Our lives have been ruined

On May 28th, 1934, in Corbeil, Ontario, five girls were born two months prematurely to Elzire and Oliva Dionne, a couple who already had five children and little money to speak of. The new arrivals became the first identical quintuplets known to survive more than a few days; media interest was intense. Four months later,

Dame of what?

In 2007, when informed by reporters outside her home that she had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, novelist Doris Lessing famously reacted with an endearing indifference that has since been replayed by thousands. Indeed, she later called winning the award a “bloody disaster.” 15 years before that, in 1992, she was offered the

Good luck with the picture

Early-1999, shortly after the release of Terrence Malick‘s The Thin Red Line, in which he starred, Sean Penn approached 20th Century Fox and asked for a private jet to take him to a screening of the movie in Houston. Much to his dismay, the studio refused on grounds of cost and company policy. Infuriated by the

The Alien Father is H.R.Giger

In November of 1997, shortly before the release of the fourth Alien movie, Alien: Resurrection, H.R. Giger — the award-winning Swiss artist responsible for designing the Alien itself for the original movie — learned that he wasn’t to be named in the credits of the franchise’s latest installment. Understandably, he was furious, and responded to the news by

Dear Friends

On December 14th of 1999, a few weeks after discovering he had colon cancer, cartoonist Charles Schulz wrote the following open letter and announced his retirement from drawing the Peanuts comic strip — a widely adored publishing phenomenon that was read by hundreds of millions of people during its 50 year lifespan. Sadly, just two months after writing the letter, on

I love June Carter, I do

On March 1st of 1968, 13 years after first meeting and just a week after he proposed to her on stage during a concert, the great Johnny Cash married fellow country singer June Carter. They remained together until her death, 35 years later. Shortly after June passed away, Johnny wrote the following note. He died two months later,

I’ll be watching over you

On January 12th of 1997, 41-year-old astronaut Jerry Linenger kissed his pregnant wife and 14-month-old son goodbye, boarded Space Shuttle Atlantis, and headed for Space Station Mir where he joined two Russian cosmonauts. He then remained in Space for a record-breaking 132 days. Below are just three of the dozens of letters he wrote to

Think of my programmes as your research department

Early-1996, on learning that a forthcoming, weekly drum & bass programme was to eat into his own show’s airtime, shortening it by an hour, pioneering DJ John Peel made his disappointment known by writing the following letter to Matthew Bannister, then-controller of BBC Radio 1. John Peel remained with the station until his death in 2004.

The Battle of the Bitches

Early-1993, Matt Ffytche — an editor at now-defunct London-based magazine, Modern Review — contacted U.S. author and critic Camille Paglia by fax and asked her to write for the publication. In addition to her fee, Ffytche also offered a complimentary copy of “No Exit,” the new book by Modern Review co-founder Julie Burchill — someone already known to Paglia due to a negative review Burchill

You are truly wonderful

Since she passed away last month, I’ve heard numerous stories of letters written by Nora Ephron — generous letters which were, more often than not, heartwarming, positive, and laced with humour. Below is just one example, written in 1994 to Elizabeth Wurtzel in response to a request to supply a blurb for Prozac Nation, the

Regarding your dam complaint

In December of 1997, as a result of an official complaint from a neighbour, a Michigan resident named Stephen Tvedten received, indirectly, a stern warning from the region’s Department of Environmental Quality in the form of a letter—a letter in which he was given six weeks to remove two “unauthorized” and “hazardous” dams from the

stay away from microwaves

On July 22nd of 1992, during their famous joint tour with Metallica, Guns N’ Roses co-headlined at the Hoosier Dome in Axl Rose‘s home state of Indiana. They appeared on stage last, almost two hours after Metallica had finished their set, and were headed by an angry frontman. Two days later, a less-than-glowing review of

Bill Hicks on Freedom of Speech

As an outspoken stand-up comedian with strong, unbending views on the most divisive of subjects, the late-Bill Hicks was no stranger to controversy during his all-too-brief career. In May of 1993, less than a year before he succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 32, a live recording of Hicks’ Revelations show was broadcast

