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Dear FREEwilliamsburg,

I did a little search on Roy Lanham and found your site. I knew Roy. A wonderful man. He was more than an occasional studio player for The Sons of the Pioneers, he played lead with them for nearly 30 years. This man could play flawlessly anytime you asked, regardless of how much he may have imbibed. You might have had to wake him, though.

One of the classic stories about Roy was after a night playing the Chart House in Burbank, they (Roy, Marianne (his heifer) and his brother Ray) were driving home in their Cadillac when it suddenly caught fire. They pull over, Ray is fanning the fire thinking it would help, Roy gets out and leans up against the railing by the freeway, and Marianne is screaming, "Roy! Roy, your guitar! Get your guitar!" This was one of many custom Fender guitars given to him by Leo Fender himself. Roy simply answered, somewhat confused by her request, "I don't feel like pickin' right now."

I miss him.I had the pleasure of playing with him a couple of times (I play keyboards).

You've got a classic recording. Treat it well.

Steve Azbill

Dear FREEwilliamsburg,

Looking on your site for info about my friends' fund raiser, I stumbled upon the bar reviews.

What you had to say about the Turkey's Nest leaves me unsettled, shocked, and angry. The Turkey's Nest is my favorite bar in New York. The Turkey's Nest may possibly be the greatest bar that ever was. The point I have to make is simple: 72 oz. Budweiser in Styrofoam cup = $3.50.

As a member of the middle class, I would like to say that, although some of us may be "homely," at least we have a place to go and get wasted.

Having been less than a block away from "this dump" on summer afternoons, I ask-- where else is there a side entrance specifically for those thirsty souls who want to take their beverages to go. Where else does the jukebox include Free Bird, Shaggy, Al Green, GNR, Madonna, and Johnny Cash?

Where else will the bartender, having just spilled part of a drink on your
lap, bring over the entire bottle of Wild Turkey for you to keep?

My suggestion to you is to tear up someone else's castle in the sky with
your needle sharp teeth, you vicious wolves.


Just Having Had the Wind Knocked Out of Me

Dear FREEwilliamsburg,

Why don't you folks practice what you preach and cover some local music in your music reviews section... Zero 7 and New Order? give me a fucking break. let Spin cover that... i thought you were about local uplifting... so, why dont you?

i've got a brooklyn based indie instrumental trio called UsVsThem... i also run a brooklyn based record label, LittleFuryThings... cover us instead... you wankers.:)

again, you guys are simply NOT representing like you pretend like you are... Hooverphonic? what the fuck is that shit? why don't you interview some local bands? interview Stereobate! Shoes and Rider! Tin Can Telephone! don't end up like 11211. be true. dont pretend. please.



First of all, we are freelancers, godammit, with the emphasis on FREE. We all have day jobs. This often keeps us from covering everything we would want to cover.

Secondly, why don't you send us your shit for review instead of bitching.

Thirdly, we have covered music by LuLu, Baraka, Misra, Thirsty Ear, and Arena Rock in the past few months. Here are a few articles covering local bands:

Last, you tell us to "practice what we preach." What the hell do we preach?

Please let us know.


Dear FREEwilliamsburg,

Regarding the book, Nickel and Dimed, J Stefan-Cole writes:

"Barbara Ehrenreich is a best-selling writer, a journalist, lecturer
and, as she mentions, in possession of a Ph.D. in biology. She left
behind those credentials and the comforting fruits of her success to
join the minimum wage crowd. She wanted to find out if it was possible
to survive on wages of up to $7.00 an hour."

It's an interesting experiment and it is useful in that those who don't
know the working poor or haven't been among them (e.g., most of the
readers of Harper's magazine, the NYTimes and other publications that
have swooned over Nickel and Dimed) will learn that the minimum wage isn't really a living wage.

One big problem with Ehrenreich's experiment, though, is that Ehrenreich was not actually poor and thus unable to apply for some benefits. There are programs (both government and private) that would have assisted her with housing, paying utility bills, and so forth. But because Ehrenreich's a wealthy writer, she couldn't fully play the role of the working poor person. The upshot is that we get an incomplete picture: maybe the aid would have helped a great deal; or, maybe we would have seen firsthand that aid is hard to get, humiliating, inadequate, and so forth. Too bad.

