his t-shirt demonstrates the breadth of his linguistics

Fire Marshall Beck

I received the following missive the other day from

Marshall "Fucking" Beck

, from local metal band


. Beck and my paper — Michele Laudig in particular — have had some


in the past year, mostly because he encouraged his fans to write to Michele calling her shit like "cunt" because she didn't care for his music (and neither did the metal-loving freelancer she forwarded his CD to. I corrected his spelling for him (are all metalheads half-illiterate? I hope not), but this is what he said:

Alright fellas for one I know we are not on good terms. I have publicly slammed you and you have publicly slammed me. What I am writing to you about does not concern me, but the Arizona music scene as a whole across all genres. Last night the fire Marshal of Tempe strolled into Madhouse records and told them that they could no longer host shows in their gigantic warehouse because it did not have enough exits. Now normally I myself could care less that a venue in town was being shut down. However, Madhouse records treated the bands with the utmost respect and paid them all extremely well for their services. They provided shows for touring bands that were not otherwise able to get gigs here in town and allowed bands that didn't even draw that many people to play within their walls. If two more doors are built in the warehouse Madhouse can start having shows again, the only problem is they cannot afford this at this point in time. For Madhouse records to be unable to host shows is a monumental loss to the fans, bands, and promoters within the Arizona music scene. I know you guys have the power to do something about this as you are the most read free newspaper in Arizona. I am not writing you guys this message to receive credit for pointing this out, nor do I care too. I am writing you this email because something needs to be done and fast. They have already had to cancel more than 10 shows over the next month because of this bullshit. I do not like, nor do I get along, and have even lashed out at the majority of the venue owners in this town for the way they treat their bands. For this I am told I have become the most controversial mother fucker in the Arizona music scene. The fact that I am stating that I get along with and agree with how the owner of Madhouse records treats the bands should speak louder than a thousand ass-kissing mouths. Please do something about this or the Arizona music scene will definitely suffer a great loss. -Marshall Beck

Alright Marshall, here's what I think: I'm not familiar with Madhouse records, which means its probably not that great of an asset as a local venue; but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, because we need good venues in town, and maybe that joint's just coming into its own. Who knows? My point is that ALL venues in town have to comply with the fucking fire codes, there's nothing you can do about it, and that's something that prospective venue owners should scope out BEFORE they open a venue. Fire marshals are at venues all the fucking time, and everyone has to comply with their shit, whether its fire code for the amount of doors there or going over the place's capacity. It's a fact of life for venues and their management. What, do you want another Great White situation going down here in Phoenix? That shit, other than the stupid-ass pyrotechnics and flammable sound-absorption material, is why so many people died. They couldn't get out of the fucking place.

Anyway, you want to do something productive, start raising money so they can build the two new doors. That's the simple solution, and as much of an asshole as I think you are, I wish you and the venue good luck with that. And, by the way, when you want help from me, my company, or anyone else affiliated with New Times, apologize for the jackassedness you displayed dealing with Michele, one of the most talented writers on our staff.

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