The company's ideas include a traveling exhibition of Jackson memorabilia, the licensing of theme park rides and an updated version of the musical "Thriller Live," first staged in London in 2006.
Last year, days before debt collectors seeking $24m in overdue mortgage payments were due to auction it off, Jackson signed a rescue deal with Colony, a Los Angeles property developer. Colony hopes to put the restored property on the market for up to $90m by the end of the year, with a share of profits destined for Jackson's children's trusts.
June 2009 Archives
At one point the colourful Memphis medico was charged with oversupplying drugs to Presley after a TV investigation discovered that he'd prescribed the singer more than 5300 tablets in the seven months prior to Presley's death. Dr Nick beat the charge. Incredibly, his lawyers were able to show that this huge quantity of drugs actually represented a bid to reduce the amount Presley previously consumed.Blair moves on to mention that just as Dr. Nick accompanied Elvis during his late-career stand in Las Vegas, Murray had taken a leave of absence from his practice (which happened to be in Vegas) to be by Michael's side during the looming 50-show run in London. And he includes a helpful rundown of the pharmacopia found in Elvis' system, as well as a list of drugs that Michael is believed to have been taking.
The boy from Tupelo, Mississippi, had an appetite for more than just fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
Finally, Blair links to an episode of the hilarious online cartoon Achewood that pretty well sums up the impact of Michael's death on us 30-somethings ...
Readers hyped it up as a cornerstone of American music, but it felt more like a history class field trip. Then again, I might just be bitter about missing some of the classic barbecue joints.
Kudos to Milian for tweaking the unbearable song "Walking in Memphis" by Marc Cohn:
Just as I was driving into the city on Sunday, the teeth-grinding country ditty "Walking in Memphis" by Marc Cohn started playing on the radio. The song basically references the titles of Elvis songs along with places around Memphis to create an overarching story that doesn't make much sense. For example, Cohn says he "saw the ghost of Elvis on Union Avenue / Followed him up to the gates of Graceland." OK, that's a two-hour walk, dude.Follow Milian's travels here, and keep up with him on Twitter here.
Blogging at In From the Cold, Spook86, who says he is a former intelligence agent, compares the initial news coverage of the two superstars' deaths.
(I)n contrast to the media firestorm that ignited with Jackson's arrival at a Los Angeles hospital, initial press accounts of Elvis's passing were almost accidental, more the product of timely tips to the Memphis media, rather than tenacious reporting.
Spook86 quotes extensively from Janice and Neal Gregory's book "When Elvis Died" to trace the timeline of reporting, which will bring back memories for Memphians old enough to remember Aug. 16, 1977.
The post rang a more recent bell for me (I was just 2 months old when Elvis died): Writing in a special section to mark the 20th anniversary of Elvis' death in 1997, former Commercial Appeal editor and publisher Angus MacEachran recalled a reporter telling him, "Angus, there's an 'Elvis is dead' call on line 2."
Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune continues in the same vein, noting that CBS didn't even lead the Aug. 16, 1977, newscast didn't even lead with Elvis' death (a fact that would shape its coverage decisions for decades to come). He also accurately captures the delicate first few hours of the Michael Jackson story, when outlets like ours didn't want to be left behind but didn't want to get caught in a hoax:
Time Warner's TMZ.com and Chicago Tribune parent Tribune Co.'s LATimes.com were out front on Jackson's condition, and other outlets -- initially able neither to ignore the dispatches nor corroborate them -- had to tread carefully.Back on the celebrity angle, British tabloid The Sun catches up with Jackson friend and sometime-Memphian David Gest, who says the stress of preparing for 50 shows in London killed the King of Pop:
"They should have realised doing a concert one day on, one day off, would be tough for any performer, let alone someone who hadn't been on stage for nine years. It was ridiculous. ... "
Some writers are speculating on whether Jackson's Neverland ranch might become a tourist attraction like Elvis' Graceland. The Jackson family did say today that Michael would not be buried at the Santa Barbara playland, but that's beside the point. Here's Sean Hamilton writing in the Sunday Mirror:
And just as Elvis rakes in more now than when he was alive, Michael too will be worth more dead. Even if the family opt not to have Michael buried there, the estate, near Santa Barbara, California, is certain to prove a vast money-spinner for his three children. Although he owed up to pounds 250million, that debt could be quickly wiped out by profits that could rapidly top pounds 300million from opening the estate to the public.I'll have more on Elvis-Jacko connections throughout the week.
