Bob Log III : Booze, Bluez & Boobz!!!

By Jens Hellroute

 True originals are hard to find in the rock'n'roll business, but this Arizona blues maverick more than qualifies. Armed with one banged up guitar, a drum kit, an astronaut helmet with a glued-on telephone and dressed in a blue Elvis jumpsuit this madman takes the stage and has the audience by the balls once again. You could call his raw take on the old American blues tradition a form of deconstruction, but his awesome Fat Possum albums are probably closer to the kind of stripped blues played in the 30s, 40s and 50s than most modern acts. His latest "Log Bomb" album is better produced (in his basement) than the previous ones so you can hear his vocals better. He also had an underground hit with "Boob Scotch", check out the video on his website, it'll blow yer mind! So I was looking forward to hear what's behind the myth of this unique entity called, who out of his stage costume was a thin cheerful and normal-looking dude around 30.

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: First time I saw you was like 11 years ago, you were a young kid in band called Doo Rag...

BOB LOG III: Fuck, man, probably. I remember this, we played a festival, a venue festival, we played like 6 different clubs all around Denmark. We were Doo Rag, me and my drummer Thermos. I'll never forget this. Some guy showed up at our hotel and knocked on the door and said "Hello, I'm your tour manager". Doo Rag never had a tour manager. "I'm sent here by the government of Denmark to take care of you", and I was "We don't have room for you in our car, and we can find the gigs by ourselves" and he was like "Please, you have to take me, otherwise I can't see my doctor!" haha. He used to work for the postal office, and he hurt his back and was getting money from the government and he had to take a job. And they said his job was to take care of Doo Rag, haha. So we made room in car, because if he didn't come with us he didn't get his money and couldn't feed his kids I guess. So we put him in the car, and the guy basically couldn't read a map. We were like "Do you like music?" and he said "I hate music!", haha. But we drove him all around Denmark, and that was my first time in Denmark. Thanks for the tour manager, Denmark, haha.

WC: I remember Thermos the drummer insisted on only playing on certain Budweiser cardboard boxes.

BL3: Yeah, they were waxcoated and would last a long time. We actually shipped empty boxes over here from Tucson one time, it cost us 40 dollars to ship empty boxes. We had a huge stack, we took them apart and then we took out all the staples.

WC: Did Thermos leave on a tour and you became Bob Log III, one-man band, in response?

BL3: You could say that...actually, he left on quite a few tours. On the last tour I decided I didn't want to go home with him, I wanted to play guitar, goddammit! So I did these shows by myself and started kickin' the guitarcase.

WC: And you went on to drums, percussions?

BL3: It did take a long time, figuring it out....y'know getting the sound I have today, but the first night alone I didn't know what the hell I was doin', I was basically like shittin' my pants. I played my guitar, kicked the guitarcase and a girl took me home and had sex with me all night long in her friend's closet. And I thought "I WANNA DO THAT AGAIN!", and I got better at it. That's pretty much the story, haha.

WC: John Lee Hooker, in his prime, had like tiny microphones on his stompin' shoe with an echo effect. Is he an inspiration to you?

BL3: Sure, John Lee Hooker did it, Hasil Adkins did it.

WC: But Hasil Adkins had a real drum set...

BL3: Yeah, that's pretty much what I use. A real kick drum, because I kept breaking my guitarcase, and everyday I had to get a new guitarcase, and that became kinda expensive. Yeah, John Lee Hooker was one of the first guitarplayers I heard growing up, and Hasil Adkins definitely inspired me to be a one-man band. So did Eugene Chadbourne, actually I saw him the day I became a one-man band. There's a million of one-man bands out there, every city had their one-man bands. A one-man band can't just be about playing guitar and sing, you gotta be doing something with your foot, that's the way I see it.

WC: It must be great to avoid all the hassle with other bandmembers...

BL3: Yeah, I mean, if you're in a band and the bassplayer moves to Florida what are you gonna do? Sit there and pick your nose? If you're a one-man band you can do it until die or your muscles don't work no more. Whatever comes first. I like to play music and I don't wanna depend on if someone turns up or not.

WC: The pay is also better, ain't it?

BL3: Yeah, I write all the songs and get all the credit, but I have to carry everything. And drink all the beer, haha. Good sides and bad sides. I do all the driving but I get all the beer! You can also change a song at any given time or point if it suits me, you just do it, you don't have to discuss it with anyone. When I see a video with 4-person band I just picture the van with the dudes' stinky socks all over. In my car in it's only 1 person's stinky socks. That's a good smelling car, haha.

WC: I wanna talk about your fascination with boobs, songs like "Boob Scotch", "Booby Trap # 1 & 2" and "Clap Your Tits"? (Yeah, it sounds like real introspective, thought-provoking stuff...Dr. Mality)

BL3: I did write a lotta songs about boobs...

WC: Is it connected to your mother and being breastfed or the lack of?...haha.

BL3: I don't know, I think I have to ask her. But basically, boobs are there, you can use'em and they look good. Girls walk around and say; "Look at my tits, don't they look good?". But I say boobs can do other things, you can have fun with boobs, a boob can actually kinda be sorta goofy. It's just a sack of fat with a nipple on it, you can clap'em together. They can look good all day, but at nighttime; get'em drunk and do something funny with'em. That's kinda one of the reasons I come to town, I mean, dudes got boobs too. Some women get upset about all the songs about boobs, and think you must be some sort of sexist bastard motherfucker. Well, I do happen to like girls' boobs, I'M A GUY! Excuse me. But I also wanna point out the fact that dudes got boobs too. Any guy can put his boob in a drink, you just lean forward, put your boob in a drink without spilling anything, take your boob out and give it to your girlfriend, and if she smiles you're probably gonna get lucky. If she doesn't want your hairy boob in a drink, that's probably a good sign of you'd get another girlfriend. But personally I prefer a girl boob in my drink, I mean, I'm a guy.

