This week, I go to the reader mailbag, because I'm too lazy to
write my own column this week! Ha Ha! Oh, I'm such a bad boy........
Vincent Dugal of Ste-Jovite, Quebec takes issue with last
week's column, in which I categorically stated that Ingvar Hallerstahl
is the greatest tubist of the second half of the twentieth century.
Writes Mr. Dugal:
"When you made your assessment of Ingvar Hallerstahl as
the world's greatest tubist since 1950, I don't know how you could
have overlooked the work of the late German prodigy Alois Groonman.
His range was far superior to Hallerstahl, and his ability to personify
the tuba and make it an extension of himself is something I've never
thought Hallerstahl capable of. If Groonman's life were not cut
so tragically short, he would be the golden child of the tuba today,
and not that pompous blowhard Ludwig Lionlippe. To be brutally frank,
neither Hallerstahl nor Lionlippe are worthy of emptying Groonman's
Heh heh, I get it....."blowhard." Good one! You know
Vincent, now that I've had some time to think about it, you're absolutely
right. Groonman is the best I've ever heard, first or second half
of the last century. How could I forget him?
Ann-Marie Klixx of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories wanted
clarification on the date of Toby Koopman's first solo recording.
"Last month, you wrote that Dutch tubist Toby Koopmans
released his first collection of solo recordings, tubaligations,
1970, in 1968. This could be just a mix-up on your part, or
maybe my vinyl copy is a re-issue, but my copy says 1970. I went
to Koopmans's web site and it also said that the album was released
in 1970. Not a big deal, just wanted to make sure."
Once again, mea culpa! Toby's agent was in touch with me a couple
of weeks ago to inform me of that correction, but I just plain forgot
to mention it since. Thanks for straightening me out, Ann-Marie!
(Are you looking for work? I could use you as my fact checker if
the publisher would pay for it!........almost over, almost
over, almost over....)
Matthew Lett, a reader from Bangor, Maine pointed out yet
another error in one of my columns past:
"You wrote on June 27 that Michel Vandenbos's 1984 concept
album tuba thumper was entirely in the key of C. I went and
had another listen, and although I don't have perfect pitch or anything
like that, I'm pretty sure the entire album is in B, not C."
Sure right, whatever you say......
Finally, Ronald Prudhoe of Rideau Ferry, Ontario weighed
in with his take on the new technology versus the classic, vintage
tuba debate, which apparently I wrote about sometime in the past.
"As a retired professor of music and tuba traditionalist,
I would like to point out an inaccuracy in one of your recent columns.
You wrote that the new tubas being produced today combine the "best
of technological advancement while replicating the classic baritone
of a vintage 50's Melton." To this I say: poppycock. I am a
proud owner of a 1957 Melton F, and I can say with full confidence
that in comparison, any tuba produced by ANY manufacturer over the
past 20 years sounds as tinny as a beer can."
All right, all right, all right, FINE! Right again! I'm a freakin'
idiot, all right? I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.
Everything I write, I just get it off the Internet.
You people make me sick!!! Get a life, my God, how can you possibly
care so much about tubas? It's the fucking tuba! Where I come from,
the only people who played the tuba were LOSERS. You people actually
buy tuba records? You own your own tubas? You care who the best
tuba player in the world is? All I have to say is, there are a lot
of 50-year-old virgins out there.
Do you think I want to spend the rest of my life writing a column
about the tuba? I want to be a sportswriter, but this is all this
crappy paper has to offer right now and it pays the bills. (barely)
Why the hell they decided to come up with a column devoted exclusively
to the tuba, I have no idea. (Just between you, me and the fencepost,
I think the publisher has a "substance abuse problem"-he's
always talking to himself and swatting at imaginary flies and talking
about how the NDP is out to get him and weird shit like that. Send
me an e-mail and I'll tell you more-he's so blottoed by 10 o'clock
every morning, he won't even notice me bad-mouthing him in his own
See you next week, tuba lovers!!!!........God, I need a drink..........
Posted on July 27th, 2001