Program Notes

Things are different now. Pee-wee Herman. Kathy Willets. Jimmy Swaggart. Willie Smith. Clarence Thomas. It seems like a 2 Live Crew album come to life. And, coincidentally enough, there is a new Crew album out, Sports Weekend, the group's best work yet. And you know what that means.

Up north the leaves change color this time of year. You know it's autumn in South Florida when faxes from ubiquitous censor and worm John B. "Jack" Thompson rain from the sky. Whoa! Yes, I know I promised to never let Wack Jack's name invade this space, but things are different now. Thompson is cool, though he's not quite as entertaining as Sports Weekend. One thing for sure: the man can crank out some faxes when the mood strikes him. Some, most, are like dead leaves, all crumply and useless, but some are acorns, true nuggets of delicious invective, firm, round, and nutty enough for a holiday fruitcake.

Besides, Jack Thompson doesn't get enough credit for bringing Luther Campbell so much cash. I like the Crew and their music, and if Jack Thompson wants to support the homeboys, the least I can do is assist him. Further, these self-righteous censor types operate best in the darkness (and some would say in the dark), so let's shed a little light on this past week's faxual campaign:

* To the president of Spec's. Thompson informs the retailer that he's been "in contact" (protected, one hopes) with "certain of your landlords." Thompson admits he's going after Spec's and its boss "personally and corporately for what you have already done to violate the state's obscenity law." He mentions "blowjobs" (his word, not mine). He says, "Guess what? I'm back." He says a national organization will help him "nail" (his word, not mine) Spec's "really well." Jack, please use a condom.

* To the U.S. Attorney in northern Illinois. The point of this is to inform the prosecutor that Rose Records, Chicago's biggest retailer, is selling Sports Weekend to minors. (A spokesman for Rose says the Crew's albums are not sold to anyone but adults, and are kept behind the sales counter.) Thompson informs that he "was court-ordered amicus curiae" (his words, not mine). He concludes, "Please indict Rose, Atlantic, Luke Records, and others."

* To Janet Reno, the Dade state attorney. He talks some more about blowjobs (again, his word) and complains that she isn't enforcing obscenity laws. "[One] reason," he explains to Reno, "is that you yourself are Lesbian [his word] given over to the same types of sexual perversions pushed to children on 2 Live Crew's recordings." He claims she was blackmailed. He tells her to have the government appoint a special prosecutor. He suggests she get counseling.

* To Luther Campbell. Thompson denies being a racist. He rails about Luke's white lawyers and white bosses. He calls Madonna "an extremely white slut." He admits that he's Luke's "most attentive [his word] fan."

Not much has come (my word, not his) of most of this. However, Thompson claims that the Mall at 163rd Street has decided to demand that the Spec's store there pull (his word) the album. In a fax - how'd you guess? - Thompson mentions blowjobs again, and also uses the words pussy, fuck, head, balls, ass, and shopping mall. He promises more "bombs." Can you hardly wait? Meanwhile Spec's at 163rd Street is selling Sports Weekend, from behind the counter. Thanks to folks such as Mr. Thompson, and conscientious reporters like yours truly, the Crew's excellent album isn't going to bomb. It hit number 22 on the pop chart last week. That's because it's a great record. With help on the hype tip, the sucker (my word) could go all the way to the top.

I heard that dept.: WSHE-FM morning man Paul Castronovo, who's obviously been affected by too much Led, reading the weather report: "There's a 40 percent chance of today."

The Goods last night began a five-day series of shows at Churchill's Hideaway with an acoustic show. Tonight (Wednesday) it's The Goods A to Z, with the band playing obscure originals ("We have hundreds of songs," notes keyboardist John Camacho.) On Thursday it's time for Lame Seventies Disco Duck Night, featuring Goods treatments of disco songs. Friday the boys play a "regular" show with the very excellent Holy Terrors and Saturday they help Churchill's owner Dave Daniels celebrate his birthday by staging their second rock opera, Five Steps to Getting Signed, "An operatic parable about patience," Camacho says, "in two parts."

More big band news: FOC will celebrate the release of their new cassette Friday at Uncle Sam's. The tape, Pork!, is wild, horny, jamming, noisy, chaotic, and damn good. Buy it, try it, play it, say it. XSF opens for White Trash tomorrow (Thursday) at the Button South and plays an environmental benefit at Barry University on Friday. Their new eight-song cassette can now be found at cooler record stores everywhere. Any other bands that use initials have something out? Lemme know.

Guess my ass contest con't.: From Raul Milian: "The gorgeous rear end with the tattoo I believe belongs to Cher. Now I understand there are no prizes, however it would be nice if you'd let me know how I did." Well, Raul, let's put it this way: You did much better than Sonny.

Butthorn of the week: The City of Miami and, especially, its code enforcement officers, for kicking a group of homeless men out of a dilapidated bus parked next to a warehouse in Overtown. According to the Miami Herald, the owners of the property didn't mind the presence of the bus or the people who lived there, but the City of Miami, which has exacerbated the homeless situation in general, busted the bus for being inoperable or untagged. You'd think these bureaucrats could find something better to do with the tax money we pay them.

The media circus: Basketball, not life, has lost its magic. Would you bastards please stop writing and talking about Earvin Johnson in the past tense?

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Greg Baker