08 July 2011
Lost Bob City, 1998
in july of '98 donovan asked me to record his band at bernie's. i took my reel to reel down there only to find that the desk wasn't gonna accomodate both a recording and live sound, so i ended up only running th' handheld tape recorder i'd brought to cover any problems with the reel. the resulting tape has four unreleased songs on it as well as a cover of motörhead's "jailbait" (which, along with "am i evil?" was a staple of their earlier shows).
a month later (august 28, 1998) bob city came over to the garage behind my house and recorded a few songs they had been working on. lyrics were still being riddled out inbetween takes and little pieces of new tunes (some of which are preserved here) were constantly fooled around with. this tape (also known as 'little ball') never saw anything but a rough mix to cassette (eventually lost, o'course) until a coupla months ago, but is the first "studio" recording the band did; a short while later they made a few trips down to the recording workshop and knocked out the stuff that became the burnt herd 45 and the 'softball'/'hardball' discs.
after awhile bob city got themselves a new singer and morphed into a more traditional '70s-styled metal band, another foghat update for punks growing back into their redneck roots, but when they started (and especially right around the time these tapes were made, when they were writing their second batch of songs) they were their own twisted vision: a lurching, heavy, and downright scary (jeremy is, to this day, the absolute loudest singer i've ever recorded - taking off the headphones in the middle of a take was frankly borderline terrifying) - both in terms of how just plain good they were as well as how sinister their riffs and lyrics could be. of course they weren't without humor - in many ways they're the rock take on whatever nine pound hammer is the punk take on - but they weren't a schtick. and it's probably about time you drained off that last mason of 'shine and opened up th' windows so th' neighbors can get in on this shit.
bernie's, july 31, 1998