My assumption was that they'd think he's lame for the same reason that a lot of people think the Stones are lame. They're kind of yesterday's news, haven't really done anything interesting or noteworthy in a years, and seem like the kind of artists your parents would like or something. One ex-gf of mine was a HUGE fan of the Black Crowes, but would not even try to listen to the Stones. Not even Exile or Sticky Fingers, which are almost the entire basis for the Crowes' sound. At that point, the Stones were a bunch of cheezy old white arena rockers in her mind, and not the least bit interesting.
In other words, I think this kind of thing can basically be reduced to the phrase "uninformed opinions".
that, that's pretty much it. they know very little about him. i'll admit that i'm not super informed myself, but i know that he's written some of the greatest pop songs ever, and made some big hits for people...and that he's a kickass performer.
the one thing i've learned over the years is that it's dumb to judge things without at least trying to understand them first.
i'm just glad that one of my friends, who was soooooooooooooooooo excited about the new bon jovi album, wasn't there. i don't even want to know what she would have had to say.