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Biff Rose
12 Weeks
Consider the Source

Biff Rose

Elsewhere on this site I recommend Biff Rose's excellent double album CD.  As a result of that recommendation (made many years ago) I got an email from a fan of Biff's and subsequently wrote a web article about it.

Biff Rose eventually got his own website together (and forum if folks are interested) and included this article in its entirety (a no-no in terms of copyright, as he did not seek my permission).  He then "replied" to it -- I include both the original article as well as his reply here (two wrongs sometimes do make a write, as Biff might quip) following which I will reply myself:

The following is from the Kelley Town website

I recently got an angry, hate-filled email from a fan of Biff Rose (whose music I recommend here). Aside from the fact it was not suitable for a family web site (of which this is one) it also wasn't very well written or even slightly amusing or entertaining in anything but a rather pitiful way (I will have to say one thing for Biff: he generates more email than anything else on this site with the exception of our cats. There may be something cosmic in that statement, but I doubt it). I've actually corresponded with Biff and I think I could safely say he would not be pleased by this fan's email to us, nor would he be angry or concerned over what we wrote about him here (remember: we like Biff, although it's the early Biff that gives us joy). But the email did contain a relevant message, which I'll paraphrase in one sentence: "You are not qualified to critique Biff's recent work because you have not produced anything of the same quality nor achieved any of the same success."

This is certainly a legitimate opinion to express, and is actually a familiar refrain of many (although usually the artists themselves and not their fans :>) Basically it boils down to the old "Those who can't do, criticize" school of thought.

Artists and critics have for years squared off against each other, each believing in the truth of what they are offering to the public. It's somewhat paradoxical in that a critic is also an artist of sorts: and thus (in an ever spiraling meta storm of confusion) can themselves be critiqued. If one wanted to neatly wrap this up in a sophistical knot I could point out the emailer has no right to respond to me in such a negative manner since they themselves have not produced anything of the same quality or success as this web site.

But what concerns me is not the criticism but rather the anger behind it. Why so much anger? I think the answer is in the nature of the web. Nowadays the web stands as the modern day equivalent of a newspaper, and this email was certainly invocative of the old "Letters to the Editor" that Steve Allen used to read so amusingly on his show. In the case of the monolithic newspaper, people saw themselves as essentially powerless to respond, to reach the same audience, so they would fire off their angry missives in an effort to vent this helpless feeling they had. Ironically, by publishing these letters, the newspaper actually provided a forum in which these same people found themselves empowered.

I won't do this here. This is neither a newspaper nor a democracy, and I remain the sole arbiter of what should and shouldn't be published. It's nice that thousands of people each month continue to visit this little corner of the world, but I would hope that those who come here realize this should be a place for joy and caring. In a world so in need of love and understanding, it's a little sad that many of us find the only way to express ourselves is to behave in such a childish fashion. As (the younger) Biff would say, "Fill your heart with happiness."


