The Readers Respond:
Strapping Lets the Kids Borrow the Car

Gentle readers, I'm vacationing in Mexico this month so I'm handing you the keys. Over the last two years I've received dozens of letters, intimidating phone calls and anonymous email messages. Here are the greatest hits:

Dear Stupid Danforth,

I don't know if you think your being "funny" or if you really have it in for local musicians. What ever it is, your despicable. I've read a bunch of your "articles" and I haven't found one redeeming value in any of them. I feel sorry for any band or musician that gets mentioned in your articles. The local musician needs support, not somebody always making us into a "joke". You talk about yourself more than you talk about music. I am in a band called the Dry Leaves and I'll “never” invite you to one of our shows. Our next show is Thursday, July 12 at the Sting Ray on 72nd and Polk. You make it sound like we're all just a bunch of "stupid" "morons". You are the "stupid" "moron". I bet you don't have the guts to print this.

Signed,

Go to Hell

~~~~~~~

Dear Wise Old Man,

Who are you, Strapping Danforth? I know your name isn't really Strapping Danforth. I thought you were Ginger Baker for a while but then I called him several times and he said he wasn't you. Then he put a restraining order on me. Why do you hide behind this fake name? You should be proud of your ability to root out obscure musicians with interesting stories. Don't be bashful. I'd like to buy you a drink. Speaking of drinking, have you completely recovered from your heart attack? Will you ever drink again? I liked your articles better when you were always getting loaded and making an ass of yourself. I think it's worth the health risk to give it the old college try.

Love,

Cindy Desperado

~~~~~~~

Dear Strapping Dan,

I just want to thank you for writing that wonderful article about my old band, Capital Times. [Read it.] You really caught our essence. Since that article we've actually played a few shows. We've changed our name to the Flagpoles and we try to do only patriotic punk songs. I know it's probably not everybody's cup of tea. I think it'd be right up YOUR alley…We're recording a CD in the basement. It's going to be a 12 song cycle about the birth and rebirth of our nation, sort of like the Phoenix . So many bands out there are anti-war at all costs. We're not. We're not pro-war either. We're just pro America . I know a lot of "true" punks will write us off as wussies. We aren't. We love the States and we love to SHRED.

Thanks a Million,

Tony Rizzo

P.S. I'd also like to recommend a band my sister's in. They're called Burning Bush and it's an all-girl metal band with a twist. They're a metal JAM band. They've mixed the metal of metal with the jam of jam. It's awesome.

~~~~~~~

YOU SUCK,

YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK.

YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. DID I MENTION YOU SUCK? YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK. YOU SUCK.

YOU SUCK,

YOU SUCK

~~~~~~~

Dear Dad,

You don't know me but you used to know my mother. She was your third wife; the one you never talk about. Remember? Her name was Lisa. She died recently. Don't worry, she went in her sleep. She was 78 years old. Here are some details about me. I am 34 years old. My favorite band is different every day but it's usually Steve Miller. Sometimes I like the Cure. Other times I really like early Bob Dylan. After Mom died, I read some of her diaries. She loved you more than you would believe. I know she was a little older than you and that was a problem. She totally forgives you for letting her move out. She didn't know she was pregnant with me until a month after she got to Montreal . Yes, Montreal . Mom was a midwife for French-Canadiannes for several years. She gave birth to me and named me after her favorite dream. She used to title her dreams. Bet you didn't know that. Anyway, in accordance with her final wishes, I started hitching to Mexico so I could deposit her ashes in a very specific place. My journey took me through Colorado . To kill time on the side of I-25, I picked up a copy of RIFF. Lo and behold, I read an article by my long-lost father. This was in August of 2001. Rather than continue my trip, I got a job painting signs just outside of Loveland . You'd be proud of me, I think. Anyway, it's taken me a year to get up enough nerve to ask you this but I feel I must…

Will you go to Mexico with me to throw Mom's ashes down the toilet stall where the two of you first met? It would make her very happy if she were alive. I think it would be a great opportunity for us to get to know each other. I want you to see that in those hours you and Mom were married, something good was brought into the world. Me.

If you say no I'll never bother you again. Please don't say no.

Love,

Elk Undercarriage
(your son)

--Strapping Danforth, August, 2002

Learn more about Elk Undercarriage

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