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Cure the system

Thank you for your article about Sicko and the movement for HR 676 ("Sicko's reel change," Metro Times, July 25). We have been working since 2003 to build union support for Conyers' national single-payer bill. We believe that for a national health care bill to pass it must be big, and bold, and beautiful enough to inspire a movement and a nation to fight for it. HR 676 will do that, bringing all medically necessary care to all of us. HR 676 has been endorsed by 292 union organizations in 43 states. Endorsers include 79 Central Labor Councils and Area Labor Federations and 20 state AFL-CIOs. —Kay Tillow, All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care — HR 676, c/o Nurses Professional Organization, 1169 Eastern Parkway, #2218, Louisville, KY 40217, nursenpo@aol.com

 

Just in time

Re: Bill Holdship's first column ("A prodigal son returns," Metro Times, July 25). Good ol' Bill has my dream gig, returning to the city of my birth to tell stories from the front! When I was a child growing up on the west side, when I stayed home from school on sick days, I'd be riveted to another Bill: WKBD-TV afternoon movie host Bill Kennedy. He'd reminisce about his years in Hollywood as an aspiring young actor, his days on the set and nights of drinking at the Formosa with Errol Flynn. Telling tall tales of Flynn's best friend Alan Hale, pointing out the nuances of Hale's great talent, scene stealing, adjusting his belt buckle while Capt. Blood addressed the Queen. Kennedy would shamelessly go into detail, coming out of a commercial, telling where to look for him in the background of the upcoming scene. Of course, when I first visited Hollywood, I had to drive by Western Costume on Melrose, Canter's Deli on Fairfax and the aforementioned Formosa, all famous landmarks in Bill Kennedy's Hollywood.

So, can we expect a regular column from Holdship? The first installment had me riveted, even though I was there for some of it. I know you were asked to leave the Formosa at least once for dancing on the table. —Robert Matheu, Hollywood Calif.

 

Rocket man

A very well-written article about Jim McCarty ("Jimmy McCarty, guitar hero," Metro Times, June 20). As an ex-Detroiter and guitarist, I can say I knew Jim back in his Rockets days, and had been a fan of his since his early stint with Mitch Ryder. It's sad indeed he never got his due — and drummer Johnny B. either.

I left Detroit in 1982, to pursue my music career elsewhere. During Jim's tenure with the Rockets, I lived near him in Sterling Heights, and we enjoyed a few private jam sessions together. He showed me the Strat and Marshall amp he got from Jimi Hendrix (whom he jammed on tape with on "Nine to the Universe").

Jim is a guitarist well-versed in the blues. His record collection consisted almost entirely of the old blues masters. Once when I was visiting him with my young daughter, he asked her what she thought of the Rockets. She wiggled her hand back and forth. He laughed and replied, "Me too!"

Once he came over to hang during a party around 1981, and told me he had recently been at some club in L.A. He said some long-haired kid came over, grabbed his hand and told him what great a guitarist he was, what a big influence he had been on his band, etc. Jim said thanks, then asked him who he was. The kid then replied, "I'm Eddie Van Halen!" Jim told me he didn't know who he was!

Last year I ran into Carmine Appice out here in L.A. at a club. He had come to see a drummer friend of mine, Gregg Bissonette, a guy from Warren who had played with Dave Roth. I didn't know they were friends, so I asked Carmine about Cactus. He said they had recently recorded a new record in L.A., and had just played B.B. King's club in Manhattan. I had no idea! Hopefully they can make a go of this reunion band, as it's long overdue. —John Raquepau, Redondo Beach, Calif.

 

Eat me!

First of all, let me just say that I was very happy to see a review of Cannibal! The Musical (Cinema, Metro Times, July 18). It may be amateurish and it may be silly, but it is hilarious nonetheless.

I just wanted to point out a few things. First, the fake three-minute trailer made by Trey Parker and Matt Stone while in film school was meant to fool potential sponsors into thinking the movie was almost complete. This according to interviews found on the DVD.

And speaking of the DVD, one of its best features (and something theatergoers will miss out on) is the commentary from Trey, Matt and other members of the cast and crew. Although it begins as a bona fide DVD commentary, it quickly turns into a booze-fueled razzing of the movie, and is almost as funny as the movie itself.

Thanks again for reviewing the film, and hopefully exposing a few more people to its greatness. —Clayton Hayes, Detroit

 

You tell 'em!

Once again, Mr. Lessenberry has cut through all the spin and has spoken the truth about Mr. Bush's war ("Bush vs. America," Metro Times, July 11). It is patently clear that America has made an enormous electoral mistake in putting Bush in the White House. It is up to the Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities and halt the reckless misuse of America's military and treasure. Let's not reprise the fall of the Roman Empire. —George Lott, Northville

 

Erratum: In George Tysh's article "Sublime Paperwork" (Metro Times, July 25), artist Dean Carson was incorrectly identified as the programmer of the Kinotek Film Society. Otto Buj organized and programmed that alone from 1991 to 1996. Later, Carson was the assistant programmer.

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