Letters to the Editor

From the week of March 9

Westwordhas no business reviewing Radio Disney. Stick to your own market and leave a successful station like Radio Disney alone.

Derek Mooneyham
via the Internet

In regard to Michael Roberts's "A Sperm's Tale," in the March 2 issue:

Did we attend the same concert? The harmonizing and amazing guitar rock of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were practically perfect, in my opinion. "Guinevere," "Carry On," "Helplessly Hoping," "Woodstock," "Ohio," "49 Bye-Byes" and "Teach Your Children," among others -- I could not have asked for a better show.

These guys came from a time when music was the center of war, protest and change. They have jammed with legends like Garcia and Hendrix. The '60s may be long gone, but Crosby, Stills, Nash and especially Young are still able to let us relive the music of the days that I unfortunately was not able to experience. (I'm 23.)

As they took the stage at the Pepsi Center, my dad said, "Goddamn, they have gotten old." But damn, they can rock!

My only disappointment was that they didn't play "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" -- and also your ridiculous review.

Michelle Saxon

Thanks for the review of a concert I had no desire to attend. It gave me the best laughs of my weekend. The Big Lebowski? OUCH!

CSN is one of those assemblages that, whenever I hear one of its outdated/tired songs on the radio, I wonder a little bit about the makeup of anyone who sits in a focus group and continues to push the hot button whenever a CSN song is played. (Have these people even heard the old andnew material from groups like Los Lobos?) CSN had one strong album -- the first -- and that's IT!

Another sign that boomer pop culture is on the decline is the desperation shown by the thousands who shelled out an obscene amount of money to hear a band that could be on, but no one ever knows when their perfect harmonies will show up.

Pete Simon
via the Internet

The title of Roberts's CSNY piece should read "Wasted Sperm" and should refer to the birth of your writer, who obviously didn't inherit the hereditary "objectivity gene." Great article...not!

Kevin Burchell
via the Internet

Yes, Stephen Stills's full-rock version of "Seen Enough" lacked some of its earlier acoustic punch. And yes, Graham Nash was a bit lost in his own "history." But generally, I don't think Mr. Roberts was at the same show that I went to. If he was, he should have skipped the "bitter bias" pill and thus skipped the proliferation of his uncontrolled and excessive journalistic discharge. He missed the boat on so many items with his litanies that he exposed his sheer ignorance about the totality of rock history. Jeez, guy, get out of it. Nobody likes a pompous pinhead. And gosh, guy, where the heck were you sitting, and who the heck turned your crank to make you have to be so freakin' bitter? Bad hair day? Surely bad some kinda day! It will be interesting to see what Mr. Roberts says after the VH1 special that no doubt will come out.

G. L. White
via the Internet

Many thanks to Michael Paglia for "Dynamic Duo," his wonderful article on Jim and Nan McKinnell in the February 17 issue. They are extraordinary people, and he has captured the things that make them remarkable. Paglia is an exceptional art critic, and we are fortunate to have him.

Kathryn Holt
via the Internet

I want to thank you on behalf of the McKinnell fans in this community. The unbelievably thorough article that Michael Paglia wrote about these two very special Colorado artists, who have touched so many people, is very much appreciated. The recognition and historical perspective he shares bring smiles to so many who know them. Jim and Nan will always be remembered and loved for their monumental contribution to the ceramic and art community, but most important is how they share and care for all those who have the good fortune know them.

Meryl Howell
via the Internet

Thank you for Robin Chotzinoff's first-rate "Curtains!" in the February 24 issue</>. Down through the years, I had the pleasure of treading the boards at the Changing Scene on numerous occasions, and thanks to Al Brooks, I got to direct a 21-character, one-act play on that tiny stage. Handing me the script, Al said, "I have no idea how this can be done, and I'm looking forward to seeing it!" A lot of genuinely talented people worked there, and everyone was treated like family by Al and Maxine. It was also fun to go back and watch others work, and I remember one play in particular that could have been performed anywhere: Au Revoir, Mirabeau. On that occasion, at least, Al had a hit on his hands and would have loved to extend the run, but every cast member was committed elsewhere immediately after the standard three-week run ended. It's great news that the posters will be saved and properly displayed. Al took great pleasure in putting them up the morning after a play's run would end, and they're a significant part of Denver's theater history. Ed Halloran
Denver The Changing Scene was never a temple to high art -- never a place for those who simply wanted to get dressed up, genuflect before the Gods of Art and then go home feeling a little better about the sacrifice. In fact, Al Brooks and Maxine Munt had very cleverly designed the theater to avoid that type of confusion. It wasn't in a fashionable area. The entrance was down a dark alley, and they posted two sentries at the lower gate -- unblinking iron dumpsters that you had to pass through to enter. No social cachet accrued to you by being there. No, this was no temple to high art and was never intended to be. And it could -- well, it could get a bit strange in there. You might see just about anything up on stage: weird things, a little unfocused, maybe a little raw and unpredictable. The work might soar there and die there; it might be terrific; it might be completely incomprehensible; it might have you heading for the exit; it might have you hanging around afterward to meet the playwright and everybody in the cast. And for those of us who had the privilege to exhibit our wares in this odd space, it was more: For that dusty smell in the air, that smell of the paint that was slapped on the set an hour before the curtain went up, as annoying as it might have been to those of you just settling into your seats, to us it was the smell of artistic freedom, as open and unfettered an atmosphere for new work as many of us have known. Not only that, but it was here -- here in Denver. One of a handful of theaters in the worlddedicated to new work, and it was right here. And although you didn't have a lot of time to think about it with the 101 things you had to do as your play headed toward opening night, when you did, it was with awe and reverence and wonder. For when it comes to theaters such as this, the statistics are grim.Two, three years and they're out -- gone, never heard from again. The artistic process is hard to pin down; it is certain, though, that Al and Maxine sowed a lot of seeds and nurtured a lot of seedlings over the years -- more, I think, than they realized -- and that some of these will grow in unforeseen and wonderful ways. And that is a legacy to dwell on -- and to envy. It's hard to mourn lives that have been fully lived. It's hard to mourn the stewardship of a theater passing on to other hands when it had such an incredible thirty-year run. On the other hand, I was at one of the high palaces of theater the other day, and I happened to look down at the arm on my seat and found a brass plaque that said "Pentax Corporation" on it. I think that what it meant to tell me was that the seat I was sitting in was "brought to me" by the Pentax Corporation -- and although it's unfair to say it, for a moment it occurred to me that this was everything the Changing Scene was not and never aspired to be, this pew in the high chapel of art that had been sold to the highest bidder. For the Changing Scene was always just Al and Maxine and an unsullied dedication to theater and dance and a hope for the future. Stuart Boyce
Boulder Letters policy:Westword wants to hear from you, whether you have a complaint or compliment about what we write from week to week. Letters should be no more than 200 words; we reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity. Although we'll occasionally withhold an author's name on request, all letters must include your name, address and telephone number. Write to: Westword Letters P.O. Box 5970 Denver, CO 80217 or e-mail to: editorial@westword.com.

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