UPDATE: Hamil Harris of The Washington Post happened to be in Memphis when word broke of Michael Jackson's death, and he interviewed Graceland visitors for their perspective on the King of Pop.
His impact, albeit largely underground, can be felt today in myriad genres from New Age, art rock and world music to techno, trip hop and acid jazz to the sample-obsessed virtual reality much popular music finds itself in.Hassell, who just released a new CD, Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street, on ECM, is the subject of the cover story in the latest issue of Electronic Musician. The interview gets very technical at times (the magazine is geared toward studio technology heads, after all), but it does give a good bit of context on Hassell's influence:
"It's very sad for us to be leaving our friends and acquaintances we've had here over the years," Statom said. "We feel that this is God's plan for us as a family."
But he describes his new position as "a dream job" in a church he has admired since he was 18 years old. And Memphis is much closer to his family in Alabama and his wife's family in Mississippi.
In the 80's, Bywater resident Peggy O'Neill was living in her native Detroit, playing in the lean, garage-blues trio the Gories. That band was a major influence on the Oblivians, who would form just a few years later in Memphis. One of their most popular albums was 1997's Play 9 Songs With Mr. Quintron, a scorching, speedy slice of gospel-rock collaboration with the Ninth Ward organist which remains a cult favorite. Though both bands were no more by the turn of the millennium, they both attained legendary status in the rock n'roll underground and in the oddly rarefied world of record collectors.The article goes on to quote longtime Commercial Appeal contributor Andria Lisle, and to lament the stifling conditions inside the Hi-Tone for the sold-out show (conditions which surely aren't as bad as they used to be when smoking was allowed in the club).
Credit to Motor City Rocks for the link, though the site refers to the Memphis band as "The Oblivious." (Of course, a recent front-page promo in The Commercial Appeal spelled it "Oblivions," so no one's perfect.)
For some nice background and context on The Oblivians (and some live song clips), check out this article at Live from Memphis. Some folks posting on the Goner Records Message Board lament a lack of local media coverage of these shows, but as Commercial Appeal music writer Bob Mehr pointed out on a comments thread over the weekend, this was by design ...
I can't speak for the Flyer obviously, but just for the record, the CA decided not to do a cover story on the Gories/Oblivians reunion -- we did a small show capsule/preview in this week's Go Memphis instead -- at the request of the bands and the club, for the very reason that the show had been sold out for months in advance. Both Eric Oblivian at Goner and Dan at the Hi-Tone felt they would be further deluged with requests and calls about tickets if there was a big spread in the paper.
A Colorado family vacationing in Jackson Hole, Wyo., found something interesting in pile of melting snow at the ski resort: a silver money clip stuffed with cash, credit cards and business cards. The family tried to track down the owner, and found that the $360 belonged to none other than Memphis Grizzlies guard Marko Jaric. It turns out Jaric dropped the money clip four months ago while in Jackson Hole for his wedding to Victoria's Secret supermodel Adriana Lima. The family intends to track down Jaric, who has been traveling out of the country with his new wife.
NBC2 News in southwest Florida has video.
First we calculated how much buyers earning the median income for the ZIP could afford to spend on a home -- assuming a 20 percent down payment, 5 percent rate on a 30-year mortgage and a house payment of no more than one third of monthly income. We then compared that figure with 2009 median home sale prices for that ZIP. In ZIPs where the affordable home price is equal to the actual median sales price the affordability index is 100. Anything over 100 is affordable. Anything under 100, not so much.With median income of $86,000 and median home price of $117,000, Cordova scored a whopping 436. The next-highest score was 85044 in Phoenix, Ariz., with 340.
One commenter on the story mentioned the flip side of housing affordability in the Memphis area:
Memphis, TN, is one of the worst cities to live in (I did for many years). Crime is skyrocketing. There are countless sexual assaults in schools, that the school officials refuse to report. The mayor is a self-servicing, glory-seeking, sleeve who keeps putting the city deeper and deeper into debt. People are leaving the city in droves.
