We Know It’s Only Rock N’ Roll But We Like It

THE FADING CAPTAIN SERIES: Robert Pollard, World Cafe Live, November 14th, 2006 [FLICKR]

EVA SAYS: He drank tequila straight from the bottle, and smoked half a pack of cigarettes, and kept dipping into the cooler by the drum-kit for yet another Miller Lite, like a bear dipping paw into a honeypot. He did high kicks and cute little backflips and twirled his mic in the air like a helicopter. Backstage, he polished off the last of the tequila and gave his most ardent acolytes a boozy, back-slapping audience, some high-fives included. You?d think it was Pete Doherty at a Libertines show, but instead it was Bob Pollard of Guided by Voices fame, age 4Osomething and not getting any younger but also, weirdly enough, not really getting any older, either. All of which blew my mind a little. You see, and please excuse my pubescent ignorance as I admit this, but for the longest time I thought GBV was some hokey Christian rock group. So, you can imagine my surprise when I walked into World Cafe Live and find a room full of twentysomethings, arms aloft in fists and peace signs and the obligatory devil horns, reaching up ecstatic, striving to make the E.T. finger connection with the singer, breathlessly yelling out ‘Bob is God!’ And he liked us right back, crediting Philadelphia as one of the first cities to embrace GBV. Later in the night, with one arm slung around Valania, he nostalgically muses, ‘We’ll grow old together in the American night, my friend?’ a reflection that seems a bit premature. For, under that gray ‘Fro, it seems to me that Bob is all young in the soul — and his Nike flats and checkered chef pants will most likely give out long before he ever does.

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