Sorry, but there is no way four WASPs from Palm Beach County could have recorded Dream Another Dream, nor, for that matter, I Am I.

Progressive guitar rock is dead. It died, more or less, when the Replacements went out of fashion several years ago. If progressive rock was still happening, I Am I would have been a million seller.

Most progressive rock lacked a strong groove. The Latin inflection that the rhythm section of Diaz and Slade gave to the music was the key element - along with the romantic sentimentality of the lyrics - that made the songs on I Am I so very memorable. The one thing that distanced Nuclear Valdez's I Am I from the pack of albums recorded by other progressive guitar bands was "soul" - Latin soul at that.

With Dream Another Dream, the Nukes take a bold step in a new direction. The music is exciting because it is different and original. The Latin elements are unmistakable, right from the very first listening. The title song is a rock-and-roll cha cha cha! Throughout the album, the groove is strong; you want to get up and move your body.

Rock has become an international medium. They make rock in Czechoslovakia, they make rock in Japan, why shouldn't Latins make rock in Miami? The Nukes are practitioners of the future. By incorporating elements based on their Hispanic heritage into the music, the Nukes take rock a pleasant step down the road.

The new album is not a sell-out, because it is not commercial. Commercial is an imitation of an already successful and currently popular style. Dream Another Dream is very original and defies classification. Because the album is not tailor-made to the playlists of rock, urban, or Top 40 radio, it's going to take a brave program director to put Dream Another Dream on the radio. Once played, though, the album should become one of the hottest discoveries of the year. Congratulations to the Nukes for doing it their way and dreaming another dream.

It was in poor taste to stereotype Latin music. Remember that the guitar - la guitarra - is a Latin instrument. Finally, to Mr. Baker's panelists who failed to recognize and comment on the "Latin" in the Nukes' music: ­Cha cha cha!

Richard Kent

I am taking this time to express concerns and disappointments I had with the Art Deco Weekend ("The Calendar," January 8).

I had the pleasure of attending the festival this year, and walking the blocks from Fifth Street to Fifteenth, of course, noticing the concessions, which, I must add, seemed to be few and far between. It was not difficult finding food, and every once in a while I would spot an art stand. (The Art Deco festival seemed to be lacking "Art.") There was plenty of Deco; all one has to do is look up to take in the pastels splattered on the buildings. There was also plenty of festival in the air.

But I was discouraged by the music at either end of the fest grounds. Why didn't they put the music in the middle of the festival, thus allowing festivalgoers the opportunity to enjoy the sounds of the music as they walked north or south?

The bathroom facilities were horrendous, and I was embarrassed that Miami Beach was being represented in such a way. It would seem that the city would take a greater interest in presenting South Beach and the fest to the many first-timers. I guess the tourists now have one more negative thing to say about the Miami area.

Last but not least, would it have killed the city to clean the streets before the festival or at least make an attempt once or twice over the weekend empty the trash?

I just do not understand the way great minds work. Miami and Miami Beach spend a great deal of time defending our name. Maybe we need to spend less time defending and more time really evaluating what is here. We are a new city, but that is no excuse. The city needs to look toward other older cities (New York, Chicago) to see how they run events.

Ellen Newburger

The movie JFK ("Reel Stuff," January 1) is a distortion of history which no one should take seriously. The idea that Kennedy's killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a patsy for right-wing conspirators is absurd. He was a member of the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party. He worshipped Fidel Castro, whose speeches bitterly attacking Kennedy he read in the SWP paper, The Militant. He took upon himself the mission of killing Castro's prominent foes. First he shot at Gen. Edwin A. Walker, a Dallas resident who was demanding that we invade Cuba; after Nixon attacked Castro in a Dallas speech, Oswald took his gun and told his wife he was going to look for Nixon. JFK, Castro's number-one enemy, was next. JFK ignores all this.

Robert N. Allen


I read your articles about Kennedy's death. I'm happy to say that John Kennedy is alive. Why don't you check my statement by inquiring at his home in Massachusetts?

Jack Cutler
Miami Beach


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