Dire Straits, Dire Straits

In 1978, in Michael Condous’s dad’s Ford Falcon. It was a Saturday evening around 7:30, we were on the way to a party; a “show” as we called them. Down the the Waterline played. Cassette.

The idea of the four-piece band started in the late fifties, and has stuck for a while now. In the mid-seventies – and I remember this – things were a bit of a mess. Oil was expensive. The US was just out of Vietnam, R. Milhous Nixon was the immediate past president. Britain was being run into the ground by trades unions. The Cold War felt hot. But the electric guitar bands kept coming; drum, bass, lead and a singer.

The seventies in Australia missed the cocaine and disco-fueled binge of the US. It felt somehow more clear-sighted, less sophisticated, but without the addiction or hangover. We had a sniff of these things, but without a New York facsimile culture, there was no place for it to flourish. We were stuck in a bland sixties echo.

Then came the Wave. New Wave. The Poms went a bit wild, rebelling against everything. Skinheads with guitars made for something like music…and then along came Ian Dury and Elvis Costello. And Dire Straits, with Mark Knopfler’s inspired playing of his distinctive tunes.

Perhaps one of the best debut albums ever.


Dear Blogger Critic,

We wanted to let you know that we’ve removed your review of Clasico Cafe And Bar. Our Support team has determined that it falls outside our Content Guidelines (http://www.yelp.com/guidelines) because it is not primarily relevant to a consumer experience.

We hope you will continue to participate on Yelp while keeping our Content Guidelines in mind.

Removed Content:
Sarasota used to be a sweet seaside town with cultural pretensions and a winter bulge. The former distinguished it from places which encouraged spring break riff raff, and the latter was like a comfortable middle-aged belly – not always welcome, but not entirely unexpected either.

Much of that winter spread came from the fine states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and…well, you get the idea. Let’s call SRQ the Midwest’s Tropical refuge, a place where the attitude was familiar enough to be like home but absent the ice. Floridian torpor and Midwest calm made for a bland symbiosis. It worked.

The end, however, is in sight. New Yorkers somehow keep confusing I-75 with I-95 and continue to end up here instead of Boca. What’s going on? You’d think they’d realize the mistake and keep driving for another 200 miles via scenic Alligator Alley to where they belong. But they don’t. They stop here and often go no further. At which point they take jobs in restaurants.

Vinnie from Queens, Long Island, New York, was a one-man stage-show, waiter and raconteur. In ninety minutes I learned his about his life, his family and his employment history. I could have guessed his FICO score plus or minus 3 points so much did I know. I couldn’t decide whether to be charmed or shoot myself.

Overbearing service aside, one wonders when all restaurants plan to adhere to a few proven standards. Menus create a powerful first impression, so if they’re dog-eared and dirty, it seems fair to question how the food is treated. If one person finishes their meal before another, do not remove that plate. All plates are removed when the the last diner finishes. And do not under any circumstances touch me. Ugh. Creepy.

Oh, and if you are intent on finding an audience, Vin, head up to McCurdy’s place and get yourself a gig there. When I’m paying for dinner, shut up and serve.

Yelp Support
San Francisco, California

Yelp Official Blog | http://officialblog.yelp.com
Yelp Support Center | http://www.yelp-support.com
Yelp for Business Owners | https://biz.yelp.com