WC: Well, I think Jerry A.'s (of Poison Idea) boob would be difficult to fit in a glass...

BL3: I had fat dudes clappin' their tits together at shows, but hey, any size boob can go in a drink if you do it right. And that's what I'm doing, driving around the world and showing people how to put their boobs in other people's drinks, because it makes your day better. There's lots of bands who write songs about feeling bad, I write songs about what made me feel better. That's what I do, haha.

WC: I read that Tom Waits really likes your music...

BL3: I read it too and I had no idea that he likes me, and it probably meant that some checked me out because of that. And if I do see Tom, I'll put my boob in a drink and give it to him!

WC: How would you compared your latest, "Log Bomb", to the previous albums?

Bl3: It starts with a slow song, well, I got fast songs and I got slow songs, and most my albums start with fast songs, and this one starts with a slow one. I recorded it in my house, I put an amp in the bathtub, I put another one under the desk.

WC: You recorded all your records in your home?

BL3: I recorded all my records in my house, in my practise space, and I don't know, maybe I've gotten better at it over the years. I think it's the best sounding record so far, I pushed all the right buttons, but I still love my first record, and I still love my 2nd record. I like that dirty sound, that's why I put the amp in the bathtub, because my bathtub is dirty!

WC: What kind of equipment do you play on, you sometimes use electronics with the drum and guitar?

BL3: Sure, I got a drum machine I can turn on with my foot, it's never the same twice. Kickdrum I do with my other feet. I play a Silvertone guitar, two different amplifiers, I got two different pickups on my guitar, one's acoustic, one's distorted and my telephone runs into another amp. That's pretty much what I do; foot, foot, guitar, guitar, head.

WC: You like to get a girl on your lap when you play a certain song, and I talked to the one who was on your lap here last time and she actually enjoyed it. Do you some kind of special voodoo power over girls, haha?

BL3: Well, I don't know for sure, but I think I'm the only band who even ask girls to sit on his knees, I can't think of any other band that girls can sit on. I mean, you got two girls, why sit at a table when they can sit on me. I found it in every country, in every city, girls wanna sit on me. I don't know why they like it, but sometimes at the end of the night there's a little wet spot on my knee. I like to bounce'em around while I play my guitar. Sometimes in Texas I get these really fat girls on my knee, and I can't really bounce'em around, haha. I don't disciminate; C'MON LAS VEGAS, GIMME YOUR BIGGEST FATTEST GIRLS! I kinda regretted that, I was limping for days, haha. It's my job!

WC: I heard you turned down a Nikon commercial...

BL3: Every once in awhile you gotta say no to something, I'm not opposed to doing commercials, if somebody wants to pay me for a song I already did I'll take the money, but if the deal is like you gotta sing about cameras, sorry I don't do that. But if it's already a recorded song, I don't care if it's Coca-Cola or a whiskey company, if you're a musician you should take the money. But that's me, I didn't wanna write a song for Levis or Nikon, if they wanna use a song I already recorded, that's fine, but I'm not writing the songs for you. I write songs for other reasons, usually boobs, haha. If somebody wanted to sell boobs I'd probably help'em out.

WC: What do mainstream blues radio or festivals think of Bob Log?

BL3: I don't know, they don't really call me.

WC: But I know guys in their 50s who's into John Lee Hooker and stuff and they actually love your music!

BL3: I get the blues fans at my shows, and I get asked to play at blues festivals, and I play at every single one they ask me to. I'm not on the blues radio stations, but that doesn't bother me. I know where it's coming from. Take Robert Johnson, he's got the Sweet Home Chicago sound which everybody loves, and then he got the Preaching The Blues sound which is really weird and different, that's where I branch off, I'm following the Preaching The Blues sound. I know there's blues in my music and eventually I get asked to play at these festivals. I'm fine with my own little niche, and if you come to my show, I'm cool with that, man.

WC: I'd imagine that hardcore blues fans are hearing these quirky edgy artists on Fat Possum Records and thinking; are they making fun of the blues? (I think some of it needs to be made fun of...white yuppies take it so serious here in the States...Doc)

BL3: Well, look at the old blues players now! Look at B.B. King and $800 guitars playing through a $2000 amp, Robert Johnson was playing a $40 guitar on shitty equipment or what ever was lying around, that's the kind of blues I listen to. So I don't listen to what anybody's gonna say, I grew up listening to Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Bo Diddley, they took the blues and turned it into a party, and turned it up.

WC: Have you toured with Lightning Beatman (Swiss one-man band, Voodoo Rhythm label owner and amateur wrestler)?

BL3: I've toured with Lightning Beatman many times, he's one of the best one-man bands I know. Mr. Quintron, Lo-Bo from Memphis, there's a million one-man bands around in the world.

WC: Anything to add?

BL3: I hope somebody will put their boob in my drink tonight, I had over 230 women put their boobs in my drink since I wrote "Boob Scotch".

Afterwards Powersolo came backstage, and Bob (real name Robert Reynolds III) told an insane story about a club in London where he was booked to play. Apparently the more politically correct women at the club saw the 'sexist' inner photos on the "Leg Bomb" album (featuring Bob in helmet/jumpsuit outfit, a naked girl and a drink of Scoth between her breasts) and completely freaked out. The club ended up paying Bob £ 600 not to play!

Bob log's Official Website