Friday, November 27, 2009

Pheaturing Bob Pittman


Yo, what's up? Welcome to a special Black Friday edition of the Phile. Right now I am writing this with a severe headache and in some kinda funky limbo. After working all day yesterday my niece Bri and I went to stand outside Old Navy in the cold for a few hours hoping to get a wristband. If you spent twenty dollars there you could get the Lego Rock Band game free, either for Wii, XBox or PS3. We both wanted to get one for the Wii, but ended up getting wristbands for the PS3 version. I didn't spend any money inside Old Navy, as we don't have a PS3. I am an idiot. Incidentally, next door at best Buy if you spent twenty dollars you got a fleece jacket. We were also on a hunt for these things called zhu zhu pets, but couldn't find anything. What the hell is a zhu zhu pet anyway? So, President Obama says that he hopes to raise American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math. Although the chances of that happening are like 9 in 1. Well, as a courtesy to all my readers this holiday shopping I decided to show you what gifts are out there in case you have problems looking and deciding. Take a look at this new remote control I found. I want one, but Wal-Mart was out.

It seems everywhere places were having Black Friday sales. I passed this casino this morning... I know, Orlando doesn't have any casinos before I get an e-mail on this. Play along. I passed this casino this morning and was surprised at their Black Friday deal.

Bank robber Lester Gillis, known as Baby Face Nelson, killed in a tommygun shootout by FBI agents in Fox River Grove, IL. While Nelson was able to kill the two lawmen involved, his naked body was found the next day containing 17 bullets.
Court appointed attorney Ronald Hughes, handling the Charles Manson case, disappears on a camping trip to Sespe Hot Springs in Southern California, accompanied by two Manson followers. His decomposed body is identified by dental x-rays five months later.
Members of the Provisional IRA kill Ross McWhirter, founder of the Guinness Book of World Records, in London.
Former policeman Dan White kills San Francisco mayor George Moscone & homosexual supervisor Harvey Milk. White later uses the "twinkie defense" to get a short sentence, but suicides after release.

Okay, this is the third book on the Peverett Phile Book Club. It's available right now on The author Danny Goldberg will be on the Phile in a few weeks. While you are ordering it, check out the other two Book Club books "Mr. Lincoln Was A Robot" by Victor Langlois and "First Generation" by Mary Tamm.

Okay, today's guest is a singer and songwriter from whose new album called "10 Totally Catchy Songs By Some Guy You've Never Heard Of!" is available right now on iTunes or from CD Baby. Please welcome to the Phile... Bob Pittman.

Me: Hello, Bob, how are you? Where are you right now, sir?

Bob: I am well, Mr. Peverett, and you? I was going to say that I was on the Golden Gate Bridge on the wrong side of the suicide barrier staring through thick fog to the turgid water waiting for me below, but clearly that would be a lie. I am home in front of the computer. And really, I feel fine.

Me: Okay, you have influences with people that only have Bob as their name... or Robert. What is your favorite saying? Bob's your uncle? Do you like bobbing for apples?

Bob: My favorite saying comes from a song, but ideally I would not be the one saying it. It ideally would be said by an attractive woman between the age of 18 and 45. The saying is, “I want to be Bobby’s girl.” Bob was my uncle who died before I recall meeting him. The men on my mother’s side of the family die young of heart attacks. The men on my father’s side live forever. I hope all I got from Bob was his name. I vaguely remember once bobbing for apples. I was very small and the apples were too big for my wee little jaw. I found it very frustrating and I’d rather not do it again.

Me: You know, Bob is the name of a guy in a pool with no arms and no legs. Do you know any Bob jokes?

Bob: Being in a pool with no arms and no legs is no joke. I imagine it would be a rather frightening experience. I can only conclude that the lifeguard took a sick day. If only the pool manager had called Bob, from Accountemps, to take the lifeguard’s place. You can always count on Bob.

Me: Isn't Bob something you like a girl to do to you? If you know what I mean?

Bob: Just because I don’t like bobbing for apples does not mean that I wouldn’t want others to do it.

Me: You describe your music as something very weird, Bob. Wanna tell the readers of the Phile what you sound like?

Bob: Liz Phair meets ELO is actually a fairly good description of what I try to do. Her big album, “Exile in Guyville” was a collection of relatively short rock/pop songs with great hooks and great lyrics recorded on the cheap. Definitely lo-fi. ELO was an overproduced extravaganza with great hooks and questionable lyrics. My album, “10 Totally Catchy Songs By Some Guy You’ve Never Heard Of!” is an overproduced lo-fi extravaganza. All the songs have great musical hooks, most have great lyrics, and the rest were just meant to be cute.
What I tried to do with the album is create a bunch of songs, that, although they don’t necessarily sound like any particular artist back in 1974, if they had been released in 1974 might have become hits. They are all short catchy songs with a strong opening, interesting verse, memorable chorus, most have a good bridge and/or instrumental break, and all finish strong. The best artists of that era did not necessarily sound like each other, and it was that distinctness that set them apart and produced the hits.

