“Dear Backlash” – Wing Commander Stubbs casts a critical eye over the years Melody Maker postbag, 19-26th December 1987

September 7, 2008

Dear Backlash - David Stubbs offers advice to the would be MM letter writers

Dear Readers,

Do you remember the humble letter? There are a couple of pictures on this piece to remind you exactly what one looks like should your memory fail you. A real handwritten letter is such a rare commodity these days and certainly as rare as to be practically extinct in the context of readers writing letters to N.M.E. as Morrissey famously did. Look that’s him in the background holding up an electric typewriter. Yes, electric…kinda like power steering for your fingers.

These days the only sort of letters anyone receives invariably hail from over friendly corporations, who, purely in the interests of trying to help us overcome life’s little hiccups, write to remind us that “in difficult times like these” they can help…because “there never has been a better time to buy [insert product or service] from [insert ‘helpful’ corporation name here]”. Cunts.

I can remember a time not that long ago, before faxes, emails, message boards and txts, when the letter was KING. It was THE medium of all communication with the press simply because it was the ONLY medium of communication with the press. You’ll understand of course that I NEVER once wrote to Melody Maker, precisely for fear of eliciting the sort of sniggering ridicule on the 25th floor that Wing Co. Stubbs sums up here. With typical gusto, and drawing on (deep breath), Shakespeare, Chaucer, Kant, Wittgenstein (twice), Kafka, neoclassical English literature, Salvador Dali, haiku poetry, James Joyce and Keats, Stubbs belittles yet consistently¬† entertains throughout. Thoroughly enjoyable but so very much of its time, and not only because of all those overtly intellectual reference points.

Can you imagine the sort of responses to this there would be these days if there were online comments below. LOL!!!!!!!!

I was never a prolific letter writer but sending and receiving letters was something special, a rare treat due to the physicality of the item. I haven’t written a letter for ages so I make this rash promise. I will write a proper letter to the first person that gets in touch with their postal address. With this letter I will include not only kind words but also the Dear Backlash page featured here. Consider this proposal open and valid until such a time that this page says it’s not.

Yours in anticipation,


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5 Responses to ““Dear Backlash” – Wing Commander Stubbs casts a critical eye over the years Melody Maker postbag, 19-26th December 1987”

  1. arthit Says:

    I once wrote a letter (postcard more like) to Muzik, and it got published. Never write one to MM. Great website. I still have a truckload of MM from 1988 to the last issue tucked away in my basement. Can you post that famous Kulkarni’s review of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin?

  2. Melissa Says:

    I wasn’t even born whenever these articles were written and these magazines were out, but I almost wish I was. This blog is very exciting, and I’m completely and totally appreciative of the time you take to scan and post these. I hope you continue for a while, because I always look forward to reading them. :)

    P.S. LOL!!!11 Hahaha, just kidding!

  3. […] Talk Talk Talk with Mr. Agreeable and Pepe Le Punk in recognition of the post on The Idolator re: “Dear Backlash” and the follow up comments about it. Thanks to Michaelangelo Matos for the post. Is it just me or […]

  4. […] “Dear Backlash” – Wing Commander Stubbs […]

  5. […] Paul Lester investigates Shoegazing and David Bennun interviews Plastic Fantastic and my open letter to the readers of this blog […]

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