Letters to the Editor


Fifth Estate # 31, June 1-15, 1967


Mr. Marshall Rubinoff c/o The Fifth Estate 923 Plum, Detroit, Michigan

Dear Marshall:

I have just read the article you wrote in the May 15th issue of The Fifth Estate, pertaining to the Spike-Drivers. To say I am angry about what you have written would be a gross understatement.

The reason for my anger is that no one is more aware than me of the conflicting sides of this story from its very inception and what you have written is a very inaccurate, untrue and one sided version. How you could refer to me as a “headless manager” without ever having an interview with me from which you then could draw your own conclusion shows a lack of respect for your profession, which is to delve into all aspects of a situation, meet the various participants and then make a personal evaluation.

My first instinct upon reading the article was to have both your arms broken, since I felt it wouldn’t even be worth trying to enlighten you to the facts and various reasons why the group is in the present situation. However, I have reconsidered and would like to offer you the opportunity to come to New York and spend a day in my office and hear another side of the story. I would also like you to have the opportunity to meet some of the “record mongers” and “plastic producers” who have had the experience of trying to produce the Spike-Drivers’ records.

All expenses for this trip will be paid by me. If you then go back to Detroit and write another critical and insulting article, at least I would feel it might be justified. Also, I am sure if you spent a few minutes with Dick Keelan and Ted Lucas, who in my opinion are the most talented members of the group, you might realize that you have been unfair to them.

Any group which contains five people will have that many ideas about how to achieve success. What you have done is heard one side of the story and from that condemned the other parties involved.

I sincerely hope you will be man enough to come to New York to listen and see another side. I will put myself at your disposal, answer any questions, open all the books to show you how much money has been advanced by me to the group and for what purposes, introduce you to anyone who has been associated with the Spike-Drivers you might want to meet, in order for you to get the true facts, not what appeared in your article.

However, I want to make one other thing clear to you. If I ever find you writing another article like the one you did WITHOUT giving me the opportunity of presenting our side of the story, I will revert back to my initial ‘instinct on how to treat you.

Very truly yours,

Leonard Stogel & Associates, Ltd.
New York

To The Editor:

I was shocked and disappointed to read that bitter piece of slander about the “better half” of the Spike-Drivers in the FIFTH ESTATE, of all places.

To print such an article was not only irresponsible, but unethical and against all your seeming principles of Love and Truth.

Having had the pleasure of hearing the Spike-Drivers play together and separately, I can hardly believe that Ted Lucas and Dick Keelan would sacrifice their art to make plastic records as Marshall Rubinoff supposes. Has he heard their new record?

Ted and Dick are truly dynamic people who I’m sure will use the pop record media artfully as it can and has been used to reach more people with the love and beauty that they write and sing about.

I hope you people at the FIFTH ESTATE learn to live up to your principles instead of being used to rant such distasteful bitterness. Therein lies the obviousness of who the real losers are. The proof will be in their final product which has yet to come.

With best wishes for your speedy recovery


Judy Francioli

Dear Sir,

Marshall Rubinoff’s sneering attempt to characterize Dick and Ted of the now disbanded Spike-drivers as money-grubbing plastic-mongers trying to force Mary, Sid and Larry to sacrifice their purity at the altar of the New York hit machine made my ass tired.

Anyone who knows the people personally, or who has just had the extreme pleasure of sharing vibrations with them when they are playing would know, that it doesn’t break down to a formula of two for plastic and three for real. I happen to believe that none of the parties has a. soul for sale. The proof will come the first time we get a chance to hear the music they make—Mary, Sid and Larry on June 8, and Ted and Dick the first time they play in town.

We all lose when internal hassles prove strong enough to force the dissolution of a group like the Spikes. But I noticed that none of the vitriol was in statement form from any of the people involved. Evidently they have enough restraint or respect for each other not to come out with crap like that. Too bad that someone who stands to gain nothing from all this sadness isn’t capable of the same.

Jon Richardson
Toledo, Ohio

Editor’s Note: We appreciate the intense feelings that have arisen because of Marshall’s column on the Spike-Drivers, however the FIFTH ESTATE relationship to the piece needs clarifying.

When we ask people to do columns for us we turn over that part of the paper completely to them. The views and opinions they express are entirely their own and sometimes they are even ones we may disagree with. News and feature stories are chosen and edited within the framework of the paper’s philosophy, but columns appear as they are written by the author.

We think to do otherwise would put us in a position similar to that of the daily advertising media.

To the Editors:

When the hippies started coming in to see our concert, I felt good—these are my people, beautiful. But I’ve learned Wayne hippies are different. They behave like crew cutted cretins at a “Beer Blast.” I think half of them would belong to Alpha Sigma Bullshit but for a more subtle fate. Like the creeps in the YAF they’re ignorant, insensitive, and intolerant. Maybe they say, “But your concert was shit.”

Maybe, but they loved the most superficial cash-ins on hippy attitudes and were bored to desperation when the stimulus complexity exceeded that of the “Ballad of the Green Beret.”

Hank Malone sure had it straight in his great article “The Disarmament of the Bored.” The Bored should stay home and get zonked, which is what I’ll do if ever I’m invited again to entertain the herd in Lower DeRoy.


Russell Peck
The Great Society
Ann Arbor

To the Editor:

This is in reply to Sheil Salasnek’s report on the Love-In. I am glad to hear that, because he felt so self-conscious among the onlookers at the Love Feast, he was lucky enough to find happiness and acceptance among those around the bandstand. It’s good to find identity. Of course, there is always the question of why you dress in a manner that made you conscious of what other people thought of you. God, what a phony.

Well anyway, it’s apparent that one of us missed the meaning of the whole deal. I thought it was for everyone to get together and let a little of that rare substance called Love flow. Those two thousand you ended up with don’t need any lessons in that art; those other watchers, the fearful ones, do need lessons.

But you felt too conspicuous to help, so you ran for cover. You forgot that those watchers don’t know what Love is all about. A big hand for you. To smile on those others would be enough. To be among them, to try to help them break free, would make it all worth something. But to put on a show for them is not where it’s at.

You may have made it, and become part of the flower. But think of those other poor, wine chugging, weary wanderers who didn’t know what to do with that flower. The blind strike out from fear. You might have given them some sight.

You didn’t

Love, because God knows we need it,

Carl Dobrinec