Letters to the Editor

From the week of October 2, 2003

This went on pretty much the whole time we lived together. Just one of a hundred nights I remember (sort of). Thought I'd share -- I still love the guy like a brother, and we stay in touch.

Bruce Murrell
Springfield, Missouri

Talking shop: Thanks so much for the article on my friend Bob Rupp. He is one of the nicest, most caring, nuttiest people I have ever known. I first met Bob just after he moved here; in fact, I think I was his first drum customer at the Dahlia house. At the time, he was sporting a bleached-blond ultra-mod super-mullet! Kind of that skunk-caught-in-the-headlights look! That house was full of drums, rehearsal gear and a ton of rock-star wannabes. All were carefully screened by Rupp's beer-drinking canine, Senator Dog.

I had the pleasure of being employed by Rupp's Drums several times -- whenever I needed some extra pocket change or a good excuse to get away from the house for a couple of hours. I was always amazed at his customers. They were from all walks of life. From policemen to teachers, from janitors to clergymen, they all came to Bob's for drums, advice and, more important, a cool place to hang out with other musicians. All felt that they were part of a large musical family. It always used to amaze me how often people would come in with a hard-luck story about having gear stolen or not getting paid until next month. Bob's policy would always be "Pick out the gear that you need now, and pay me when you get your check." Try that at one of the major music chain stores! Both of my children always called him "Uncle Bob" and were shocked to find out that he wasn't even related to us! He always made sure they had drum presents for their birthdays and Christmas.

The entire Denver music scene will miss this musician and his unique store, but most of all, we will miss the man. Good luck, Uncle Bob!

Mike "Gomer" Eaton

Maine man: Alas, the almighty Bob Rupp is leaving our sunny cowtown. My wife and I are heartbroken. Sure, he's been an amazing friend, a Denver icon and one of the most generous people I'll ever know (he was definitely the enabler of that little Terry Bozzio stalking habit of mine). But I'll also miss our conspiracy-theory discussions and my complimentary membership with Ruppster video, for rentals from Bob's vast library of UFO and "Face on Mars" tapes. Oh, well. Perhaps one day we can arrange an Area 51 summit; Bob could meet us in the quiet Nevada desert for a burger and a beer at the Little A'Le'Inn.

Bob, you'll always have a place to stay with us, as long as you show up with a few of those Maine lobsters.

Madison and Robin Lucas

The beat goes on: Like countless other Denver drummers, I, too, have a story about an experience in Bob's shop that I will never forget. It was at the old location, on the south side of Evans. I brought in an old set of Gretch drums with crappy hardware. Having never met me before, Bob asked if I was willing to do "some drilling." Not sure what he had in mind yet somehow trusting his judgment, I said, "Sure."

And sure enough, Bob retrieves a router and starts to work on my bass drum, installing a new "memory-lock" system for the tom-toms. One hour later, after also taking several phone calls, issuing directives to his employees and deftly answering concerned questions from mothers dropping their kids off for lessons, he had finished his work, and I had a much-improved drum set that I still use to this day. His bill? $20. For parts. Parts he had taken off another drum set in his store, which he would have to later replace.

Dave Herrera's article should be required reading for every musician, not just Denver drummers, as a primer on how to start up a business, on how to approach a live performance and on how to live a life. Thank you, Bob. Thanks for the donated drum sets that either you or someone from your store shlepped to all the benefits, festivals, new-music nights and the Westword Music Awards over the years for me and so many other drummers to play on. Trying to find a new place to go for drum stuff is going to be like trying to date again after being married for twenty years. Best of luck to you, Bob.

Brian McClure
Castle Rock

Duty Is Skin Deep

Critical mass: Kudos to Michael Roberts for getting an explanation for the sudden -- and welcome, many might say -- departure of Joe Bullard and Diane Eicher from the Rocky Mountain News's media feedback page (The Message, September 18). Bullard reports that his twelve months on the gig taught him that journalists have the thinnest skin in America. Right and wrong, Joe.

Our skin (I work at the Denver Post) is quite thin when it comes to inaccuracies, misinformation and inherent bias. We strive daily to keep these out of our reports. Thus, it bothers us when it permeates the work of others, namely the Rocky's duo of anti-Post crusaders. Repeatedly, Bullard and Eicher demonstrated in their columns a steady bias against the Post, where both once worked. Even in cases where they pointed out deficiencies of both the Post and the Rocky, they wrote more extensively about the Post, positioned that information closer to the top of the column than that about the Rocky and used more damning language in relation to the Post.

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