I was blown away by the Rolling Stones' concert at the FedExForum, and I was blown away by Jackson Baker's incisive review (The Bang's Still There," December 8th issue).
The essence of the Stones is that they always deliver the goods, and this concert was no exception. Mick Jagger is an unrelenting force of nature. And the music was incredibly tight and energetic.
After more than 40 years of performing and recording rock-and-roll classics to the delight of millions of fans, the Stones are indeed a way of life.
Memphis Thanks, Tennessee
I hope that this finds all of you doing well. My wife Bonnie and I are from Katrina-stricken Mississippi, and we want to let the nice people of Memphis and Tennessee know how much we appreciate all that has been done for us!
As musicians who were scheduled to perform all over your beautiful state the week of the hurricane, we were able to play our dates, see some of the world's most beautiful scenery, and meet the nicest people anywhere. Thanks again, and Merry Christmas! We love you.
Bobby and Bonnie Hathorn
Having been an employee at the Juvenile Court during the time when former clerk Bob Martin retired and former clerk Shep Wilbun was appointed by the County Commission, I am somewhat familiar with the events that transpired before, during, and after Wilbun's tenure.
I find some of the comments Wilbun made to Jackson Baker curious, to say the least ("Getting It Back Together," December 8th issue). Wilbun was quoted as saying, in response to the father of the young lady in question, that "There was no proof, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt that something had transpired." Seems to me that what that really means is that Wilbun felt Mr. Catron was indeed guilty of "inappropriately touching" the young lady.
But in the very next paragraph, Wilbun seems to have a change of heart about the validity of the claims leveled by the young lady's father. Wilbun states that "[Catron] was entitled to the presumption of innocence. Wilbun is in the proverbial position of wanting his cake and eating it too. First, he presumed that Mr. Catron was guilty and then he claims to have afforded Catron the presumption of innocence, which allowed Catron to continue receiving a payroll check for a month. I wonder how hard it is to balance on the fence, as Wilbun does. Perhaps that's why he still has yet to admit any wrongdoing whatsoever on his part.
If anyplace in the United States should be familiar with the term "carpetbagger," it's Memphis. Moving the King Biscuit Blues Festival to Memphis is a classic example of the imposition and co-opting of someone's culture without regard to its heritage. Where was the Performa company 20 years ago when the folks in Helena, Arkansas, conceived of and created the festival? Where was Performa through the many years of struggle for funding, trying to keep the festival alive and free of charge?
Performa's John Elkington now would like us to believe this fine festival belongs on Beale Street. The Blues Foundation and Living Blues should be outraged and doing everything in their power to alert the blues community to this gross injustice. Those of us in the blues community should boycott the effort of Performa and the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau to attempt to co-opt the King Biscuit Blues Festival.
David D. HorwitzTucson, Arizona
Old and new
Thanks to Mary Cashiola for "Broke and Building" (In the Bluff, December 22nd issue), in which she quoted Superintendent Carol Johnson as saying, "We're bringing the old with the new, so it won't feel like a brand-new building."
That's character. Emerson said: "Character is adroitness to keep the old and trodden round, and power and courage to make new roads to new and better goals."
As Cashiola beautifully concluded: "Hopefully, MCS is paving the way for the future, not just throwing away money on the past."
Have a New Year filled with much happiness.
Editor's note: Same to you, Arthur. And to all of you Flyer readers as well. See you in 2006!