Saturday, 19 September 2020

BOB ‎– "Backward" (Dumb Records ‎– d.7589) 1983

 A fine example of the musical landscape in the USA from 1979 onwards is the ungooglable, 'BOB', from krazy ol'Frisco town.Herky Jerky as fuck are BOB,like Devo if Devo had lived in a nice town like Frisco.
Yeah I know,there'll be loads of Franciscans telling us how hard life is there,like a sub-saharan state transposed to northern California,the seventh richest place on the planet,just six places behind the USA as a whole....poor fuckers.
There were loadsa bands like BOB,with emphasis on the quirky jerky.....i suppose every western country had at least one,overclever,with prog rock style complex time signatures,but with that certain 'Punk' influence. Cardiacs spring to mind for the UK.
I dunno if the name 'BOB' has anything to do with the  guru of the Church of the Sub Genius, J.R. Bob Dodds , but if it does that's ok with is the music. I like Herky Jerky, just not in every other band on the block.
Gimmie some Slack Bob.


1 Danger City 3:34
2 Insomnia 3:07
3 Who Do You Love 4:04
4 (My Pal) Joe 3:05
5 The Things That You Do 3:50
6 You Know You Gotta 2:14
7 Bye Bye 2:48
8 Dead Animal 3:43
9 Bird Lanes 2:05
10 Voices Calling 5:14

11 Thomas Edison
12 Buddy Boy


rev.b said...

Thinking of Devo, head spud M. Mothersbaugh goddamn neat herky jerked right off the fucking planet earlier this year, not that anyone will want to stay that much longer de-evolution seems to be speeding up...

Jonny Zchivago said...

That wasn't Mothersbaugh that was one of those CIA actors!. He's on the co-vid pay roll....just in case anyone thinks i'm serious I'm NOT...but then again I have been termed a "Shill" before by conspiracy nuts,so maybe i'm on the payroll too?

Anonymous said...

Here are the liner notes for ReRun Records recent reissue:

Excerpts from an article and interview with original BOB producer Novak. Conducted by Joe Stumble and originally published on the Last Days of Man on Earth blog.

Novak started Dumb Records shortly after relocating to San Francisco from Albany, NY in 1976. Back in Albany, he was an accomplished composition student and synthesizer enthusiast, even working with electronic instrument pioneers Bob Moog and Joel Chadabe. Looking to get out of upstate New York, and with recommendations from Moog and Chadabe, he was accepted at the prestigious Mills College in Oakland, CA. With access to the school’s 12 track studio, he began working on his own music with fellow students as session musicians. Dumb Records was born as an outlet for those recordings, and his first single was released at the tail end of ’76. Crime’s debut “Hot Wire My Heart” just beat NOVAK to the record racks from the about to explode bay area punk scene. Between 1976 and 1983, Novak used Dumb to release a few brilliant, odd pop singles of his own creation, as well as a handful of other interesting and underrated records by like-minded San Francisco bands. With Novak not only releasing the records but acting as recording engineer, BOB released two singles, as well as the only full length in the Dumb discography. Their Backwards LP was the last release for the band as well as the label.

Novak: They (Bruce Zimmerman and Jim Lively) were seasoned jazz musicians who kinda thought they could make some bucks putting together some kind of punk band. Around this time it looked like “punk” could be actually something commercial. Anyway, they were accomplished musicians (which I respected because I couldn’t play very well) and they sort of “prostituted” or dumbed-down their chops to be “punk” and more commercial than the jazz they’ve been doing for years. This is my take on them, maybe they had totally different motives for going “punk”. Our connection happened at the end of 79 or early 80 when the NOVAK band-thing was gasping its last gasp. They had seen a few of my shows at Mabuhay.

Novak: I was friends for years with Maggie and intrigued by Bruce and Jim’s drive to do something, which I sorta had kinda lost by that time. By 1980 I was burned out on keeping a band together but still wanted to put out records to keep the momentum going. We recorded the first BOB 45 on a TEAC 4-track in Bruce’s bedroom; he was living in a warehouse in an Oakland industrial area. The band wanted better recording gear and to do an album. I had graduated from Mills, so I no longer had access to that studio. From time to time there were gunfights outside, and a few bullets made their way into Bruce’s “studio” bedroom. So Bruce and Maggie (they were living together), moved to San Francisco. They got the 3rd floor of what was known as the Target Video building in the Mission district. Joe Reese had his Target Video operations on the first floor; he’d been there for a couple of years.

Novak: The 3rd floor was big. I think it was where Damage Magazine used to be. Bruce and Maggie lived there, built a bathroom, etc. With no access to a recording studio, we decided to build one right there. It was to be called “NZL Studio” for Novak-Zimmerman-Lively. Jim and Bruce had done some construction before, so they built the walls and that crap. I wired the mixing console, wired the patch bays, the mic feeds into the room. I think it took the better part of a year to build the damn thing.

rev.b said...

@JZ, Dang, I knew I should've checked with Q first. 'He's" got ALL the answers, don't he? When will I ever learn...

@ anon, if that's you REAL name, thx for the dope on BOB/Dumb.

MrDave said...

"Any time you can tape record a fart, you should." J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, 1991 (words clearly taken to heart around these parts! ;-p )