The Boston Phoenix has been covering the trends and events that shape our times since 1966.
Dirty letters | 5 years ago | June 29, 2001 | Carly Carioli considered a new book about the life and times of Motley Crüe.
The Toxic Avenger
“The Dirt's cartoonish depictions of gratuitous sex, drugs, violence, and prison ring, at this late date, a little rote. It probably doesn't help that their fornicatory escapades are written in the style of the Penthouse letters section, complete with punning double-entendre punch lines. Lee is evasive on the subject of Pamela Anderson but horrifyingly detailed with respect to an incident involving a former fianceé named Honey who made the mistake of calling his mother a cunt. ‘I fucking smashed her right in the grille, dude,’ he writes. ‘Her hands flew to her mouth, and she dropped to the ground . . . As we drove away, I looked back and saw her kneeling on the pavement and spitting her teeth into her hand, which was dripping with mucousy strands of blood.’
“These are not . . . sympathetic characters. Neither should they be, though that doesn't stop them from trying. The latter two-thirds of the book is filled as much with therapy and counseling and lawyers and dream interpreters as with sex and drugs. As for rock and roll, well, the Crüe have precious little to say for their music. ‘I was shocked the record went double platinum,’ says Vince Neil of Theatre of Pain, ‘and maybe it just reinforced the idea that we were so great we could even get away with putting out a terrible album.’ ‘As for the music,’ writes Sixx after the release of Girls, Girls, Girls, ‘I could hardly even stand the last two albums I had written. And the acclaim? There was none. Critics despised us. I felt like the McDonald's of rock and roll. My life was disposable: consume me and throw me out.’ ”
Web of sighs | 10 years ago | June 28, 1996 | Dan Kennedy talked to former Crossfire talking head Michael Kinsley about his new online magazine Slate.
“ ‘This is an experiment,’ a weary-sounding but upbeat Kinsley told the Phoenix just a few days before Slate’s launch. ‘I don’t think we have any of the right answers yet, on editorial, business, or anything. That’s what’s so much fun about it.’
“Industry-watchers are paying particular attention to Slate to see whether its backer, Microsoft mogul Bill Gates, can be the first person to figure out how to make money from publishing on the Web.
“There’s not enough advertising in cyberspace to support free content, and Net-surfers are thought to be loath to pay. Yet Gates and Kinsley are determined to break the rules. . . .
“Certainly a lot of skeptics think Kinsley and Gates will fail. ‘People aren’t going to pay, not in anywhere near the numbers needed,’ says Bill Bass, a senior analyst for Cambridge-based Forrester Research. The everything-is-free ethos of the Web, he explains, is just too much to overcome except for sites with unique information for specialized audiences. . . .
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