Love/Hate Mail 

Better barbecue, better river

Better barbecue, better river

This thing between Memphis and Nashville has been going on since Nashville stole the state capital from Memphis back in the 1800s (“Nana-Nana Boo-Boo,” April 18). It’s like when you waited until you turned 16 to get your granddad’s pickup and your stepdad gives it to your stepbrother. Memphis tried to get an NFL team for 25 years and Nashville gets one on the first try. Memphis had Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, The Killer and Roy Orbison. They all ended up in Nashville. Hell, Tony Joe White bypassed Memphis altogether with a cross of Memphis soul and swamp funk and went straight to Nashville.

Most people in Nashville think of Memphis as not even being in Tennessee. But you will gladly take their tax dollars for a new football arena and then bitch when Memphis needs money for a basketball arena. It’s always going to be this way as long as the stepbrother is driving granddaddy’s pickup.

Memphis has better music, food, aesthetics, a bigger river and more people. Now, for a while, it will be on the top of the boxing world, and Nashville has to trash that. Memphis gets to drive the truck for once, and the stepbrother says, “Oh, it’s a piece of junk anyway.”

Michael Kelly Malone Sr. (Granby, Mass.)

Too much trash talk

I agree that Nashville is a much nicer place than Memphis (“Nana-Nana Boo-Boo,” April 18). The quality of life is better, and the powers that be definitely rank among the world of real politicians rather than local wrestlers running for office. But the editorial bashing of Memphis was a little excessive. True, the Tyson fight is an embarrassment to any city, but Nashville could not have hosted the bout if it paid for it. It had more to do with Tunica than anything else. Also, I would assume that whoever wrote the editorial is enough of a snob concerning Memphis that he or she has not visited the city since its downtown became a better tourist attraction than Nashville’s. Memphis has revamped downtown in a shorter period of time than it has taken Nashville to make an existing bridge suitable for pedestrians.

Alan Reagan (Nashville)

Save the median

As an avid reader of the Scene and a student in historic preservation at MTSU, I am appalled at the one important issue you are missing regarding the Belle Meade Boulevard controversy (“Changing Lanes,” April 18). The Boulevard itself was designed as an urban planned neighborhood during the 1920s and 1930s. Thus, the idea of the median’s destruction is something that your paper should be against, if only on principle. Certainly the accessibility of the Boulevard to all of those who want to use it should not be a question. But the destruction of a historic area that is one of the few examples of this kind of urban planning left in the United States is an issue beyond questioning.

If you had done your research, instead of continuing with your bias toward a yuppie constituency, you would realize that few people have been harmed in any way by leaving the Boulevard as it is. The Boulevard also provides a beautiful and welcome area of peace in a city otherwise decimated by sprawl, modern pollution and cookie-cutter construction. It seems to me that if it were up to the editorial staff at the Scene, every planned neighborhood in the Nashville area would wind up looking like Williamson County. If every person who wants a sidewalk down Belle Meade Boulevard sold out and moved to Williamson County, then all of their desires for street-side recreation could be fulfilled. Historically, Belle Meade Boulevard was designed as a residential drive, not a recreation area. Let’s preserve it as such.

Gena Gilliam (Franklin)

Ben the truth seeker

Ben Taylor’s article on Adams vs. Strokes was spot on (Pop Life, April 18). In Adams’ case I think that for too long people have been crawling up his ass telling him how great he is (to them), and he has consequently turned into a smug little purveyor of vapidity. That is the kiss of death. I was a member of a band that could do no wrong, according to the critics (the Mavericks), and after believing their own press for too long the band just collapsed, artistically stunted. I love that Ben Taylor tells it like it is.

Nick Kane (Nashille)

Ben Taylor is Count Chocula

After reading Ben Taylor’s article on Ryan Adams, I felt a need to respond, not only as his bandmate, but as his friend (Pop Life, April 18). First, your allegation that Ryan is a “privileged kid slumming it for image” is ludicrous. He and his brother were raised by his mom, who is a first-grade teacher in North Carolina. Last I checked, school teachers weren’t bringing home huge salaries. Second, although we may enjoy a drink or two on stage, he’s never been “sloppy drunk.” Have you ever been to our live shows, Ben? We play two to three hours a night. That’s hard to do when you’re loaded. Third, most great artists do have egos. That, and talent, is what separates those who are successful (Ryan), from those who bitch and moan (Ben Taylor). Fourth, Ryan is a prolific songwriter, who does write a lot of songs. Half of them, only the band hears. Some of them, nobody but Ryan ever hears. And others, fortunately, everyone gets to hear. It doesn’t make him a showoff. He’s just that good.

Finally, Ben, as far as him thanking Alanis three times on his record, they are friends with mutual respect for each other. So he dated Winona Ryder? Big deal! Given the chance, Ben, wouldn’t you? If he did make his own Strokes record, it was out of admiration for a great record by his friends, not envy. And Adam Duritz? Yet another friend helping out his buddy.

Maybe it’s time to rethink where your career in journalism is headed. You obviously don’t check facts (by the way, the Strokes’ singer’s name is Julian, not Justin), and believe rumors and hearsay. You are to journalists what Count Chocula is to vampires.

Brad Pemberton

812 Fatherland St. (Nashville)


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