Come on, George. Loosen up. Swing, man.

Still feeling the strain following his hugely successful solo album debut three years previous, George Michael told the LA Times‘ Calendar Magazine in September of 1990 that he would be shunning the limelight prior to, and during, the decidedly low-key release of his new album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1; specifically there were to be

How to wash George Harrison’s car

In 1962, Beatles guitarist George Harrison wrote the following humorous letter — a tongue-in-cheek, step-by-step guide to washing his car — to a young Beatles fanatic by the name of Susan Houghton. It’s worth noting that the owner of the soon-to-be-grime-covered Ford Classic at Forthlin Road, as mentioned in step 7, was a certain Mr. McCartney. Transcript

I’m trying very hard to be a regular soldier

It was 1959, and not long ago the unspeakable had happened: Elvis Presley had been called up for national service. Now stationed in Friedberg, Germany, many miles from home, he was finding it difficult to cope with the constant stream of mail reaching him from all corners of the globe; many of his fans still

Happiness is within you…

Please excuse me while I exhibit another music-related letter, again courtesy of the near-bottomless Hard Rock Memorabilia vaults. Today’s poetic gem was penned rather beautifully by the late Jimi Hendrix on an unknown date, to a girlfriend he affectionately called ‘little girl’. It’s all at once exceptionally sweet, gently encouraging and yet another example of

I hadn’t any idea that I talked about my guitar so often

Saul was just 14 when he wrote and illustrated the following letter to Michelle Young — an ex-girlfriend who had just recently ended their relationship and, in a previous letter, blamed the decision on Saul’s unending talk of his guitar. The guitar obsession never ended and Saul soon became Slash, one of the world’s most admired

Drive safely and don’t abuse alcohol, drugs or candy

When asked by his teacher to write to a contemporary artist as part of a school project in 1997, 13-year-old Green Day fan Austin Kleon immediately opted to contact collage artist Winston Smith – the man responsible for creating the artwork for the band’s 1995 album, Insomniac – and after finding his address via a

“BUT HE NEVER CALLS ME!”

In November of 1993, as the media feasted on the first child sex abuse allegation to be made against Michael Jackson, Oscar-winning actor Maximilian Schell sent the following letter to the Hollywood Reporter and paid for it to be printed on the back page of every copy of the publication. Obviously there was a lot

Hang on, my love, and grow big and strong

It took nine months for Iggy Pop to reply to then-21-year-old Laurence’s fan letter, but really the timing couldn’t have been more perfect as on the morning his thoughtful note did arrive at her home in Paris, Laurence’s family were being evicted by bailiffs. Laurence recalls that moment back in 1995: “By the time I

Maddonna is utterly ARTLESS

In September of 1995, following years of supposed feuding, Madonna‘s televised chat with Kurt Loder at the VMAs was interrupted by a barely coherent Courtney Love as she launched the contents of her handbag onto the stage. Loder — quickly sensing the potential for carnage — gallantly invited Love up to join them, and the interview quickly

The Jim Morrison Triptych

Courtesy of artist Thomas E. Breitenbach comes an intriguing missive from Jim Morrison; legendary frontman of The Doors and owner of stationery so cool it’s a wonder he didn’t send more letters. Breitenbach, a long-time fan of Morrison, had previously written to him and offered to paint an album cover. Below is the singer’s response.

Hi. Buckley again.

In December of 1996, two years after his debut album had begun to attract near-unanimous critical acclaim, Jeff Buckley shunned the limelight and without fanfare embarked on a ‘Solo Phantom Tour’ in the U.S.. Assuming various aliases throughout the month (e.g. Smackrobiotic, Topless America, The Halfspeeds), Buckley entertained a number of small crowds in intimate

My real name is David Jones

David Bowie was just 20 years of age and yet to make a dent in the music scene when, in September of 1967, he received his first piece of fan mail from America. The fan in question was 14-year-old Sandra Dodd, a New Mexico resident whose uncle, a manager of a local radio station, had

You, Me and Cousin Dupree

On July 17th of 2006, three days after You, Me and Dupree — a film both produced by, and starring, Owen Wilson — was released in cinemas, the following open letter, addressed to Owen Wilson’s brother, Luke, was posted on Steely Dan‘s official website. In it, the band humorously take a pop at Owen’s post-Bottle Rocket output and claim their

You’re nothing but a pimp

One day in April of 1976, Chicago Daily News columnist Mike Royko decided to focus on Frank Sinatra‘s arrival in the city ahead of a live show. In his column, Royko described the constant placement of Chicago cops outside Sinatra’s hotel as “wasteful,” derided his supposed “entourage of flunkies,” and remarked on what appeared to

BRUCE IS GREAT…

When, in 1995, the great Joe Strummer was asked by Mark Hagen to contribute to a Mojo article on Bruce Springsteen, he responded enthusiastically with the fantastic fax seen below. I think it’s fair to say he was a fan. The Boss publicly returned the compliment during a gig in 2008, declaring Strummer “one of the greatest rockers of

You are Elvis Presley. I am Andy Kaufman.