With all my heart and soul

On their fourth wedding anniversary in April of 1996, just eleven months after the riding accident that saw him paralysed from the neck down, Christopher Reeve‘s wife, Dana, gave him the following letter. They remained married until his death in 2004, by which point the Superman actor had lent his name to the American Paralysis

Butt-Head Astronomer

Late-1993, renowned astronomer Carl Sagan learnt that Apple’s forthcoming computer, the Power Macintosh 7100, had been given a codename of “Carl Sagan” — the joke being that they would sell “billions and billions.” This was mentioned in a MacWEEK article some time later, to which Sagan sent the following letter in response. Apple soon changed the

My muse is not a horse

In 1996, following the success of his band‘s ninth studio album, Murder Ballads, word reached Nick Cave that he had been nominated for an MTV Award, as Best Male Artist. That nomination was soon withdrawn, however, as a result of the following rejection letter from Mr. Cave to the event’s organisers. Nick very kindly agreed to

May the muses embrace you

In September of 1988, Salman Rushdie‘s fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, was published in the UK to both critical acclaim and immediate controversy. By February of 1989, following months of protests and death threats, his execution was ordered by way of a fatwā issued by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Rushdie was

We both share the same goal

Author Douglas Adams had been trying for many years to bring The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to the big screen when, in December of 1997, a deal was made with Disney to do exactly that. Initially Adams was understandably delighted, but by April of 1999 — after multiple rewrites of his screenplay in response to

Stephen Hawking on Time Travel

In 1995, with their forthcoming 15th anniversary issue in mind, The Face magazine approached Stephen Hawking and asked him for a time travel formula. They soon received the following response by fax. Transcript follows. (Source: The Face’s former editors, Richard Benson & Johnny Davis; Image: Stephen Hawking, via.) Transcript UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGEDepartment of Applied Mathematics and

A letter of thanks from Gil Scott-Heron

Back in 1997, TVT Records decided to reissue a handful of Gil Scott-Heron‘s albums — namely, Winter In America; The First Minute of a New Day; From South Africa to South Carolina; It’s Your World, and The Mind of Gil Scott-Heron. On March 27th, prior to signing the contract and receiving his advance, a clearly enthused Scott-Heron took some time to

Dear Bob

Dear Bob (mp3) Late-1993, some months prior to the release of Grace, Jeff Buckley took to the stage and impersonated Bob Dylan. He later explained: “I was at A Hole In The Wall in New York, and I’d seen Dylan the night before. So I did an impression of him singing I Want You. I

It is the woman who pays

Says Marianne: “In 1990 my husband passed on; I was 36-years-old and left with 3 small children. For some reason I wrote to Kurt Vonnegut and thanked him for his books and his compassion. I did not expect a reply. He must have been a kind man, as he sent this to me within a

Some Thoughts on Our Business

20 years ago, in January of 1991, a very critical 28-page internal memo — written by the then-head of Disney’s film studios, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and distributed to his fellow executives in an effort to refocus their approach — was leaked to the press, and instantly became talk of the industry. The recent release of the big-budget Dick

Somehow the possibilities seem limitless

In October of 1993, a stand-up performance by Bill Hicks was controversially pulled from Late Night with David Letterman a few hours prior to broadcast — Letterman later claimed it was due to a potentially upsetting religious joke; Hicks, on the other hand, blamed it on a pro-life commercial to be screened during an ad break that

Everyone has to be a child

Back in 1998, The Economist ran an article which resulted in a record amount of feedback for its author. The subject at hand was children: For children, just like cigarettes or mobile phones, clearly impose a negative externality on people who are near them. Anybody who has suffered a 12-hour flight with a bawling baby

You are the future. You can make a difference.

