Phony Letters To The Editor Of DRUM!

It shouldn’t be surprising to learn that we hadn’t yet received any mail before we published our very first internationally distributed edition of DRUM! Magazine. So we decided to compose our own letters to the editor in order to get the column started. But rather than pretend that the mail came from real readers (like some other magazines have done), we bent over backward to make it clear that our letters were completely phony. (And please keep in mind, this hit newsstands long before anyone had access to email, chat rooms, or message boards.)

So here it is, our very first letters column:

I play all kinds of hand drums, and read everything I can on the subject. But something’s been bothering me for a long time. I’ve seen dumbek spelled “dumbek” in some magazines and “doumbek” in others. Which is the proper usage? After all, a drum magazine should have the answer to a question like that.
Alec Johnson
Toledo, Ohio

Editor’s Note: Good question!

Mr. Johnson is sadly mistaken. It’s neither. As far as I’m concerned, it should be spelled “doumbec.” To pronounce the word correctly, doumbec should have a soft, quick “K” sound at the end, which the “c” suggests, rather than a hard “k” sound, which of course the “k” conveys. I’m afraid Mr. Johnson put his foot in his mouth this time.
Sam “Beaver” Watson
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Hey, what’s all this about me “putting my foot in my mouth” and being “sadly mistaken”? I was just asking a question. Where does this Watson fella get off? I mean, can anybody out there really take a guy very seriously whose nickname is “Beaver”?
Alec Johnson
Toledo, Ohio

It’s “doumbeq.”
Franklin Zip
Joliet, Illinois

I play death metal, and read everything I can on the subject. And since everyone’s talking about changing the spelling of drums, I was wondering if anyone out there would mind changing the spelling of the word “throwoff” to “THRöWWWöFFFFF” and “snare” to “SNäRëëëë.” Now that would be cool. And by the way, I didn’t appreciate that “beaver” remark very much, Johnson. In my case, it’s a family name.
Arnold “Beaver” Troutman
Nome, Alaska

I guess if your last name is “Troutman,” it doesn’t matter much if your nickname is “Beaver.” And by the way, “throw off” is two words, not one, dummy.
Alec Johnson
Toledo, Ohio

That’s it, Johnson! You’re dead meat!
Arnold “Beaver” Troutman
Nome, Alaska

Kick his ass, Troutman!
Sam “Beaver” Watson
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Just come and get me!
Alec Johnson
Toledo, Ohio