Biff Rose's response to Kelley Town

Dear KellyTown whoever or whatever you are trying to do... don't EVER say Biff Rose is not the sweetest, gentlest, cruelest, greatest, most generous, charitable, giving, horrible etc. etc. guy RIGHT NOW... to hell with being sweet BACK THEN... but ANGRY now... Biff is only ANGRY when he reads jerkoff stuff like you wrote PROMISING people something... shame on you... repent...! NEVER promise people ANYTHING... promise... I am Biff... I am having to bust God's ass... God is ******(name removed for legal reasons.) in Denver... we turn ******(name removed for legal reasons.) into wine... he's my producer and has TOTALLY sold out to the jews... or as he put it... "I chose 'em... they're My People and I'm STUCK with 'em...!" God's hangup is his love for ******(name removed for legal reasons.), owner of tyhe ******(name removed for legal reasons.) Theatre in M******(name removed for legal reasons.)... they put on JoAnne Greenberg's "I Never Promised you a Rose Garden" which God (******(name removed for legal reasons.)) adapted to play form... and which sucked BIG TIME but all the jews in the Denver area supported it like the movie The Apprenticeship o! f Duddey Kravitz where the Holocaust is thrown in the face of the congregation but the rabbi says it's cool... I tell ******(name removed for legal reasons.) "I BEG YOUR PARDON..." every time he throws the schizophrenia of JoAnne Greenberg in my face... thus siphoning off a billion rednecks in Nashville who only remember "I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden..." and could give a rat's ass about a rich jewess in a nut house (Greenberg in Chestnut Lodge) sucked up to by a fat boy Jehovah Witness (******(name removed for legal reasons.) God) from Brooklyn... I can absorb their small time ******(name removed for legal reasons.) Theatre Group into my vast Jim Van Morrison Theatre and siphon off a billion "doors fans" and "astral weeks off" for the cause of the Second Coming of Christ I am God doesn't "GET" cuz he's so hung up with the jews... call him... talk to him... pet him... and don't EVER say I'm not gentle and beautiful but was angry BACK THEN in 1969 when the children of light... "...will be given..." as the song goes... "...a means of e! scape from a world wrapped in flame..." that song is the only song that has ANY meaning at all now as we attack the whole "problem" of nine/eleven on my new album, After Seven/Eleven... and God's (******(name removed for legal reasons.)'s) fear that the FBI will come a'knockin' on his door due to the very suggestion that Children of Light is being played on Al Jazeera... the Arab CNN... please apologize, Kelley Town for promising anybody ANYTHING and ESPECIALLY "FUN" in a "family" way... I dictate the terms of the family in an extended way by first blowing up any nuclear conceptions... that's why it's called the nuclear family... so you can blow it up and leave it behind to gather around the extended family of MOM and POP... it self blows, actually... where the stir of the web is only getting stirted... to take over the whole vurld vide veb... ask about our MOMstir... I am the POPstir... the pop STARS of the past being obsolete... dylan, springsteen, yagger, boowee... etc... you know it... I know it... love me!, kiss me... hold me... if you're confused about ANYTHING concerning the Second Coming of Christ re-coded live... be humble... ask... and ye shall receive... MASK and you'll only deceive...


Okay, I think you get the idea but if you truly want to read more I would suggest you visit Biff's site -- I will not link to it here because it contains profanity and other things I do not deem appropriate for family viewing (Biff would, no doubt, strongly disagree with me).  You can find it with any simple web search.

Now, there are several things about this you need to consider.  First and foremost is to consider the art and not the artist.  If you only listened to music, or looked at paintings, or watched movies and television from those folks you agreed with politically and morally you'd find yourself with very little to choose from.  Artists are, without exception (present company included :>) troubled folks who have emotional issues which cannot be resolved easily.  If you remove the neuroses you remove the art -- because art itself is a way of expressing those emotions.  Find me a well adjusted and completely sane individual and you'll find someone who hasn't a creative bone in their body.

So I still recommend Biff's early work -- it's truly transcendental in the best sense of the word.  It transcends both the time in which it was written and contains words for us to live by now.  I cannot recommend anything he's done after that.

As to his response to me -- well, in the first place his confused ramblings demonstrate he is no writer (it's a common fallacy among musicians -- writing a song isn't writing prose, and to be talented in both fields is very rare).  He's badly in need of an editor (even Joyce worked on his "stream" of consciousness for seven years) but the bigger problem I think he'd face is I'm not sure any editor would even understand what he is saying.  I sure don't, and my degree is in communications. 

It appears he is trying to say don't judge him in any way, either in his present state or back when he wrote those wonderful songs, that he is above judgment since he's on a plane with God, or something.  Obfuscation isn't depth, and unfortunately his puns (so very charming from a young man in the 60's) are now tired and hackneyed and so out of date for the age we are in it's very sad.

I'm not sure whether he's truly disturbed or just a funny old man with a grudge (see Windmills).  Actually, he reminds me kind of a profane Abe Simpson (Abe, as many of you know, will rail on about Democrat presidents, fizzy cola, and other ills of the world in much the same way Biff goes on about things he perceives as injustices in this world).  It's very hard to get past Biff's hatred of the Jewish community, though, and I'm afraid those of us with better sensibilities will have to draw the line there.

In any case, Biff provided me (and a lot of others) with wonderful music that nothing his latter day self can erase.  I'm happy I have it, and I suspect that those of you who haven't heard it yet would be happy to have it as well.  In some respects that buys him a certain amount of leeway and forgiveness.  I will continue to have a Happy Heart as I listen to it, and will pray that Biff finds his own. 










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