Bob Log III Was A One-Man Wrecking Crew At Three Links On Friday.
The last time I saw Bob Log III, before Friday night’s show at Three Links, was also the first time I ever saw him. It was 2010, and my buddy, and Rockstar Karaoke bandmate, Howard Kelley had persuaded me to go see him at The Loft — or the Palladium or Gilley’s or the Southside Music Hall or whatever the names had landed on that month’s venue-version of Musical Chairs they like to play over on South Lamar. Odds are good that our pal Kris Youmans, then the talent buyer around those parts back then, had generously given us a hookup. It felt like reward for the brutally hot weekend we’d just spent performing for the Taste of Dallas at Fair Park.
I didn’t really know what to expect, but Howard’s attempts to describe it were reassuring even as they were wholly inadequate at really preparing me for what I was about to see. We slunk up the stairs and around the stage near to where the narrow part where the cases and stuff are, and soaked in Mr. Log. If Howard has said “imagine Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in a thrift-store Evel Knievel jumpsuit hollerin’ about boobs, and scotch, and euphemistic shit, and actual shit from inside the kind of Darth Vader helmet the Little Rascals would make if they’d been combing 1970s thrift stores,” well, I’m not sure I woulda believed him. But there it was, exactly that.
So needless to say, when Kaia Beggs posted that e-poster for Bob’s gig at Three Links, I was on top of it like, well, like as close as I get to being a fan. Bob is kind of a photographer’s dream. His shows always guarantee some photogenic shit, without having to worry about things like hair covering mopey eyes. Just focus on the telephone Mastic’d to the visor. The gnarly slide guitar playing is more artful than half the audience knows. And if you’re willing to channel your inner 15-year-old, you might even have some fun dancing and jiggling around the room. I was eager to hear, as Bob Log III puts it, “the soundtrack to [my] newest mistake.”
Of course Bob’s been doing his one-man band thing for a long time. In the ’90s his duo Doo-Rag picked up the spirit of the lo-fi blues punk torch that acts like Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper carried through much of the ’80s, with Bob going solo in about 1996. That means the demographics room was unusually peppered with grown-ups and graybeards (like me). But even the youngsters and hipsters seemed to dig it, and there wasn’t any hesitation among volunteers to offer him the traditional Boob Scotch (scotch stirred by a nipple of any gender) or hop on each of his legs for the traditional jiggly ride to accompany “I Want Your Shit On My Legs.”
It didn’t hurt that volunteers had already been primed by Bob’s sound dude, whose wheezing, cigarette-strained calisthenics served to warm up several volunteers on stage as part of the Kevin Dowling Fitness Hour. Nothing like getting 10 middle-aged music fans to do what looked like a hybrid of the robot and the hokey pokey on a long cigarette break. Local ambient combo Mercury Rocket, recently returned from a West Texas pilgrimage with a new face and voice, demonstrated their resilience and continuing recovery from the recent tragic loss of bandmate Krissy Arnold with a spacey set built on tracks, loops and echoes. Not normally what you’d think of to open for a gritty Delta blues showman but somehow, maybe in its rawness, it turned out to be pretty complementary.
The lesson? If Howard asks you to go to a show, or Youmans (now part of promotion company Margin Walker) recommends it, just do it. You’ll no doubt find a roundabout way to thank them for it six years later.