Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

One of the reasons I am wary about the Buffalo News is that it seems to me that either the folks that write for it aren't telling us everything that they know, or they don't know very much. There are certainly exceptions, but, for example, I damn sure know more about cooking, and eating (and writing) than Janice Okun. And although I would defer to Jeff Simon on jazz questions, I find it disturbing that the rock critic, Jeff Meyers, apparently has as his principal qualification for the job the fact that he has a mullet. I mean, unless he's writing about Rush, he will typically get some notable fact about the artist he is reviewing just wrong enough to make you wonder where he gets his information-- and he seldom has an opinion that is strong enough one way or another to really be useful. This week washed up old Rod Stewart was in town, which meant that we got a big puff piece in the Friday Gusto section, then a prominently featured review of the show in last night's paper. Reading the review two things seem to come through-- Meyers didn't like the show, and he didn't want to say so for fear of offending the people who were there and dug it. Rod's been on my mind lately-- Nick Hornby started it, but this review made me dig out my copy of "Truth" which made for a very satisfying listen. Emboldened, I slapped on "Beck, Bogart Appice", which harshed my mellow, let me tell you. Listening to "Truth" you could see why that was a band that was fated to fly apart quickly-- like the elements at the bottom of the periodic table, this was a collection of egos that was far too heavy to be stable. It is safe to say that after that Beck never worked with a singer again-- just with guys who did "vocals". I suppose it's all for the good that he eventually stopped trying. Stewart stopped working with a band when he left Mercury and recorded "Atlantic Crossing". His best work was behind him, and who'd have guessed it?

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