The Die's Typecast
Steve Jackson's Bobby Hornbuckle profile ("Last Call," October 31) was probably the worst article ever written in the very galaxy. Why? Because Bobby's always been a monster bluesman, the baddest for miles around, but you slimebags wait until he's dying to give him some press! Why weren't you putting him on your cover years ago, when his career could really have used the boost?
So now we get a sad story about another lost talent, a tragedy, etc.--but I've been telling anyone who would listen, for years, to go see this dude...to see this man for his music, which is great...not to watch him die. Are you guys owned by Ricki Lake's producers or something?
But really, this proves what I've known about you guys for a long time: Real music and art is only important to Westword if associated with some sort of fad, trend or gimmick. Hornbuckle's situation is very painful to me and many others; to Westword, it appears to be a sure shot at improving your circulation. Eat shit and die.
I saw Bobby Hornbuckle play a couple of times. Westword seems to be chasing alcoholic guitarists around looking for an authentic Denver sound lately. I suppose there is some substance to the theory that one must live the blues in order to play them, although watching a talent killing himself incrementally on stage is never a pleasant experience.
After seeing the rest of the Grateful Dead carry Jerry Garcia through the summer 1995 tour, I found the depth and length of Steve Jackson's article indulgent. I didn't have the inclination to finish, leaving a quarter of it unread. Jackson is less than honest romanticizing alcoholic drug addiction as some prerequisite for artistic expression.
Garcia staggered through his last tour propped up by teleprompters, his wife, and the mystique that had been created around him. He was such a forceful personality, he made you close your eyes to his self-destruction and somehow feel grateful that he was still playing. One of my saddest moments was in the Palace at Auburn Hills, where Garcia was pitifully stumbling through Big Railroad Blues like a third-rate garage-band guitarist suddenly thrown out with the Grateful Dead. My empathy for old friend Bob Weir was morose.
I strongly suspect there is no guitar playing in paradise. Bob Hornbuckle will be far too busy learning the lessons he obviously missed in his self-indulgence, too absorbed to learn the principles of altruism, justice and reciprocity one need apply to truly help others.
Jeff Leroy Davis
via the Internet
I dug your article about Bobby Hornbuckle. I understand his trailer-park angst. Bobby did okay. He did better than Bill Clinton. For sure, he can play better.
Editor's note: Last Tuesday, as he'd promised, Bobby Hornbuckle headed to Mexico with his son Michael; son Brian plans to join them this week.
The Grill Can't Help It
Kyle Wagner's misguided and mean-spirited review of Rodizio Grill ("Bye, Bye Brazil," October 24) was filled with so many bizarre, petty and downright ignorant criticisms that we barely recognized our restaurant. The key to her review can be found in the final paragraphs, in which she references our desserts (and gets the prices wrong in the process). Our creme de papaya, she said, "brought us the exotic taste of Brazil we'd been waiting for." She came looking for Carmen Miranda and foods indigenous to the rainforest and was disappointed upon finding that the food of the Pampas region of Brazil is much like that found in this country's Midwest, although the preparation and cooking styles differ. Rodizio was never intended to be the second coming of Cafe Iguana. It is a family steakhouse.
Finding fault with everything from the design of the menus to the materials used to construct our dessert cart, Wagner's months-old review was not an accurate reflection of what has become one of the most popular restaurants on South Wadsworth. To answer the critique line by line would take up more space than the original review, so we will direct our comments to our most important areas, food and service.
We assume the "lardy film" she spoke of on our cuts of beef was the thin layer of fat that surrounds each cut. All of our meats are cooked over very hot imported charcoal, and the fat is necessary to keep the meat from drying out. We provide a knife at each table-setting for those customers who prefer eating the meat only. Wagner referred to two cuts, fraldinha and file de frango, a beef flank cut and chicken filet, respectively, that were removed from our menu in August because they did not meet our criteria for quality. Her reference to our "filet mignon" was laughable, because we have never offered it. She did, however, enjoy "chunks of pork wrapped in bacon that were uniquely and amazingly ungreasy." Amazing, indeed, because this was turkey, the same meat she called "overcooked and dry" earlier in the review.
Wagner was extremely critical of our service, which we admit was our most pressing problem in our first months of operation. We continue our efforts to improve in this area and feel that the breakdowns in service she experienced rarely exist now. But nothing, it seems, would have pleased Wagner. She didn't like the uniforms the servers wore, saying they were more like "extras in a Zorro flick" than the original peasant servers. Perhaps we could send someone to her table with mud on his boots and smelling of horse. Now, that's authentic!
Judging from the number of people coming to our restaurant each day and by the thousands of positive comment cards we have received, it's clear that Denver has embraced the Rodizio concept and the foods of the Pampas. (Rodizio, by the way, is an authentic representation of the restaurants from this region of Brazil. I should know, as I was born in Sao Paulo and still spend a great deal of time in my homeland.) Hopefully, the next new restaurant Wagner reviews won't become a victim of her preconceived notions.
Ivan Utrera, president and CEO
Rodizio Restaurants International
Editor's note: The credit-card receipt for Kyle Wagner's Rodizio meal was dated October 8, 1996. For Wagner's response to Utrera and other mail, see page 57.
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:
PO Box 5970
Denver, CO 80217
or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.