It is a relationship that is breathtaking, hilarious and heart-stopping in its exchanges and in its speedy ability to reveal character and pull the audience into the ring. One minute the Pastor and his new friend are beating each other up with rounds of oratory; the next, they're trying out how to look sexy while smoking. We discover, too, that King has stinky feet, wonders whether his moustache looks good on him or not and has an eye for the ladies. We also learn that he is terrified. Terrified that he is about to die, that the attempts on his life will finally get him. Terrified that he hasn't had the chance to fix the world and that he hasn't said goodbye to his wife and children.Portraying King is David Harewood, a British actor who stars as Nelson Mandela in the upcoming BBC TV drama "Mrs. Mandela." The Independent's reviewer compares Harewood's performance, with "his mighty grip on character," to Forrest Whitaker's Oscar-nominated role as Idi Amin in the 2006 film "The Last King of Scotland." (Paging Steven Spielberg and the producers of the MLK film in development.)
Another review says "The Mountaintop" loses focus and becomes awkward because of a supernatural twist at the end. However, it says Harewood is "quite excellent," and it praises the play for exploring King's human flaws.
The world premiere run of "The Mountaintop" runs through July 4 at Theatre 503 in London.
About the playwright: Hall, a 1999 graduate of Craigmont High and the Raleigh school's first African-American valedictorian, has degrees from Columbia and Harvard and even did a summer internship here at The Commercial Appeal in 2000.
"The real question is not whether these cities shrink - we're all shrinking - but whether we let it happen in a destructive or sustainable way," said Mr Kildee. "Decline is a fact of life in Flint. Resisting it is like resisting gravity."In flint, this approach has involved bulldozing entire blocks and letting nature take over. Other cities mentioned in the Telegraph article include Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
The Washington Independent has been covering the "shrinking cities" phenomenon closely, and has plenty of links to follow to find out more about the concept.
The complaint filed by the hotel does not spell out if the outstanding debt is a final tab that was never paid, the remaining portion of a bill or some other amount in dispute. Documentation for the agreement between the hotel and Sharpton's group includes an attrition clause. If the group ended up using less than it booked from the hotel, new charges would be incurred.
It turns out that Sanderson is making the media rounds to promote this Sunday's start of the second season of the HBO vampire series "True Blood." (Season 1 just hit DVD, so that might be our next viewing project.)
The A.V. Club piece gets Sanderson talking about his many roles over the years, from the eccentric Larry on "Newhart" to J.F. Sebastian in "Blade Runner" to Farnum and the sheriff on "True Blood." Also, Sanderson, who comes off as nothing but genuine and humble, recounts some Memphis memories:
One night I saw Jerry Lee, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Elvis for a dollar, if you believe that, in an open-air concert. Presley, I got to meet and go into his house and so forth. My wife says I should quit tellin' that story, 'cause they'll know how old I am.I'll link to Beifuss' piece once it is posted, which should be later this afternoon.
UPDATE: Read John Beifuss' story here at gomemphis.com.
The waitresses scurried around in ironic trucker hats, flannel shirts and (designer) cut-off jean shorts under glowing beer signs as country music blared through the speakers.The summer cocktail menu features Timberlake's new signature tequila 901, though the NY Press complains that the margaritas are made with sour mix instead of lime juice, and some drinks featured gummy worms.
Nor is the blogger impressed with Southern Hospitality's barbecue selections, which include pineapple-flavored chicken strips. Last year, the restaurant hired the noted Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe to improve the program, which New York magazine called "awful." Lampe specifically promised to introduce "competition-style" ribs, though the NY Press tuts that they were "served with a fork and knife, no bib included."
"If you develop an entertainment district, it needs to be unique and different," he said.
Elkington told the crowd it's important to create unique restaurants, nightclubs and shopping for the district and not to populate it with chain restaurants that don't identify the area as Macon.
The project would make use of more than 1 million square feet of empty property and build on a musical heritage that includes native sons Otis Redding, Little Richard and the Allman Brothers, as well as the Capricorn Records label whose roster included artists such as the Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie, Widespread Panic and Bonnie Bramlett.
I haven't seen anything to indicate whether Elkington and his Performa Entertainment company would actually develop the Macon project. Recall that Elkington has been involved in a mess of litigation brought by the city and the Beale Street Development Corp., who claim among other things that Elkington and Performa have improperly used Beale Street funds to finance projects in other cities.
P.S.: It's interesting how much Macon's musical heritage overlaps with Memphis'. Redding, of course, was the flagship artist for Stax Records, and Bramlett -- who recorded solo albums on Capricorn in the '70s -- was one half of another Stax act, Delaney & Bonnie with late husband Delaney Bramlett. Bonnie Bramlett appeared at last month's Beale Street Music Festival.
