The Placeholder Salutes – Bob Log III

Word Count – 1230

“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.” – Tom Waits

He wears a motorcycle helmet and sings about how awesome he is. He plays super charged delta blues and wants your boob in his scotch. He’s dressed in a onesie and offers free rides on his knee. His sound is raw, primal, and ugly. He is the absolute opposite of everything modern pop music is, has been, and wants to be. Yet, he wields the power to make the whole world dance.

His name is Bob Log III, and he is your new hero.

(nsfw, watch it before youtube finds out there are tits in it.)

Hailing from Tucson Arizona, Mr. The Third was once the singing and slinging half of Doo Rag, a duo that paired him with friend and junk band troubadour Thermos Malling. The frantic guitar and distorted vocals of Log, coupled with the smashing and crashing of the improvised percussion section made Doo Rag a beloved sideshow attraction in their heyday. A fallout with Thermos mid-way into a tour opening for Ween forced Bob to adapt quickly to the sudden loss of fifty percent of his band. Like all decisions born of desperation, it would be this sudden foray into one man band-dom that would eventually lead Log into finding his true voice. Luckily for the rest of us, that voice speaks through a crash helmet with a phone glued to it.

Since that day, Log has toured relentlessly, leaving long trails of dropped jaws in his wake. Mastering the art of slide guitar is no easy accomplishment, but it is a man with little to no cognitive sense of his own limitations that ups the ante as high as he did for himself. The helmet was created to aid Log with hands free singing capabilities, though very often it is almost impossible to understand what the hell he is singing. At his feet are a kick drum, a modified inverted crash cymbal, and a foot controlled drum machine. A complicated set up that works only in the presence of a true professional. Surely, he could have done something easier. Something a little more refined. Something a tad less outlandish. He could have just learned to lean into the mic and sing like a normal person. There are plenty of drummers and bass players out there who would kill to be in a band with him. Nobody really knows why a man chooses to do things alone the hard way, but maybe it is because some people find it way more honest to go completely insane all by themselves.

Musically, his sound is much like a malfunctioning robotic organ grinder playing party music for a pack of dizzy and horny strippers and rodeo clowns. Combine the self aggrandizement of James Brown, the slide guitar of Mississippi Fred McDowell, the fuzz of an early Cramps record, and the good natured old fashioned smuttiness of a Tijuana Bible, and you have a fair estimation of his oeuvre. Four albums into his colourful career and still going strong, his songs about breasts, himself, and all things in between are as timeless today as they were the day they were written. His albums (School Bus, Trike, Log Bomb, and his newest release from this year, My Shit is Perfect), are not likely to be found in your local record shop, but they are also not likely to be taken out of your regular rotation once purchasing them. His infectious good times in this age of homogenized boredom are needed to maintain a healthy aural diet. The Placeholder recommends at least one hot Bob Log III injection every week, in order to ensure regularity and potency.

Bob’s infamous live show is truly a sight to behold, as his brand of sonic joyful malevolence is best viewed live and in person. Adding to the fury of his playing are his beloved audience participation exercises. He invites two women to sit on his knees while he plays his chart topping love song “I Want Your Shit On My Leg”. He climbs into a single person dingy and rafts the crowd while playing the aptly titled “Make ’em Say Wow”. Most notoriously, he presents a scotch on the rocks to the crowd, politely requesting a willing female in the crowd to dip their boob in his drink. The drink, and the act, have been immortalized by what many have called his magnum opus, “Boob Scotch”. All the antics aside, a Bob Log III show is one man, one guitar, and the party he and that guitar bring with them everywhere they go. Those going in looking to stand against the wall and look aloof will quickly find themselves dancing, screaming, and sticking their various extremities in crevices all around the room. This is the promise of a Bob Log III show.

Some studio wizard releases an album where every song is auto-tuned to the point where it may as well not have been recorded by humans anymore. Punk rock, and the very idea of punk rock, is so strict in most circles that it is anything but the soundtrack of rebellion. Humour in music is ostracized for its inability to sexually arouse teenagers. Blunt sexual talk in music is condemned for being unsuitable for children. Nobody wants to look like they are trying hard to please people. Everyone wants to make it look easy, and to have actually doing it be even easier. Flashy is considered bad taste in an age where the mediocre can get rich by simply being humble. In a climate like this, Bob Log III is the antidote to the mainstream. He fits no mold, and is not welcomed in open arms by any distinct faction of the grand music landscape. Hipsters hate fun, so they’re out. Blues purists may question the get-up and pre-programmed beats. Bob Log III exists to please no group and fill no category, yet his existence is undeniable, and his defiance is paramount.

When asked in an interview if he considers what he does to be a ‘novelty act’, Log responded by commenting that the label itself is something to be embraced rather than reviled.

“Maybe it is, but what rock and roll isn’t? I like the ridiculous shit, like Bo Diddley and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. I don’t know about serious rock and roll, I don’t know what the hell that is. Rock and roll is about making people dance and go ‘wooo!’, and that’s what Screamin’ Jay did, that’s what Bo Diddley did, and that’s what I’m trying to do, along with having the coolest guitar you’ve ever heard in your fucking life.”

Amen, brother Log. And with that, we at The Placeholder saulte you. Climb the Highest Mountain, and Punch the Face of God.

For tour dates, interviews, and more videos, including another boob filled not safe for work one, check out Bob’s site, www.boblog111.com

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