#15 Matthewbob says

Now where was I? 1986 really our first gigs outside of California. We went East and played The Iron Horse in North Hampton, Mass. and also another famous club The Town Crier, The owner Phil Ciganer would become a life long friend both personally and for The Bobs. Both of these clubs were stars on our circuit. We share the stage with the likes of Albert King to The Flying Karamazov Brothers. 1986 was also the trip to Scotland for the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. Nancy Covey and Richard Thompson spoke up for us and we got a great spot in a great venue The Assembly Hall. Three weeks ,five days a week plus trips to Glasgow for BBC Scotland appearances. You learn a lot about performing when you are working night after night. Both Gunnar and I got sick during that run, but still had to perform. The one I got was one of those high fever things. I had been sick for a day or two and I remember felling very woozy when I woke up that day. It was the last show of the week and I have this very surreal memory of leaving the apartment, which was only a couple block  from the venue. I remember being back stage and then walking out and looking out at the audience. Whoa, hallucinating, pulsating, out of time audience .I really don't know how I sang or performed that night. My only other memory of that day is my room and waking up the next day in my cloths.

Now there were other good adventures in Scotland on this trip. Next time Richardbob and Matthewbob go out to the local pubs.

#14 Matthewbob says

Now where was I, Oh Yes. The eighties were good for The Bobs. We began our first of many collaborations with modern dance companies which would be inspirational for the songs that came out at this time. The song cycles began with the Oberlin Dance Collective of San Francisco. There is something that worked between modern dancers and The Bobs music and style. ODC danced the first song cycle called of  course "The Laundry Cycle". Signs on the Line, Dictator in a Polo Shirt and Share a Load and Pounded on a Rock were some of the songs in that cycle. The LA Actors Theater did the "Weather Cycle". My favorite from that cycle was "Deep Ow" written by Richard who also sang the lead. It was about the draught in California at the time which was in it's 3rd or 4th year. Very Spooky tune!

We also met Nancy Covey who booked us in McCabes Guitar Shop music series she had started. It's still there in Santa Monica and still an important venue for great music. This was also when we met famed guitarist Richard Thompson who would get us invited to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1986.  

Number 13 please

The record(vinyl) comes out and does very well! The arrangement by Gunnar and Richard of a Beatles song , Helter Skelter is Great! and receives a Grammy Nomination for best arrangement. 

We don't win? That goes to The Pointer Sisters with " Automatic" a real good tune.

1984/85 Our First manager, Tom Bradshaw, owner of The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. He brings on our first booking agent, Scott O'Malley and off we go! People are intrigued and interested in the sound. We travel, a lot. We open for big names, a lot, we perform at a lot of festivals. We are loved, at least by the stage managers and crew.

They have just coordinated the un-packing of three semi's for the Lyle Lovett Big Band and we walk up with 4 microphones and say, "that's all we have". Oh Yeah, momentary love.

#12 NWWI? Oh Yeah,

1984, Not Orwellian just the 1st OFFICIAL date of The Bobs.  We're playing all around the Bay Area from Santa Cruz to Davis. The release on Kaleidoscope records of "The Bobs". The record company was owned by two friends Tom Diamant and Jeff Alexson. They had gained some fame for re-issuing the Bobs Wills Tiffany Collection and I asked them if they would be interested and they said yes! Beth Weill did the original album cover, still cool.

Backing up a bit. Gunnar and Richard had started writing original tunes and that was going to dominate the 1st record. We had recorded it late at night at the Russian Hill Studios. Richard was working there as a recording engineer and producer. Usually starting after 10PM we would meet up in San Francisco at the studio and record for 3 to 5 hours. We all had day jobs at the time. Mine? Short Order cook at the Giant Hamburger on the north side of campus, my shift was 6am to 2pm. Ouch!

#11 Now where was I?

Side Bar: Things Change! Lately I've been thinking of some of my teachers from college, 1970's era.  The ones who told me to be flexible and open minded about the business of theater and entertainment.

The music business is not the same as when we started, but it is as well. The business part has changed.

It's still about connections but we used to have " people" who did that. A manager,agent,publicist, photographer and so on. Now most bands manage themselves, book themselves and promote themselves.

By the way, kind of easier when you're younger. I'm not so good sleeping in a car or van these days.

So embrace the era you're in young artists but don't be surprised if it changes and be ready to change with it.

#10 Now where was I ?

The Bobs are doing their thing around the Bay area mostly doing the opening act . But that is where we start to get attention. WE HAVE NO EQUIPMENT!! Bands and managers and promoters absolutely love us. We can squeeze onto a stage full of instruments and do the job! So we open for Frank Zappa at the LA Coliseum. We're big fans and we show up for sound check and get the brush off. He never speaks or acknowledge us. The only person who seems excited about our appearance is the guitar player who we witnessed being read the riot act by Frank for hitting a wrong note. It turns out it was Dweezil Zappa. We go on to open for Robert Palmer, The Grateful Dead, Ray Charles and so on.

Matthewbob says, OH YEAH!!

The Bobs pack it in! Yes, The Bobs are calling it a wrap. After 33 years, really if you have been reading the blog at all you know it's been longer, we are having are farewell tour. Is this the end and the earth cracks open to swallow us whole? No, we're just moving on. Artists sometime do this. We change what we want to do. Are inspired or drawn to a new project. Richard is pursuing the Duet thing with Dan and Angie. Dan has moved to Minnesota. Richard and Nell are moving back to Richard's family farm in Virginia. I have another band already called Sweet Spot Combo, I play the drums while singing. But I haven't finished my blog yet so I will be here continuing the story of The Bobs and other musical things. Plus we have paid for the website for the next 10 years. I get bored easy so it will keep me busy. There will be archived shows to hear and see so stay tuned were not dead!

Matthewbob says #8

Now where was I ? oh yeah,

So now we are a regular feature at the club and we are starting to sound good. Gunnar and Richard start writing and arranging new tunes. The first one they tackle is Helter Skelter by The Beatles. I was totally amazed at what they came up with and we learned the tune and did our first recording to preserve it. We started to perform the tune at Earl's and people went nuts!  I had a couple of friends who had a record company, Kaleidoscope records, and I invited them to one of our shows with the hope they would be interested in producing out first record. They were and our first record The Bobs was released in 1984. It was kind of a hit because no onehad ever heard an accapella band before like us. That arrangement of Helter Skelter gave Richard and Gunnar a Grammy nomination for best vocal arrangement. They didn't win, that went to The Pointer Sisters, but for years and years later people would tell me how they had to pull over to the side of the road when that tune of ours came on the radio.