Whoa! Matt Seitz's vehemence re: the Grateful Dead and the movie Tie-Died ["Dead on arrival," April 20] was more bracing than the usual morning cup of coffee, but I fear his passion is untrammeled by much knowledge of the subject.
The parking lot scene around Dead shows has been the source of much of the band's hassles with logistics, locals, and the law and has resulted in the band being banned from many choice venues. That the Dead would be loath to put their seal of approval--in the form of their images and music--on a film that might encourage their fans' more vexatious aspects seems completely understandable to me, a fan since 1977.
Should Mr. Seitz be curious about what the Dead prefer to a vague, structurally flawed, low-budget film on what a party it is in their parking lot, he should check out the PBS special "The Grateful and the Dead," about the charitable donations they make through their Rex Foundation.
The documentary focuses on the numerous grants made to 20th century British avant-garde composers and does feature music, shots of the band playing, and interviews. That the band would rather be remembered for an emotional interview with the widow of a composer who never got to hear his own work performed--work now being recorded thanks to the Rex Foundation--than one with, say, a wall-eyed guy with a nitrous balloon in his hand also seems understandable.
The Grateful Dead are about music, not about the folks who go to see them, and certainly not about a movie about the folks who go to see them. I suspect the root of Mr. Seitz's pique is an unexpressed belief that whenever somebody wants to make a movie, everybody else should fall all over themselves in an effort to assist the wondrous process of filmmaking.
It ain't necessarily so. Get over it.
Editor's note: Matt Weitz is a free-lance film and music critic who writes for the Morning News and The Met.
Great article on Selena ["Myth, martyr, musician," April 20]. What impacted me primarily, having been the token gringo on the Hispanic concerts and events 'round these parts, was the realistic description and state of affairs of Tejano music.
Selena's impact on white boys was growing by leaps and bounds--not to mention the absolute spell she had on the Hispanic community from California to Puerto Rico. The immediate impact of her death to the Tejano crossover music scene is obviously enormous. All over the U.S., TexMex (Tejano) music has now been discovered via the national TV network coverage of her death and funeral and Selena's picture on the cover of People magazine. This is good.
The long term impact...it sucks. As your article stated, Selena absolutely stood head and shoulders over all other Tejano performers. Live and up close, Selena was mesmerizing and completely in control of everything that makes a good musical talent into a great entertainer.
Selena and her family were the genuine article. She was a special talent in many ways, very hard to come by, and most likely not to be repeated in this lifetime. We'll miss her greatly. Thanks again for covering her life and Tejano music in a sensitive and educated fashion.
Because of a reporter's error, the April 20 Buzz column incorrectly reported that a Coppell newspaper, The Citizen's Advocate, is defunct; the column also used a headline that, under the circumstances, was regrettable. The Citizen's Advocate is very much alive. It is another Coppell newspaper, the North Texas Community Journal, that has closed. We apologize for the mistakes.
Last week's cover story about the Dallas mayoral election, "Bad Bunch," incorrectly reported that Mario Casarez, a friend of mayoral contender Domingo Garcia, had spent 30 days in jail and a year on probation for a 1982 charge of driving while intoxicated. In fact, Casarez's jail sentence was probated, and he spent less than a day in jail.
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