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Segal Takin Some Good Notes

Just back from a trip to Dayton to see our heros live in Newport, KY, stalk them in their hometown, and hang with them in their backyards. After a few conversations with key GBV band members -- forner and otherwise -- I've come home with a veritable treasure trove of detail that only the most wacked out GBVahololic would either understand or give a damn about.

Fortunately, that means all of you, bless your hearts. So here goes:

*On Johnny Appleseed, Bob is in fact singing "You're so cherry." He told me that it's an expression that basically means "Your so awesome." He read about Johnny when he was teaching school-- JA was an Ohio folk hero after all -- and was just taken with the guy's name and story. Jim Pollard fueled Bob's interest when he read in the National Enquirer that Appleseed was actually planting pot, not apples.

* The cover of the new Iron Man cd is actually one of the original Propeller covers. When GBV made that record they had no money to pay for a cover with art on it, so they made 500 blank covers and then hand decorated them. I saw a few in Bob's collection and the art is pretty damn good. Anyway, you've got a sample of his talents with the Iron Man cover.

*Bob explained the intriguing and now legendary opening of Over the Neptune on Propeller. The voice asking "Is everybody ready to rock" belongs to durmmer Kevin Fennel. GBV was playing a show and the band was actually about to launch into a ballad, so Bob was not psyched to hear Fennel gearing up the crowd for a barn burner. When Bob answers "This song does not rock" he means it.

"That'll teach me to give a drummer a mike," said Bob.

The odd shout of the number 89 in the midst of all this, well, that is a voice of a guy at a bar calling out a food order. He's announcing that number 89's pizza order is ready to be picked up. This tape was taken from another GBV show.

Finally, that crowd shouting GBV GBV, as many of you no doubt suspected, is just four of the Sad Freaks layered over and over again. Don Thrasher said they all tried to scream with different voices to make themselves sound like a group of rowdies.

*Remember the incredibly loud snoring over that song on Alien Lanes -- I believe its Ex-Supermodel. That is the work of a buddy of Bob's from high school, a burley and very friendly dude whom Pollard referred to as "the narcoleptic truck driver." (The guy was recenly fired from his truck driving gig, Bob said. Phew!) Of course, the guy had no idea he was being recorded, though he seemed pretty amused by it.

*Ever wonder what the sopor in Sopor Joe means? Fittingly, given the song's torpid beat, a sopor[ific] is a drug that gives you a bad case of drowsiness.

*The song Back to Saturn X -- not the snippet on Propeller, but the whole song -- is an early tune from one of the Bob's previous bands. It has never appeared in full length form and probably won't any time soon because Bob doesn't know what he did with the original tape. Right before GBV got on stage in Newport, Bob sang the song and it obviously rules. Starts with lots of wacky space imagery then segues into the following lines: "You're never too old for Ethel/You're never to old for her." The song might appear on the tribute album because Bob taught it to a young ethusiast from Ohio with his own band. The drummer of the band, by the way, is a guy named Travis who coined the G Motherfuckin B chant at the end of Crying My Knife Away. Same guy who did the break dance during Matter Eater Lad at the Newport show, if you were there.

*The photo on the cover of Get Out of My Stations is from Bob's basement lair, otherwise known was the Snakepit, where the EP and many other songs have been recorded. The interior of the Snakepit has changed a bit since the shot was taken, but it's still packed with thousands of records and still has the bowling pin with the funny face that you see on the left side of the picture. That's brother Jim sitting on the chair, by the way. (Jim, who is every bit as warm and good natured as his brother, works at the GM plant in Dayton, so I've been wondering if he's part of the strike going on there.)

* Line of the weekend:

"Oasis said they're going to be bigger than the Beatles." Bob: "Well, we're going to be fatter than Elvis. And drunker than Meat Loaf."


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