Letters from the week of May 9, 2002

Lotto Luck 

Letters from the week of May 9, 2002

Thanks a slot: As a Kansas City, Kansas, resident, I want to say thanks for Mark Kind's article backing an Indian casino in downtown KCK (Kansas City Strip, May 2) and thanks for your other stories, which have shown your newspaper has an interest in writing about KCK.

Our downtown is dark and desolate at night, while the Kansas governor and a Kansas U.S. senator combine with The Star to fight to keep it that way. Nice to see the Pitch is on our side.
Bob Friskel
Kansas City, Kansas


Food for Thought
Eat at Joe's: In his article about Gilbert's Wood-Fired Steaks ("No Regular Joe's," March 7), Charles Ferruzza mentioned that Joe Gilbert "died in 1982 at the age of 84." Ferruzza has the age correct, but not the year. Gilbert died on September 29, 1983; I believe he was in Europe on vacation. I worked for Gilbert/Robinson then, and on my first day of work at Plaza III, he came in and knew me by name, all of my family members and also where I went to school. He was a very special person who cared for everyone.

Here are Mr. Joe's Nine Commandments: 1) Thank people who do good things -- even if they're not doing them directly for you. Take time each day to write notes to those who deserve a pat on the back. 2) Take time to talk to those you work with each day. 3) If someone has a problem, really listen before you give an answer. 4) Fill your life so full of positive that there is no room for the negative. 5) Remember: The company is only as good as the employees. 6) When you make a mistake, don't dwell on it. Instead, ask yourself: What have I learned from it? 7) Don't ever stop seeking ways to grow and help others. 8) Have confidence in those you work with -- and express that confidence regularly. 9) Don't verbalize your problems to the world. Be so full of the concerns of others that you don't have room for burdening them with yours.
Michael H. Winkler
Shawnee


Song of Roland
Original spin: I have to applaud the Pitch for trying to make something important out of nothing (Danny Alexander's "Record Skip," April 25). DJ Roland wore out his welcome playing past-its-prime music in clubs that don't care about nurturing underground music.

He laments about things getting slow because he was beating a dead horse with his brand of trance. People got bored of his music. Did he really have anything to do with getting Sasha and Digweed here? They came here because Oakenfold did well here. Also, what the hell was he talking about when he mentioned being in the scene, yet missing the scene? Aren't cutting-edge pioneers supposed to have their finger on the pulse of what is going on?

Speaking of DIY, wasn't Pretty Hate Machine on a large label, and didn't Trent have a producer on that album? He also forgot to mention that he got the Granada gig after he undercut Ray Velasquez after Ray helped him get a job there doing the lights. Please let him disappear like he needs to do. He knows he wore out his welcome. Make room for the innovators of new music, and please quit writing about irrelevant people.
Dedric Moore
Kansas City, Kansas


Ray gun: After leaving Kansas City for New York in 1999 to further my commitment to advanced music and culture as a professional DJ, I've occasionally received e-mails from Kansas City music-scene faithfuls distraught over the sad state of their beloved scene.

The latest outcry is the result of "Record Skip." The Pitch refers to Brent "DJ Roland" Stover as "one of the scene's leading local pioneers." What exactly has he pioneered that hadn't already been done before with greater depth and lasting relevance?

The Pitch suggests that Roland's "ascent paralleled the rise of the dance DJ." Roland's professional club career essentially began in 1995 -- a full eight years after the advent of Chicago, Detroit and Manchester acid-house and techno scenes -- when I hired a down-on-his-luck Brent Stover as a lighting technician at Mondo Disco, my Friday-night party at the Granada. Within days, Roland staged a coup that put an end to Mondo Disco, which had featured performances by Moby, Deee-lite's DJ Dmitry and Doc Martin, and introduced local clubgoers to the then-emerging styles of jungle/drum 'n' bass, trip-hop and progressive house. Roland's "popular Thursday-through-Saturday sets" began as a Top 40 Friday night which evolved into a watered-down attempt at capitalizing on the ground broken by Mondo Disco.

We must not exalt nor exaggerate the degree to which Roland has contributed to the scene but rather examine just how much he may have held it back with uninspired sets, dime-store DJ rhetoric and his collusion with KC nightlife's "axis of evil" -- the Hurricane, XO and the Granada. Perhaps Roland's perceived humility, thoughtfulness and lack of motivation to continue may actually be the manifestation of a guilty conscience.
Ray Velasquez
Brooklyn, New York

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