Christopher Reeve graciously sent this touching letter of advice to students at University Heights Middle School, California, in 1999, in response to a request for some inspirational words by their teacher, Walt Owen. It was dictated four years after the tragic accident that left the Superman star in a wheelchair for the rest of his

Good Bye, Son

Christopher was just 3 years of age and largely oblivious to the impending tragedy when, on August 11th of 1991, his dad wrote him this heartbreaking farewell letter. The next year, his father passed away after losing a battle with leukemia. He was 38-years-old. Transcript follows. (Source: Christopher; used with permission. Many thanks to Alec

Each of you is special just because you’re you

In January of 1990, a 6-year-old boy named Christopher wrote to Fred Rogers — host of the widely-adored children’s programme, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood — and asked if he could visit the show’s studio. The lovely rejection he soon received can be seen below, as can both a letter of thanks subsequently sent to the studio by Christopher’s impressed father

The Nevermind Happy Meal

Nirvana‘s second album — the immeasurably influential and multi-million selling Nevermind — somehow turns 20 tomorrow. The band sent out the following handwritten letter to a number of fans during the run-up to its release on September 24th of 1991, and jokingly referred to, amongst other things, a tie-in with McDonald’s whereby copies of the forthcoming album would

With great respect, Marge Simpson

Barbara Bush received a letter from the unlikeliest of sources in 1990, after an article in People magazine quoted the First Lady as saying The Simpsons “was the dumbest thing [she] had ever seen.” Marge Simpson‘s polite response can be seen below, followed by the transcript of an apologetic letter from Barbara Bush in reply.

Dear Loser

Here, in all its glory, is the form rejection letter sent to unsuccessful acts in the 1990s by legendary record label Sub Pop. Just to clarify: “Dear Loser” appeared at the top of all Sub Pop rejection letters. What’s not to love? Transcript follows. Image courtesy of MoLo_trash at Flickr. Image: MoLo_trash Transcript From… Sub

Make me proud

Below is further proof of Quentin Tarantino‘s admirably enthusiastic attitude when replying to fan mail, in the form of a brief but energetic handwritten note to a 14-year-old aspiring filmmaker named Richard in 1998 (for another perfect example, see this letter from 1996). This particular response was prompted by a letter from the young fan

Amateur comedy is too “On the nail”

Back in 1997, aged 19, then-aspiring comedian Mike Scott sent a letter to one of his biggest influences, Phil Hartman, along with a selection of his amateur comedy sketches on an audio tape. The letter spoke at length of his hopes and dreams, and politely sought any advice Hartman was able to give. Four months later the following

The Internet Tidal Wave

May 26th, 1995: Bill Gates sends a memo, entitled “The Internet Tidal Wave,” to all executive staff within Microsoft. In it, he makes clear his intention to focus the company’s efforts online with immediate effect and “assign the Internet the highest level of importance,” going on to call it, “the most important single development to come

You are scum

Letter removed at the request of Hunter S. Thompson’s Estate.

EGO-EGO-EGO!!!!

1997: Madonna writes to record producer and longtime collaborator Pat Leonard, and regretfully informs him of her desire to enlist the services of William Orbit to produce the remainder of her latest album, Ray of Light. Her decision to change direction would ultimately prove fruitful, with many critics heralding the finished record as one of

I’m 82 and hate it!

Despite suffering quite heavily from emphysema and Parkinson’s disease during his final years, horror legend Vincent Price still kept up with his correspondence. Below are three postcards written by Price in the early-’90s to friend Bob Miller. Each touch on the declining health of both himself and his wife, Coral, who died in May of 1991 after

I have no interest in you or your life

Back in 1994, then aged 14, Tom Stuart wrote a letter to Lee and Herring — the British comedy duo behind one of his favourite shows, Fist of Fun — and, after introducing himself as a young fan of their work, asked a few questions. A fairly lengthy reply soon arrived, the vast majority of

It’s better to burn out than to fade away

On April 8th of 1994, an electrician discovered the body of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain at the musician’s home in Lake Washington with a shotgun resting on his chest, a bullet wound to his head, and the following handwritten letter on a nearby table. Addressed to “Boddah”—apparently the name of Cobain’s imaginary childhood friend—the letter is

Rock on Sarah!!

In 1996, two years after the release of Pulp Fiction, a 13-year-old film fanatic named Sarah wrote to her idol, Quentin Tarantino, and told him of her dream to one day become a filmmaker. She also praised his work on the recently released From Dusk till Dawn, and spoke of her love of horror movies.

