Letters to the Editor

Letters for May 24, 2001

Shake, rattle, and roll: Was Jeff lonesome that night? Your article on Elvis (Bandwidth,May 10) was a waste of space. Whoa, man! On one hand, you're denouncing him as "The King" had logical merit. But you are not the first, or second, or twentieth writer to do so, and frankly I've read better "takes" than your shallow, coffee-talk version.

On the other hand Elvis as the musician, well... you don't know squat, son! You see, Jeff, in the world of music, the voice actually qualifies as an instrument! Strip away his sex appeal and the razzle-dazzle, prefab prelude to MTV, and Elvis is left standing there with one great voice! During recording sessions Elvis the singer worked hard at his craft. No singer to date has worked harder! (Not even that Streisand chick.) Young John Lennon's big inspiration? Quote: "Elvis!" Young Robert Plant's big inspiration? Quote: "Elvis!" Young Jim Morrison was said to have played Elvis records "all night long." Drove his roommates crazy. By the way these singers rate highly on any rock 'n' roll wish list!

Now, I do not believe Elvis is to music what Louis Armstrong is to music. King Louie was in fact King Louie! But in the realm of rock 'n' roll, Elvis's voice was as important as Chuck Berry's guitar, certainly as memorable! No soul? King Creole?! Son -- please! Ask around about Elvis's Sun Records album. It doesn't matter if you've heard it, try asking someone without a tin ear.

Brian Gurrieri
Hollywood

Even Mos Def probably likes that Hawaii flick:First I'd like to address the "marginal talents" issue: Elvis was an honest-to-goodness musician. He could play a guitar, he did write music occasionally, and he could just flat out sing. I don't know much about music theory, but I've read testimonials that Elvis's untrained voice could hit more... octaves or notes... I'm not sure what the appropriate term is... than most classically trained, world-renowned opera singers.

Secondly this writer's credibility with me is ZERO. He listens to Mos Def, who will forever remain in my mind as the rapper whose CD some complete political-activist wannabe buffoon kept trying to push on Al Gore during an MTV town hall meeting. I'm assuming that, with a name like "Jeff Stratton," this guy is white, yet he's listening to and virtually worshiping Mos Def and in the next breath praising a comedy skit that pointed out the absurdity of white America co-opting black culture. Even if he is black, he's trying to push Mos Def, Spike Lee, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard on us -- which would be forcing us to co-opt black culture.

Elvis ushered in something dangerous and rebellious. Britney Spears may be on top now, but does that completely negate all the legitimate rock 'n' roll bands that have been on top or close to it through the years? Does he think Mos Def would have had a forum for his "hate whitey" spiel had Elvis not brought some danger and rebellion into pop music out of the dark ages of Perry Como? If Britney Spears and 'NSync can trace their musical successes' lineage to anyone, it's Paul Anka and the Andrews Sisters, not Elvis. Elvis does not suck -- this writer does!

Chris Hurney
via the Internet

You think Fort Lauderdale beach is bad...:Reading Bob Norman's article on the young man's beating and authorities' indifference ("Beach Beat,"May 3) only emphasizes what I have been saying lately. I live in south Pompano Beach, Lyons Park. This is a demilitarized zone, unpatrolled by any government agency. I realize the Broward Sheriff's Office is ostensibly our protection, but their presence is nonexistent. My six-year-old son came running into the house shouting when he saw a deputy drive by. The sight is so foreign to him that he thought someone was getting arrested.

My neighbor called about a prowler on her front porch by her daughter's window, and when BSO responded 45 minutes later, she was told that she was lucky they were nearby -- lucky to be alive, I say. A drunk driver wanders a six-square-block area for 45 minutes, running through yards, over stop signs, sidewalks, benches, et cetera, while a citizen on a cell phone follows her and describes this to a 911 operator. BSO could not show up.

So, to the young man and his father: We are fast approaching anarchy in the streets. That is: When will we no longer have criminals like "Dreads" running loose? Or an uncaring, corrupt justice system that has devolved into a welfare state of politicians and lazy cops gorging themselves at the public trough?

Jeff Hamilton
Pompano Beach

Got to find somebody to blame:Why is this "Dreads" guy walking around the street? Don't blame the police. It's the liberal judges who keep letting these people out on low bail and giving them light sentences. This is why our streets are filled with crime.

Bob Andrews
Fort Lauderdale

Ad litem has been good to her:I have been a very active guardian ad litem for almost 12 years ("Guardian Gone,"Wyatt Olson, April 26). Advocating for abused or neglected children through the system can be very frustrating but also extremely rewarding. Assertiveness on behalf of the children, seasoned with tact and diplomacy, produces more desired results than brash confrontation.

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