Archive for Thursday, July 29, 1999

DANGER BOB READY TO SAY FAREWELL

July 29, 1999

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Danger Bob, a longtime Lawrence band, will give its last performance Saturday night at The Bottleneck.

Danger Bob has become one of the region's most prominent bands. The band began playing Lawrence area house concerts about a decade ago and grew in reputation to tour across five states.

Now the band is calling it quits. The band with give its final performance at 10 p.m. Saturday at The Bottleneck, 737 N.H.

The band members, who use only their first names for interviews, said they amicably decided to break up, and that the final split came gradually.

"We had talked about ending it last fall, but we said it was too much fun and we were not all that busy in other stuff that we can't do the band," Andy, vocals and guitar, said.

In February, the band began planning another album of previously written material. Grant Fitch, a member of the Lawrence band Paw, offered Danger Bob the use of his recording equipment. The musicians recorded "Girls of the Big 12," which was released in June.

Despite the album's warm regional reception, the band had slowly become disillusioned with the politics of the recording industry. This sentiment did not hasten its breakup, but the band grew tired of dealing with the issue, Andy said.

"After we went through a bunch of stuff with record labels, we realized that we're not interested in playing the game," Andy said. "Unless you're extremely lucky, you're going to wind up losing."

"We are ready for a change," Kenny G!, drummer, agreed.

Several of the band's members are leaving Lawrence in search of different musical opportunities. In August, Kenny G!, a former Steal Mary member, is moving to Austin, Tex., with another Lawrence rock band, The Playthings. Later this year, Karl, vocalist and guitarist, hopes to get involved in the music scene in San Diego, where his brother lives. Andy and bassist Jason will continue playing in a Lawrence '80s cover band, Star 80.

A Lawrence High School graduate, Andy played in Lawrence bands with high school classmate Jason in the late 1980s. In 1989, Andy met Karl, a Wichita native, through friends. Shortly thereafter, Andy and Jason formed Danger Bob with Karl and drummer Chris Bulgren. Kenny G! later replaced Bulgren.

"We started from scratch, and had no clue how it worked getting shows, making albums or any of that," Andy said, who named the band after a superhero he created. "We started the band for fun and to get free beer."

The band tongue-in-cheek music often pokes fun at other bands and musical styles.

The band initially played the Lawrence house party circuit. By 1993, it was gaining a regional following and began performing in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa and Illinois.

At one point, the BBC aired its music and the band members received letters from around the world. They also performed in Los Angeles in 1996 after participating in a national Ticketmaster Battle of the Bands competition, Andy said.

The band's recordings include "Ode to 90210," a cassette released to KJHK in 1992. A demo, "Let's Ditch Chris," and a cassette, "The Joshua Tree," were completed in the early 1990s. Two albums, "Le Pop Shoppe" and "Megavega$," appeared several years later.

Karl said he is proud of the band's recording career.

"It's been quite an education," he said. "Looking back, I'm proud of what we've done and where we've been."

The band is keeping mum about the final show's song set. But Andy reflects on Danger Bob's original musical goals.

"We're class clowns who happened to know three or four chords and wanted to entertain people," Andy said. "We play just for fun."

-- The Mag's phone message number is 832-7146. Send e-mail to jbiles@ljworld.com.



BYE-BYE

What: Danger Bob Farewell concert.

When: 10 p.m. Saturday.

Where: The Bottleneck, 737 N.H.

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