Hey guys, let's lay off Robert Hilburn, OK? I mean, thee are far worse perpetrators of dreck in Calendar. For my money, the worst of the lot is restaurant critic Colman Andrews, who should be horsewhipped within an inch of his life for subjecting us to his unctuous dissertations on food and using his bad French at every opportunity.
At least Hilburn is limited to a few overworked adjectives. But with Andrews, we've got to wade through the "suitably opulent" tableware, the "wonderful" green beans, the "stunning" cheeses, and even (God help us) a "gloriously simple roasted baby pigeon."
To tell you the truth, the idea of this fat little whelp stuffing his face in restaurants the world over makes my skin crawl.
And if you stop to consider, the whole restaurant critic gig is a bit odd. I mean, I'm no psychiatrist, but for a person to actually spend any considerable portion of his life thinking about food--well, there's got to be some sort of sexual sublimation going on.
Besides, anyone who, as Andrews apparently does ("A French Find That Makes You See Stars" Jan. 13), dreams about a plate of raw, marinated salmon, has got to be a little weird, n'est pas?
OTIS H. PETTIGREW Sherman Oaks HILBURN'S VISION As dedicated Calendar Letters readers, we find ourselves exhausted by the unrelenting venom directed each week at poor Robert Hilburn (Calendar Letters, Jan.-Dec.). Who are these people?
Granted, Bob has his excesses (comparing Springsteen to everyone ), but nevertheless, Hilburn consistently recognizes those performers with clear artistic vision, differentiating between the true entertainers who combine intelligence with energy and musical talent and the bubble-gum rockers concerned only with record sales and MTV stardom.
Hilburn celebrates the very few musicians (Springsteen, Elvis Costello, U2, etc.) who entertain as well as comment upon social and personal issues. Give Hilburn a break--he's usually right. LISA MITCHELL LAURA JEHL San Diego
Robert Hilburn is to objectivity what Pia Zadora is to Shakespeare. CHERYL THOMSON Los Angeles NIGHTCLUBBED Regarding Leonard Feather's article on the future of jazz in 1985 ("Will It Stay Alive in '85?," Jan. 6), it was interesting to read about Ruth Hoover's (owner of Carmelo's) pessimism on the subject.
About two months ago my husband and I went to see a singer at Jax's in Glendale. It was crowded and noisy. A few weeks later we saw the same artist at Carmelo's, which was spacious and quiet.
But we won't be returning to Carmelo's.
Why? Jax had extremely good service with polite and friendly people that were genuinely interested in making us happy. That more than made up for the bad acoustics. Carmelo's had a high cover charge, very expensive drinks and, worst of all, hostile waitresses who forced the two-drink minimum down our throats.
Yes, we will be selective about where we spend our dollars. We always have been. Perfect sound quality I look for in records; clubs should strive for good sound quality but above all, pleasing the customer. It's not just the quality of jazz that's keeping clubs empty, it's simple business tactics of pleasing the customer.
Perhaps that is something jazz club owners should contemplate in 1985.
KRISTINE A. KARTER Los Angeles THE FOGERTYS To set the record straight, I love my brother John's album, especially "The Old Man Down the Road." I'm proud of him and I know his record will be a big hit.
However, I totally disagree with John's negative feelings about Fantasy Records ("Fogerty's Nightmare Is Over," by Robert Hilburn, Jan. 6).
I'm signed as an artist to Fantasy Records (with a new album coming out in March) and I have the best artist/label relationship that could possible exist. I trust both Saul Zaentz and Ralph Kaffel (manager and president of Fantasy Records, respectively) to the max. I've known Saul for 21 years now and I love him like a brother. TOM FOGERTY Flagstaff, Ariz.
As a member of the band Hard Luck Boy, I opened some six concerts in the southwest for Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969.
It was with great interest, therefore, that I read Jon Matsumoto's article "Where Did the Rest of Creedence Go?" (Jan. 6). It was also no surprise to find that Stu Cook and Doug Clifford retain their overinflated opinions of their contributions to CCR's success.
Fifteen years ago, Cook and Clifford failed to realize that John Fogerty was CCR, and they were merely along for the ride. Sadly, time has not freshened their perspective. It will, however, verify Fogerty's talent. ROBERT BRINK Ontario HONEST LAWYERS The letter by William Sherwood ("Righting Copywrongs," Jan. 6) was most interesting. Whether or not he is correct in his interpretation of the law, I do not know, but his gratuitous insult to the legal profession in the last paragraph of his letter cannot go unanswered. He suggests that finding honest lawyers is, in itself, "an investigative project."
Apparently, he feels that finding an honest lawyer is a difficult proposition. I maintain that that is not so. An overwhelming number of attorneys are, indeed, both honest and competent. To find an honest lawyer presents no difficulty at all.
Since Sherwood apparently either lives or works in Pomona, I invited him to come to our Superior Court branch in that city and introduce him, in just one day, to hundreds of honest lawyers. BURTON BACH Judge, Superior Court KING CHUCK About King Charles II of Spain-- No, wait a minute. Don't run away. It's all right--I'm a native!! Listen:
About King Charles II of Spain. We all know now that this guy's got what it takes: star quality. And we all know that the Letters Page needs an annual award just like every other Calendar feature has (except maybe the stereo ads).
Let us therefore have the annual King Charles II of Spain Awards, bestowed duely upon the writer and subject of the letter that most influenced the course of the Letters Page for better or worse during the year. The Calendar year.
All I want is a place at the banquet table. BRENT C. DICKERSON Los Alamitos 'COTTON' PICKIN' With so much attention and research lavished on "The Cotton Club," why did Francis Coppola allow the fictitious title "Gypsy Love" with the names of Kay Francis, Dick Powell and Dolores del Rio, to appear on a background movie theater marquee?
The only movie in which these three players appeared was the 1934 release, "Wonder Bar," which toplined Al Jolson and also starred Del Rio, who is billed under the title in Coppola's movie.
ALEX GORDON Film Historian, USC BRITMANSHIP It certainly was interesting to see how much those British journalists' music reviews differed from the snippy, whining and uninformative tirades we get from Bob Hilburn ("Rockin' 'n' Rollin' With America's New Breed," by Robert Hilburn, Jan. 5).
The British writers managed to inform the reader of the musical content, the relative quality of musicianship and the social significance, if any, without either maliciously slagging a heavy-metal band in a way that's completely unrelated to the subject at hand, or mentioning either Springsteen, Prince, Elvis Costello, or (yes, friends, he's still at it) X.
Hilburn ought to spend a little more time with those English periodicals, or at least publish their names so we can stop reading the same sermon every day and actually start learning something about the records he's supposed to be discussing.
JARED CUSHMAN Los Angeles