Letter from the week of June 1…


Greensboro cigar-smoker speaks

Kudos to Lee Adams for the well-written article regarding the appearance of the Macanudo American Passion Tour Bus at Charlie’s Tobacco in Greensboro last week. Lee summed up the basics of proper cigar selection, cutting and lighting as well as providing some of the finer points of cigar etiquette.

Being in the shadow of RJR, most local folks don’t realize how vibrant the cigar community is in the Triad. The area features several tobacconist shops with large and varied selections that would rival those in much larger cities.

I would welcome more articles about the fine art of cigar smoking and the wonderful brother/sister-hood of the leaf that you can find here in town. There are frequent tasting events at the local shops. Also, with the anti-smoking zealots on the rise, how about a review of restaurants and clubs in town that actually permit or cater to cigar smokers? Or to go even further, how about a top ten list of great places to enjoy that cigar? The possibilities seem endless.

Congratulations again on a great article and magazine. Good luck to you on your quest to expose Greensboro to some of the finer things our city has to offer.


Mike Cook


From the website:

Article comment:

Tate Street

article missed importance of


I read your article with interest. I attended music school at UNCG in the seventies and lived in and around the Tate area until the late eighties. You missed some of the more important details about the area in this time period. Friday’s received a brief mention in the article as a side note to REM. One of the first places REM played was at Friday’s. Friday’s was part of a circuit of clubs built up by Empire Booking, which later became Frontier Booking International (FBI) run by Ian Copeland, brother of IRS records mogul Miles Copeland and Stewart Copeland of the Police. When the Police began touring the US, Ian researched small but vibrant nightclubs up and down the East Coast. Friday’s became a stop on that circuit. REM played there lots as mentioned, including the night the club closed. But there was also Black Flag (Henry Rollins’ punk band), Channel Three (a DC punk band), the Georgia Satellites and a lot of other national touring acts that I can’t remember the names at the moment. From 1980 to 1983, Friday and Saturday nights were packed to max, with people coming from all over NC to see the bands performing and to be part of the scene. Of course the regional and local bands played there also.

It is regrettable that the owners of this club have moved to other parts of the country. But having been in this area since 1975, I have yet to see any live club venue in Greensboro draw the types of crowds and acts that Friday’s did in its heyday.

Dwight Mabe

Starlight Gala was big success

Dear Charles,

I am sorry you weren’t able to attend Starlight, Star Bright.’  It really was fun! Over 157 came, not including the orchestra members, and I think everyone had a spectacular time. We ALL loved Brandon! What a fabulous personality. Wally West knew him! He must have taken hundreds of photos ‘— I felt like a celebrity! I pray he uses his magic marker to make me look 25!

The eight restaurants did a beautiful job displaying their stations and the food was wonderful. We ended up with Solaris, 223 South Elm, Marisol, Café Pasta, the Painted Plate, Simply Southern (Clemmons), Catering Carolina and Catering Delight.

Wally and the NCJRO really were the best of the best of NC! People danced the entire evening.’ 

Thanks!!’  Your #1 Fan!

Barbara MacKay

President, MacKay Foundation for Cancer Research

A Piephoff original

Hey Jordan,

Enjoyed your article and wrote this little blues song yesterday. Keep up the good work.

Bruce Piephoff


Tate Street Blues

Young man walking down the street at night

Young man, he’s looking quite a fright

He got the Tate Street Blues (3x)

But he got nothing to lose

He got the Tate St. Blues

Up all night pickin’ in the kitchen

Sleepin’ on the couch, eatin’ fried chicken

He got the Tate Street Blues (3x)

But he got nothing to lose

He got the Tate Street Blues

Hangin’ on the corner smoking Camel Lights

Drinkin’ cheap coffee, waiting for the night

He got the Tate Street Blues (3x)

But he got nothing to lose

He got the Tate Street Blues

He and Hobo Billy went all the way to L.A.

