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November 15-21, 2006

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Letters to the Editor

Cheers To Endorsement

Re: Chuck Reed endorsement (Cover, Nov. 1) Thanks so much for laying it out for me; I have not been able to attend the debates as I would have liked to, and it's hard for me to keep up with all that goes on. This editorial laid it out for me in a no-nonsense style that called it what it is.

I really appreciate the conscience of San Jose, the Metro news.

Jeff Papineau, San Jose

When Parks Go To Pot

I read with considerable interest your Oct. 11 story about the raids on Marijuana plantations in Bay Area parks ("Dark Green," Cover Story, Oct. 11). But I'd like to point out that there's more to the story after yours ends: Somebody has to clean up the site, restore stream beds, and take out the trash. Managers of public lands rarely have the budget to do this themselves, so they call upon volunteer groups to do the work. You can hear about what happens next in edition No. 19 of my podcast, "The WildeBeat", titled "Restoring a Park Gone to Pot." You can download the show at

Steve Sergeant, San Jose

A Brief History Of Fuzz-Tone

Re: Steve Palopoli and Lou Reed's discussion about who came up with the fuzz-tone sound first ("Bar None," Music, Nov. 1).

Here's the best I could figure out through talking with friends and reading up:

In 1951, Sam Phillips stuffed newspaper into a broken amp belonging to Ike Turner and His Kings of Rhythm, and recorded them playing "Rocket 88." The single was credited to Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats. Willie Kizart was on guitar, and the distorted sound established this record as one of the first rock & roll records.

Paul Burlison of Johnny Burnette's Rock 'n' Roll Trio knocked a tube loose in his amp and found that created a new sound to him, what we would call fuzz-tone or distortion. He used that sound when the Trio recorded "The Train Kept A-Rollin'." The Trio's recordings were influential among the British Invasion rockers.

Link Wray wanted a different sound, so he poked a hole in his amp and created a fuzz-tone guitar sound that he used in "Rumble." "Rumble," an instrumental, became the entry into the Top 20 that featured fuzz-tone.

Marty Robbins was recording "Don't Worry" when a fuse in a soundboard blew. This resulted in a distortion in the guitar sound, and Robbins decided to keep it in the mix. "Don't Worry" became the first entry into the Top 5 that featured fuzz-tone.

The Rolling Stones used distortion in their guitars for "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," which became the first No. 1 hit to feature fuzz-tone.

Dick Dale developed amps and equipment especially for fuzz-tone, and became not only influential among surf enthusiasts, but also among metal, punk and alternative bands.

Charles Crossley, Jr., Oxnard

Bright 'Moonlight'

It was a pleasure to read Marianne Messina's intelligent and thorough review of The Rep's latest play, "Moonlight and Magnolias" ("Seeing Scarlett," Stage, Oct. 25). The direction and actors were wonderful and the evening was a lot of fun.

Mona Onstead, San Jose

Why Law Matters

Re: "Who's Your Daddy?" (Cover, July 19). I just want to say that I am a mother that just found out about AB 252 a couple of weeks ago. I have filed a petition to correct a mistake I made 17 years ago. My son's father ended our relationship before I learned I was pregnant. During my pregnancy, a guy from high school stepped up and wanted to marry me and for us to be a family. He knew it wasn't his child and still wanted to be named on the birth certificate. Within a year, we split up because he cheated on me and I haven't seen him since. The biological father knew about his son but says that he wants nothing to do with him since someone else is named as the legal father. I have tried for years to get the paternity of my son (through DNA) confirmed, as the wrong information was put on his birth certificate and an order was made against the wrong person. I was told that it didn't matter if the "legal" father was really the biological father, they had an order. I am hoping that this can finally be made right. Nobody has financially supported my son, except me. I'm hoping they extend this law beyond the current limits.

Name Withheld, Placerville

She's Not a Dude, Dude

Re: "Burnt" (Cover Story, Sept. 27): Hi, my name is Shawn, I've always wanted to go to a Burning Man event. I'm not much of a reader, being dyslexic. But when I read the Metro piece, I couldn't put it down. I could feel the confusion in the parking lot, the vulnerability of being alone, and joy of discovering interesting people. I really looked forward to hearing what happened to the writer and the beautiful topless lady. So I quickly went to the website to read the follow-up story. I opened the Burning Man story and read, "Written by Laura Mattingly." This surprised me; I assumed the writer was a man.

Shawn Raymond, Palo Alto

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