Abdulhakim Muhammad, the former Memphian and Muslim convert charged in the fatal shooting of a soldier and the wounding of another last week outside a Little Rock military recruiting center, called The Associated Press collect from jail to tell his side of the story. Muhammad said he doesn't feel he's guilty, and that he doesn't consider the shooting to be murder "because murder is when a person kills another person without justified reason." The 23-year-old does, however, consider the shooting an act of revenge:
"Yes, I did tell the police upon my arrest that this was an act of retaliation, and not a reaction on the soldiers personally," Muhammad said. He called it "a act, for the sake of God, for the sake of Allah, the Lord of all the world, and also a retaliation on U.S. military"In another chat with AP today, Muhammad said he's unaware of any plans for similar attacks against the military on American soil, but he warns of danger ahead:
Pictured: Wheeler (left) holds a copy of his book "London Secrets: London Guidebook for the First Time Visitor" during the annual Sherlock Holmes birthday dinner thrown by the Giant Rats of Sumatra at The University Club. The Rats are a Memphis-based Sherlock Holmes fan club, of which Wheeler is a former "First Garrideb," or president.
And the U.S.'s least safe city? That distinction goes to Memphis, Tennessee, with a crime rate of 18% per capita, followed by Atlanta (16%), San Antonio (15.2%), Detroit (13.7%) and Milwaukee (13.4%). These rates reflect the total crimes detailed in the FBI's report divided by the population of the city.For her part, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin is having none of it:
"The blog's rankings are based on incorrect data; they are contrary to the findings of reputable authorities on crime data; and they ignore Atlanta's 7-year track record of crime reduction," Franklin said Monday in a press release.
The program traces the four -- trumpeter Booker Little, saxophonists George Coleman and Frank Strozier, and pianist Harold Mabern -- from their roots in the better-known R&B/soul continuum of Memphis music through their move en masse to Chicago and their continuing legacy in jazz circles:
Little passed away at the age of 23 in 1961; Coleman and Mabern have performed and recorded together many times in the past two decades, while Strozier is not currently active on the jazz scene. The recordings they made in their youth heralded the arrival of a Memphis hardbop school that has, for the most part, gone unremarked in jazz histories.WFIU also promises a future program dedicated to famed pianist Phineas Newborn Jr., whom you might have read about on this blog.
Gest, known for his friendship with Michael Jackson and his rocky marriage to Liza Minnelli, has become a star of sorts in Great Britain due to his recent stint on the reality TV show "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here."
Memphians might remember Gest for his grand return to town in 2004. He threw the controversial "David Gest's All-Star Holiday Extravaganza" -- featuring a curious assortment of celebrities including Tippie Hedren, Jane Russell and Petula Clark -- and treated thousands of needy Memphians to free meals on Christmas Day. Recall that Gest's roots in Memphis run all the way back to his days working in publicity for Al Green in the 1970s.
Further reading: A bizarre 2006 profile of Gest in The Guardian featuring lots of material about Memphis, most of it fairly negative. A highlight:
We leave the buffet and go out on to the roof to survey the city. He tells me he likes its 'third world' quality, which might be one way of saying that here, at least, he glitters like a diamond in dust.
On June 24, AT&T is to roll out an HCT (makers of T-Mobile G1) handset powered by the Android platform and featuring a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Get this, the name of the phone is Memphis! (An alternative name for the product is Lancaster, perhaps as a tribute to 3G wireless mania among the Amish?)
Attorney Jim Hensley (pictured at right) says Muhammad left college to teach English in Yemen but became radicalized while there. Hensley further stated that the FBI hung Muhammad out to dry after he was detained (Hensley says it was because Muhammad's visa had expired; previous reports said Muhammad was using a phony Somali passport).
"Here comes the FBI, who may be able to help this guy or save his life, and then they leave and then he's got to go back in with these hardened terrorists. He's got to survive, how do you live with that?" Hensley said. "He absolutely feels that the FBI and anyone else associated with the United States government left him to the wolves, that's for certain."ABC News has a long report about Muhammad's connections to a mosque in Columbus, Ohio, that has been known as a jumping-off point for radicals, especially Somalis, before they go overseas to fight jihad.
