...I appreciate your defense of "Flower Girl" as well as R.A.P.'s decision to include it on The Cassette. I would like to beg some column space to add my own points....

No one need convince me of the dangers of substance abuse. We've already lost too many talented musicians, film actors, and more because of it. In a well-publicized story, Mike Rudetsky died at Boy Georg's place in England several years ago. Mike and I were both guitar majors at Nassau College in the seventies, and he was immensely talented. Sad that we never seem to concentrate on an artists' addictions (if any) -- only the creative contributions they left behind. Right or wrong, this is all we choose to remember.

If I thought for a moment my musical efforts could benefit anyone, I'd hammer my D-50 on stage every Sunday. But the reality is, in this post-"We-Are-The-World" period, any event is ho-hum if it isn't delivered globally by satellite. I'd play to an empty house. End result: zip.

I should have included in my session notes that Nicky Stevenson kept the finished copy of his song, to do with as he wished, all smiles that the effort was taken to make something usable out of his original tracks. For the record, Mr. Stevenson isn't a tragic, homeless, alcoholic in tatters. He IS, however a happy and harmless "local," who enjoys impromptu serenades in the police station lobby and pretending he's everything from a mailman to a surgeon. Were "Flower Girl" to air tomorrow morning, local reaction would be "That's Nicky...I'll be damned."

Severe alcoholism is not the issue here, any more than how high Jimi Hendrix might possibly have been during the "Band Of Gypsies" concert. "Flower Girl" admittedly is not a very good song, but that is also not the issue. Although, given the current state of pop music, don't act too surprised when Nicky grabs the Grammy in two years.

Plain and simple, "Flower Girl" is simply a real good piece of audio production. Nothing more and nothing less. I stand by my work and am still amazed by it.

Al Peterson
WLAD/WDAQ, Danbury, CT.

February's R.A.P. was not the first time I have read something like, "sales IS the lifeblood of the station" in your pages ["Love You Babe" - Feb. '92 R.A.P.]. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. And this from production people?

You're saying that Mario Andretti is not as important as the salesguy who finds the sponsorships for him? (Nice decals, Fred!) You're saying that the Record Rep is the lifeblood of the recording industry? ...That Don King is the true star of boxing? That the guys in the front office of the football team are irreplaceable, but the twenty-two guys on the field are a dime a dozen? On what planet?

My point is that TALENT is and always will be the "lifeblood," the heart and soul, of the entertainment business. (I picked the illustrations from pro sports, but I could have just as easily used movies, TV, theatre, comedy, etc..) The only field I know of where this is in question is RADIO.

I say the pro football or baseball player deserves all the millions he can get, because on the basis of HIS talent, thousands of people have jobs, and millions of dollars (maybe billions) change hands. From the coaches to the cheerleaders to the play-by-play guy to the owner of the sports bar, these people are working (and yes, adding their own talents) because of the TALENT on the field.

Are radio people in the same "league" (no pun intended) as Joe Montana? Maybe some are; I certainly am not. But, until we realize -- WE, the TALENT -- until we recognize the "sales is the lifeblood..." line as BULLSH*T, we will continue to be treated like the fools we surely must be.

Dan Popp
Colors Audio, Akron, OH

Although I'm a new subscriber, the few issues I've scrounged from friends and received for free have really fired me up! Last fall, I moved into Lexington, KY, and I think it's partially because of R.A.P.. This isn't a huge market, but I love it here. And management loves your magazine as much as I do, so it must be a decent place to work.

I'd like to share an idea with every small market Production Director who may think they don't have what it takes to go for a move into a larger market. It was the articles and interviews in Radio And Production that gave me the inspiration to take the job search plunge.

We are our own worst critics. Why not let someone else say, "YOU SUCK" before you quit and start selling cars. Ask someone you respect for their opinion on your future. That's what I did, and I'm still here. Here's what I mean.

After reading last year's R.A.P. Interview with Ron Shapiro from KIIS-FM, I called Ron and asked him to listen to my work. He did. He gave me a critique and some ideas for advancing my career in radio.

Have you ever counted the number of edits in those high energy monster truck spots? I have. I transcribed and re-produced a monster truck spot done by Bill Moffett in Houston. On a whim, I mailed it to him. He called me and asked to hear more. So, I sent more. Eventually, he offered me a job. It wasn't possible at the time, but he made me realize I was good enough to move into a better position.

I've got a note from Joe Kelly Creative Services that says, "Scott, your stuff sounds great!" All I did was call and ask for his opinion. He had no problem giving it.

I sent a promo to ABC Radio hoping it would be used on the Rush Limbaugh Show. You don't know the RUSH I got to hear it go national. Through that effort, the Production Director of ABC talked to me for a few minutes and also critiqued my work.

Here's the point to all this self-indulgence: Following the interviews and articles in R.A.P., the person's name, address, and phone number are listed. They're provided for a reason, so use them. You don't know how really great you may be if you don't ask. So start asking.

Scott Statham, Production Director
WLAP-AM/FM, Lexington, KY