By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
It is sad to see the anger in Mr. Rogers' letter. He seems to be commending club owners who are out of business because they paid bands. Paying a band its fair market value is a must to stay in business. If you stiff too many bands, no one will book with you. If you overpay, most certainly you will perish.
Although I have not seen eye to eye with Franco over the years, one thing can always be said: He paid enough bands enough money to have a profitable business for the better part of two decades. He also gave thousands of musicians memories of playing (paid or not), which is something that cannot be bought.
Hopefully, someone will continue the underappreciated job he held for so long and at least have a stage and PA for struggling musicians. Love him or hate him, he has been a fixture in this town of revolving dance clubs and closing live music venues.
For Mr. Rogers, it is better to have played and not been paid than to never have played at all.
Brian Smith said in his column about the Mason Jar that he has "seen some brawls" in his time at the club. He fails to mention that one of those brawls involved him and Franco! Seems he was miffed that Franco was once again the greedy cheapskate and tried to rip off Brian's band, Beat Angels, when they did a charity show there for a friend who had been killed. So why is he waxing nostalgic about that greedy, Mr. T-starter-kit-wearin', bad-nappy-ass-hairpiece-wearin' son of a bitch?
Name withheld by request
Coke, guns, whores, drunks and junkies are all things I avoid. But the Mason Jar is a nice hole in the wall where I have seen 30 to 50 shows, primarily death metal, but also bands like Flotsam & Jetsam or Doomsday. To associate death metal with coke, guns, whores, etc., would be like trying to associate professional baseball with sunburns, expensive parking, and getting an object thrown at you at 100 miles per hour. The relationship is there, but it is a stretch, and a cause-effect relationship would most certainly be denied.
I have no idea why the author decided to include death metal as opposed to hip-hop, punk rock or gothic music. If anybody believes death metal promotes drug addiction or murder, he has his head up his ass. Death metal has more to do with human suffering than anything else. If lack of popularity or marketability keeps death metal in the trenches of the music industry, I don't doubt that somebody will again attempt to write it off in such a manner filled with blatant bigotry as Brian Smith did.
My daughter, a fifth-grade honor student at Scottsdale's Pueblo Elementary, attended kindergarten and the first part of first grade at Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary in Nogales ("Habla Di, Habla Da, Strife Goes On," Michael Kiefer, March 23). Upon moving to Scottsdale, we discovered that my daughter was working at or above the level of her Pueblo first-grade class in all areas except spelling. I believe Annette Barber and her superb teaching staff at Coronado Elementary should be commended for doing a marvelous job of fighting the uphill battle of educating children who speak either of two languages in the same classroom.
During open houses at Coronado Elementary, I can remember hearing parents ask the teachers (in Spanish) to evaluate how well their children were doing in English. I have no memory of hearing any parent complain that their children needed additional academic help in Spanish. In Nogales, in all border communities, children of all grade levels are being enrolled in American schools. By and large, their parents want them to learn English, to receive an American high school diploma, to be (in the truest sense) American. Educating children in Spanish would certainly be a way to be sure that certain fundamental skills are mastered. It would ensure that the older Spanish-speaking children enrolled in the American schools would at least be able to function in their own culture. But, in an English-speaking society, can an education in Spanish truly be considered an "equal" education? I think not.
Marcia Givens Dudley
Had to laugh at the extreme hype that was written about local band Victims in Ecstacy ("Driven to Ecstacy," March 30). The writer, Leigh Farr, is either (a) a groupie, friend or family member, or (b) gullible to believe in the band members' delusions about themselves without doing the proper research to verify their claims.
She claims "the band recently appeared briefly on MTV's Fanatic. No, the "band" did not appear on the show, its bass player did when he and his girlfriend schemed to pretend they were fans of boy band 98 Degrees to get on TV. The show had nothing to do with Victims, nor were they even mentioned once. So this "claim to fame" should not even be on their r'sum' of accomplishments! She kept referring to them as "rock stars"; sorry, but "rock stars" don't "live in a flat the size of a cardboard box," "work in record stores," or drive daddy's car around town. As far as "earning" airtime on the local radio stations goes, all one must do to "earn" this time is have a good recording, and most of the "local rock" radio shows will gladly play it without prejudice. Opening up for "national" (has-been) bands? Easy! Just prepay Franco (the Jar czar) for 30 to 50 tickets, whether you actually sell them or not, and you've got yourself a deal!