I write for myself and I’ll say anything I damn well please

Back in December of 1996, worried about the influence of Green Day‘s “explicit” fourth album, Insomniac, on her 8-year-old son, an angry mother decided to write a slightly aggressive letter of complaint to the band. It clearly hit a nerve, and she soon received a handwritten response from then-24-year-old frontman Billie Joe Armstrong. Both letters

This is Kurt Vonnegut, reporting from the afterlife

In a 1997 letter to Manhattan-based radio station WNYC, author Kurt Vonnegut pitches his idea for a series of fictional interviews with the deceased. In fact the idea came to fruition and numerous 90-second segments — one of which can be heard here — were subsequently broadcast, with interviewees ranging from the non-famous through to

To my family — from Dad

At approximately 12:15pm on February 26th, 1993, Carl Selinger entered elevator number 66 on floor 43 of the World Trade Center in New York and began the ascent to his office. Almost immediately the elevator came to an abrupt halt, and within minutes the confined space began to fill with smoke. Unbeknownst to Carl, at

We are standing on the threshold of Great events!

On April 14th of 1993 — day 46 of the Waco seige — leader of the Mount Carmel Branch Davidian sect, David Koresh, released what would be his final letter to his lawyer, Dick DeGuerin. In it, he spoke of his excitement at being given permission by God to “put the Seven Seals in written form,” after which he

You’re a liar and a fraud

Despite having worked as an internationally-renowned stage magician for much of his life, it’s for his clinical investigations of all things paranormal and pseudoscientific — most famously his exposé of a certain spoonbender, The Truth About Uri Geller — that James Randi is best known. His no-nonsense approach in such matters is illustrated in the following letter, written in

love, thom

Below are two letters, both sent by Thom Yorke to fans of Radiohead — the first handwritten in 1994, pre-Bends, and the second typewritten in 1996. At this point in their career, Radiohead were still on the lower rungs of the ladder in terms of success, as evidenced by the earlier letter — written in the studio

I expect you to correct your work-ethic immediately

Written in 1996, below is a sternly-worded letter from a CalTech chemist — Erick Carreira — to a member of his research team — Guido Koch — in which the former reprimands Koch’s supposedly slack work schedule following his absence in the lab on numerous evenings and weekends. Also unacceptable to Carreira was Koch’s gutsy

Part of playing for high stakes under great pressure is the constant risk of mental error

On April 5th of 1993, with 11 seconds of the title game left and his team losing 73-71, acclaimed college basketball star Chris Webber infamously called a time-out when in fact his team, the Michigan Wolverines, had none remaining. The resulting foul effectively sealed their loss. Days later, the incredibly dejected member of the iconic group

I dare you all, test your strength: Open a book.

January 24th, 1992. Writing to a class of students in an effort to promote the art of reading, legendary animator Chuck Jones urges them to open a book and recalls the literature that helped inspire the creation of Wile E. Coyote and Pepé Le Pew, just two of the many cartoon characters he had a hand

Buttocks or Crotch?

Courtesy of Letters from a Nut — an often hilarious collection of “prank” correspondence, written in the mid-90s by comedian Barry Marder to a selection of unsuspecting recipients — comes a letter in which, under his pseudonym Ted L. Nancy, he asks a sensitive question of one Albert Meyer, then-President of the American Seating Company.

Be your own self. Love what YOU love.

In 1991, schoolteacher William Stanhope wrote to a number of high-profile personalities and politely asked for the following: a description of an obstacle they had faced in their lifetime, big or small, and the story of their attempt to overcome it. He then collated the responses and used them to teach his class. The lovely

Love, the anti-christ

[Warning: Possibly Offensive Language Ahead] On March 31st of 1994, a highly-charged Madonna appeared as a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman. Over the course of the now-infamous interview she said the word “fuck” a record thirteen times; called Letterman himself a “sick fuck”; asked the host to smell some underwear she was holding;

A Not-so-fond Farewell

On March 27th, 1990, with 34 episodes and a string of clashes with its main star under his belt, an exasperated Jeff Harris announced his resignation as executive producer on Roseanne by taking out a full-page ad in Daily Variety. On it was printed the following farewell letter. Breaking point was apparently reached when Roseanne Barr‘s new husband, Tom

You can beat it just like I did

On September 5th of 1994, eager to pose a question, 8th-grade student Branden Brooks found himself raising his hand during the Q&A session of a presentation by then-Senator Joe Biden. After the event, having noticed the young man’s stutter as he spoke, Biden pulled him to one side: Sen. Biden told me that he used to stutter

