"We never had no fights like in the movie."
- Ike Turner, talking about his marriage to Tina, in GQ
On the waterfront
Funny, that it took square old WNED to bring about a Buffalo music festival as Buzz had envisioned it. With its lovely views of the water and the city skyline, the Buffalo Niagara Guitar Festival reminded us of the Chicago Blues Festival. Can we do this again, please? The best Buffalo moment last weekend was, of course, the reunion of venerable homegrown band Talas. One huge change: The musicians don't keep perpetual time with their hair, the way they used to. Billy Sheehan, alas, wore a neat ponytail. Still, the spirit was there. "It's good to see my old pal Bill," said drummer Paul Varga. "I see my old pal Dave all the time anyway," Varga added, alluding to Dave Constantino. Constantino, for his part, exulted: "This is the kind of night you dream about." He was talking about the weather, he hastened to add. But everyone knew what he meant.
How long, how long. . .
. . . has our parking valet been gone? Pardon us for singing the blues, and picture this: You arrive at Adam's Mark for the recent Native American Journalists Association national convention. "Parking lot full," say the signs. Well, this is America, so you use the hotel's $12 valet parking. Everything's fine . . . until you want your car back. Then it takes 15 minutes. Twenty minutes. The explanation from a guy in a silly red and gold coat? "Nobody knew how to drive a stick shift. We had to find somebody."
Tails you lose
There are no secrets at the Monday open mic at Nietzsche's. Performers are usually on the quiet side, patrons listen attentively and no noise goes unnoticed. So we pity the guy who, as Maria Sebastian was performing "Concrete," decided to put a quarter in the peanut machine, which was about six inches from the musician's nose. Everyone was watching him. The pressure was on! He fumbled his quarter. It fell to the floor, and everyone watched it as it bounced - you guessed it - straight to Sebastian's feet. What a moment! Luckily Michael Meldrum, who has been presiding over open mics for decades, broke the awkwardness. He went forward, retrieved the coin and returned it to the peanut buyer. Can we hear "Like a Rolling Quarter"?
Street of bad dreams
Adults are losing ground. We used to have Crystal Beach, with its sultry midway and bikini beach. Now, all we've got is bright, kid-crowded Darien Lake. We used to have Las Vegas with its seamy shows and dangerous casinos. Now, Vegas is a family destination. Which brings us to the weekly classic car cruising nights on Chippewa Street, finally scheduled to start Tuesday. Buzz understands concerns about traffic, business, etc. What we don't grasp is the obligation organizers seem to feel to gear the event to families. For heaven's sake, Chippewa Street is a bar strip! Most alarming was a statement by James Alfieri, who owns the Crocodile Bar, a stylish martini mecca. "We want to fix up the three blocks. It's going to look like Niagara-on-the-Lake when it's done," he said. You mean with Ye Olde Fudge Shoppe, a Victorian Hatterie and an Ice Creame Pavilione? Please, say it isn't so!
Spotted at the Hyatt, listening to Jackie Jocko: TV comedian Mark Russell. "You're lucky you've got Joe Peters, honey," Russell said, pointing at Jocko's drummer. "He saves your act!" . . . Quietly, the Pewter Mug in Orchard Park has been emerging as a reliable jazz club. Catch Carol McLaughlin there Saturday night. . . . At M&T Plaza on Tuesday, Buzz giggled as we heard young performers from the Community Music School belting the Bing Crosby tune "Swinging on a Star." Someone's been listening to WECK! . . . You can't get away from TV! A Rochester laser light show culminated in the depiction of a giant television screen. Tacky, tacky. . . . Love at last week's Corporate Challenge! A guy told a gal, "Gee, now you're not taller than I am. In the office, you're always wearing heels."