The outpouring of kind words sent in person or by mail to our family has been overwhelming and heartfelt. This article ('A Bright Light,' Nov. 23) is further proof of how deeply our sister influenced the music scene in New Orleans. We believe Kelly did know what some of her influence was, like the resurfacing of Howard Tate, and that she was proud of what she had made of The Circle Bar. And as much as we appreciate the spotlight on our sister, some of the things touched upon did feel too private and personal to see in print. But the main thing that we want everyone to do is keep Kelly's memory alive.
We are establishing a fund in her name through the Greater New Orleans Foundation that will continue, hopefully, for a long time. And we are working with her friends to organize a benefit show where the proceeds will go to the Musicians Clinic through the fund that is set up. Anyone who does want to do something, can give to this fund in her name so Kelly's light will continue to shine bright.
Ginger Keller Gannaway
EDITOR'S NOTE: To make donations to the Kelly Keller Music Foundation, contact the Greater New Orleans Foundation at 1055 St. Charles Ave., Suite 100, New Orleans, LA, 70130.
A Better Portrait
Thank you for your cover story on the remarkable Kelly Keller. I am making the educated guess that I am the New York City blogger referred to in the article. I was one of the owners at Coney Island High where Kelly was booking, and I have known Kelly as nothing but strong, independent, enthusiastic and dedicated. Hearing the news of her death through word of mouth was very difficult, as what I heard did not sound like the Kelly I used to know.
Thank you for talking to those who knew and loved her, and painting an admirable portrait of one of the most influential people I was lucky enough to know and work with. My partner at Coney Island High, Jesse Malin, was inspired by Kelly to pen his song 'Solitaire.' I am incapable of adequately capturing the personality that was Kelly, but Mr. Rawls' article has done it well.
For my bewildered blog I wrote after I heard 'the news' see:
Lindsey Anderson aka Kitty Kowalski
Former co-owner, Coney Island High
Whisky Breath and Brabble
Unfortunately, for Music Editor Alex Rawls to try and reveal an in-depth article on the one and only Kelly Keller through others' uninspired comments surrounding her 'rock and roll' death instead of focusing on what an incredibly awesome talent and soul this woman had is a missed opportunity.
Legendary drunkards with the best stories that cannot possibly be true, exhalations of whisky breath containing all the contradictions equals a reduced, minute fraction of what her life was about. Yeah, Kelly was the glue that held the underground music scene together she was cool, and those who hung out with her were cool by association. But she was also a generous, compassionate, moral champion of the downtrodden, the uncool who, for some reason or other, couldn't see their value in this world. She was tough as nails on the outside, but on the inside feared the heartlessness of human beings and indifference. As for her smile -- a good frontman for thoughts of mortality? A plea for mercy falling on deaf ears? There is little hope of this discovery in this brabble of words.
Breaking the Rules
I enjoyed the profile of Kelly Keller, but felt that there was something missing: Kelly's pure and uninhibited generosity of spirit. As one of her many friends, I was inspired by the warmth and intensity of her emotions (her tenderness was tempered with plenty of tough), and with the way she blithely disregarded any need for 'being on your guard.' The rules which most people enslave themselves to never applied in her case.
Unfortunately she was unarmed, too, against the power of her emotions, and the vulnerability that was the crux of her charm did her great harm personally. I would like to remember her, though, as someone who entrusted her heart to many, because she was brave.
Anyone who met Kelly can't help but be like her a little.
Sarah Bay Wiley
Fall Church, Va.
More Beer Here
I have read the article 'Beer City' (Swizzle, Nov. 23) where Anne Gisleson reviews and comments on Ken Wells' book Travels With Barley and find a few remarks to be incorrect, others downright ignorant.
Her statement that Dixie Brewing Co. is the only remaining brewery in New Orleans is wrong and insulting. Crescent City Brewhouse has brewed world-class beers in the French Quarter since 1991 and has received many accolades for its German style lagers. There are others as well, brewing different styles, all differing from the mainstream and certainly no letdown as a Brewing town. Both Ken Wells and her are correct that the majority of beers consumed here are from the big three beerfactories. The locals however have made it clear that they love our or Abita's products in their loyal support over the years. Just last week we got the highest compliments from our peers in the industry when the Brewhouse hosted the opening reception for the Brewer's Association of America. The response to our beers was tremendous and we take great pride in the fact that we have brought back this age-old German tradition of the highest quality to a city that truly was the brewing center of the South in the early 20th century. Please don't disqualify our efforts in saying Mr. Wells is justified to overlook this city in finding an authentic beer experience. Maybe the authors should leave Bourbon Street long enough to see where the real New Orleanians drinks their beer and where quality is the first and utmost consideration.
Owner/Brewmaster, Crescent City Brewhouse
EDITOR'S NOTE: The focus of writer Anne Gisleson's article was on breweries with commercial distribution.