Bob Log III is an American lo-fi punk blues musician, singer and songwriter who surfaced in the 1990s as 1/2 of the duo Doo Rag, but now performs alone. During performances, Log wears a blue full-body suit and a bubble-mask motorcycle helmet wired with a telephone microphone which allows him to devote his hands and feet to guitar and drums. Bob Log's version of quick Delta blues closely resembles the sound that Doo Rag pioneered. The major differences are: greater emphasis on guitar showmanship and lack of a live drummer. Based in Tucson, Arizona, he has made frequent tours of North America, Europe, Japan and Australia.
Bob Log III was born in Phoenix, Arizona. Growing up, Log listened to musical artists such as The Pixies
, Gene Loves Jezebel
, Bo Diddley
, The Cult
, later commenting that "That's what rock'n'roll is to me. You take a guitar, turn it up and have a good time…everyone else can go listen to Pearl Jam if they want to.”
Bob Log got his first guitar at the age of 11, and by the age of 16 he had become smitten with Delta blues
, modeling his slide guitar style on that of Mississippi Fred McDowell
. Log began his music career recording with Mondo Guano
, a four-piece metal
band based in Arizona. Upon leaving Mondo Guano, Log went on to perform as one-half of the Delta blues rock duo, Doo Rag
, with bandmate Thermos Malling
After six years of making music, and weary of touring, Malling abruptly quit the band in the middle of a U.S. tour with Ween, leaving Log without a percussionist. “At the time, my only option was to go home and shut up, or learn a new way of playing guitar,” Log said of Malling’s departure. “I was on my way to Chicago, and I'd just bought a helmet at a thrift store in Lawrence, Kan., and I though, (sic) "I'll put on that helmet and kick my guitar case and see what happens." Donning his newly acquired thrift store helmet, Log decided to continue the tour alone as a one-man band, playing guitar and kicking a guitar case to keep the beat.
Over time, Log acquired a kick-drum and a cymbal which he custom-outfitted with a kick pedal of its own. These instruments, combined with his slide guitar work, distorted telephone microphone vocals, and Latin-styled drum machine accompaniment, form the framework on which Bob Log constructs his songs. Log describes his on-stage setup in the song “One Man Band Boom,” introducing himself to the audience as, "Bob Log the third, one-man band, Tucson, Arizona. Heyeeeh! Lemme introduce the band to ya. On cymbals, left foot. Over here on the bass drum we got right foot. Shut up! This is my left hand that does all the slide work, right hand does the pickin'. My mouth hole does most o' the talkin'. And you're looking at my finger."
The monkey's paw
An early press release from record label Fat Possum claimed Log had a monkey’s paw grafted on to his wrist after a boating accident as a child. According to Bob Log’s artist page at Fat Possum Records: "When Bob Log III was a child, he lost his left hand in a boating accident. It was soon replaced with a monkey paw, and a new guitar style was born. 'It's my own personal style, see,' Log says, 'the paw moves much quicker than a normal hand, so my real hand has to flop around a lot to compensate.'" When asked to explain Fat Possum’s insistence that his right hand is a monkey’s paw, Log replied to an interviewer that, “My hand is just hairy. Very, very hairy. It is NOT a PAW. Fat Possum was drunk.” Log further clarified the monkey paw myth in an interview with Bizarre Magazine: "I've got all my limbs. It's just that when I'm playing my guitar my hand moves so fast it looks like a monkey paw, a hairy paw. My hand moves really fast. Faster than a normal human hand."
The stunt helmet
One of Bob Log III's most distinguishing props is the novelty motorcycle helmet he wears on stage. When prompted as to why he wears the helmet, Log contends that, "My face has nothing to do with the music, I'd much rather people pay attention to my guitar playing. When asked if he had ever thrown up inside the helmet, Log said, "Not so that it landed in the helmet. I've got a hole for it to come out of. It doesn't happen that often. It only happens when I get a really fat girl on my knee and I try to play that song twice as fast as I normally do. It's like running with a backpack full of rocks." The helmet has caused him some problems over the years; "I kept the original lining in it, but after awhile it started disintegrating," Log said in an interview with The Kansas City Star. "What happens is, the foam turns into a powder, and when you mix that with three years' worth of sweat - I grew something really funky in there. It dripped in my eye at a show in Sweden, and I got pinkeye. Ever had pinkeye? It's disgusting, Girls stopped talking to me. It was terrible."
