By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
Frank Owen's and William Bastone's articles in your April 27 issue about the impending closure of Peter Gatien's club brought back a lot of memories ["The View From Gatien's Camp"; "NYPD's Tunnel Vision"]. I used to be one of the regulars in some of Gatien's clubs. He doesn't realize that times are much different than they used to be.
A lot of today's "club kids" don't know what Gatien's establishments were really like. They are a little too young to remember the drug-filled, sex-crazed, party-hungry clubs the way Limelight and Red Zone used to be.
No one ever complained when Studio 54 was doing it!
Ginette N. Marté
One comment on the articles about Peter Gatien's club, Tunnel: I go there every Saturday night. I have been to many other clubs in New York, and I have found its security to be the tightest.
Since the night Jimmy Lyons overdosed, the Tunnel won't let anyone in who doesn't have a state ID. The cops should give Gatien a break. He's just providing a place for people to dance and meet. He's not providing drugs.
Cornwall, New York
As a Richmonder, I tried to set aside all the usual slights that northern (and especially New York City) writers often make against the South in general; however, I'm finding it difficult to support the notion that this was a hate crime. Unlike the murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, there is no definitive evidence that anyone killed Northington because he was gay.
Sarah Chinn, a local activist and teacher, was quoted by Trebay as saying "How can you discuss his murder and not say it's about him being gay? He was gay. He was murdered." Using her logic, you could just as easily state that Northington was murdered because he was male, by someone who hated men; or because he was white, by someone who hated white people. This was a terrible, depraved crime but Trebay's persistent implications that our provincial, washed-up southern town atmosphere had anything to do with it are just not supported by the facts of the case as we know them.
Much as I appreciated reading David Sprague's reasoned viewpoint about Matador Records ["Dropping the Bull," April 20], I take issue with his claim that some of our recently signed bands have failed to "pick up the slack" after our recent break with Capitol Records.
Of the two bands that Sprague mentioned, Boards of Canada is not signed to Matador they are licensed to us by Warp/Skam Records of Sheffield, England. And as for the Arsonists, it would be impossible for them make any noticeable contribution toward Matador's bottom line since the label has yet to commercially release any of their recordings. That said, independently released titles by artists such as Cat Power, Belle and Sebastian, and Cornelius (names no doubt familiar to Mr. Sprague, as they were prominently featured in the March 2 Pazz & Jop poll) helped to make 1998 our best year ever.
With our return to independence, we have even higher expectations for this year and beyond.
J. Hoberman's review of Tony Bui's movie Three Seasons was accurate ["Back Stories," May 4]. When I first saw Bui's name, I was happy to see a fellow Vietnamese immigrant involved in something independent and creative. But after seeing clips of the film on the Sundance Channel, I wondered which Vietnam Bui was filming from. My mother was there just a few months ago and found it to be poor, polluted, and materialistic, with the spirit of the people reduced to survival mode nothing like the Vietnam portrayed in Three Seasons.
After nearly 25 years of Communist rule, the only thing the Vietnamese government has to feed its people is tourist money American dollars. Tony Bui, with his Three Seasons, will be the poster child for tourism in Vietnam. What a missed opportunity to educate the American public and make a meaningful film about our country.
Spurt of Inspiration
Guy Trebay, in his April 27 article "Seduction Theory" asked ". . . what is the singular of erotica?"
As everyone knows, it's eroticum.
Gonnerman Wins Deadline Award
Staff writer Jennifer Gonnerman has won the Deadline Club's Best Reporting Award for a Non-Daily Newspaper for "The Terrorist Campaign Against Abortion," which appeared in the November 3, 1998, Voice.The Deadline Club Awards are sponsored by the New York City Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
The first CUNY Theatre Festival will be held from Wednesday, May 5, through Saturday, May 8. Performances will be at City College, 138th Street and Convent Avenue, Manhattan. The festival is free and all events are open to the public. For further information, call 718-289-5765.
CorrectionsSome copies of last week's issue were missing the second page of Gary Giddins's article, "The Long-Playing Duke." The complete article can be found online at http://www.villagevoice.com/ arts/9917/giddins.shtml.