'Fifth' Beatle remembered
Re: "Producer Rescued the Beatles From Obscurity" by Randy Lewis, March 10. The late George Martin was a great producer, arranger and musician. It is obvious that he had a huge influence on how the Beatles sounded. But Martin's greatest contribution to the band was encouraging John Lennon and Paul McCartney to challenge each other and engage in a good-natured competition. The results of that "competition" were historic. Martin was always of the opinion that if Lennon hadn't been killed in 1980, he and Paul (and possibly George and Ringo) might've given it one more try. That was something Martin would've loved to have seen.
What a great write-up on Sir Martin. I also loved his orchestrations. Especially on the "Yellow Submarine" album, and when his dreamy, lush, sometimes silly and scary tracks came on I ate them up.
Your last line in the appreciation brought tears to my eyes. Good night, indeed.
Thank you, Sasha Frere-Jones, for "Studio Magic was His Forte" [March 10]. Martin stamped his influence on the Beatles' music from the start, helping transform "Please Please Me" from a slow, somber song into an up-tempo, joyful masterpiece that became their first No.1 hit. Martin was one of the most important and talented producers in music history.
Stephen A. Silver
For all the coverage you gave us on the passing and career of music producer George Martin: Thank you. Thank you times five. George, John, Paul, George and Ringo.
I get pretty fussy about how people write about favorites of mine who have died — I expect the writers to know more than the surface facts. In your case, you are spot-on in grasping the importance of George Martin to the Beatles' music, fully deserving the front page of the Los Angeles Times.
DJ legend Tuna gets his due
Thank you for your detailed article on the passing of Charlie Tuna. ["Charlie Tuna Dies at 71: Los Angeles Radio Legend" by Randy Lewis, Feb. 29] As you indicated, he was a legend in L.A. he was also a huge influence on thousands of DJs across the country for decades.
What about Herman Wouk?
I have been waiting for your review of Herman Wouk's new book, "Sailor and Fiddler." Do you plan to review it? Wouk is one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century and is still writing at age 100. Please correct this oversight and give Mr. Wouk his due.
Downtown's pricey rebirth
Re: "Its Arts Roots" by Carolina A. Miranda, March 13
Yes, downtown is booming. My friend, a fellow painter, says there is a studio apartment available in his building for $1,900. It's at a discount because it's an interior unit. But just around the corner is Grand Central Market, where you can get a black-and-white cookie at Wexler's Deli for $4.50 — or a $16 pork chop at Belcampo Meat. Too bad I sold only one painting at my last show — for $1,800 with a net of $810 after the gallery took their 55%.
A rich take on Tony Robbins
In writing about the Tony Robbins film ["He Can Spark a Drive to Thrive?" March 14], Steven Zeitchik suggests that people might be happier and more connected and we might have fewer social ills if more people could fly to Florida and attend Robbin's $5,000 workshop. I say better yet, if people had $5,000 to use to improve their life they would be happier, better able to address their issues and connect more readily to their family, friends and community. The money wouldn't solve all their problems of course. This program is only for the rich, and I was surprised Zeitchik neglected to emphasize that.
Pine Mountain Club
I got a big laugh after reading the article on Tony Robbins. In case you critics want to take Robbins up on his challenge, you have to fork over $5,000 at the door to get in. His "seminars" can draw about 2,500 people. Let's see, $5,000 times 2,500 — about $12.5 million. To accuse Robbins of being a "snake oil salesman" is definitely unfair to snakes.