It's the best piece of rock & roll journalism I ever had published. The magazine in question was called Focus, a local Columbus music rag. Up to that point I had been publishing my own punk fanzine, Teenage Rampage, which, let's say, had a very limited press run & circulation. If 300 people saw any one issue, I'd have been ecstatic, and surprised. Focus - on the other hand - was hugely popular, free, and EVERYBODY in Columbus who was into music picked it up and read it. By May 1978 my punk purist edge was gone, long gone. I didn't want be a punk-rock music writer, I wanted to be a rock & roll music writer. (Plus I wanted to hype the band I had going right at that moment - Ricki & The West Side Rockers.)
The editor of Focus at that point was a young woman named Kathy Reed. She was great; she was 20-something, smart, funny, pretty, wore glasses and she KNEW HOW TO GET THINGS DONE. (Unlike later Focus editors I worked for.) I had done little reviews here & there that she had printed as letters to the editor but I wanted a shot at a byline review; hence the Costello/Lowe/Deville triple bill. I went up to the paper's offices and proposed the following to Ms. Reed: She could send the resident punk & New Wave critics of Focus - Tony Rubin & Fred Brockman, by name - to cover the show and I'd pay my own way, write my own review and she could run whichever one was better.
Kathy laughed at my impertinence there in the office - she had been reading Teenage Rampage, I think she expected some safety-pin & Mohawk punk-rocker when I turned up rather than the long-haired West Sider I was (see photo below) - but we shook on the deal.
I wrote some of the review before my buddies and I even got to the show, finished it in the car on the way home from Cincinnatti and had the review double-spaced typed and ready to go on Kathy's desk the next afternoon.
Rubin & Brockman never stood a chance.
(employ your zoom feature, friends & neighbors)
Ricki C., sometime in May, 1978
© 2013 Ricki C.