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Probably my favorite interview I’ve ever done was with the lead singer of Spinal Tap. Now, Spinal Tap, of course, does not really exist, being the fictional band dreamed up for the heavy metal mockumentary This is Spinal Tap—one of the most quotable movies of all time. So, more accurately, I was interviewing actor Michael McKean in character as Spinal Tap’s lead singer, David St. Hubbins. The movie was coming out on DVD, and in honor of that I asked him some ludicrous questions about DVD technology, such as whether the band had tried recording backward Satanic messages on them. I hadn’t sent him the questions in advance, so there’s no way he could have prepared for them. But the stuff he was coming up with was so funny it could have been in the movie itself. I had been told he would respond only to “David,” not “Michael,” for the course of the interview, and indeed he absolutely inhabited the character for the entire time we talked.

The delightfully surreal spontaneity that can come out of interviewing a talented comic improviser shows up this week in Anne-Marie Harrison’s cover story about the “dragapella” group the Kinsey Sicks, who perform their holiday show “Oy Vey in a Manger” at the Rio on Thursday. It’s remarkable to read in the first part of the story about the background of the group, and the lives these men have led as lawyers, crusaders for gay rights, presidential advisers and more. But the best part comes, as far as I’m concerned, after that, when all four of the group members are interviewed in character—as Rachel, Trixie, Winnie and Trampolina. It shows how inspired serious, intelligent people can be when they’re allowed to be absolutely ridiculous. It’s a twisted holiday treat, so go meet the girls!

STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

 


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Wishes for Fishes

Steve Palopoli’s well-written feature article on Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes (GT, Nov. 26) hopefully will result in more financial and other support (especially the donation of a much-needed truck) for this most worthy volunteer social service enterprise of long-standing in its little old house near downtown Watsonville.

But there seems to be one statistical error that needs to be corrected: new Executive Director Kristal Caballero is quoted as saying that “we’re serving 14 percent of the population of Watsonville.” But the 350 meals a day from this tiny but wonderful facility are nowhere near the 7,000 (out of a population of just over 50,000).

Elsewhere, Palopoli quotes her as saying she hopes to raise the group’s budget by 14 percent next year. As a longtime supporter of this vital service in our economically disadvantaged community, my one wish to Santa this year is for civic-minded corporate donors to multiply such an increase many times over in 2015. And for someone to donate a serviceable (and tax write-off) truck, rather than Santa leaving behind his reindeerless sleigh.

Richard Lynde

Watsonville

Thanks, Richard. We hope for that, too. Just to clarify, Caballero was referring to 14 percent of the population dining with them one or more times over the course of a year, not all at once. My apologies for not making that more clear. Also, I remember fondly your classical music reviews in the Register-Pajaronian while I was there in the 1990s. The IBM Selectric abides! — Editor

Week in Review

Just a note of appreciation for the Dec. 3 issue.

I liked the cover graphic and the article it highlighted. I enjoyed the stories about people in our community, as well as the general trends on philanthropy.

I especially liked the photo of Randy Clayton and his horses, and enjoyed that story, too.

I liked learning about Joy Reidenberg’s research on whale songs.

All in all, it was an especially good issue, for my interests. Thanks for your work.

LeAnn Meyer

Santa Cruz

Online Comments

Re: Hands Out

What an example this young lady is to donate her time and gift of hair cutting! Love in action!

— Carmen Eckmann

Re: Local Talk

[In the answers to] “What charities would you like to see people support this season?,” I see value and thoughtfulness in all the comments, but was particularly intrigued by the comment from the Santa Cruz student. Something seems to be missing in our lives, and even if we are well-fed and healthy, happiness and satisfaction often do not follow.       

— Lynn Weir

Correction

In our 11/26 issue, GT spelled Grey Bears Executive Director Tim Brattan’s name incorrectly. We regret the error.

Letters Policy

Letters should not exceed 300 words and may be edited for length, clarity, grammar and spelling. They should include city of residence to be considered for publication. Please direct letters to the editor, query letters and employment queries to [email protected] All classified and display advertising queries should be directed to [email protected] All website-related queries, including corrections, should be directed to [email protected]


 

photo contest

photocontestDROP ZONE Here’s to more rainy days in Santa Cruz. Photograph by Sheri Levitre

 



good work

CALL BACK

The Rio Theatre earned a little bit of extra love this past weekend, when both comedian Mike Birbiglia and his opener Chris Gethard repeatedly praised the venue during their sets for its classiness, its giant scary mask faces and its mix of old and new. Seriously, how often does that happen? Here’s to looking good after 65 years.

 

 

good idea

NEXT CHAPTER

The Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries have welcomed someone new to the family—their latest Aptos chapter. This past fall, the Aptos addition joined existing chapters in Boulder Creek, Felton, La Selva Beach and Scotts Valley. The group has met three times and already garnered interest from several dozen people in the community.

 

 

quote

“What I do onstage is not what I do in my private life. It’s an act. It’s how I make my living. People laugh, and it’s not hurting anyone.” — Divine

 


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