During performances Bob Log will often call audience members (both male and female) on stage to sit on his knee while he plays. Log credits years of drumming with his feet for his ability to simultaneously drum and support the weight of multiple people: "My legs are huge now. Sometimes I can get a girl on each knee and bounce 'em along."
Log has distinctively used breasts as a theme in his performance and hired two "[professional women]" to use their breasts as percussion instruments on his song "Clap Your Tits." Log is quick to point out that all of these acts are carried out between consenting adults and individuals familiar with his brand of humor, stating, "First of all, if you come to my show knowing I've got a song called "Boob Scotch" and you get offended, I'm sorry but I've got to say just get out."
One of Bob Log III's more controversial antics is 'Boob Scotch', that is, scotch which has been stirred by a female (or male) breast.
This practice was integrated into the aptly titled song "Boob Scotch" from the album Log Bomb, in which Bob Log sings "I think we need to sit down and talk, put your boob in my scotch. Come on get your tit in my drink, stir my scotch with something that's pink."
Bob Log III often invites audience members to 'make' a Boob Scotch, asking them onstage to dip their breast in his scotch (usually pre-ordered from the venue's bar) after which he lifts his helmet slightly and downs the drink. Log has been known to dip his own breast in his scotch, especially in Japan, a modest nation and usually not willing to expose their 'Boob'.
- "I'm a professional, God damn it. I live in a car."
- "Ladies and gentlemen's... We've all got boobs people, look between your, your, non-boobs... what you're going to find is a nipple! No matter if you're a man or women, OR an angry women."
Quotes about Bob Log III
"And then there’s this guy named Bob Log, you ever heard of him? He’s this little kid — nobody ever 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.”
As Mondo Guano
- Return To The Fatherland 7" (Westworld, year ?, WW-9)
As Doo Rag
- Hussy Bowler 7" (Westworld, 1993, WW-7)
- Trudge 7" (In The Red, 1994, ITR 021)
- Swampwater Mop Down 7" (Drunken Fish Records, 1995, DFR-11)
- Two Tones To Tune 7" (Discos Alehop!, 1997, hop 014)
- Sinful Tunes & Spirituals 2x7" (Au-Go-Go, 1998, ANDA 238)
- Chunked & Muddled LP/CD/CS (Bloat Records, 1994, BLT 10048)
- Barber Shop CS (Bloat Records, 1994, BLT #?)
- Doo Rag, What We Do LP/CD (Dependability, 1996, L 45649)
As Bob Log III
- Daddy Log's Drive-In Candy Hoppin' Car Babes 7" (Sympathy For The Record Industry, 1998, SFTRI 545)
- Wag Your Tail Like A Dog In Back Of A Truck 7" (Bloat Records, 2001, BLT#8)
- Bubblestrut! 7" (Dropkick Records, 2001, BEHIND 018)
- Split 7" with Mississippi Barry (Corduroy Records/Warm Glow Productions, 1999, WG 001/ML 10714)
- Split 7" with Zen Guerrilla (Fanboy Records, 2000, FAN #906)
- Split CDS with 20 Miles (Epitaph, 2000, ESCA8150)
- School Bus LP/CD (Fat Possum, 1998, 80323-1/2)
- Trike LP/CD (Fat Possum, 1999, 80330-1/2)
- LIVE!!! Aloha From Japan CD (Bloat Records, 2000, BLOAT 2000)
- Log Bomb LP/CD (Fat Possum, 2003, 80370-1/2)
- Capper, Andy. "Log Jam", Bizarre Magazine, accessed from Bob Log III Official Website "www.boblog111.com". Accessed June 8, 2007.
- Evert. Bob Log III "www.grunnenrocks.nl". Accessed June 8, 2007.
- Finn, Timothy. "Log Jam", Kansas City Star, accessed from Bob Log III Official Website "www.boblog111.com". Accessed June 8, 2007.
- Williams, Dez. Pixelsurgeon Interview: Bob Log III "www.pixelsurgeon.com". Accessed June 8, 2007.