Letters to the Editor

From the week of December 21, 2000

Alan David Weiss
via the Internet

To tell the truth: Over the past couple of years I have not endeared myself to Westword writers; as I have previously stated, I seek the truth at all costs.

Again, I will bring up the blunders Ms. Laura Bond so casually brings to your paper. Earlier this year she reviewed the Gil Scott-Heron show at the Lion's Lair. She remarked that he played an organ. I called and informed her that he has never played an organ; it was a Fender Rhodes electric piano.

The December 7 issue takes the cake. She writes in great detail of a lawsuit where Johnnie Johnson is suing Chuck Berry for copyright theft. Then Ms. Bond goes on to say that Johnnie Johnson played guitar and he is the inspiration behind "Johnnie B. Goode." That, I will say, I am not sure about -- but what I am certain of is that Johnnie Johnson plays piano. He never has played guitar! I know because I have performed with him in the past, both here and in New York.

Come on, can't we please have someone who at least would pick up a book and research the topic about which they write and not show total arrogance because they write for Westword?

Mark Bell

Laura Bond responds: Even though I've never had the pleasure of seeing Mark Bell perform with Johnnie Johnson, I should have known better. My apologies.

The Rhyme of Their Lives

When verse comes to worse: The next time Steve Jackson feels the need to write about Allen Ginsberg and his junior butt-pals, et al. ("The Beats Go On," November 30), I would suggest you gather around Kenny Be's latest amateur porno illustrations in the back room at Westword and whack off instead. Poetry is a valiant effort that needs to be taken seriously in this country, not debased by losers and fools such as the many fuckoffs who attend the Boulder poetry pretend college.

D. Townsell
via the Internet

Changing Corso: I enjoyed reading the article about Allen Ginsberg and the poetry posse. Steve Jackson did a great job of organizing and contextualizing Peter Hale's extensive reminiscences of Ginsberg. Allen would have appreciated the level of detail. For the record, I'd offer a couple of comments and corrections.

First, there's a lot more to Gregory Corso than craving dope, heckling poets and leering at women. This kind of journalistic reduction overlooks his considerable charm, not to mention his genius. Maybe the article will inspire some new readership for the writer Ginsberg considered to be the best of the Beats. Then there's the anecdote about Gregory's arrival in Amsterdam. Corso was not deported. He was admitted to Holland with an apology from the offended and offending cop, after we posted sufficient cash to guarantee that he could purchase a ticket back to San Francisco. Finally, there's the medicine cabinet. I worked closely with Allen for more than twenty years; contrary to Jackson's assertion, he was no hypochondriac. He did have diabetes, a heart condition, high blood pressure and kidney stones.

Otherwise, thanks again to Steve Jackson, Peter Hale and Westword.

Steven Taylor
via the Internet

A classic: Thank you to Steve Jackson for continuing to put forth exceptional work. To this day I often contemplate the haunting series he did on Brandy DuVall in early 1999. I will carry the DuVall story with me the rest of my days, as others may hold close a classic novel through their lifetime.

Tom Wolf
via the Internet


Although Tommy Tsunami's Pacific Diner, at 1432 Market Street, will be open on New Year's Eve, the special listed in our New Year's Eve guide last week was incorrect. The restaurant will be serving its standard menu, as well as champagne. For more information, call 303-534-5050.

Meanwhile, the complete -- and now completely accurate -- guide, featuring hundreds of entertainment opportunities at local clubs, hotels and restaurants -- is available on the Web at westword.com.

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