In response to Serene Dominic's December 3 article "Kiss the Culprit," I have been an avid reader of Scene for the past twenty years. Scene has done an incredible job serving the music industry in Cleveland, and I fear all of your hard work may be taken away with articles like this one. Instead of rolling out the red carpet and welcoming Kiss, one of the most successful rock and roll bands in the world, they are slammed when they come to the so-called Rock and Roll Capital of the World. (Not for long, with welcomes like this one.) I am not sure if this is a cheap and trashy way for a writer to get noticed, but I am sure you will get an earful from the Cleveland area rock and rollers on this.
I believe that Scene has much higher standards and has proven so in the past. I am viewing this not only as a fan of music but as a local rock musician. This looks bad for Cleveland fans and the local music industry. A major rock act like Kiss comes to town and their names, marketing tactics, and songwriting abilities are all questioned and put down. Being a guitarist myself, I can personally say that, conservatively, at least 75 percent of all rock musicians I know are in some way influenced by Kiss. Just because a writer does not like Kiss, their marketing techniques, or products does not mean he should slam one of the most popular bands in the world! If you don't like it, it costs too much, or [you] cannot afford it, don't buy it! Have some respect, if not for Kiss, for the city of Cleveland.
Scene has done amazing things to help support local talent in this town in the past, and I believe corrective actions should be taken when national acts come to town in the future, so our support will be there. I appreciate the right to free speech in this country, but not when it comes to making my town and the music business in this town look like a joke.
Loving the Wallet Dippers
Oh my god! This is one of the funniest, well-written articles I have read in a long time! I am a huge Kiss fan, but they certainly do their darnedest to dip into my wallet at every turn. Hey, I'm not complaining (much). I love the guys, and I'll play the sucker to their P.T. Barnum act and keep shelling out bucks for their stuff. I said recently to a friend of mine, "Why don't the guys in Kiss just come over to my house and physically take my money?" He replied, "That's the thing ... They don't have to."
The Neglect of WKHR
I enjoyed reading your story about WKHR-FM ["The A-Train Stops Here," December 3] but a few clarifications need to be made. WKHR signed on the air in May 1977 as a 10-watt broadcast facility. While JoAnn Molter was a wonderful station manager in the late 1980s, she did not start the station. That honor goes to Dr. Marilyn Teague, an English teacher. Marilyn actually created a language arts program that incorporated literature, writing skills, and psychology with photography, filmmaking, radio, and television. I joined the staff in 1979 and guided the station for the next decade.
The current format began as Sentimental Saturdays. The idea was to get the community involved in the operation of the station with a big band and show tune format. Later it was expanded to include programming during the week. As the 1980s came to an end, money became tight in the Kenston schools. Two misguided administrators decided to end the academic classes that used WKHR as a language arts laboratory, despite an enrollment of 140 students. Academic classes have never returned to the facility. The adult volunteer group operating the station saved it from going off the air completely when the school was ready to pull the plug. [Station manager] Mr. [Chris] Kofron is doing an admirable job of teaching his course, but the current student involvement at WKHR is a mere fraction of what it was in the past.
Andrew L. Kenen, teacher
Kenston High School
Scene's Manhood Questioned
All right, guys, you're really starting to get on my nerves now. It wasn't enough for you to change your mag to this lame-ass format, but you still have idiots writing for you. I just finished reading Andy Klein's review of American History X ["Short Takes"]. This is a movie I believe all people should see, no matter what race they are. Klein called the movie a manipulative, shallow, and bludgeoning experience. He also said the director tried to bully the audience with depictions of rape, killing, and savage beatings. Listen, jackass, he didn't try to bully anyone. The movie is about life! These are things that are really going on. Maybe you don't see them in this city. Maybe it's because you live in the suburbs, I don't know. But when Spike Lee and John Singleton used the same approach in Malcolm X and Higher Learning, I didn't hear the ignorance coming out of reviewers' mouths like I heard from yours. Wake up, Andy, take a look around. Hell, man, watch CNN or even Fox 8. It's really happening. I'm not saying I agree with it, but the stuff is going on. There's racial ignorance all around us. Only we can stop it.
I know you guys don't have the balls to print a letter like this, so please at least let that fool Andy read it. And if you guys do print it, I'll tip my hat and never bitch about Scene again.