| Home | Fading Captain Series | GBV News | The Band | The Music | The Critics & Fans | Merchandise | Other Stuff |

Dayton Daily News - 9/18/99
Carol Simmons

Pollard gets up close with fans at X-fest

The leader of Guided By Voices enjoyed the crowd at his homecoming show.

Bob Pollard hasn’t been able to spend much time with the- home­town crowd lately, and he seemed to enjoy the chance to connect with the locals gathered Sunday at the University of Dayton Arena for X-Fest ‘99.

Pollard’s band, Guided by Voices, was one of eight national acts performing Sunday at the daylong rock concert.

The long-running band is on an extended tour supporting its first record with TVT Records, Do the Collapse.

Dressed in worn green corduroy slacks, a maroon twill work-shirt and dark sneakers and carrying around a trademark Budweiser, Pollard hung out for a while on the edges of the back­stage area following GBV’s 30-minute set.

A private chat with Citizen King’s lead singer was inter­rupted by a fan calling from the other side of the chain-link fence that separated the backstage from the concert grounds.

“Hey! Bob! Hey! Smoking cigarettes, drinking my brand onstage. You’re my man! Would you sign my T-shirt?”

“Sign your what?” Pollard hollered back.

“My T-shirt, man,” the bare-chested guy replied.

Pollard was already on his way over. Leaning into the fence to hear above the roar of Fastball, which was onstage at the moment, Pollard laughed and talked with the man as an eager crowd formed.

Men, women, old timers, young people, they offered up T-shirts, paper scraps and body parts for Pollard to sign. The 41-year-old singer-songwriter, former elementary schoolteacher and one­time local sports star happily obliged.

“Oh, my God,” squealed one young woman. “We lived down the street from each other two houses. Oh my God”

He spent a good 20 minutes with the crowd, before his crew, sporting blue T-shirts emblazoned in. yellow letters with “Teenage FBI,” starting gigging him to finish up.
(Teenage FBI is a song on band’s latest album.)
They were ready to go, but Pollard hesitated. There were still fans waiting to see him, and he didn’t want to cut them off.

“I had a great time,” he said after finally pulling himself away. “It’s always good to come back and play at home.”

On tour since early July, GBV has most recently been on the road with Cheap Trick. Word that he’d joined Cheap Trick the night before, per Cheap Trick’s invitation, to sing that band’s hit Surrender, wasn’t quite right, Pollard said. “It was Southern Girls. And they didn’t invite me, I just went up. Later they called me back to sing Surrender, but I wasn’t paying attention.”

He screamed himself hoarse during the course of the show, which was fun at the time, he said. But when he woke up Sunday morning, just hours before he was to take the X-Fest stage, he didn’t have a voice. Not being able to have appeared at X-Fest would have been really bad, he said in somewhat more colorful language.

His voice soon returned, however, and he was able to do the show.

And it felt good, he said.

Asked to compare the performance to the band’s first X-Fest appearance three years ago, when it was called Edge-Fest, Pollard replied: “It feels exactly the same. It looks exactly the same. It’s the same place. Same people. Even the stage is the same.”

Then he became more reflective. “I’m more confident now, more comfortable,” he said. “And I much more content with my band.”