10 years ago... when I was in high school, a sophomore, in my English
class I had a student teacher named Bill Randt,
he was the drummer for The New Bomb Turks, the most popular punk/bar
band in Ohio at the
time. He invited me to come
see them play at Staches. I had already heard of his band,
but had never
heard of the opening acts, Chavez and
Guided By Voices. This was in 1992 I'm guessing, GBV had only just
started playing shows
like that and really didn't have
that big of a following, I remember because although
they were playing at this
small bar, I walked right up to
the stage and took some photos. Most of the audience was sitting
bar or milling around
But the singer of Guided By Voices stood out so much, he was older,
drinking, and his band seemed to really rock in
a classic rock kinda way, but also in such a strange, clear and unique
way. Anyone and everyone can 'rock,'
that's the easy part. These songs had vision.
The following monday I went to Used Kids Records and asked Ron House if
any records by them,
they just had the 7inch Fast Japanese Spin Cycle. This was before
I really liked the 7inch, even though my friends made fun of the fake
British accent on the song "My Impression Now."
Later I bought Propeller, which is still one of my favorite records
ever. GBV became a big part of my life.
I used to travel all over Ohio to go to their shows, I used to play in
a band and at practice we would always digress into
a marathon of GBV covers, I remember playing "Lethargy," Exit Flagger"
and "Wished I Was A Giant"
But by the time Mag Earwhig came out, I really didn't give a shit
anymore. I guess the songs weren't as interesting to me,
the album versions and the live versions both seemed to dully plod
on, or they weren't buried anymore... something.
They just put out WAY too many songs, being a GBV completest
couldn't go on for an all or nothing fan.
But I heard this was their last tour ever... (they, meaning Bob Pollard
and some dudes that aren't Greg Demos, Tobin Sprout
or Mitch Mitchell), so me and my friend begged and pleaded with Matt
Sweeney to get us some tickets to one of these
beyond sold out shows.
Matt Sweeney's Chavez opened... just like the first time I saw
them! They are great! Thank you Matt!
Here is the GBV slide show... there's Bob drinkin...
He was great! Such a genius... I have seen a lot of shows in my
life and I have never seen a drunker band.
They played for more than three hours, by the end Bob was slurring and
rambling on, forgetting lyrics.
They played so many of my favorite obscure songs "He's the Uncle"
"Shocker in Gloomtown" "Pendulum"
as well as so many others....
I really want to try and go again tonight!
When the pendulum swings it cuts
when the big door swings open and shuts
Yeah, we’ll be middle-age children, but so what?