A personal message from Craig Marshall
I'd like you to read something, probably the most vile piece of "scumbag journalism" I've ever seen.
In the South Bay Easy Reader, reporter "Ryan Beachkofski" wrote a review of our recent show at the Lighthouse, in which he denegrates Cubensis, the music of the Grateful Dead, and worst of all, he rants rudely and insultingly about you, the fans.
It's shocking, actually, to think that any one person would stoop to writing such trash, whether he liked the band or not. This man, (who is not listed as a staffer) even has the gall to put down others in his profession who have written good reviews of the band.
In fact, you can't really call his drivel a "review" because he doesn't critique our performance, but rather he hurls insults and assults the dignity of our faithful fans while maliciously tearing into our performance and your attendance. It's unbelievable!
Read this garbage and see what you think
Here's what he wrote:
Live Music Review
by Ryan Beachkofski
Published June 19, 2008 in the Easy Reader
Cubensis, a self-proclaimed Grateful Dead uber-tribute band, needs an editorial kick in the hemp shorts for three specific reasons:
First, a band could be the finest tribute band on earth with the ability to cover trademarked songs from the originators without a glitch or misstep. Fine. I have no argument that Cubensis may play Grateful Dead music to undeniable perfection. I wouldn't even know because I race to the tuner every time I hear one of the hillbilly heroin-induced-wannabe-jazz car crashes make it to air play.
Secondly, I just don't get it.
Finally, I feel that Cubensis' following is bad for business.
It's a shocker, I know. But Cubensis has a 40-member hard core following that heels when the band comes a calling. Every band wishes for that blessing and every house booking agent knows that phenomenon is too good to turn away.
The standard envelope for four sets of anything, no matter the number of members in a band, is $300 flat, unless the band has a name or an in-pocket following that plans to buy drinks. Cubensis asks for north of $1K.
After my 10-minute punishment that put me in front of this band, I realized a few things about their groupies:
1) You're not helping the cause of saving water by refusing to shower. You only contribute to methane gas emissions that cause global warming. 2) Is it absolutely necessary to immediately remove your flip flops when entering an establishment that serves food and drink? And 3) don't show up high. That's what the bar is for. Pony up those few pieces of silver and buttons you keep in that silly pouch you made from hemp rope and sunshine and invest in some commerce.
I took note from a reliable source after leaving the musical water boarding and asked the employee of another club about this band and its following: "You're right about the asking price and the patronage. They want a thousand bucks and the hippies don't spend a dime on drinks. The band gets the take at the door and we get left with bupkis and hours of mopping up after the blackfoots."
In essence, I don't care if Bill Walton and the other hundreds of thousands of VW van-driving bad dancers see color in the music. I am utterly disappointed in my colleagues that inscribe "Cubensis plays with the same laid-back mastery as the Real McCoy."
That is just plain promotional banter for hire.
Cubensis is just an extension of the original Grateful Dead, whose music drove me to madness at UCSB (where the free-range Dead Heads account for the lingering odor of BO and patchouli oil). If you love it, great, please keep it to yourself. I, on the other hand, will practice my civic duty and choose not to choose. And get your carbon monoxide billowing vans a tune up. Forget "Saving the Rainforest," as your bumper sticker denotes. Save oxygen by getting that piece of #$@%! off the road. ER
Wow! I ask you, how does that make you feel, to read this hateful, intolerant attack on our scene in general and our fans in particular? I'm sickened, and incensed that this poisonous rubbish was allowed to be published. It harms our reputation, it might very well cost us business, it defames our faithful fans and likens our performance to a torture session.
I've read many a review of Cubensis shows by reputable, sincere journalists; most are favorable, some aren't, but this goes way too far! This hostile and possibly libelous smear campaign is not even a true review of our show! As he says, he only stayed 10 minutes, and barely acknowledges the music other than to rant about how much he has disliked it for years. This is not a review, it's a personal and very negative attack on all of us.
Those that know me also know that I rarely get angry...but this is different. I want to strike back and protest against this sickening and unacceptable criticism, and I hope you'll join me.
If you're as shocked as I am, I'm asking you to take a moment and express your feelings to several editors at the Easy Reader newspaper. I think a retraction is in order; you may have other, better responses, which I encourage.
You might mention how much you enjoy the performances, especially at the Lighthouse, and how Grateful Dead music has made your life more enjoyable, and how offended you are by the reporter's depiction of those in attendance.
There's several ways to respond:
1. Click here to see the story as it appeared, with a box at the end of the article to send a letter to the editor;
2. Email publisher Kevin Cody by clicking firstname.lastname@example.org ;
3. Email entertainment editor Bondo Wyszpolski by clicking
4. Write the reporter directly (he's too gutless to provide his email address) addressed to:
c/o Easy Reader
PO Box 427
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
5. Call the Easy Reader, ask for an editor and politely but firmly express your displeasure: 310.372.4611.
To the extent that you are able to participate in this, I want to thank you. You might think that this idiot's opinion is not worth getting upset about, but I think it's important for us to stick up for things we believe in and enjoy.
I'm outraged by this "reporter's" despicable opinion, and this is my own personal response to being maligned.