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Thirty-Five Years Ago
I am (choose one or more) appalled, outraged, amazed, mystified, annoyed; at the review of the recent Frans Brueggen/Alan Curtis concert, done by one J. Saville. Although I could not attend the concert itself and thus cannot comment on the performance, I am concerned with some of the nonsense about Baroque music which appears in the review.
“LETTERS,” Duane Thomas, May 1, 1975

Thirty Years Ago
Confrontations between the police and the patrons of the Skeleton Club, a new-wave music venue located in what was formerly the Climax Ltd. Discotheque, have escalated to such a degree that the club may close its doors permanently. At least six arrests and dozens of misdemeanor citations have marred the weekly concerts since the club opened in its present location last December.
CITY LIGHTS: “UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE SKELETON CLUB,” Mark Orwoll, May 1, 1980

Twenty-Five Years Ago
There must be something about growing up in the Midwest that shapes a comedian’s perception of the world — flattens it, dries it out, gives it a wry nasality. Think of Johnny Carson (Nebraska) or David Letterman (Indiana) and you think of humor that is smooth and soft in its consistency but with a bite to it, like the sharpest Wisconsin cheddar. Louie Anderson, a Minnesotan, is one of the latest in a line of Midwestern comics to head for the West Coast equipped only with a decent sport coat, a sardonic wit, and the conviction that his observations on the banality of life in the nation’s midriff will get laughs everywhere else.
“MIDWEST YOUNG MAN,” John D’Agostino, May 2, 1985

Twenty Years Ago
Being a gay police officer in San Diego County means more than just living in the closet; to be on the safe side, many officers nail the door shut too. Although it is illegal for law-enforcement agencies to discriminate against gays — both in hiring and firing — no local agency has an openly homosexual officer. Nor can any agency provide employment figures for this particular minority. One estimate puts the total number at 27, countywide. A surprise, no doubt, to many of those who were included in the count.
CITY LIGHTS: “GAY COPS STAY UNDERCOVER,” Brae Canlen, May 3, 1990

Fifteen Years Ago
In rehearsals, though [Jefferson] Mays felt secure in scenes with other actors, soliloquies filled him with panic. “It’s just me and that great big void of an audience out there. That’s when, I was sure, dangerous thoughts would intrude.”

But during actual performances, it was different. “Hamlet isn’t just talking to himself. He’s opening up his soul. During the soliloquies the audience became my best friend. I could tell them everything. Shakespeare must have known this all along, how those speeches fuse the actor with the audience.”
“HIS ARMPITS SMELL OF VODKA,” Jeff Smith, April 27, 1995

Ten Years Ago
A college friend of mine who hailed from England harbored both disgust and distrust toward burritos. He thought of them as seeping, seething sacks of food, secretive and primitive in an unappetizing way. I, however, was thrilled to discover such culinary delights and thought of them as one of the many advantages to receiving an education in sunny Southern California.
BEST BUYS, Eve Kelly, April 27, 2000

Five Years Ago
I should have known better than to write about my boss. I listed her faults to my friends, explained in detail why her write-ups were bullshit and how she plotted and schemed like a witch to suck the most out of her employees’ commissions. I also wrote of my weekend exploits, from clubs to drugs, omitting few details. I used my Yahoo! account instead of company e-mail. I wasn’t aware that with technology that allowed her to see what was on each computer screen, my boss had been reading all my racy correspondence. Oops.
DIARY OF A DIVA: “OFFICE ENEMIES,” Barbarella, April 28, 2005

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