I must say, I have been reading Metro Times a lot more lately. You guys had a great article on Dave Gilbert of the Rockets ("Rocket to the crypt," Metro Times, July 31-Aug. 6) a few issues back and now Grand Funk ("Still in a Grand Funk, Metro Times, Aug. 14-20)! Yes! This is the kind of stuff I love to read! Granted, I am a die-hard classic rock fan (favorite station is, of course, WCSX), but I love when you guys write about true Detroit-rooted "stuff." I was really getting sick of all the "alternative" crap you guys publish. I do, however, understand that much of your reading public is in to that, but not me, nor are a lot of people I know. Just wanted to say "thanks" for not forgetting where a lot of great rock ’n' roll began! —Cheryl Bozarth, firstname.lastname@example.org, Romulus
Please let me preface this letter by expressing the high regard and esteem that I hold your paper in. It is a rare gem in the cityscape of Detroit, and one that I look to every week for informative, entertaining and provocative pieces. Now let me get to the bitching.
It is because I put the Metro Times on such a high pedestal that I am so disappointed by the amount of space that I've come across as of late that you've devoted to fluff. The Rockets? Grand Funk Railroad? I will concede that a certain amount of space for bands such as these is forgivable, but enormous cover stories depicting drug and ego-fueled descents that these bands, footnotes in rock history at best, have elicited from this paper is enough to make a music fan queasy. Additionally, the tales of petty squabbles and me-first mentality are enough to make a dedicated musician like myself seriously reconsider a life in the music industry.
I'm not interested in reading the stories of the countless performers who sought not to make any significant contribution to the overall music community, but to play Pine Knob, get girls and score whatever drugs were fashionable at the time. Let's read about the bands who faded into obscurity because they were trailblazers the public was not ready for — not because they blew all of however much potential they had on arguments over cover art and how long the guitar solo should be on their next contender for hit single.
Leave the fluff to the other papers. I want to see the articles of substance and significance I've come to expect from Metro Times continue to flow. —Nathan Burgundy, email@example.com, Milford
Future of the Book
I read your article on the state of the Book Cadillac ("The Book’s next chapter," Metro Times, Aug. 14-20) with some interest. The preservationists may have strong feelings about the need to mount a campaign to save the venerable building, but the simple fact is the building has been vacant for 18 years (the old Statler even longer).
Personally, I am tired of pie-in-the-sky plans for a building that is now one of many horrible eyesores on the downtown landscape. This is a building that is going to take $100 to $150 million to renovate; where is the financing going to come from? Hotel financing is virtually non-existent, and while tax credits may be available for rentals-lofts is there a demand (and again financing) for such a development?
I have been a downtown booster for years, but at some point we have to be honest with ourselves. The Campus Mauritius project and the pearl-spoke development plans are far more practical and centrally located — and the developers cannot get a single tenant for any of the proposed buildings, any retail or any hotel operators, to commit. What we are left with so far are two underground parking lots with no buildings. At least that is better than what was standing there before — a desolate Kennedy Square and the hulk of the Hudson's Building.
I am all for preservation. But I favor reality checks. Either the building can re-developed with evidence of hard financing or it should be torn down. Another five years of this type of desolation is even more depressing than a vacant lot. —Eric Lipsitt, Detroit
Now just what would you do without the opines from my favorite award winning journalist, Jack Lessenberry. Always truthful, timely with a lesson to be learned. Lastly, even after continual colossal bungling under her realm, you don't expect Jackie Currie to do the right thing and retire ("A primer on the primary," Metro Times, Aug. 14-20). With the number of less than sterling retreads who manage to made it back on the ticket for November and the obvious sluggishness of Detroit voters, sadly I suspect business and politics will be as usual. Jack — regardless how hard you may try, you can't preach to a choir perpetually singing off key.—Rosetta Brooks, Detroit