Letters From Our Readers

Remark slanders Wunderlin's memory.

I am writing in response to the review written by Bob Bahr in your paper on the local Louisville band Dybbuk, found in the February '93 issue, Volume 5, No. II. In the review of Breakfast T., the band's posthumously released LP, he made a remark about the late guitarist Tim Wunderlin, saying that the lyrical content of the songs mirrored his life, which became too much for him therefore he took his life. This remark is quite offensive to me as a friend of the deceased.

I knew Tim for five years because of my brother Jeremy, who was also in the band. I called him a true friend and I miss him dearly. I find that slandering his memory with a remark that was totally false, for Tim DID NOT kill himself, is totally unjustified and inexcusable. Tim's death was a great tragedy to all who knew him and was, in fact, an accident. The coroner testified to this. To think in any other way is an injustice to Tim's memory. Tim was not one to even think of suicide and even counseled others away from it. He was a person who definitely enriched all the lives of his friends and family and should be remembered for this, not for a lie that has just been perpetuated by a journalist who did not ask, but instead relied on rumors and defamatory lies to fill an article.

Dybbuk was headed for a glorious future until the tragedy, but neither its members nor the friends and family of Tim Wunderlin should have to endure the defamation of his character. I feel that this gross act should be. rectified by you at the paper in a full recantion of the review and an apology in the next issue.

David Podgursky

Bloomington, IN 47406

(I sincerely regret the error. —B0b Bahr.)

Van Kleeck's 'kill the messenger' approach

I can certainly understand the "kill the messenger" approach of Richard Van Kleeck's response to my review of the LPS Beatles Songbook [March, 1993]; if I'd been party to charging 25 bucks a pop for that show, I'd try to shift attention somewhere else, too. Judging from the exit comments by the audience, I wasn't the only one who didn't "get it."

By choosing not to respond to the key point of the review, the effects of televising the LPS and its impact on the live audience, an elitist message is delivered: anyone who dares criticize this series just doesn't "get it," or is unqualified and that the issue of consideration for the live audience is simply unworthy of his attention.

As a long-time and loyal patron of the LPS, I'm appreciative of the superlative musical moments often provided by the series; the intimate connection between performer and audience is precisely what makes the Special so special. Unfortunately, when television is involved, this connection often becomes bent, if not broken. Specific examples include artist anxiety (several multiple takes during the Alison Krauss concert) and removal of floor seats after they had been sold at a premium price (Take 6, second appearance).

I welcome all comments and criticisms of what I write and how I write it. In this case, I hope that some of the energy and emotion spent on Mr. Van Kleeck's response will be redirected to improving the television situation for the live audience. His patrons deserve better.

Michael Campbell

Clark's 'poor taste, ignorance' addressed.

This is in response to [Mark Clark's] review of Stranger Than Fiction's CD, Hipeponymous. I would like to address your poor taste, specifically and your ignorance, in general. first of all let me clarify a few of your brilliant mistakes. Lee Faith is not the guitarist and furthermore, Mr. Triski's guitar solos define pure pop innovation; they 're not quirky.

Don't let me be misunderstood. I'm not angry. It's just that it's beyond belief that you would hurry down doomsday to criticize the best-sounding CD to come out of this town based on the fact that it contains variety. The critics are raving about Mick Jagger's Wandering Spirit precisely because it has variety.

Indeed, in your review you posed the question, "Who are these guys?" as if you were upset that you hadn't been informed of their intentions. Do bands need permission and approval from you before they dare record? Who do you think you are? I suppose you're just not in the mood for moderns.

Perhaps if you (or someone at LMN) stood on a street corner in Okolona near a certain apartment complex, instead of standing on one in Old Louisville, you might hear Randall Hill and Lee Faith composing "mysterious" lyrics.

How can you slam Randall Hill and then mention halfheartedly that this is "as good as anything anybody from Louisville has recorded in a long time"? Reading your comments is like watching a B movie. You have proved, indeed, that you know how to be dumb. I wish you wouldn't have opened your mouth almighty. You wouldn't recognize an invasion hit parade if it stared you in the face. I'm sorry you're a critic, but accidents will happen I should not expect an honest or educated opinion from the goon squad at the Louisville Music News. But clowntime is over and I suggest you take that chewing gum out of your ears.