Me: Where are you from? And where do you live now?

Bob: I am from Chicago, and I currently live in Santa Rosa, California, which is about fifty miles north of San Francisco.

Me: You spent a lot of time in San Francisco, right? How was that like? Were you into the whole Grateful Dead Haight-Ashbury thing?

Bob: By the time I got to San Francisco in 1978, the hippie thing was rather passé. If I had arrived in 1973, I would have been on the hippie fringe. When I arrived in 1978 I was on the punk fringe. I had many punk friends, but I always liked having my own room and remembering what I did the night before.

Me: When did you first start performing, and what bands were you in back in the day?

Bob: I was in a couple of San Francisco bands that, let’s just say, had potential. The Delusions (We thought we were great!) tried not to be hardcore punk without selling out, like say the Knack, but we smoked too much pot, could barely play our instruments, and never figured out how to sing in harmony. Though the Delusions might have improved over time, I impatiently was lured into joining my next band, the Good Samaritans, by a charismatic, like Charles Manson, fellow named Dan Houser. Dan was the founder and lead guitarist of the first incarnation of that band. That incarnation was kind of a noisy punk-art six piece band that made a lot of noise. That band lasted about a year, Dan, his girlfriend and the bass player left, and then the Good Samaritans became kind of a funk/punk band dominated by an exceedingly talented singer/saxophonist named Darvin Bowen. The second incarnation of the Good Samaritans lasted maybe two years and was the most successful band I was in.

Me: Okay, is it true you were mugged 123 times in your life? If so, you have some very bad luck.

Bob: You know, it happened so often I lost track. It seemed like 123 times. When I was a lad, half-breeds did not become President, they got mugged.

Me: What do you think of Obama?

Bob: I am so proud of my little brother I can’t stand it. If I had only known it was possible for me to be President, my whole life might have been different. I hope he doesn’t drop any bombs.
Me: You have two songs I have to ask you about. One is the first track on the album called "A Million Plus X." What is that song about?

Bob: It is the most bombastic overproduced song on the album. That’s why it is first. It is a love song as well as a mathematical exercise. Just how much do I love you? Not just a million. A million plus X.

Me: Then you have a song that's not on the album. What is "Peanut Butter Toast & American Bandstand" about and why isn't that on the album?

Bob: “Peanut Butter Toast & American Bandstand” was recorded after the album was finished. It is a cover version of a rare song by the band Low. I wrote the words to the second verse. The first verse is about a young fellow who gets up before the rest of his family to watch his heroes perform and the girls dance on the old American Bandstand TV show. He has peanut butter toast for breakfast. When I was a young fellow that’s what I did, but, as the second verse attests, it was my mother who had the peanut butter toast, along with her amphetamines and a cup of coffee, when she woke up after the show was over.

Me: Are you touring behind the album?

Bob: I wish. Have you got a band? I may have made a great album, but I can’t play guitar and sing at the same time. I need a manager. I need a following. I need it to be easy. Last year’s dream, and this year’s reality, was getting the album out. This year’s dream, and perhaps next year’s reality, will be to tour.

Me: I hope a lot of readers want to buy it, Bob. Where can they get it?

Bob: It can be purchased at and it can be downloaded at It is now available on iTunes for download, but I do not know the exact link. You can just go to iTunes and make a Bob Pittman search.

Me: Do you know any good jokes?

Bob: No. But if you’ve haven’t seen the movie, The Whale and the Squid, there is this: “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “The interrupting cow.” “The interrupt……” “Moo.”

Me: Bob, go ahead and plug your website and anything else you want to.

Bob: My website is, and of course there is always Myspace, And if you go to my myspace page you can take the Bob Pittman Quiz. Those who correctly answer the essay question will win a special Bob Pittman Gift Package! But seriously, my album, “10 Totally Catchy Songs By Some Guy You’ve Never Heard Of!” is an excellent album with something for everyone. I guarantee it.

Me: Take care, and keeping bobbing.

Bob: I will, and thank you.


Keep bobbing? That's the best I can come up with. Oh, well. Thanks to Bob Pittman for a great interview, and also to Wikipedis. I am now gonna eat and go to bed, but before I do, let me tell you the Phile will be back next Tuesday with upcoming singer Anna Brooke. Remember spread the word, not the turd. Bye, love you, bye.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Phile,
Loved Bob's interview.
Just tell him I found part of his ear in my cab, okay?
Best wishes,