Letters

Letters from the week of May 27, 2004

Smart Mormon Misfits
Looking out for No. 1: The column by John Dougherty on Governor Janet Napolitano ("Running Scared," May 13) lightheartedly yet firmly touched on a few key issues I have been keeping up with since moving from Arizona to Colorado late last year, shortly after Napolitano was elected governor.

I read, with great interest, the articles published in New Times about the Mormon enclave in Colorado City ("Bound by Fear,"), about how these misfits are seemingly able to get away with committing crime after crime.

What gives?! Hell, if they were smart Mormon misfits -- who realize that they won't get punished for the crimes they are committing on a daily basis -- they would start up a meth lab or something and have their cronies sell the dope on the streets of Phoenix, Tucson, Salt Lake City and especially Mesa.

All the while, they could take their massive profits from this venture and amass an even larger arsenal than what these fundamentalists claim they already have. This in the hopes of creating an even bigger Waco II, should Governor Napolitano decide to intervene, like her predecessor Janet I did in Texas.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Governor Napolitano and everything she's doing. A human can only do so much, and when your career is at stake, be you the governor of Arizona or a customer service rep for XYZ Company, you're going to ultimately look out for yourself and your well-being.

Because if you don't, who will?!
Joe F. Flores, Denver

That's the Ticket
The costs of doing business: After reading your Revolver column, I feel the need to speak up for Tom Lapenna and the Marquee Theatre ("Small Price to Pay," Brendan Joel Kelley, May 20).

The Electric Ballroom received the same negative feedback from people who did not understand economics. Although we never charged for parking, people complained that beer was $3 a bottle! They complained about the parking lot security. They complained . . . I tried to keep my prices in line (they were lower than at Scottsdale bars) and regularly attracted sellout shows. We were busy.

What I learned was that my pricing was low. We were crushed by attorneys' fees and associated business losses. If I had charged venue pricing (America West charged $6 a beer), or added a ticket surcharge, or anything of the kind, there would have been no money in the bank to fight our battle with the city and state.

God bless Tom for trying to float a white elephant. The costs associated with venues are far in excess of what the average fan could comprehend. Fifteen security guys, six bartenders, waitresses, ticket-booth help, off-duty cops ($25 an hour each) . . . all this probably drives Tom's break-even well into six figures a month.

Add rent, taxes, upkeep, water, power and the like, and it's surreal. Then, realize that national acts take 80 percent of a show's profit! That's right, the promoter keeps only 20 percent -- if there's profit.

There's money to be made, but not what most people think. Music is a passion and a business that pays off in fulfillment as well as money. The problem is that it takes years to see the monetary benefit, and the fulfillment of dreams is dampened by patrons who complain about the effort you give them.

What fans need to understand is they have limited choices because they are not financially supportive of the few venues that do exist. If so much money was being made, there would be more venues and live-music clubs; that's just a fact. Support your venues and clubs and a scene will flourish.
Jim Torgeson, Chandler

Not taking it lying down: I e-mailed Tom Lapenna and Ticketmaster, and even the stupid mayor of Tempe a few months ago about the outrageous parking fees they are charging. I got the same crap out of their mouth that you reported on. I have missed shows at the Marquee because of it. They aren't going to take away the parking fees if people keep attending the shows; everybody must boycott that place.

I would rather pay the ridiculous price of gas to drive down to Tucson to see a band than to give more money to Tom Lapenna so he can get out of debt. It's a monopoly, and the game should end. They should be forced to do away with parking fees, and if they don't, let them go bankrupt.

I hope Ticketmaster goes down, too. I bought two $25 tickets to the Hootenanny in Irvine, California, this July, and it ended up costing me $75 with all the stupid fees! I should have been able to get three tickets for that price! Write another Revolver column, and demand that everyone boycott Ticketmaster and the Marquee.
Jason Stocker, Phoenix

Electro magnet: I just wanted to let you know I thoroughly agreed with your Revolver column on electroclash ("Electro Ass," Brendan Joel Kelley, May 6). Please don't get me wrong, I love my electro, just not electro-clash-trash. Perhaps some electro-break-beat or electro-acid is what I have in mind.

Anyway, there's nothing really wrong with this scene, but it's definitely not for me. The crowd is really too pretentious. When 21-year-old kids who shop at Urban Outfitters have more attitude than me, there has to be a problem! Definitely too many kinds of people trying to be original and hip, and it isn't working out. Is the '80s thing still alive here?

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