AUG. 14 OFF THE MARK COLUMN — MARK SPENSLEY, CO-PUBLISHER
Just in case you skipped over the Opinion pages and went straight to my column, which I’m guessing probably doesn’t happen too often, you may need to go back there to reference my column subject.
This week there are two more letters in the Express, both stating their disdain for the foul language that accompanied the Motley Crue concert at the fair on Friday night. There are also concerns raised with the consumption of adult beverages. They both follow up a previous letter that ran in the Express last week that tackled the same subject.
First off, I have great respect for the authors of all three letters and I can surely understand their concerns. I could also go as far as to agree with them that the filthy language did nothing to add to the night’s festivities.
So to get to my point of this column, I’m going to defend the choice the fair made in bringing in a band the caliber of a Motley Crue. Now I will be honest and say I do not know this to be a fact, but I have heard the band’s contract had some verbiage in it NOT allowing them to use foul language.
Now should it be a surprise that a rock-n-roll band did not conduct themselves in a professional and morally correct manner? Not to me it didn’t. After all, they are playing the role of the rebel rock-n-roller.
I have been to quite a few rock concerts, many at the fair as well as in other parts of the country. I’ve seen Heart, The Police, REO, Tom Petty, Lynryd Skynyrd, Cheap Trick, Kid Rock, Kiss, Aerosmith and others. Some used foul language but most did not.
But I knew going to each one of these events there was a good chance that anyone of them could erupt into a wave of obscenities. After all, it is a rock-n-roll concert.
And this takes us back to the letters. Should us locals that attend the Great Jones County Fair be shielded from the crudeness and vulgarity that could possibly spew from the mouths of said rock and rollers?
Here is a dose of reality. This isn’t a fair just for Monticelloans. It is not solely a family-friendly fair. It’s become much bigger than that. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent to put on three to four nights of great entertainment and as we can all see, thousands of people are coming to our community, spending money, enjoying our fair and getting to know Monticello a little bit better.
The fair manager and fair board probably are not too excited about the words spewed by Motley Crue on Friday night. Nor were many others or myself who were in attendance.
But the great thing about the fair is there were two great nights of country music and we were presented with a great Sunday night of Christian rock. All three of those shows were family-friendly.
So I guess what I am saying, keep in mind who is gracing the stage each night. The option exists to not attend a concert that might seem inappropriate for our kids to be at or that might play music that you do not enjoy.
On Saturday night I witnessed something I do not recall seeing in the twenty-something years I have attended the fair. Somewhere in the middle of the Keith Urban concert, everyone was on their feet in the box seats and the grandstands. Everyone!
I’ve witnessed many times sitting in our seats unhappy campers because people are on their feet dancing and singing to the music. I’ve never been able to completely understand that. It was refreshing seeing everyone young and old having a great time.
My hope isn’t to offend anyone with my opinion. Like I stated earlier, I understand and respect theirs. Here’s to the next best five days of summer!