Letters to the editor
sharpen yer nib
This issue’s mailbag has been managed & generally plumped by the well-respected & often drunk vicar of this good parish, The Reverend Jimmy Jazz. Jimmy took time out from planning his Harvest Festival service & writing his “peace in our lunchtime” sermon for this weekend’s “Happy Easter - War Is Over Rated” service.

Letter Of The Issue:

Dear trakMARX,

Thanks for so passionate and dead-on account of the new (only) MC5 film. I saw it a week ago in SF and went out realizing I'd been right all these years when I've stated and argued that the Five was the best band ever. In response, I'd get these California know-it-all noodle-headed laid back mellow-time morons telling me I should check out Pink Floyd's first album or this live bootleg from the Grateful Dead's New Years show in '73. No one would listen--not to me, nor to the MC5.

When I was about 20 the Five came to my college and played at some spring festival or whatever the hell it was, along with a few campus bands who did covers of Led Zep and Cream stuff. All fine and pretty good and the lightshow was cool, too. Then the light show went off and the Five came on, and for about a solid hour, bathed only in white lights on a makeshift stage in a room upstairs from the student union, they absolutely defined rock n roll. I'd seen nothing like it before (the extent of my rock "concert" attendance up to then was limited to having seen Country Joe and the Fish once, and The Happenings on another occasion. So I was somewhat naive. When the Five finished and I was walking back home I remember thinking to myself "Gee, those guys were great--now I wonder what a REAL band will be like. What will a big time big name top quality band do on stage? I mean, what will the Jefferson Airplane be like? Or Cream? Or the Stones? Because if five kids from just up the road can put in a show like that one, I'll bet these Major League bands will be twice as good." It took me a couple months – I went to Woodstock--and I got my answer: I saw all those bands and not one came within screaming distance of the MC5. Not Creedence, not the Dead, not the Band, not the Who.

I saw the MC5 another eight or ten times before they split up. It wasn't always as good as that first show, but even on a bad night they were better than, say, the Rolling Stones on the best night of their lives. I mean that - I've seen the Stones and have left the show midway through because it's so silly and pretentious and overblown. Prancing and mincing? The MC5 wouldn't have known how. So thanks for your review; it told it like it was.

Tom Hines – USA.

RJJ – Tom, the pleasure was all ours – believe me. Some members of our local parish organised a mini bus to make sure we all caught the movie (it was showing in the big city – not our local multiplex). As a man of the cloth, I’m not really supposed to swear that often, but I’ve got to say I was totally fucking slaughtered by “True Testimonial”. I now often begin some of my more jaunty sermon’s with the words ‘brother’ & ‘sister’. Praise be to Jesus & his many wonderful ways for bringing this fantastic proto punk rock group to our wayward attention.

Dear Marquee Smith,

Fuck me, you’re one miserable old tosspot, aren’t you? There are thousands of fucking brilliant records released every hour these days. Why don’t you get yourself down to the listening post @ MVC & check out some of the exciting new young rock n roll groups that are tearing a rug into little bits up & down the country ever damn night of the week instead of sweating on y’re not inconsiderable arse moaning about why things aren’t as good as they used to be.

Kate Morgan – Tottenham, London.

RJJ – Easy, tiger. Don’t beat about the burning bush – tell it like the Lord gave it to you on the mountain. In Marquee’s defence, he has been wandering through his wilderness years of late – bless.


Just wanted to say thank you. That’s all.

James The Ginger One, Coventry.

RJJ – Aaah, splendid cathedral. Such a damn shame about all those bombs, all that concrete, all those lost points, all those players for sale. Nevermind – there’s always the Kurt way out!!

Dear Jean Encoule,

What kind of a fucking name is that when it’s at home? I bet you’re trying to be clever, calling yourself Johnny Fuck. Pity you can’t speak French fluently like me – then you’d know you’re really called Johnny Bugger. Fucking queer.

Au revoir – Serge Middlesborough, Le Harve.

RJJ – Serge, you certainly have a way with words. That Gallic charm simply oozes from your pores (along with all that stale garlic). Coming from a country that’s 1 contribution to the history of rock n roll was Metal Urbain, I’d firme la bouche if I was you. Comprende?

Hey tMx,

What is down with the up? Thanking already for the fantastic piece that is the tribute to Joe Strummer. The Clash were (have) always been my favouritist punk group of rock since I stealed my (brother) copy of “White Riot” on Belgian import 7” (from 1981). He still no realised it missing & I often enjoy to re-spin on my Wintone Portadine PP32. Still, the kids are bound to know where it’s at. No?

Telstar Dieppe, Waterloo.

RRJ – There’s very little I can pick you up on there, Telstar. Admirable sentiments & a wholehearted dedication to limitation via language. If only some of us English were more capable at grasping the languages of our other European brothers & sisters the emphasis may well have required a different texture all together. Lazy – that’s what I call it.

Dear Katestar,

Is it really necessary for you to be so bloody rude about all & sundry all the fucking time? Honestly, it’s like you’re just doing it simply to wind people like me up enough to make us write e-mails all day (when we should be getting on with our accounting). Fucking time waster.

T.Spall, Wolverhampton.

RJJ – Turneth the other cheek in vain my son, sayeth the Lord. The spoils of a greater victor than you & I will become more apparent as & when. Time has a dangerous habit of not healing, but instead, tearing all asunder in it’s wake. Be mindful of what you do towards others as it may often have a bearing on what others do back to you. Here endeth the letters.

Don’t forget, there’s a really crap prize for the sender of the wittiest, nicest, creepyist, crawlyist, bumlickyist letter of the issue – so get typing with no delay - & send your missives to the address at the foot of the page.

contact wastebin@trakMARX.com trakMARX.com - the needle & the damage done