Mailbag

 

Cindy from Schenectady, NY wrote:

Dear Belinda:

Thank you! Thank you!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!! I can't tell you how thrilled I was to see that you had actually found a 45 of "Misty Monday Morning"! How nice of you to post it on your Dover Souls site so the rest of us can listen to it too. As you are well aware, it is almost impossible to find any of the Souls' music on vinyl (or anywhere else)!

I have been listening to it again and again. Although the recording is a bit scratchy sounding, that just means someone who loved the Dover Souls as much as we do played the heck out of that 45! It brings back so many memories, both good and bad. (The good: Stringing a necklace of "love-beads" as I listened to "Misty Monday Morning" in my room. I had to put a penny on the record player arm to keep the needle from skipping. Remember doing that? The bad: I broke my little brother's nose after he barged into my room playing Cowboys & Indians and fell on my turntable, smashing my 45 and my happiness. I never could find another "MMM" recording. Until now!!!! Hooray!)

Thank you, Belinda. You are an angel!

(Too bad the B side wasn't playable -- although "Hey Judy Bluebird" wasn't all that great of a song if you ask me.)

Luv,
Cindy
(Schenectady, NY)

Cindy  -  Hey, were you looking through the window into my room in 1966??? Sure sounds like it because I was doing the same things you were! Not only was I stringing love beads but I was also making peace sign mobiles out of coat hangers. Not finding anything to hang clothing with was just another excuse for my Mother to be mad at me. She just didn't understand! I had to laugh about the penny-on-the-stylus trick. But if you were like me the coin changed from a penny to a nickel and then to a quarter as the record became increasingly worn. Glad you enjoyed MMM but I think you would change your opinion about Hey Judy Bluebird if you heard it now. It was a sweet, peppy song that was full of youthful wonder. Belinda
 


Name Withheld From Outer Space, Wrote:

Mrs. Durkin:

I have been monitoring your Dover Souls site and I have been silent up to now -- but it imperative that I impart some very important information to you and your readers immediately. I see that someone has already written you a letter pointing out that the ID number of the Beechcraft involved in the demise of the Dover Souls is incorrect. I also see that you attempted to obfuscate the issue with an emotional tirade. This leads me to believe that you are either a dupe of forces you know nothing about -- or you are IN ON THE CONSPIRACY.

There is a reason that no one can find the correct ID number of that Beechcraft. (The plane's registration and maintenance records have been wiped from the face of the earth as near as I can tell.) And there is a reason that plane went down! Anthony Smithe-Jones knew too much, and he had to be taken out. (Unfortunately, his innocent bandmates and the plane's pilot were killed too.)

If you don't believe me, play the 45 of Misty Monday Morning backwards. You have the 45 -- just spin the turntable backwards. When you do, you'll hear that the words "Misty Monday Morning", when played backwards (gninrom yadnom ytsim), come out as, roughly, "Gin-rum Vietnam It's him". As any scholar of the Kennedy Administration knows, "Gin-Rummy" was JFK's nickname for McGeorge Bundy, who was an early proponent of US involvement in the Vietnam War (although, to his credit, Bundy later regretted his warmongering ways). Many people think Bundy acquired this moniker because of his fondness for booze -- but others figure it was because he was entirely capable of "ginning up" reasons for going to war (much like what happened recently with the Iraq War). It is my contention that Smithe-Jones, who was more politically active than his fans might suspect, stumbled on to some damning info about Bundy while corresponding with some American radicals in 1960. Knowing the danger of exposing the machinations of such a powerful man, Smithe-Jones encoded his indictment of Bundy in the lyrics of his catchy song, Misty Monday Morning. Rumor has it that in the 1970s Smithe-Jones was working on a book about the hush-hush inner-circle plotting that led up to the US bombing of Vietnam (McBundy was Chairman of the "303 Committee," lest you doubt his involvement in covert operations). Alas, Smithe-Jone's enemies finally caught up with him, and the manuscript and research materials burned up in that field in Clovis. (Or did it??? Another letter on your site mentions the "papers and reels of tape" that were scattered at the Clovis crash site, subsequently collected by the authorities, and then "lost." Frankly, I think it is disingenuous to assume that those tapes and papers were music-related. If so, why are they "lost"?)

PLEASE pass this information on. THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW!

-- No name, please


Dear No Name - First, I'd like to sigh audibly, SIGH! I don't know what to say other than I have posted you letter unedited for the world to see. They can make up their own minds as to whether you are in-the-know or just plain in-sane.  Belinda


Janet Farrell from Fresno, Ca. wrote:

Dear Belinda,
 
I'm a retired teacher/writer and I stumbled across your site while doing some research on Fresno County, and you mention that The Dover Souls had some tapes or songs in their possession when their plane crashed outside Clovis.
 
I remembered the subject of the crash coming up once while I was interviewing a retired Sheriffs Deputy, Raymond Stillson, and according to him, there were papers and reels of tape scattered for over a half-mile around the crash-site.  These were collected and booked as evidence by then Sheriff, Melvin Willmirth, who then presumably turned them over to the FAA investigators.
 
You make no mention of whether the FAA returned the materials back to the families of the band members.  I assume not, since you refer to them as "lost."
 
One can't help but if those final songs are moldering today in some government warehouse...
 
