Letters to the Editor


To the Editor:

It's true. The Memphis nightclub scene of the 1960s and early 1970s was one swinging affair, and I thought, as far as Chris Davis' story went, it was excellent, nostalgic reading ("The Swinging Sixties," April 15th issue). Bands and singers flocked to the live-music Memphis clubs in hopes of landing a contract at one of the many thriving local recording studios cranking out hits.

One slight correction: Louise Taylor's El Capitan, just yards north of Ernie Barrasso's Club Caesar, was actually the first disco in Memphis.

I was surprised to see Lil Abner's and the Whirlaway left out of the article because both clubs packed 'em in far better than Barrasso and Freddie Alfonso. And Sunbeam Mitchell's Club Paradise had black headline acts the white club owners used to slip in to catch because segregation kept them from bringing black acts into their clubs. It was nothing to see Ike & Tina Turner, Lavern Baker, or Lou Rawls pack 2,000 people into the Paradise.

And lastly, I seem to recall the Memphis Press-Scimitar had a nightclub column, "Memphis After Dark," that prided itself on getting all the breaking news first on the club scene, mainly because the column's writer refused free dinners and drinks.

Bill E. Burk

Publisher, Elvis World Magazine

Celebrate the Possibilities

To the Editor:

Last week, on the nearly vacant block of Main Street between Union and Gayoso, I was among a festive crowd who gathered to hear live music, drink wine, and celebrate the possibility of commercial development in historic buildings.Then, this morning, I took a bike ride downtown.Main Street, from the Cannon Center north to the Greenlaw neighborhood, offers a nearly unbroken vista of empty buildings, parking lots, and grass-covered lots with "For Sale" signs.

Instead of pushing its controversial plan (City Reporter, April 15th issue), let the RDC partner with the Music Commission and Center City Commission to highlight available downtown real estate by sponsoring weekly free food and live music parties in different locations all summer long.I bet a crowd of young, creative Memphians unwinding at a party on a summer afternoon could riff on some better ideas for downtown than what the RDC has paid consultants a million dollars to do.

Drew Long


For Art's Sake

To the Editor:

I was happy to see Bianca Phillips' "Boutique Art" story in the April 15th issue. I would like to encourage the Flyer to keep up the good work and include local visual arts coverage on a more regular basis.

In a city that has as much going on in the visual arts as Memphis, it shouldn't be difficult to showcase an exhibit each week. Visual artists and those who run our galleries and museums must make up a sizable portion of your readers. Please consider having your content better reflect this.

Paul Behnke


Kurt Rejoinder

To the Editor:

The article about Kurt Cobain ("Remembering Kurt," April 8th issue) is terribly written and misleading in a number of ways.

How could a Nirvana "fan" write, "This was a guy who had the guts to mock his own fans ('Here we are now, imitate us')"? The lyric is misquoted, which throws off the premise of the paragraph.The correct lyric is, "Here we are now, entertain us," referring to when Cobain and his friends would arrive at parties.

Dave Grohl (Nirvana's drummer) has confirmed that Cobain suffered from Crohn's disease. But who can argue with the medical diagnosis of the writer? "From his own descriptions of his symptoms, I'm convinced Kurt had gastroparesis, a partial paralysis of the stomach that causes chronic pain and nausea."

Cobain constantly spoke about how little the music meant to his overall life. He didn't kill himself for the music -- any fan knows that: "But maybe Kurt realized the value of quitting while you're on top. ... As he wrote in one of his countless three-ring-binder notebooks: 'I hope I die before I turn into Pete Townshend.' You got your wish, Kurt. You got your wish."

His wish? He put a shotgun in his mouth.

Dave McGuire

Brentwood, Tennessee

Correction: In a story involving the custody case of Anna Mae He in last week's issue ("Court Is Adjourned"), the document signed by Mr. He and Mr. Baker addressing options for leaving Anna Mae with the Bakers was never finalized. Also, Larry Parrish was the first of four attorneys to give closing arguments and only the second attorney hired by the Bakers.

The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.

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