I was packing up my things in anticipation of a move from San Francisco to Portland, OR. An old envelope held a bunch of miscellaneous stuff from an old job I had. Pay stubs, some material for the company web page, photographs... and a handful of folded pieces from a box of ginger snaps, stapled and labeled with mailing addresses for a bunch of completely alien names and addresses. Intrigued, I unfastened the staples and began to read.
    Tiffany --

    'OFITG' and 'SSM' aside, I'm all the same on the inside. The clothes aren't that important but It's Nice to Hear from People Like You. I'm so sick of touring. Staying home is much nicer--keep it on the Slow Jams, cuz thats where it's at, if ya know what I mean.


    P.S. Keep on

      Keepin' on,

Let's rewind a bit. Years ago, in my misspent youth, I worked for a small indie record label. I was the computer guy... I ran the office network, maintained the webpage, that sort of thing. Sometimes I had too much free time on my hands.
    Angela --

    Thanks for your letter. No teenager is "worthless"--it's a mistake to equate fame with worth. To answer yr QUESTION: lines descend like mirrors in the hed. Take care.


We were well known around the country, and even the world, by The Kids, but you'd never hear anything of ours on a commercial radio station. We mostly worked with local acts, friends and the like. There was a kid who'd come up from LA periodically, play on the community radio station and whatnot, who got to be friends with the boss. They shared a love of old folk and blues music... They recorded a couple times in '92 or '93, some ungodly number of tracks. I don't know the actual number, but it wouldn't suprise me if it was over 100. Most of those were never finished.
    So What's up Melodie,

    Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you... i have Very little time to CHECK my Mail, Touring take's up so much time. i'm glad that you like my Acustic stuff... as of Jan1st 98' all my stuff will be like The One foot in the grave Album. That's the best Record i have ever made. The whole Rock Band thing sucks. Whats yr Bands Name? maybe you can open for me on my next acoustic tour thru TORONTO.

    Keep it Real


    P.S. i'm a loser honey, so why don't you write me.

Well, as it happens, the label decided to do a record with the kid, with a few of the songs he'd recorded in town. As that album was being readied for release, the kid had a hit -- a huge, bonafide, played-to-fucking-death hit -- which resulted in a frantic bidding war over which giant media conglomerate would be allowed to sell the kid to the world. One of the stipulations of the contract he eventually signed was that he would be allowed to release records with other record labels. So it was that our little hole in the wall got product into the hands of the teenagers of Middle America.
    dearest Charli,

    thanks so much for yr letter, sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. i totally Respect the fact that you love my music & not me. i mean... i'm sure you could love me if you got to know me, But all that aside how do you like your New Home. i hope yr Happy. you sounded a little down in yr letter. i Moved around a lot when i was a kid too... it's hard, especially to make new friends. Stay glad.

    great vibes


So in the years after we put out the record, we'd get fan mail for the kid... which would mostly just pile up and sit around. One lazy afternoon, three of us were sitting around, poking through the day's mail. There were a couple new items for the kid, and we noticed that the kid's mail slot in the set of plastic trays we kept for artists' mail slot was fairly full. A light dawned. We'd kill the afternoon writing the kid's fans... as the kid.
    Hey C.

    Thanks for the letter you sent... Sorry its TAKEN ME so long to write you Back...

    I've been on tour across the EARTH. I don't get to check my MAIL too much. REMEMBER TO Walk the dog


    ((Attached is a small replica $500 bill, on the reverse is written "Major Label $$$"))

I didn't know what to do with these, really, so I took the easy way out. I stapled them back up, affixed appropriate postage, and I stuck 'em in the mail.

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