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By Vic Garbarini
Special thanks to Maria T Sciarrino

Bob Pollard's Guided By Voices are the kings of lo-fi alternative guitar rock. Pollard's a real musician's musician, admired by luminaries such as Phish's Trey Anastasio, Billy Corgan and REM's Peter Buck., who enthuses that GBV "are what rock and roll is all about. They just blam out one amazing song after another." As a songwriter, Pollard sounds like he was locked in a basement at birth with Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, Buck, and Dean and Gene Ween - and not allowed to come out until he wrote twisted but catchy alterna-pop masterpieces like "Kicker of Elves" and "A Big Fan of the Pigpen."

So, are his "60 Minutes" choices centered around fellow lo-fi bands like Sebadoh and Pavement? No way. He's still in love with the music that moved him as a teenager: Queen, Bowie and the Who (with a little Wire and a few other oddities thrown in) Add it up, and you get a glimpse of why his melodies are addicitve, his lyrics so unique and his retinue of fans so distinguished.

"Now I'm Here" - Queen, Sheer Heart Attack

"I was a big glam rock fan, and I loved Queen. I liked the way Freddie Mercury boldly strutted it, the harmonies, and Brian May's really unique, anthemic guitar work. Their albums could be spotty, but this is the best, most kick-ass song on what I feel is their best album."

"Teenage Kicks" - the Undertones, s/t

"I was just starting to get into punk, but I also loved Cheap Trick. This song was definately punk, but it retained something from the pop stuff that I really dug. It's still myultimate driving-around-in-your-car song."

"Rosencrans Boulevard" - Johnny Rivers

"This song is by Jimmy Webb, my favorite songwriter. I met his sons on tour, and they told me he wanted to get together and write songs with me, and I was totally pertrified. [laughs] Probably won't happen. Webb's songs have these really beautiful, almost classical sounding structures - and they just explode. Lyrically, he's the kind of off the wall too. [sings] 'someone left the cake out in the rain.' Johnny Rivers had this whiny voice, but it ached beautifully, like Hank Williams."

"Under Pressure" - Queen and David Bowie, Classic Queen

"This and 'Rosencrans Boulevard' are probably my two favorite songs of all time, so they have to go on my '60 minutes' tape. This one literally sends a chill right up my spine to the top of my head, especially when he breaks into that "why can't we give love one more chance' bit. And Bowie's really singing from the gut and heart - it's such a moving, spiritual song."

"The Song Is Over" - The Who, Who's Next

"The piano part is just so hauntingly beautiful. I'm not a big keyboard fan; I usually need a lot of guitar. But this song gets me. I think this one was going to be the basis for the whole Lighthouse project they never finished, and that eventually became Who's Next and then Quadrophenia. I love the way he shifts the melody when he sings the outro 'The song is over...pure and easy.' That's a great line."

"Fisheye" - Bailter Space, Thermos

"I wanted a little dose of the New Zealand rock scene. I think bands like Bailter Space, the Clean, my personal favorites, the Verlaines - the whole Flying Nun scene - were a real inspiration for a lot of young bands today. These guys played really loud, soaring guitars that could also be quite meoldic and pretty, particularly ont his song."

"Archangel Thunderbird" - Amon Duul II

"This is my favorite Krautrock song. It's the German equivalent of English prog rock like Yes and Genesis. But while the English groups were mostly lyric and story oriented, the Germans were mainly instrumental. This band is indescribable, because some albums were experimental and others were almost pop. But they were a guitar band. It's what they called "Cosmiche Musik" - cosmic and spacey and cool. It kind of floated in a sea of its own."

"Do You Love Me Now?" - The Breeders, Last Splash

"I had to have some 'chick rock' on my tape. [laughs] When I want to hear a female voice, I would prefer it to be on a pretty song. And this one is.

"Ex-Lion Tamer" - Wire, Pink Flag

"They're my favorite band of all time. I'd throw want to throw three Wire songs on my tape because, like David Bowie, they progressed so rapidly. They went from punk to pop to very experimental and techno. This one is from their pure punk phase. There were like 19 songs ont his album, and were all fast and to the point. It wasn't all just yelling at you. Sometimes the guitars were clean, sometimes they were fuzzed up. I like to throw a lot of songs on our albums, and I learned a lot from their versatility."

"Supper's Ready" - Genesis. Selling England By the Pound

"This is from their early, Peter Gabriel era, and it typifies what was good about prog rock. The songs were long, but to me they were like suites, maybe a string of 15 short songs strung together, and I liked the continuity. 'Supper's Ready' must be about 24 mintues long. I'm not sure I'd have the patience to listen to a song that long today. But back then, when I was grounded by my parents and stuck in my room, I had plenty of time [laughs]."

"If It Makes You Happy" - Sheryl Crow, s/t

"I didn't like her music, to tell you the truth. Then she does this catchy rock song with a great chorus, and it may be the best thing I've heard all year that got heavy airplay on radio and MTV." It's definately got that Byrds/Tom Petty feel, and I hope she does more stuff like that."