Script-written cartoons are like rap music

Happy new year everyone. To begin 2011, below is a letter from Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi (on letterhead of his now-defunct production company, Spümcø) to a fan, in which he discusses Rocky and Bullwinkle; reveals his love for Roger Ramjet; debates storyboard-written vs script-written cartoons; and then compares the latter to rap music. Transcript follows. Image courtesy of

I have put out a contract on Salman Rushdie

June, 1998: Kurt Vonnegut writes a light-hearted letter to Avatar Prabhu – pseudonym of the author Richard Crasta – in response to Crasta’s controversial novel, The Revised Kama Sutra, being dedicated to the Slaughterhouse Five novelist. Vonnegut closes the missive by amusingly taking a swipe at Salman Rushdie who, whilst in hiding years previous, had written a less-than-glowing

Don’t try

Image: Criminal Wisdom In a letter to good friend, fellow poet, and founder of New York Quarterly magazine William Packard in 1990, then-70yr-old Charles Bukowski discusses the art of writing, reiterating his belief that a writer’s words and ideas should come naturally, and not be forced. Four years later, Bukowski passed away. Carved into his headstone are

There will be seven Harry Potter books altogether

On April 11th, 1998, having recently failed to scoop the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for her debut novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, author J. K. Rowling responded to a young fan’s good luck wish with the following handwritten letter. A few months later, in July, the second installment of her phenomenally successful Harry Potter heptalogy was released to much

Its true beauty, however, was that it worked

As he exited the Apollo Lunar Module on July 20th of 1969, ready to set foot on the Moon, Neil Armstrong‘s immediate safety was in the hands of an incredible feat of engineering that is often overlooked: his A7L Spacesuit and backpack. Built at Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center by ILC Dover and Hamilton Standard, respectively,

Dear Princely person

In a bid to drum up support for the soon-to-open Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts in 1996, its lead patron, Paul McCartney, wrote to a variety of high profile ‘friends and good people’. Below is his letter to fellow musician, Prince. The Fame-inspired institute was successfully opened by McCartney and friend of George Martin, Mark Featherstone-Witty,

Madonna: “I hate actresses”

Judging by the following letter, Madonna wasn’t exactly thrilled when filming A League of Their Own back in 1991. Writing to friend and photographer Steven Meisel – the man with whom Madonna later worked on Sex, the highly controversial book also mentioned in closing – the frustrated entertainer bemoans the lack of “beautiful men” in

Our government doesn’t give a fuck about our troops

From celebrated humanist, author and one-time prisoner of war, the late-Kurt Vonnegut, comes a 1991 letter to activist Robert Henry Walz, in which the Slaughterhouse Five novelist responds to a request for assistance with regards to the support of American war veterans. Writing just four months after the end of the Gulf War, Vonnegut was

SAY THAT TO MY FACE

In the summer of 1995, a scheduled appearance by the Rollins Band at a gig in Brandywine, Maryland was thwarted at the very last minute due to torrential rain. A few weeks later, still feeling cheated having stood sodden in the audience through many hours of support acts, local Rollins fans Chris Farley and Ken

Dear Empty TV

For many, the release of Smells Like Teen Spirit in 1991 marked the beginning of a love affair with Nirvana; however, for an instantaneous idol as reluctant as Kurt Cobain, it marked the beginning of the end as, almost immediately, the song, its accompanying video, and the album from which it came were the focus of an

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a piss stain

Early-1996, it was announced that the Sex Pistols were to be inducted into the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; a museum based in Cleveland, Ohio, which introduces several new acts to its ranks on an annual basis. Unfortunately for the Hall of Fame, the Sex Pistols responded to the news by way of the following

Our gods are assholes

Iggy Pop had more to say following his interview with Plazm magazine in 1995; so much so in fact, that he sent the following fax to journalist Joshua Berger in order to further their recent chat. Currently holed up in Warsaw on a tour of Europe, Iggy’s thoughts were focused entirely on his home country

He was there with you on the bridge

During his seven acclaimed years as Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Patrick Stewart was the recipient of numerous notes of thanks from viewers. The touching letter shown below was written in 1992 to Stewart, not by a fan directly, but by the parent of a young man afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

