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By: Sarah L. Myers

Tom Waits: "And then there’s this guy named Bob Log, you ever heard of him? He’s this little kid — nobody even knows how old he is — wears a motorcycle helmet and he has a microphone inside of it and he puts the glass over the front so you can’t see his face, and plays slide guitar. It’s just the loudest strangest stuff you’ve ever heard. You don’t understand one word he’s saying. I like people who glue macaroni on to a piece of cardboard and paint it gold. That’s what I aspire to basically.”

The stage is set. The crowd is restless. It's guys in Western shirts with pearl buttons, pony-tailed gals in 1950s-style skirts, and gutter punks with needle spiked mohawks - a mash up I've rarely seen. It's a PBR-and-whiskey crowd, and by the sound of it more than a few have already been cashed. People are talking: "He wears this helmet and sings into a phone," "It's the weirdest shit I've ever seen," "He invites girls up and they put their boobs in his drink."

For the uninitiated, a Bob Log III show is like being on some new carnival ride. Whether your mouth is open in laughter or exasperation, you're going to have a reaction. In true Log fashion, our interview begins somewhere in the middle, and backstage at the Mercury Lounge in New York City.

Bob Log:...Pittsburgh man, those bartenders and those girls always want to buy me shots and then I try to be polite, and now look at me paying the price. I don't even know what it was! Pittsburgh! But it's fun. I love it. Play guitar every day. Play guitar and drive. Play guitar and drive. And sometimes you're like, oh fuck it hurts! And as soon as you play guitar you go, "DONK", ahh I feel great!

Thirsty: And I love that that's the perfect way to sum up your sound is "DONK"!

BL: Well, I try to make a guitar party every day.

Thirsty: Let's go all the way back for those who don't know you. Where are you from? How did you get started doing this?

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BL: I'm from Tucson, Arizona. When I was 11 I got an 8-track of AC/DC and I said, "that's what I wanna do." Then I was about 15 I guess, I got a Mississippi Fred McDowell cassette and I said, "damn! I wanna do that too!" So I learned finger pickin' from Fred McDowell and rock n' roll from AC/DC and there you go.

Thirsty: So AC/DC was your first introduction to it all.

BL: Well, I mean, no cause I'd been listening to Elvis and Chuck Berry and Screamin Jay Hawkins and all the stuff my dad was playing me. But AC/DC is what made me decide that's what I was gonna do. But I'd already heard all kinds of stuff when I was 11 already. So I grew up listening to all kinds of stuff, but AC/DC is what made me say, 'you can take this guitar, turn it into a party, you put on a funny suit and you sweat your ass off!' And that's what I'm doing!

Thirsty: Yeah, let's talk about the look. The suit, the helmet, the rhinestones, the phone.

BL: That's just rock n' roll. They've been doing this for a lot longer than even rock n' roll's been around. Country musicians used to wear gaudy rhinestoned-up things with hats that were too big. Same thing. Screamin Jay Hawkins, he put a bone through his nose. Same thing. You know? It's all're on stage. You can sit there and be boring, or not. And I chose to not be boring. But the rule number one is the guitar. The guitar's first. You gotta sound, I gotta love playing it, I'm not just gonna get up there and look good. I gotta sound good and that's why I write the songs first and everything else comes second, third.

Thirsty: Did you always do the suit?

BL: No. Not till I got it! I always did the helmet as a one-man band and I won a bunch of money in a slot machine in Vegas, got a suit. I told these old ladies that I was an ice skater cause I didn't want them to know what I really did.

Thirsty: It's very Super Dave Osbourne! Like Evel Knievel.

BL: Growing up, I loved Evel Knievel. I loved the guy who got shot out of the cannon at the circus. Part of my influence too, I guess. And Superman.

Thirsty: How is the tour going?

BL: It's great! I play guitar every day and it's what 34 shows in 34 days, no days off, but that's how I do it. I live in Australia now so when I come to America, it's like, 'do I want a day off? Or do I want to play Omaha?' And yeah, I wanna play Omaha. You wanna play New Orleans? Fuck yeah, I wanna play New Orleans! So I end up going. I just play every day when I tour. And when I'm done touring I go home and sit down for a month and don't say much.

Thirsty: So when's the tour wrapping up?

BL: When I die. (laughs) The end of this tour is Albuquerque, somewhere. Then I go play Taiwan on the way back to Australia. Then I go back home for a month and I go back to Europe, then I go back to Australia for a month, then I go back to Europe again, and then after that I don’t know any dates. I guess the tour technically ends October something. I go home in the middle.

Thirsty: When you go to Europe, are your shows mainly in certain cities? Or where do you play?

BL: I play everywhere. I’ve played in 30-something countries now. Not every year but...I don’t know how many places! There’s like 700 places I’m supposed to play and I’m only doing about 150 shows a year, so sometimes it takes me about three or four years to get back some places and other places I go back to more often than others. I’ve got one rule about touring. I will play any room, any room full of people smiling and drinking beer. Maybe if they’re just drinking beer, I won’t have to make them smile myself.

Thirsty: You should play at our apartment then!

BL: If it’s a room full of people! Not two people! But that’s every country in the world. That’s Brazil to Japan. Every country’s got a room full of people drinking beer. I go find those rooms and play in them.

Thirsty: Tell me about the new record.

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BL: It’s called “My Shit is Perfect”. Because I’m not kidding. It’s perfect. And I know a lot of critics are like, “that’s throwing down the gauntlet. Well, I’m gonna find something wrong with it! It’s too loud! Then it’s too quiet! That song was just a little too short!” Everyone’s trying to pick it apart. That’s alright with me. You go ahead and try. I know it’s perfect and I can prove it mathematically. I would too, but I don’t have a pencil right now. Yeah, I did it. It’s done. There’s a song on it called “Bump Pow!” and that makes little kids, um, break things. You put that song on in a room with little kids in it, something’s gonna get broken. Usually it’s the lamp. So hide the lamps. Or just hide the kids when you play the song.

Thirsty: So it’s my job as a journalist to ask you this question. “Boob Scotch“?

BL: Well, no, “Boob Scotch”... I had a really bad day. And sometimes when people have a bad day, they write a song about what made the day bad. I almost didn’t play guitar that day. Then a girl came over and said, “You look like you’re not having a good time. Give me that drink.” Put her boob in my drink. Gave it back. And I took a sip and I felt better. And so I was like, “goddam, I’m gonna play this show tonight!” And I said, “I’m gonna write a song about what made my day better! Not what made my day bad.” And that’s what “Boob Scotch” is. It’s just a way to make your day better. It’s not going to solve any problems. But it will make the day this much better. And it works every fucking time.

Thirsty: Only Scotch?

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BL: (laughs) You could put a boob in orange juice and sip it! I don’t care what liquid you use! Put it in gasoline and take a sip! I bet it will make you smile! Briefly! But “Boob Scotch”.. I mean, I wrote the song. I get to pick the liquid cause I make the goddam song. So that’s it. It’s just a way to make your day better. And guys can out their boob in their girl’s drinks. Everyone’s like, “oh, Boob Scotch! He’s a sexist fucking pig!” It’s like, hey, guy’s got tits too. So just shut the fuck up. Some people don’t understand. It’s about putting your boob in a drink. And then giving it to someone to make their day better. The end. It’s like the hokey pokey. Putting something in something. You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out. It’s just the future of the hokey pokey. Maybe for people who are just a little bit more adventurous.





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