By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
No Rhyme or Reason
In response to Linda Gruno's pathetically sophomoric review of Charles Bukowski's live recording, Hostage, in the August 31 issue: Baby, baby, you just don't know where it's at, and the sad thing is, people like you never will. The problem is, Linda, you were spoon-fed poetry in college by some fruity English prof in a turtleneck and clogs. You just don't know what real poetry is all about.
Bukowski spoke the language of the street--real life. But, Linda, you probably were never exposed to real life in those prissy private schools you attended. Man, I bet you never even had a flat tire or a pimple on your ass! Bukowski was life. He lived it, drank it, fucked it and then wrote about it. He wasn't one of those poetry phonies like Allen Ginsberg.
And as for the current crop of Generation X, artspeak, spoken-word, MTV poetry nothings, they aren't good enough to sharpen Bukowski's pencil, let alone stand shoulder to shoulder on a stage and read their little poesy.
So, Ms. Gruno, the next time you are with your little disassociated artist literary friends sipping espresso in one of those artsy-fartsy poetry cafes discussing the genius of Jeffers, W.C.W., Kerouac, Kassidy, Watts (OH GOD) and all the rest of the has-been never-were literary dry holes, just remember one thing: Charles Bukowski will always be "The Toughest Guy in Town."
Regarding Michael Roberts's "Today, Boulder. Tomorrow, The World," in the August 24 issue:
I enjoyed reading your article on the A3 conference in Boulder and the A3 format in general. I'm somewhat of a radio junkie, and I've thought for years that KBCO in Boulder and WXRT in Chicago are the best commercial rock radio stations in the country. I guess it's only recently that the marketing gurus have decided that "progressive rock" (A3) is a radio format that should be offered in many U.S. markets.
It seems that the modern-rock format is also starting to take hold across the U.S. I listen to KTCL often, but unfortunately, I think this format is getting narrower all the time as it expands. It would be interesting to see a similar article on this format in the future.
Thank you for an interesting article.
I have a few ideas to put forth in the interest of fighting a pressing problem of our times: radio stations that suck. 1. Don't listen to them; buy tapes, CDs and vinyl of your own choosing, be it Nine Inch Nails or the soundtrack from Oklahoma! Imagine the possibilities. 2. Support live music. Now there's a wild idea. It positively reams the senses. 3. Quit your whiny-ass bitching about how a radio station has you by the balls. Poor thing! Has your cable channel got a grip where it counts, also? You must be in some major pain. For all your name-dropping and musically hip verbiage, you are still just an errand boy for corporate structures put in place by accountants and kept in place by soul-searching channel surfers like you. If it's really that important to you, you shouldn't be letting someone else choose your playlist. But, damn, it's just like birth-control pills. Radio's so much more convenient. Ah, how modern and full of shit we are!
And regarding Anthony Rivas and his deathless prose in the same issue: Who is this moron, and why is he talking to us?
I go now to take aspirin and resume my shattered life.
Victoria W. Frerichs
I hope it's not too late to voice my support for Peter Tonks's wonderfully accurate rebuttal to Michael Roberts's imbecilic "Woodstock Redux" piece. Tonks's August 24 letter, characterizing rap as "atonal, infantile jingles," simply reduces the music to its essence. Equally obnoxious was Jesse Fuchs's sarcastic diatribe (letter) in the August 31 issue, in which he somehow confuses the late Sixties with previous eras of repressive racial stereotypes. If nothing else, the late Sixties embodied the rejection of stereotypes and all the other social precepts that served to alienate the human spirit. Perhaps Fuchs even views Jimi Hendrix as a "Stepin Fetchit"--a cheerful, humble negro such was he.
Woodstock was an allegory to a cultural renaissance, a window in time the likes of which may not be seen again for decades. It was a celebration of freedom, whose enduring influence has unwittingly made beneficiaries of even its newest critics. That its historical essence is lost on Michael Roberts is no wonder; it would take a few trips to the library to fully understand history as comprised of such eras of social epiphany interspersed with long eras of stagnation and ambivalence. I trust that in time, the post-baby boomers will concede that they are forever relegated to the latter category.