Though she was born just outside Memphis in Shelby County, Taylor is remembered as a Chicago blues artist, recording for decades with the classic Chess Records label and more recently with Windy City indie Alligator Records. However, her years in Memphis (she moved to Chicago at age 18 with her husband) undoubtedly shaped her sound, according to a quote that AP runs from a 1990 interview:
"I used to listen to the radio, and when I was about 18 years old, B.B. King was a disc jockey and he had a radio program, 15 minutes a day, over in West Memphis, Arkansas and he would play the blues," she said in a 1990 interview. "I would hear different records and things by Muddy Waters, Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie, Sonnyboy Williams (sic) and all these people, you know, which I just loved."Furthermore, Taylor's final performance was May 7 at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, where she was honored as Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year.
Even at age 80, Taylor had a host of gigs scheduled for the summer festival season, pending recovery from her surgery. Manager Bruce Iglauer tells the Chicago Tribune:
"She was scheduled to go to Spain next week," he said. "She was still performing. At the Blues Awards in Memphis a few weeks ago, she was absolutely glowing. She would be exhausted standing by the edge of the stage, but when the lights went up, she would hop up and dance as soon as the music started. She would always say, 'If I can brighten one person's day with my music, that's what I live for.' "Chicago Tribune music writer Greg Kot also weighs in with a Koko Taylor best-of list. NPR's All Songs Considered blog has a host of video and audio clips.
When a metal recycler north of Memphis, Tenn., inadvertently mixed radioactive material into a new batch of metal in 1997, employees at the facility didn't know about it for three days, state documents show.The case was one of about 880 from Tennessee that are contained in a national database of nuclear-materials events, most of which occurred since 1990.
Contained in a piece of metal scrap, the radioactive isotope Americium-241 slipped into White Salvage's scrap-metal supply at its Ripley, Tenn., plant, blending into a new batch of aluminum. The contamination was not discovered until a shipment of the newly made material reached Memphis metal broker Southern Tin three days later.
Americium-241, which the EPA says can pose significant health risks, is commonly found in smoke detectors, and it probably slipped through the cracks and was blended with other scrap.
UPDATE: The global intelligence source STRATFOR has sent out a newsletter analysis on Muhammad that is also posted on its Web site. STRATFOR mentions the significance of Muhammad's middle name, Mujahid:
In Arabic, the word mujahid is the singular form of mujahideen, and it literally means one who engages in jihad. Although Mujahid is not an uncommon Muslim name, it is quite telling that a convert to Islam would choose such a name -- one who engages in jihad -- to define his new identity.The analysis talks about how difficult it is for investigators to home in on "lone wolf" operatives like Muhammad, and how this reality may have tied the FBI's hands in investigating Muhammad after his return from Yemen:
Could something like the AUSL tried in Chicago work with some of Memphis' most-troubled schools? Education consultant Bryan Hassel tells the Times that results have been mixed:
"A lot of these school turnarounds are going to fail because the work is so difficult," Mr. Hassel said. "But as a nation, we'll never have the capacity to do this work successfully until we make the commitment."
"What really surprised me about how much was identical, especially when we got into treatments and quality of life, was that this condition impacts people in Latin America as bad as we saw in the United States," Blaiss said.However, Latin Americans are able to find relief at least at certain times of the year, which is more than some of us in the Mid-South can say:
"Unlike what we saw in the US, where most patients complained of year-round allergy symptoms, in Latin America, most of the patients had seasonal allergy symptoms," Blaiss commented.
AP's latest write-through (7:13 p.m. CDT) adds that Muhammad may have considered other targets, "including military sites and Jewish organizations in the Southeast."
ABC News reports on investigators' focus on Muhammad's travel and associations:
Yemen and Somali are known hotbeds for terrorism. Columbus, Ohio, has been an area of domestic concern for authorities who have observed a number of Somali Americans traveling from there to Somali to wage jihad.
Eyewitness News in Memphis tracks down some personal background on Muhammad, who grew up in the Raleigh area of Memphis as Carlos Bledsoe before his conversion to Islam.
Amid reports that Muhammad "admitted shooting the soldiers 'because of what they had done to Muslims in the past,'" as AP quoted deputy prosecutor Scott Duncan, conservative blogs like Power Line are asking for liberal critics of Bush-era war-on-terror policies to take responsibility for the alleged shooter's actions.