An offense that comes from misinterpretation is vulnerable

No sooner had the above cartoon been published than complaints from offended readers began to reach the offices of The Rebel Yell, student newspaper of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. It was early-1997, not long after a controversial decision by the school board of Oakland to recognise Ebonics as a primary language had kick-started a national

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

I will be stopping Calvin and Hobbes

Click here to embiggen Late-1995, ten years after it was first syndicated, Bill Watterson sent the following letter to the thousands of newspapers which carried his widely-adored Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, in doing so announcing the forthcoming end of its run. True to his word, on December 31st of that year the final, 3’160th

THINK BIG.

An eloquent, supportive and neatly handwritten note to a pen-pal by the name of Aneisha Howard, written in 1999 on the inside of a motivational greeting card. The sender – ‘not the guy that the media has portrayed’ – happened to be John Gotti, a notorious American gangster and one-time head of the Gambino Family in New York City who,

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

Don’t F*ck With The Quote

In 1992, prior to the release of Connie Willis‘ new novel, Doomsday Book, Random House editor Amy Stout approached multi-award winning – and notoriously blunt – science fiction author Harlan Ellison for a quote. The following letter was sent to Stout in reply and includes the blurb as requested, plus explicit instruction with regards to

“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

How many lives are you willing to sacrifice?

August 2nd, 1990: Tensions originating from the Iran-Iraq War spill over and Iraqi troops invade Kuwait. Within days they take control of the country and its oil fields. August 7th, 1990: Sensing the potential for a similar invasion of oil-rich Saudi Arabia, U.S. troops gather in the Kingdom in order to defend the area. Operation

I will include your name in my present work

Celebrated science fiction author Jack Vance has written over 60 novels during his career, accumulated numerous prestigious awards for his work, and in 1997 was named a Grand Master by the SFWA. However it’s good to know that such acclaim hasn’t affected his good nature, as can be seen in this reply to a piece

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

I feel disposable, used and insignificant

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that extramarital affairs are an extremely common occurrence, and as such letters similar to the one below — in which a recently jilted lover begs a cheating husband for further secret contact — are nothing special, and certainly not unique. However this particular letter, written five weeks after the

Your pal, John K.

In 1998, aged just 14, aspiring young cartoonist Amir Avni decided to send a letter to the creator of Ren & Stimpy, John Kricfalusi, along with a few cartoons he’d drawn, some of which contained relatively unknown characters of John’s. An incredibly generous reply soon arrived in the form of the wonderfully supportive, illustrated letter

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

I wish I could spare Nancy from this painful experience

On November 5th of 1994, five years after leaving office, 83-year-old Ronald Reagan hand-wrote the following open letter to the American people and revealed that he had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a surprisingly common, incurable form of dementia that affects many millions of people around the world. He lived with the disease for a further ten

The Sunday Strip

In a move which simultaneously riled newspaper editors and delighted fans, famously strong-minded cartoonist Bill Watterson returned from a nine month sabbatical in 1992 and demanded that the Sunday edition of his comic strip – Calvin and Hobbes – be allotted a full half-page each week by newspapers, or nothing at all. The fear of

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

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

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

Krusty the Clown is God

Says Jeff Trexler: Back in 1990, when I was researching my Ph.D. dissertation in religious history, I found a Christian tract featuring Bart Simpson as the sinner and Homer as the angry God. Simpsons counterfeit merchandise was ubiquitous. I sent it to Matt Groening and jokingly argued, since a Christian wouldn’t steal someone else’s intellectual

P.S. This is my favorite memo ever

Ever since it first aired on television in 1997, Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s hugely popular animated comedy, South Park, has courted controversy due to its crude jokes, deliberate lack of tact, and the creators’ steadfast refusal to self-censor or bow to external pressures. However, two years after the show debuted, a feature length film

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

A killer logo

10 years ago Bill Geerhart decided to pose as a child and write advice-seeking letters to murderers and celebrities. Whilst all the responses are fascinating for varying reasons, I’ve chosen to post the reply given by Richard ‘NightStalker’ Ramirez – a Texas born, Satan-worshipping serial-killer convicted of 13 murders – purely as a result of