To the Editors of The Crimson:
Did Bruce Cole and I attend the same concert?
I saw three professional, incredibly creative, politically aware, intelligent musicians whose liberated feminine sexuality and sensitivity spoke to me of the future and the struggle each individual must be prepared to experience in order to find a meaningful place in that future.
Cole seems to have been so turned on by the costumes and sexiness of the members of Labelle that he didn't observe either of the following numbers (just two examples, I am sure someone else could throw more at him):
Nona Hendrix, bathed in eerie green light, portrays the "System" while Patti and Sara sing to her: "System--Leave Me Alone." Nona does not represent the "system" of the 60's--the "fascist war-mongering machine," the "military industrial complex" which will bring riot police out to face protesters; she is the "System" which we in the 70's have to cope with: a system which uses seductive promises of monetary security and personal advancement to entice us into joining it. Was this song (written by Hendrix) something one could hear in a German cabaret during the Weimar Republic?
The number which brought the first act to a close: a group of young (aged 6-14?) black kids from Manhattan joined Labelle on stage to lend their smiling faces and beautiful voices to a crescendo of emotional outpouring--a chorus of love and hope for the future. The sight of those three ladies singing with and to and for the children, sharing their microphones with individual kids, hugging them, standing arm in arm in comradeship, brought me and several others to tears. Could you find this "in Times Square on any given Saturday night?"
You missed their message, Mr. Cole, you really did! I can't believe that you saw only plumes, silver body suits, platform boots and decadence where I found an image of womanhood that has relevance for the times we live in and the times to come: Sensitive to the world around them, aware of their own abilities to change that world, confidently and forcefully sexy, and completely in touch with the natural fact about life: the world must be better for our children.
Where is your head? Labelle is not made up of three sex machines, strutting across the stage in parody of masculine bawdiness; they are much much more together than that. Jayne Berry Cambridge