Box Full of Letters from Issue #32
I was thrilled to read Daniel Durchholz’s article [ND #31, Jan.-Feb. 2001] about the greatest band in the land. The Morells/Skeletons, whatever you call them, have had me rockin’ ever since I found their first LP, Shake And Push, at a garage sale for 25 cents in the early 1980s. Everything about that LP was perfect, right down to the picture of Red’s on the cover. Having seen them multiple times over the years (but not enough up here in New England), they’ve always reinforced their conviction of simple, no-frills rock ‘n’ roll with a very definite sleazy, greasy, country attitude. Seeing them back up Dave Alvin or Syd Straw, or just by themselves, they not only keep the music in perspective, they’re obviously just having a great time.
This band, along with NRBQ, have been essential to what “American Music” is all about. Whether it’s through covers or originals, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is the music, and Lou Whitney and company have been able to stay true to it, through every reincarnation over the last twenty years. From Jonathan Richman to Robbie Fulks, the Skeletons have produced and recorded some truly remarkable records over the years. Thanks for the article, and more importantly, thanks to the Morells/Skeletons for the music.
— Tom Shaker
Rodney and Rants:
A word from Down Under
Just a note to say great work again as usual with ND. Have been a fan of Rodney Crowell since his days in the Hot Band and always felt he had some influence on the alt country scene, so it was cool to see him on the cover [ND #31, Jan.-Feb. 2001].
What impressed me also was your editorial [Hello Stranger] — it summed up the way I tend to think. Even here in New Zealand, the whole election fiasco got a lot coverage, and I view with some concern already some of the decisions and ideas, especially internationally, that Dubya is putting forward.
Anyway, enough politics; the arrival of your magazine is something I look forward to every two months. My only problem is how do find the money to buy all this music. Sometimes I can’t even get it here, but that’s another story. Thanks for five years of great reading, and here’s to many more.
— Tony Parker
So sue me
I have always admired Grant Alden’s talents as an insightful, informative and objective music critic. I just read your Hello Stranger “political action” commentary [ND #31, Jan.-Feb. 2001], and I am now consulting with my 1-800-attorney if I should sue you or not. While I was reading your article I sustained a neck/back injury because I was vigorously nodding my head in agreement with your editorial content. After reviewing your article, the 1-800 attorney told me that I have a great case against you and your manipulating “non-multinational corporation” of a magazine. The attorney said that it is clear to him that your corrupt scribing caused me bodily harm by inciting me into a self-inflected whiplash injury due to your flagrantly false and socially irresponsible self-serving political statements. But, I told the attorney I agreed with your message and your call for honorable action. (I was advised that if I told the truth in court we would never collect a dime from you.)
Well, my neck is still hurting from nodding in agreement with your points-of-view, which as you say “wanders rather far afield from music.” And yes you are preaching to the converted, but don’t think that won’t stop me from finding an honorable way to sue your ass.
Please keep telling it like you see it brother!
— Roger Harb
‘Broader political context’
Thank you for your column! [Hello Stranger, ND #31, Jan.-Feb. 2001]
A friend gave me a gift subscription to ND about two years ago. Don’t know how I got along without it before that. Of course, the gift wound up costing me a lot of money, first because I had to renew my subscription, and second because I have to buy a lot of the music I read about in your pages. I knew you were into a good groove when you paid so much attention to my musical hero Doug Sahm at the time of his death.
But I could not have articulated quite what I like so much about ND until now, your column placing the magazine and the music it covers in the broader political context. Brilliant! (Which means, of course, among other things, that I agree.)
Again, thanks, and keep up the good work.
— Davis Joyce