For The Love Of Bob

Okay here’s three short ones, all from found cassettes. I’ve grouped these all together in one post for a simple reason. They all express a mode of affection for a dude named named Bob (or Robert). And really, who hasn’t loved a Bob at one time or another? The name just has an affable buzz. Think about it. Sometime when you feel the need to reach out, you really just wanna grab a hold of some Bob out there and squeeze.

The first selection comes from an unmarked tape I found in a box in my room. I don’t really know how it came into my possession I suspect it might be from a junk store in the neighborhood, but I really have no idea. Sadly, this has become the case with too many tapes stashed away in bags and boxes around the house. Ever think about how cool it would be if you could afford to hire an assistant? Man, could I ever keep that person busy.

Anyway, this is a quirky tune. The band, such as it is, seems to be a few wholesome college types with a keyboard device. The cassette collection of songs I have from these folks is actually quite entertaining. Very earnest. A little odd and kinda kooky. Art school perhaps. I think these songs hail from the 1980’s. This particular number is a tight and out of tune plea for Bobby companionship. The vocals are fast paced and overlapping, and I suspect it might be a gay kind of thing. The Bobby protagonist of the song is referred to as “sugar,” “darling,” “honey,” and “angel” (and maybe “throbby” as well). And the crescendo at the end is a celebration of the “three of us.” Not quite like anything I’ve  ever heard before. And you? I think I need to make a point of sharing more of this tape in a future post. It’s a lot of fun. Musical nerds having a good time.

(download)

The next offering is a bit strange, which may have gay overtones as well. (Okay, there are girls named “Bobbi” out there, but it’s not that common.) It’s a unique item, recorded on a late-model audio cassette. I’d guess it’s from the 1990’s. The “creator” of this recording has foisted his microphone up to the speaker of his stereo while playing the opening of a soprano sax power ballad. And then, right before the female singer starts to warble on nostalgically about never ending love the guy holding the mic intones– “Bobby” in an urgent half spoken whisper. Then she sings for a minute about the wild and free days of yore. He then hits the pause button, restarts the song, and does the same urgent thing all over again– the sax intro, the “Bobby” whisper, and that pop diva chorus about wildness and freedom (and love). He does this several times.

The only editing you hear in this recording is via the miracle of the pause button. I didn’t change a thing. Following his series of passion loops, he ends this little drama with an instrumental Muzak version of “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” And you can hear him shuffle around in the room while the recording takes place.

Although it’s impossible to be sure, the cryptic presentation here doesn’t seem to hard to decode. It would seem that the fella misses his “Bobby,” and can’t stop thinking about all the wild and free fun they used to have. And perhaps he’s trying to reel him back in by repeating this bit of what might have been their special song. Just guesses of course. Somehow when I hear this tape, I see two slender preppie guys in cardigans walking along a beach, laughing and smiling as the waves crash and the sun sets. And I’ll bet if I mixed in some seagull noises you might see the same thing…

Anyway, here’s the tape. As I found it.

(download)

That little wonder was unearthed at a thrift store in Youngstown, Ohio. While I didn’t find much in the way of lost audio the last time I swung through there, Youngstown is one of those hardscrabble rust-belt cities where life is kinda cheap, and there’s some big thrift shops crammed with inexpensive goodies.

The final entree here also invokes “Bob love.” Actually the it’s the love of a Robert and his bride to be, Sandra. However, instead of idealized adoration or yearning for the return of a Bob, this is fully realized affection. No irony either. Not to reveal all the details in this rich two minutes of fun, but there’s some sweet singin’, a little Waffle House poetry, and a lusty invitation to wash up. From the sound of it, these folks aren’t so young and probably ain’t all that pretty either. But they sure are realistic! And they sure sound happy too. Brian Belott discovered this brief masterpiece at a thrift shop in Sarasota, Florida. Like the first two selections, I didn’t edit this in anyway.

(download)

That’s it for today’s post– three quickies that kinda show you how there’s more to found recordings than kiddie tapes, answering machine messages and audio letters. And there really are a lotta ways to love a Bob. But you probably already knew that. 

2 Responses to “For The Love Of Bob”

  1. Erich Reinhardt Says:

    “The Bobby Song” kinda sounds like something by the Kinks.

  2. moxie Says:

    i’m loving your site, and i so appreciate the work you’ve put into it. here’s my chance to help a little:

    i don’t know who this recording is, but the song is from stephen sondheim’s “company.” (http://www.sondheim.com/shows/company/)
    this “bobby” refrain is heard throughout the show, kinda tying some songs together in different places. when done with the whole cast of the show, it’s a pretty complicated arrangement.

Leave a Reply