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[whitespace] Bill Messer
Michael Amsler

Fast and loud: Lincolns lead singer Bill Messer exhorts the crowd at the Phoenix Theatre, voted Best Teen Haven by our readers.

Best of local culture

There was once a snobbish little fellow from San Rafael. His knowledge of Sonoma County was limited to a half-dozen excursions through the wine country, yet he delighted in making disparaging remarks about the "cultural wasteland to the north." He would often remark, "The only three reasons to go to Sonoma [he always called the county that, even though "Sonoma" is but a single burg in the southeastern portion of our farflung region] are to buy a cow, to sell a cow, and to be beat up by rednecks on a Saturday night." Then, almost by accident, he moved here (actually Marin County median housing prices skyrocketed to the third highest in the nation and drove him out), and his opinion quickly reversed itself. He still tells the cow joke, but only as a conversational starting point--"I used to think there were only three reasons to go to Sonoma County ..."--after which he gleefully lists the numerous cultural wonders of his newly adopted home, from the museums and reading groups and avant-garde theater to the rich-and-bloody local history and a strong multi-ethnic music scene. And he's only just arrived.

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From the March 25-31, 1999 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.

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