Run-of-the-mill rawk review ruffles a Hopeless Bonito

You force the music section to referee a steel-cage death match between Elton John and Madonna, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and two tickets to a Live Nation club show of your choice taking place in Vancouver within the next four weeks. Here’s this week’s winning whinge.

Dear Payback Time: We know from the review of our seven-inch as well as the two other reviews Gregory Adams has done that we cannot take his words to heart. He has the nuts to say that I’ve never done it good and that the Black Halos had mere minutes of fame when we have proof in our archives, as well those of the Georgia Straight, that a few years back he was praising me and the last Black Halos album. In his reviews of two other groups, he praises one for switching from extreme metal to café acoustic and the other for having ska upstrokes and hip-swinging disco beats. We only hope that one day Adams finds something he truly loves instead of looking as romantic as one of the headless women in the escort ads in the back of your newspaper.

> Billy Hopeless Bonito

P.S. Oh, and never put down the Ramones!

Gregory Adams writes: Dearest Billy—Without sounding too much like I’m hiding under the coattails of the Straight ’s editing staff, the “three minutes” crack about the Halos was subbed in instead of a more complimentary comment. But to be honest, thinking back to your Violent Years, I remember covers of “Warsaw” and “Where Eagles Dare” played at the Piccadilly Pub more clearly than I do the chorus to “Some Things Never Fall”. As for last week’s reviews, I gave props to Johnny De Courcy for thinking outside the scope of metal, though I do believe I derided the Starbucks-approved strummer in question; I cautioned the Oh Wells, a group of kids in their late teens/early 20s, against re-releasing the same three songs if they want to make a lasting impression; and I castigated you for delivering a sub-par seven-inch that doesn’t live up to your glory days. If that means I lose punk points with you, so be it, but I’ll still take those other efforts over the run-of-the-mill rawk riffs on The Bonitos. That said, there’s nothing wrong with remaining dedicated to the old school; you just have to do it decently. I never put down the Ramones! Those guys did do it well (except for maybe half of Halfway to Sanity, but I digress). The point made was that it’s weird you’re dropping two pseudonyms on your record sleeve when you could easily, and alliteratively, opt for Billy Bonito. I’ll tell you what, let’s go back to Foo’s Ho Ho like we did four years ago. If you want to play the meal safe, and the fried rice stacks up like it did back then, dinner’s on me. You can even grab that week’s copy of the Straight and entertain yourself between courses by visualizing my dome on top of one of those headless ladies in the classifieds if you want to—but then you’ll have to pay.

You can voice your impotent rage by snail mail or by sending an email to



Johnny Bland

Jan 19, 2012 at 12:54am

Not sure what the point of payback time is when the people who write it get the final say.... wheres the pay back exactly? And GA, please note that true wit comes with a bit of candor...btw wheres your 7 inch?


Jan 20, 2012 at 1:12pm

Johnny Bland, I don't know who you are, but I'd wager that Greg's catalogue of music related output (tapes, 7"s, 12"s, cd's, shows played,reviews written and published, and accumulated cred) would out stack your plate of fried candor w/ wit ten times over. However, I'm guessing it wouldn't be much of a contest if your output reflected the sentiment of your last name.

As far as the point of payback time, which has been my personal favourite column in the Straight as long as I've been reading it, is that once a week someone gets to "voice their impotent rage" against a review that they somehow see as unfair or inaccurate. See, normally, unless you've made the career choice to be a writer, you wouldn't get the privilege of having your thoughts printed for thousands to see, but with payback time, PRESTO, you get to show all your friends that you stuck it to "the man". But what reviewer worth his weight in guest list spots would sit idly by while some friend or super fan of the reviewee in question slams his hard work? Not Greg, Sarah, Adrian, Mike, or any of the other reviewers at the Straight, that's for sure, and certainly not when they're right. That's the point of payback Johnny, you, the readers of the Straight get to send a letter dissing a reviewers work, and the rest of us get to laugh maniacally as the reviewer tears your ill thought out email to shreds, and in return Billy Hopeless Bonito gets tickets to a show at the Commodore that he probably won't want to go to anyways. If that's not good reading, then I don't know what is.

*I have zero affiliation with the Straight, btw.

D. Matt Richards

Jan 23, 2012 at 9:45am

OK, now I want to buy the record.

mel c

Jan 23, 2012 at 3:24pm

well boohoo Billy Hopeless. you submitted your record for review, they gave it a medicore review.......suck it up already. Billy h Bonito has been heard,seen, and in print consistenty trashing hundreds, no make that thousands of bands, for years. .


Jan 31, 2012 at 10:21pm

theres no way on erth billy hopless personally wrote that letter. that guy cant spel.


Feb 18, 2012 at 5:26pm

Apparently Mr. Hopeless can't tell the difference between a Current Events piece and a Review. Journalism 101.