Moreover, since Ehrenreich has spent the past couple decades doing
research and tapping on her computer's keyboard, it is not surprising
that she finds scrubbing and serving the public painful. Mr. Howell on
Gilligan's Island bitched and moaned when asked to carry a few
coconuts. So her near hysterical depictions of the 'oppressive' job
circumstances ought to be taken in perspective. Yes, working as a
waitress is damned tough (I've bartended, scrubbed toilets, torn tickets at movie theaters, etc.), but it's not a Soviet work camp.

Kevin R. Kosar
Lecturer in Public Administration
Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
New York University

Dear Kevin Kosar,

Thank you for writing. I agree, the nasty facts of minimum wage-living are a well kept secret. The value of Ms Ehrenreich's book is that she challenges us to imagine the life of the working poor.

I don't know how well off she is, certainly not comparable to Gilligan's islander Mr. Howell. She states in the book that she does not employ a cleaning person in her own home. And I did not have the sense that she found hard, repetitious physical labor insulting per se.

She was able to obtain some financial aid through private agencies in the form of food purchase vouchers. But the overall point of her book is that affordable housing shortages are crushing the working poor. And why should a person doing an honest days hard work have to stand in line after hours for a handout in order to eat or pay rent?

The humiliation comes not from the work itself (though it's hard to imagine taking much pride in cleaning toilets all day), but in the inability to fend for oneself even if holding down two jobs. Ehrenreich does not suggest that the working poor exist in a Soviet style Gulag; they are free, though they are also cornered by market place economics. Someone has to clean, and wait tables, and fold shirts at Wal-Mart, but those someones are treated like replaceable screws in a gigantic machine. The folks who lost their savings with the Enron collapse, for example, were not regarded much more highly by their bosses who held all the cards and cheated at the game. It's not just the lack of a living wage that keeps the working poor down, it's the lack of hope, too. The work that needs to be done at the bottom is performed by increasingly desperate but invisible workers living on the insecure economic edge. Regardless of how many credit cards Barbara Ehrenreich holds, her message is clear: you can't make it on the minimum wage.

--J. Stefan-Cole

Dear FREEwilliamsburg,

Whassup yall? I'd like to compliment Maurice for being a true critic. I'm sorry he didn't like the album but at least he didn't do what other "critics" do. You know they try to totally trash something they don't understand. To Maurice I say "maybe next time bro" In defense of my effort I will say this. The album is meant to be more simplistic than my previous works. The album as a whole is a throwback to original,well mixed, head bop hip hop. While it is simple, there is more going on than you notice on just the initial listen. But thanks for not being a dick!
(here's the review)

Dear FREEwilliamsburg,

Great Fugazi review. I mean really great. I too lack faith in everything,
just about, except honesty and truth, and honesty & truth in music
(which is a lot to have faith in, but leaves a lot more out). You said it well,
considering yourself to be pleased to hanging with them at 26. I still
have faith in Fugazi at age 43 to even a greater extent I did at 33. It
stays the same. The Argument catches their developments and takes them to a new and refined level (though there are some meanderings in the mid/later tracksI don't quite latch onto); Furniture's a nice little wail too.


Dear FREEwilliamsburg,

First of all, what the hell are you trying to do? I can just picture you guys as bunch of CMJ-reading, Matador-listening, ex-nerd hipsters who think that someone cares what the hell you have to say just because you learned html. The worst part is that you weren't unpopular because no one liked you or your kind, but just simply because you were socially inept and couldn't carry on conversations with people, as if that gives you the right to make fun of people who watch ESPN.

I'm especially horrified by your music reviews. If you aren't going to bother learning anything about the band and insist on spewing misinformation, don't write a review. I started reading the Reindeer Section review only to read that it supposedly sounds influenced by Belle & Sebastian. I'm not sure what records your listening to, but every damn song was written by Gary Lightbody and basically sounds like a Snow Patrol album with one Arab Strap track at the end. They are also all from Glasgow, Scotland instead of Dublin...don't you think Thin Lizzy would have been in the group if they were Dubliners. You poor foolish bastards.


We're not ex-nerds. We actively practice our nerdhood every day. And we don't make fun of people who watch ESPN, but we do make fun of retards that write assinine letters. As per the Dublin mistake... oops, that was pretty dumb of us.

-- FREEwilliamsburg

Disclaimer from the Editor:
Opinions addressed in Free Williamsburg are not necessarily our own, godammit! HOMESend Us Mail

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Free Williamsburg© | 93 Berry Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
[email protected] | March 2002 | Issue 24
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