MP's 20th: From the Vaults

Lists of interesting items from ye olden times in Metro Pulse history

Our Best & Worst Headlines

Deadline cleverness: You win some, you lose some.


"High Schtick-ing" (Jan. 28 1994): on the Cherokee hockey team

"Shopping at Seers," (July 1, 1994): on psychic conventions

"Victor the Grate," (Jan. 13, 1995): on Victor Ashe's management style

"Smooth Operation," (March 6, 1997): about buying self-esteem through plastic surgery

"It's 11 o'clock. Do you know where your news is?" (May 22, 1997): about the shortcomings of local TV news

"Unarrested Development" (Nov. 13, 1997): on the start of the Turkey Creek project


"Strings But No Towrope" (Nov. 5, 1993): on the lack of vision by UT president Joe Johnson

"DeMan of DeHouse of DeRoyal" (Feb. 11, 1994): a cover profile of Pete DeBusk

"Knoxville's Senior Role Models Keep Rolling On" (June 6, 1995): a cover story about active seniors

"Traffic!" (Feb. 6, 1997): on West Knoxville car jams


Recurring Themes

Covering the cultural and political life of Knoxville for 20 years means revisiting certain issues. Or, in our case, particular obsessions—stories that (no matter how many times we revisit them) don't seem to change much over the years.

TVA Is, Like, A Giant Moribund Federal Agency

Then: "Captain Atomic: Can TVA Survive Marvin Runyon's Atomic Legacy?" by Ralph Dosser (July 20, 1992)

Now: "TVA's Green Power Switch? After decades of animosity, the federal power company and its environmental critics find some accord on clean energy" by Rick Held (Feb. 17, 2011)

Downtown: We Gotta Fix It

Then: "Gay Street Blues: Can the ghostly parts of downtown be revitalized?" by Joe Sullivan (Dec. 18, 1992)

Now: "Downtown's Next Big Something: So we've come a long way in the past decade. Get over it. What's next?" by Frank Carlson (Feb. 4, 2010)

UT's Got Problems

Then: "UT's Flickering Torch: With a budget crunch threatening its academic standing, the university faces hard choices about its future" by Jack Neely (Dec. 5, 1996)

Now: "Volunteer Work: Scandals, budget crises, and a long history of overall mediocrity—can UT's new president Joe DiPietro reverse all that?" by Jesse Fox Mayshark (Jan. 20, 2011)

There Are Gay People Living In Knoxville!

Then: "You Better Work: Two Nights in Knoxville's Gay Club Scene" by Allison Glock (May 7, 1993)

Now: "Love, Hate, and Tolerance: How Knoxville's same-sex couples are faring in our straightlaced society" by Rose Kennedy (Oct. 7, 2010)

Will Knox County Schools Ever Get Better?

Then: "Our Schools: How they stack up" by Joe Sullivan (June 1, 1994)

Now: "Saving Austin-East: The threat of a state takeover has rallied students and staff. Is the long-troubled school finally turning around?" by Jesse Fox Mayshark (May 5, 2011)


Our Restaurant Reviewers' Nom de Plumes

Why give a secret identity to a restaurant reviewer? Because in Knoxville, that person takes their life in their own hands if they have anything even slightly critical to say about local dining. Here are some of the interesting pen names our reviews have used over the years.

Restaurant Rover (1991): Our first restaurant review in issue #1 was of Java, written by one Armando Vasqualez. Then in 1992 came Donald Thomas. But by volume 2, issue #8 came...

Bonnie Appetit (1992-1997): Bonnie, our most popular reviewer and the one who lost us the most advertising dollars, was Hillari Dowdle, wife of editor Coury Turczyn. Her first review was of Hooters, wherein she suggested an alternative restaurant for women: Peckers.

Hardy Appetit: Bonnie's brother, who occasionally filled in for her over the years, was local financial planner Rick Tate.

Gourmet Pyle (1995): This folksy reviewer got immediate hate mail when he temporarily replaced Bonnie. Gourmet was actually music journalist and former Rolling Stone contributing editor Chet Flippo.

Les Du Lunch (1998-1999): Freelance writer Phillip Rhodes took over reviewing duties from Bonnie; he's now deputy editor of Cooking Light magazine.

Ally Carte (2000-2001): Ally was actually our own entertainment editor, Adrienne Martini.

The Gourmet Nose (2008-2009): Our last reviewer was British playwright Kieron Barry, who left Knoxville after being named a Norman Mailer Fellow.


Metro Pulse's Ever-Changing Slogan

Hey, it's not easy to sum up everything a publication does in a handful of words, but we've tried.

1991: "Knoxville's Exclusive Arts and Entertainment Guide"

Jan. 6-Feb. 2, 1992: "The Banner of Local Color"

Feb. 3-Feb. 16, 1992: "Your Banner of Local Color"

Feb. 17-March 29, 1992: "Local Color"

March 30-Aug. 16, 1992: "Free Local Color"

Aug. 17, 1992: "Knoxville's Local Color"

Jan. 15, 1993: "Knoxville's Alternative Voice"

June 1, 1995: "Knoxville's Weekly Voice"

May 15, 2008: Although we now have a new tagline on the cover of every issue, you can still find a revised slogan tucked away in the staff box: "Knoxville's Best Alternative"