UPDATE: (1:16 p.m. CDT) The New York Times moved a story late last night that has more important details. Some commenters at commercialappeal.com have wondered why Muhammad wasn't under surveillance after returning to the U.S. from Yemen, where he had been arrested for using a fake Somali passport. The Times explains:
The episode in Yemen prompted a preliminary inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other American law enforcement agencies into whether the man, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, had ties to extremist groups, the officials said. But that investigation was inconclusive, they said, leaving the bureau with insufficient evidence to wiretap his phone or put him under surveillance.The Times also cites Little Rock police saying that 23-year-old Muhammad, formerly Carlos Bledsoe, converted to Islam "possibly as a teenager living in (Memphis) Tennessee."
AP uncovers an FBI memo that says the bureau and the Department of Homeland Security notified law enforcement in a number of cities, including Memphis, that Muhammad had been researching different sites for possible targeting.
Fox News links Muhammad to other cases of American Muslim converts involved in attacks against U.S. targets.
Further updates will be made throughout the day in this post.
The University of North Carolina-Greensboro's Charles Courtemanche and I are finishing a study of big retail stores and obesity. In our first round of statistical analysis we found that greater consumer access to a Wal-Mart store was associated with lower body-mass indexes and a lower probability of being obese.Carden suspects that these effects are due to the lower prices available at these stores. So people are able to afford more healthful food items, and their overall purchasing power is increased, ostensibly enabling a more healthful lifestyle.
As we gathered more data on Wal-Mart discount stores, Wal-Mart Supercenters, warehouse clubs like Sam's Club, Costco and BJ's Wholesale Club, and other outlets, we found that the correlation holds up under a variety of different circumstances, with a clear relationship between warehouse clubs and better eating habits emerging over time. Further, we found that Wal-Mart's effect on weight is largest for women, the poor, African-Americans and people who live in urban areas.
It's a pretty interesting bit of pop-econ. After all, Wal-Mart sells a lot of cheap cases of soda and bags of chips. And its stores are temples of urban sprawl, reachable only by car and floating on seas of treeless concrete. How could Wal-Mart, this icon of old-school non-green capitalism, correlate to better health?
Now think about the flip side of the coin, the disadvantaged segments of society who don't have access to a Wal-Mart or a Kroger, much less a Whole Foods or a farmers' market. Their only available place to shop might be a corner grocery with no fresh produce, no butcher, and no discount card -- but plenty of cigarettes, sugary drinks and snack cakes. If these people were able to shop at a Wal-Mart Supercenter, they could buy more healthful products and still have some money left over to save for a new pair of running shoes or a bicycle. As Carden says, the study shows us "how truly incremental economic progress really is."
Containing a raft of unreleased material the collection will run to a total of 98 tracks and seems to be the definitive word on Big Star.
Excitingly, the box set is due to contain an entire live concert from 1973. Amongst the theories as to why Big Star never made it is the notion that the group simply couldn't cut it live - an argument that can now be put to the test by fans.
Rhino also will reissue Bell's solo album, "I Am the Cosmos," which will be repackaged with "a host of rarities," Clashmusic.com says.
UPDATE: Check out this extensive piece on top40-charts.com
Speaking of Memphis wrestling, if you grew up watching the Saturday-morning broadcasts from WMC-TV 5 studios, you might remember Bruno Lauer, who was a bad-guy manager known as Downtown Bruno and later Harvey Whippleman. Lauer has a memoir available titled "Wrestling with the Truth" that should be worth a read by wrestling fans.
Lauer shot off an angry e-mail to The Commercial Appeal, which he says ignored a promotional copy of the book that he sent to the newspaper. More than that, what really angered Lauer was all the attention given lately to "$5 Cover" creator Craig Brewer:
this had upset me at the time,but now more-so than ever,due to the almost obsessive exposure and ridiculous amount of attention the ca has been relentlessly providing to craig brewer,the film-maker whose claim to fame is glorifying drugs,pimps,and prostitution...a really flattering glimpse of memphis to the rest of the world,wouldnt you say? instead of giving a loca l author exposure for his(my)first book,you feature this ridiculous "5 dollar cover" project in a prominent position in the ca every day,and have ad nauseum for weeks now.I'm not much of a fan of any of Brewer's movies, and I'll take Alan Spearman's "$5 Cover Amplified" documentaries any day over the scripted MTV show, so I'm happy give Lauer some props and exposure. I'll close out by offering a couple of classic Downtown Bruno clips here and here.