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I was, until this point, an advocate of Buddy Seigal's jazz-musician alter ego Buddy Blue. So he can't pull in enough people to fill Linda's Doll Hut, and he dumped the best drummer he had last summer; at least he plays some pretty slick guitar licks. Well, these few attributes are not enough to make up for the fighting words he chose for his cowardly Royal Crown Revue review ("How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Royal Crown Revue," Feb. 12). Do I detect a little bitterness? Pretty slimy comments from the Mucus Man. It seems to me that someone who sings flat on a couple of songs here and there (Greazy Jass' "Blues in the Night" and "Pray for Rain," etc.) has no place commenting on the vocal talents of Eddie Nichols.
It is a tragedy that the OC Weekly would publish unsubstantiated, biased garbage. This article was clearly a personal attack based on jealousy, maybe because people still dance to Royal Crown Revue, who can still play at the Derby.
I do recall a certain Buddy Seigal performing some Louis Prima covers as well. Royal Crown Revue did give credit where it was deserved; did Seigal? He'd better do his homework the next time he reviews a band because I know he needs to keep his day job.
-Jenna Beck, via e-mail
Buddy Seigal responds: Jenna, Jenna, Jenna. You don't detect "bitterness"; you detect my cheese-o-meter screaming loudly in offense at Royal Crown Revue's shtick. Music critics by nature tend to critique music-that's why they call us critics and not public-relations hacks. Because I am also a musician, there will always be people who believe my critiques are based on professional jealousy when I write something with which they disagree (funny how no one ever complains about my being a musician when I dole out a great review). In fact, I take extra pains to be objective due to these very suspicions. But people are free to form their own judgments about my motivations-I have no control over that. The issue here, though, was Nichols' voice, not my own, although I plead guilty as charged to singing flat on the songs you mention (nice ear, Jenna!). If you'd like to get a job as a music critic somewhere and trash my next album, please feel free. My review was about the fact that Nichols' voice-and Royal Crown Revue's cartoon shtick-bugs me. That's my honest opinion, period. It was not a "personal attack"; I've never met the man. You've conveniently omitted the fact that I also praised the band and said they kick ass. And just to set the record straight: 1) I've tried to get back to the Derby, but I have been unwelcome as I long ago burned my zoot-suit collection, and I think martinis taste like shit (I guess I'm just not money, babe); 2) I do not now nor have I ever sung a Louis Prima cover; and 3) I have every intention of keeping my day job. I wouldn't trade the opportunity to irritate so many people with so little effort for the whole world.
I congratulate Tim Meltreger for exposing more mind control in Orange County via the Scientologists ("Shock Therapy," Feb. 12). I think parents and educators should ignore the literacy statistics and drug labs that the schools have become. Just because the U.S. ranks third from the bottom in world literacy tests-down there with some poverty-stricken African countries-doesn't mean shit! And the fact that teen suicides have tripled in the past 30 years despite the massive increase in psychology/touchy-feely based programs in the schools doesn't mean anything either.
Of course, if the statistics had been presented by anyone other than the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Meltreger would probably be stomping around saying something has to be done. I liked his last line the best: "[G]iven the public's perception of our failing public schools, it might also be true that desperate parents will listen to just about anyone." Even the OC Weekly, right, Tim?
-John Thomas, Los Angeles
Tim Meltreger responds: Right! And you might do well to do the same, John Thomas (if that is your real name), because in addition to completely missing the point of my story, your rage must have somehow blinded you, preventing you from reading Mike Males' story in the same issue, which cited state teen-suicide figures to be at their lowest point IN MORE THAN 30 YEARS! Apocalypse, how? As for me, I hate to say it, but I agreed with the great godless church: excessive use of psychotropic drugs in our schools is a very serious problem, which, like other problems in our schools, is a direct reflection of ills plaguing our society at large, such as drug abuse, domestic violence and poverty, problems whose solutions require a little more than a dictionary and a copy of Dianetics.