Oh, yes, about that Elvis Costello review …

P.S. This offer is unrepeatable ...

Mary A. Kennedy

Louisville, KY 40270

(On behalf of the 'goon squad' at LMN, aren't you just a tiny bit angry? —Editor.) Mark Clark was given an opportunity to respond to Ms.

Kennedy.

(Sorry you found my Stranger Than Fiction review less than "Loveable."

Since I knew the band has a strong local following, I "Couldn't Call It Unexpected." But I've always loved getting hate mail, especially hate mail as lively and inventive as your "Dead Letter."

In truth, however, as I think I made clear in my review, I think STF has a great deal of potential. I don't think they're "All Grown Up" yet, but I'll wager "Any King's Shilling" that they'll wind up being one of the best bands going in "... This Town." I wasn't out to "Tramp the Dirt Down" with STF, [but intended] merely to offer an honest critique. I'll sleep the "Sleep of the Just" because My Aim Is True (if you'll pardon the switch to LP titles).

By the way —what DID you think of my Elvis Costello review? —Mark Clark.)

Reviewer should educate himself about realities of television, concert industries.

While in Louisville completing the television post-production on A Beatles Songbook, I read a review of the show, written in [sic] Music News by Michael Campbell [February, 1993]. I was very much surprised by Mr. Campbell's naivete, along with his lack of knowledge about television, the concert business and the music business in general. It is most ironic that he complained about the presence of television at this concert, because it was conceived by the Kentucky Center for the Arts, in association with WNET New York, only as a television project. Had there been no television, Mr. Campbell would have shown up that evening to find nothing in the Whitney but an empty stage.

How does your reviewer imagine special music projects like A Beatles Songbook finds the wherewithal to take place? Altogether there were eight acts on stage whose concert fees range from 10,000 to 30,000 dollars. If Mr. Campbell simply does his math he will realize the Whitney's three thousand seats were not paying for that show. In addition, he said he had paid "top dollar" for seats "up front." That's not possible, because the front rows were discounted for possible obstructions from the pit camera. I find it very questionable for him to knowingly accept an "obstructed view" seat, then publicly complain.

The Beatles Songbook production, along with the Lonesome Pine Specials taped during the summer, are very sensitive about interfering with the audiences' enjoyment. Not only is there a concern here for courtesy, but live performances rarely live up to expectations if an enthusiastic audience relationship is not maintained. I have a feeling Mr. Campbell has never been to a performance where television was truly granted the priority. If he had, he would understand what "the excesses of taping" are – about for under such conditions there so much equipment on the front of the stage one can hardly see the act. Our cam positions on A Beatles Songbook could not have [been] more discreet … only once during the entire three-hour concert did we bring a camera out on stage in front of an act and that was for a mere ten seconds a Buddy Guy solo. (Incidentally, Buddy Guy was not "hustled off" the stage after one song. The producers pleaded with him perform a three song set, but Buddy could only prepare the single Beatles song. Also, Mark O'Conner was not shunned ... he was scheduled to do a full set, but missing his travel connections from Nashville, arrived only in time for the finale.)

Mr. Campbell claims audience enjoyment of this and other recorded events at the Kentucky Center are greatly compromised by the presence of television. When I scan the audience shots on A Beatles Songbook I see nothing supporting this claim people are smiling, applauding, cheering and obviously having an excellent time. The Bomhard Theater seats only 600 people. Again, those seats do not pay for the kind of acts television has been attracting to Lonesome Pine. If Mr. Campbell had his way the Kathy Mattea, the Nigel Kennedys, the Les Tetes Brulee and the Los Lobos would never grace the stage and unique music events like A Beatles Songbook would never be produced in Louisville.

If Mr. Campbell is going to review televised concert performances, he should educate himself about the realities of both the television and concert industries. Then perhaps he will not author such naive poorly informed criticism.

Clark Santee, Television director

A Beatles Songbook

Los Angeles, CA 90060