I applaud and appreciate Michael Shaffer’s article “Jamie’s Dyin’” (4/24) for bringing attention to the sad and unfortunate demise of Van Halen. During my high school days in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Van Halen’s tough, bold-yet-respectable attitude was appreciated by many of my male friends; and I was a proud fan. The band’s flamboyancy added excitement to our girlfriendless lives as much as, say, Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin, and George Steinbrenner. (As you might imagine, watching the New York Yankees while cranking Van Halen brought on an unbelievable rush!)

Unfortunately, because the

band subsequently released embarrassing amounts of low-quality

material over the years (for which I do not blame Sammy Hagar), I began

to reveal my fondness for Van Halen only to my closest friends. Now, after reading Shaffer’s piece, I’m afraid I might hear their new material on the radio. I’d rather not know just how far my adolescent idols have fallen.

Bethesda, Md.

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