it takes stadium
crowds to get Billy Joel off, that's 1
fine. He's not such a big shot that
he's forgotten how to make his fans
google-eyed, and he works hard fors
his buzz.
After two and a half hours, the

acid is wearing out; and through the
hole it's eaten through the departing
throngs, one last scintillating
vision - the bridge, a solid
crossing from pop and pap to a nip
and nap. And from Crisler over to
Main Street, uptown with my girl.

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Books

I The Complete Fairy
Tales of the
Brothers Grimm
Translated by Jack Zipes
Bantam Books
-:$21.95; hardcover
Rapunzel pregnant? Cinderella's
stepsisters blinded by doves? There
are more than a few strange
variations in Complete Fairy Tales
and some are grimmer than others.
Cannibalistic robbers, beautiful
maidens, wicked stepmothers,
talking animals and cruel monsters
are made the most of, or maybe too
much of, in the only complete
collection of the Grimm's tales in
English.
These stories aren't the sanitized
kiddie versions, safe for young ears.
For example, in the excellent bed-
time tale, "The Goose Girl," the
evil. woman and £false' 'bride
pronounces her own setence
unknowingly: "She deserves
nothing better than to be stripped
;ompletely naked and put inside a
barrel studded with sharp nails.
Then two white horses should be
harnessed to the barrel and made to
'drag her through the streets until
she's dead." Sweet dreams, little
one.
If outrageous is what you like,
read "A Tale About the Boy Who
Went Forth to Learn What Fear
Vas" in which a stupid young man
'learns how to "get the creeps." It's
a real shocker.
Jack Zipes's introduction to the
tales transforms the Grimm
brothers from fairytale figures into,
real humans with a real purpose.
the two of them were devoted to
German language and literature, and

collected these stories from local
women in order to preserve them.
The Grimms "created an ideal type
for the literary fairy tale, one that
sought to be as close to the oral
tradition as possible, while
incorporating stylistic, formal, and
substantial thematic changes to
appeal to a growing middle-class
audience."
Politically active, both brothers
moved frequently when they lost
See BOOKS page 8
COPIES
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