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Fractious Fairytale

October 13, 1985

Regarding Lawrence Christon's "The Blues--Fading into Silence" (Oct. 6), I doubt that even one out of 25 reading this page at this moment knows the meaning of the word fractious , let alone Pinetop Perkins, born in the brackish backwater of Belzoni, Miss.

May I respectfully suggest that Pinetop wouldn't be caught dead uttering such a word? It's out of character, and just plain, bad lyric. Folk from Belzoni, wheh day iz no la-berry or school within 50 mah-ls, would more likely say B-A-A-D, not fractious .

About whites stealing the blues from the black people, it is true that any white version "pales" by comparison, especially when it is hoked up with an affected swamp dialect which fools nobody but always succeeds in making a fool of the white artist. Yet all ethnic groups identify with the tone and feeling of the blues; outside of the lyrics, I doubt whether Eric Clapton and the Stones could have "stolen" a damned thing.

Aside from all of that, Christon (along with Martin Bernheimer) still remains the cream of your crop. The rest of your reviewers, like the white imitators of black singers, "pale" by comparison--all clever technique and histrionics, but gutless.

JACK CATRAN

Sepulveda

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