On February 27th, 1969, 20-year-old Andy Kaufman wrote the following letter to his idol, Elvis Presley, and spoke of both his admiration for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and his desire to meet him in person. It would be another 3 years until Kaufman’s now famous Elvis act was first televised—a performance which Presley himself later

Best regards, Kurt

On August 2nd of 1993, Kurt Cobain wrote the following letter to a hero of his: Beat legend William Burroughs. Cobain had been a fan of Burroughs for many years and in 1992 even collaborated with the author on The “Priest” They Called Him; however, to Cobain’s dismay, they still hadn’t met. And so, during preparation for

I HATE “Bright Eyes”!

Back in 1979, when such a feat actually carried some weight, Art Garfunkel’s song Bright Eyes spent six consecutive weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart after featuring on the soundtrack to the movie adaptation of the novel Watership Down. As a result of seemingly endless airplay, the song gripped the nation and

Whatever you do, don’t touch his hair

On January 8th, 1957, a press conference confirmed millions of music lovers’ worst fears: that Elvis Presley would soon be drafted into military service. For the next 14 months – at which point his induction took place – countless Presley fans became consumed with panic and spent much of their time speculating about the King

I would have gladly mingled with you

Ludwig Van Beethoven was one of the most famous composers of all time—a true musical genius whose accomplishments still influence and astonish to this day, centuries after his death. His life’s work seems even more impressive on learning that he started to lose his hearing in his late-twenties, a development which brought on bouts of

A striptease with clothes on

The following letter, composed May 16, 1956, was written by the editor of the La Crosse Register – a newspaper published by the Catholic Diocese of La Crosse – in response to an Elvis gig which took place in the area’s Sawyer Auditorium just two nights previous. It was sent to then Director of the

I can’t spell. I’m very upset

April 1964: The U.S. Department of Labor introduces new rules relating to foreign musicians entering the country, in effect making it more difficult for them to do so unless they can demonstrate a unique talent. The very recent onset of Beatlemania in America, coupled with misleading reports by the American press regarding this issue, results

I leave it in your capable hands

For their ninth studio album, Sticky Fingers, The Rolling Stones aimed for the top and asked Andy Warhol to design what would become one of the most popular album covers of all time: a sleeve featuring a shot of Joe Dallesandro‘s crotch, a workable zip, and for the first time the band’s tongue and lips logo as

TO ALL LOVERS OF NIGHT SHIFTS!

‘The enclosed file is a memo from film composer Max Steiner to his fellow workers and superiors at Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO). Max Steiner was famed for his ability to create more than 40 cinematic scores a year and was one of the most wanted composers in Hollywood during the Golden Age. His work includes films such

All you need is love

Stuart Sutcliffe joined The Beatles as bassist in May, 1960 (they were then known as The Silver Beatles). 15 months later, he left the band and enrolled in the Hamburg College of Art. However just months before he parted ways with the band, on the 31st April, 1961 – a date which doesn’t actually exist

Boom, boom, boom!

On January 30th, 1996, Evelyn Amato, a Manhattan-based thirtysomething, attended a performance of Cats on Broadway with fiance and family. As a result of an alleged incident involving Rum Tum Tugger during said performance, the following letter was sent by Miss Amato to producer Cameron Mackintosh in March of that year. Further to the letter

How can we stamp out this menace?

A flurry of letters similar to the one below – this particular example written by an irate parent to then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in 1964 – resulted in a 31 month investigation by the FBI into the recording of the song Louie Louie by The Kingsmen. The initial uproar was a result of claims

I can and will do more good as a Federal Agent at Large

Elvis Presley was an avid collector of police badges and the owner of dozens from departments and agencies the length and breadth of the United States. But, there was one badge in particular that he was desperate to get his hands on—one which had, for a long time, proven elusive: a badge from the Bureau

DON’T BEND OVER FOR THE WIVES OF BIG BROTHER

The PMRC, formed in 1984, are the committee responsible for the introduction of Parental Advisory stickers on CD covers. The committee was formed by the ‘Washington Wives’; four women who are also married to members of government, most notably Al Gore’s wife, Tipper Gore. Musician Frank Zappa strongly opposed this form of censorship and sent