Janet Farrell
Fresno, CA
 

Janet, The rumors of tapes being collected at the crash scene have been around forever. It was clear that the Dover Souls had written new material while at Anthony's house in Topanga Canyon and it would make sense that they would take those tapes with them perhaps to give to the Stones. Years ago I read an interview with Mick Jagger in the old Trouser Press music magazine where he mentioned Anthony told him the group had new material they would be debuting at the concert in Oakland. All material from the crash was indeed collected for the investigation and then released. However, no one from the families, or The Dover Souls estate, remembers receiving anything from either the Clovis police or the FAA investigators. You have to wonder who ended up with the material and do they know what a gold mine they may be sitting on? Belinda


E. Fenton from San Francisco, Ca. wrote:

I was soooo pleased to see a site dedicated to The Dover Souls! I thought I was the only one who remembered them. Until quite recently, every year on July 25th I used to dress in black, stay home from work (if it was a weekday and if I had a job), and play my 45 of Misty Monday Morning over and over and over. (In 1987 I even went to Clovis to try to lay flowers at the crash site, but none of the people working in the artichoke fields had even heard of The Dover Souls, never mind knowing where the crash site was. In fact, I don't think most of them even spoke English. I thought there would be at least a plaque or something!) But two years ago my stupid basset hound Nigel III bumped into the turntable and broke the record and I haven't been able to find another one, even on eBay. (You don't know where to get one, do you? I'd pay up to $40 for a decent quality recording.)

Anyway, thanks a million for keeping the lads' memory alive!

Your fellow fan,
E Fenton
 

Dear E. Fenton: And I thought I was the only one to make the pilgrimage to Clovis! Couldn't find the exact spot of the crash either but it was electric to just be there! I'd love to have a copy of the LP or the single myself but I haven't been able to find them anywhere. I do have MP3s of some of the songs and I am trying to obtain the permission of the Dover Souls estate to post them here. Keep checking back! Belinda


John Hollis wrote from Los Angeles, Ca.

Dear Mrs. Durkin,
 
I ran across your site while I was researching REAL bands for a book I'm writing.  I can't believe anyone would build such an extensive site on such an insignificant band!  They had only one song that got any airplay, and it was just an insipid little ditty.  Seriously, admit it: The Dover Souls made Bread look like Led Zeppelin.
 
John Hollis
 
PS - Where did you find the photos on your site?  I'd like to include them in the (very thin) section on the Dover Souls in my chapter "... and The Rest (Gone and Forgotten)."
 
J.H.

Mr. Hollis - I googled your name as an author and came up with zilch. If I had a dollar for every person who said to me, "I'm writing a book," I'd be able to buy a vacation home! At least the Dover Souls accomplished something in their short lives, can you say the same? I'm resisting the urge to call you a bitter, little man. And by the way, Bread was a very under-appreciated band that had a number one hit and a number three album on the billboard charts. As any young woman who listened to music during the early 70s, Bread was one of the most influential, and romantic, bands ever!

I am in contact with the people in charge of the Dover Souls estate and I have been instructed to tell you that you do not have permission to use any of the photographs on this web site and you better get your facts and figures about the Dover Souls correct in your "book" or you could become the subject of legal action! - Belinda


 

Edna  E. wrote from Kansas City, Mo.

I can tell from your Dover Souls site (and because you are a fellow Technical Writer) that you really care about details and accuracy. Therefore, I was puzzled and a bit disappointed when I looked up the registration number of the fatal Beechcraft Bonanza (at http://www.aircraftone.com/search.asp?type=nn) and found that the number on your site referred to a 1967 CESSNA. Iím sure itís just a typo or the like, but as you know, the Technical Writerís Creed decrees that we must put Accuracy above all else (including grammar and style). I would really appreciate it if you would correct this small but significant error.

Sincerely,

Edna E.

P.S. Please give my regards to Ken

Edna - Every Now and then I get a question like this and all I can say is: get a life! I don't give a hoot what aicraftone.com has to say about the serial numbers. My entire world came to an end the day of the crash and I'll never forget it. It was my personal 9/11! I was so distraught that I took an upholstery pin and some ink from a bic pen and tattooed the plane's registration number on my wrist. My Mother was furious and grounded me for a the rest of my life (it ended up being a month). I still think about that day every time I look at those numbers fading to blue spots on my skin. And what business do you have with Ken? Belinda


Dear Belinda;

 
I'm shocked that, with all the info you have on your site, you've failed to highlight the many obvious drug references in virtually every Dover Souls song!  From the lyrics of "Hey Judy Bluebird," which obviously condone marijuana use ("Hey, Judy Bluebird, is that you clouding up my mind?") to "Misty (Monday Mornings)" in its entirety.  The title itself is a veiled reference to "MMM," London slang for an intravenous cocktail of Morphine, Methamphetamine and Mescaline--a 1960s precursor to the "speedball."
 
R.B. 
Casper, WY

Dear "RB"  -  RB, that's a good one. Are you so dense that you'd believe I wouldn't know who this really is? What's the matter, are things slow over at wacko central? I'm getting tired of having to defend the Dover Souls from CRACKPOTS like you who attempt to use the anonymity of the internet to pose these baseless and stupid theories. Let me say this once and for all: THE DOVER SOULS SONGS WERE NOT ABOUT DRUGS OR DRUG USE. Can I be any clearer than that? Now why don't you crawl back under the rock you came out from. Oh, and by the way, you don't even have your facts straight. MMM was a combination of Morphine, Meth and Malt (as in Malt Beverage). And it wasn't intravenous, it was ingested, usually in a pint glass. Belinda


 

 

Please email your comments and contributions to me at heybelinda@thedoversouls.com

 

 

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