In an ambulance way back in the day

He got the Tate Street Blues (3x)

But he got nothing to lose

He got the Tate Street Blues

Sittin’ on the wall front of the Hong Kong House

Listenin’ to Electro playing Son House

He got the Tate Street Blues (3x)

But he got nothing to lose

He got the Tate Street Blues

Amelia, she’s the Tate Street Mayor

Give you little food even when you can’t pay her

She got the Tate Street Blues (3x)

But she got nothing to lose

She got the Tate Street Blues

Heard Emmy Lou way back in the 60s

John Hammond in the 70s, R.E.M. in the 80s

Singin’ the Tate Street Blues (3x)

They got nothing to lose

Singing the Tate Street Blues

Like a little oasis in a big tough world

Tate Street let our dreams unfurl

We got the Tate Street Blues (3x)

But we got nothing to lose

We got the Tate Street Blues

?Bruce Piephoff-2005

excerpts taken from local blogs:

The Editor’s Log ( Like everyone else, I applaud the efforts of YES! Weekly in writing about blogs. (Although Lex’s quotes cross the suck-up line.)

Still, riddle me this, Batman. The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, Business Week and, soon, The New York Times have been among the papers that have written about Greensboro and blogging. Other than YES! where are the local papers?

‘• From Hoggs Blog ( Today’s YES!Weekly covers story’ captures the essence’ and vitality of what is going within the’ Greensboro blogoshere. Brian Clarey has a writing style that I simply admire. Fine… damn fine.

‘• From Chewie World Order ( I haven’t quite figured out how the small staff of YES! Weekly manages to be everywhere at once in Greensboro, consistently turning out well-researched and in-depth articles on a production schedule of just seven days. They came out strong and have only gotten better, and are a welcome addition to the free weekly scene here.

This week, I can’t pretend to give an unbiased review of their cover story on local bloggers; after all, I’m featured, as are several of my blog buddies, who also happen to be some of my favorite voices in Greensboro.

Keep that in mind as you consider that I give editor Brian Clarey and Photographer Lee Adams five out of five stars for parsing the story that is the Greensboro blogosphere. Clarey took a lot of information and backstory and made it make sense. He was also accurate and entertaining.

Now really ‘— where else can you get that kind of value for free??

‘• From Ed Cone ( Brian Clarey has a good article on the local blogging scene in the new YES! Weekly. He worked really hard to get it right, and it shows.’ (He is too kind to me, and Luna was not happy to be called a poodle, although in fairness to Brian, she had just had her bad haircut.)

‘• From Viewfinder Blues (! Weekly, my newly favorite alternative weekly newspaper, unleashes a great cover story on the Greensboro Blogosphere! Reporter/ Editor Brian Clarey certainly did his homework, tracing the roots of the movement and guessing where it may go from here. Clarey even spent time with a Master or two before hanging out with the rest of us rabble. He and photographer Lee Adams captured with flair a scene that is neither simple to explain or particularly lens friendly. I know. Pffft ‘— the very idea of an upstart free-weekly newspaper publishing a list of competing news sources in the first place? Ruh-SPECT!

‘• From Jay Ovittore’s Blog ( A standing ovation to YES for covering our world, in a well written article.

‘• From Patrick Eakes ( YES! Weekly sends out some serious bloggy love in its current edition. Between its cover shot and its feature, YES! and editor Brian Clarey bring the local blogging scene into focus. The feature story includes interviews with Ed Cone and Roch Smith, Jr. as well as coverage of last week’s meetup and the News & Record’s participation in the blogosphere. Clarey does an excellent job of covering a lot of blog ground coherently in his article. Clarey did an excellent job of capturing bloggers’ sense of community and the fact that blogs mean different things to different people. It is hard to describe blogs to the uninitiated, but Clarey did a very good job of just that.

‘• From How do You Like Me Now ( Thanks to Brian Clarey for getting it and for telling it well. (Even if I’m not in the 10 best. Or even an honorable mention! Though I do agree with all but two of the choices.) And no, the anonymous jw is NOT in the cover photo.