On the X axis

Re: Bill Holdship's cover story on Bob Mulrooney, aka Bootsey X ("The ballad of Mr. X," April 14), Bob introduced me to the punk scene through the Ramrods and Bookie's Club 870 on McNichols Road (it burned down in the '90s) and I was their soundman during the first year or so of the Lovemasters. The 1987 era shows at Mr. Christian's in Royal Oak were probably the best they ever did, a swirling cacophony of mayhem and musical masochism that was as if Iggy Pop had bound and gagged Ike Turner and stole his band and girls for a wild ride through the alleys of Detroit. Bob's voice was a scream mostly, but he worked it like Jagger and had plenty of support with a cracklin' band. My worn board mix tapes capture some of that magic, but their studio tracks never did. The several attempts to produce "professional" tracks wrung all the chaos out of the band, like filtering Jack Daniels to make Faygo.

The Lovemasters never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity, but Bootsey soldiered on valiantly through dozens of players, including some of the best around.

One thing is certain, Bootsey is a very wry wit and a gas to be around when he's "on." I think of him with an alligator-size smile that can match the wattage of Julia Roberts. I'll be at Paycheck's on May 7. —Mark Oppat, Plymouth

Probing weirdness

Kudos to Metro Times and Brett Callwood for the feature on Marco Polio & the New Vaccines ("Life on (or with) Mars," March 31). I appreciated that the writer took the time to give us a real taste of the eccentricity that is MP&TNV, rather than just a couple sentences. I know these guys in person, so I am well aware of their personalities on and off the stage, but even still I felt like the feature gave me a little extra glimpse into the madness, the imagination and more. I also thought the writer did a great job of juxtaposing the two personalities that define the band. The stark contrast is real. Yet rarely do opposites seem to attract so well. As I sat in Sylvia's Pizza on Allen Rd late on a Wednesday night reading the article, I was blessed with a huge smile and goosebumps. I just thought I would thank you. My only question is: "What the hell is wrong with Bukowski and the Grateful Dead?". —Anthony Gentile (aka Anthony Anonymous of Jehovah's Witness Protection Program), Ypsilanti

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