Program Notes

Last week the dailies reported that the stepdaughter of Broward sheriff Nick Navarro committed suicide and left a note alluding to sexual abuse involving Navarro. Her widower, for whom the note was intended, expressed his hope that the matter would not turn into a media circus. I won't disappoint him here. This item is not about Cynthia Clougherty's death, nor about Navarro's role in it. This program note is about the long-standing and always interesting relationship between Jack Thompson and Luther Campbell, both of whom need no further identification for regular readers of this space.

On Thursday past Campbell sent a missive to Thompson, stating: "Jack, What do you think of page seven in today's Local section of the Miami Herald? Are you going to have Nick removed from office? I am not surprised that this wasn't on the front page of the Herald but I am surprised that you haven't taken action. Come on, Jack. Regards, Luther Campbell."

Highlights of Thompson's response: "Re: `Nick at Nite' Navarro. Dear Luke, My Main Man: I said in the midst of your difficulties with Slick Nick that he was and is an absolute phony on the issue of obscenity and sexual abuse. He was in it for the publicity.... His absurd prosecution of you for the performance at Club Futura proved that. ...Saying Nick Navarro was genuinely concerned about explicit sexual material is akin to saying you're upset about foul language or that Jeffrey Dahmer is upset about high-protein diets. ...I'm still willing to discuss all this and our litigation over a round of golf. I'll buy the beers at the turn, and I promise to refrain from four-letter words upon missing a putt. Your most ardent monitor, Jack Thompson."

Ironic postscript: The very day I received the missives mentioned above, U.S. District Judge Hosie Gonzalez's ludicrous finding that the 2 Live Crew's As Nasty as They Wanna Be was obscene was overturned by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. When the bulletin broke, I immediately called Luke Records and offered congratulations. As soon as I hung up the phone, Jack Thompson called me (I testified in Judge Gonzalez's court that the album wasn't obscene) to offer me congratulations. And the world keeps spinning.

Back on the good foot, then, James Brown is allegedly going to play live in MiTown. I say allegedly, because of the Orange Bowl debacle, cancelled when not nearly enough tickets were sold. This time the Godfather of Soul is skedded for Sunrise (see "The Calendar"). But this item isn't about the concert. This program note is about Arturo "The Rhythm Rocker" Gomez's four-hour tribute to J.B. this Friday at 2:00 p.m. on WDNA-FM (88.9). "Man, we're gonna go from the gospel roots to the Sixties and Seventies to current," Gomez says. He has an interview with Bobby Byrd, taped by phone from Byrd's home in Georgia. The DJ is also putting serious effort into getting the Hardest Working Man in Show Business to appear live on the air. Dial it in to find out if The Man shows up.

Shows in genres: Funny folksters Last Rights with the Rayne enlighten up on Sunday at the Soref Community Center in Fort Lauderdale, call 964-7787 for details. Jazz-guitar god Randy Bernsen, with Charles Norkus and Steve Rucker, play music for planets, people, and washing machines Friday at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lauderdale, call 527-2730. One, the Shrugs, New Reign, and Faith Nation all Square off on Friday, 534-1403. And the only band that spatters, the splendorific Kreamy Lectric Santa, brings some Amerikan music to Uncle Sam's this Saturday, 532-0973.

Recently I asked who coined the nickname "The Church" for Churchill's Hideaway. Sunday night isn't a great night for music writers, either. I, for example, have been mandated and required to be in my office just after dawn every Monday for the past four or five years. That explains my missing out. I'll let master magician and guitar paragon Roy Allen Fischer explain the rest: "Dave Daniels - the greatest proprietor in the history of Miami - invited Open Says Me to become a regular feature every Sunday from November 1990 to November 1991. As we started to show up each and every Sunday evening (a day not so popular with musicians) David was always so happy to see us and would invite us for a pre-show drink. As a toast, we would say, `Well, we had to show up - we go to "Church" every Sunday.'" There must be a way to work the phrase "losing my religion" into this somehow.

I love science-fiction movies, especially bad ones, so I'll plug the Film Society's Sci Fi Subterranean Soiree, a costume party to raise funds for the festival (see "The Calendar" again; damn, that thing's a good read). The party is Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Mayfair, and the folks at 377-3456 can fill you in.

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Greg Baker