Let me ask you a question: have you ever tried to book a show? A fundraiser, a comedy showcase, a large dinner reservation, a dentist appointment? It’s fucking hell. The back-and-forth that goes into trying to capture the attention of anybody on the other end, plus the non-stop volley of times/details/the most boring minutiae, is a long and mind-numbing process. I highly recommend avoiding it! Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in, and as we travel on across the long and winding road of life, we must all take on unpleasant responsibilities, go to the dentist, plan shows, and try to recall all of the details when we’re asked to write blog articles about them years later.
My (Ben Kahlil Hassenger) first introduction to Bobby Meader was sometime in late 2013. I was immersed in the aforementioned unpleasantness of tour-booking while working with my band mates to book the first major tour for The Hunky Newcomers. We were leaving the Midwest and its Polar Vortex for a month and heading West, meeting up with City Mouse for a block of dates in the middle. I found Bobby through a show posting on the website Punks In Vegas. I remember checking out his tunes and thinking, “Yeah, these are fine.” (The endorsements get better as the article goes on, Bobby, I promise!) I shot him an email seeing if he could possibly help us set up a show. To my surprise, he responded almost immediately with information and promised to help. Receiving any answer at all – even a “Hell no!” – when booking a tour is almost a victory in itself, but the fact that somebody was so quick to jump in and ready to help was fantastic and felt really fucking positive. In the end, we ended up booking a different show through another promoter, but Bobby came out with his large beard and even larger smile and greeted us to his fair city. We shot the shit throughout the show and he told us that we’d see him soon.
Since then, we’ve been able to bring him through Lansing on three separate occasions and each time has been a treat, both musically and just in hanging-outs and getting-to-know-yous. My favorite story was when he came and played at The Mystery Garage. He got to Lansing early and made himself at home at GTG, where he was staying for a few days, then picked up a fifth of vodka and a burrito. He ate half of the burrito early on, then drank considerably more than half of the fifth. In his drunken state, he must have polished off the rest of the burrito. However, once we all returned home after the show, Bobby set out to finish his burrito. Upon finding it gone and the wrapper in the trash, he immediately concluded that one of our housemates had eaten the rest of his food. He was pretty pissed about it, going on for quite some time.“Who DOES that?” he cried. I shrugged. Perhaps it was a little mean of me to not remind him that he had, in fact, eaten the entire thing, but I wanted to see how the whole thing played out. I’m an asshole, I know. I did assure him that if anyone at GTG house was going to steal his food, it was probably going to be me – my girlfriend backing me up on my food-stealing tendencies – but he was not persuaded. This went back-and-forth for a year or so, until I finally had to set him straight at GTG Fest 2015 when he was telling his side of the story to the audience. I swear, you call my house and its food thievery into question…
The horrible vision that went through Bobby’s mind on that fateful night.
Anyway, lest I paint Bobby Meader as merely a drunk who misplaces food, let me get into those glowing endorsements I promised earlier. This guy may be the hardest-working performer I’ve ever met on the DIY circuit. He’s on the road for a solid six months of the year and does everything himself: booking, promoting, interviews, the whole shebang. He has hit me up for dates four/five months in advance; what DIYer is that organized? On top of all of that, he’s an absolute pleasure to work with. Bobby is so laid-back but focused and determined. Can’t forget about the music either: Same description. Never too loud or abrasive, while always managing to kick a hole in your heart. It’s soft and loud simultaneously, emotional and distant… I find myself feeling so many different things throughout the course of each song.
GTG Records is super excited to be bringing Bobby Meader Music back to the Mystery Garage this Thursday, January 28, alongside local favorites Little American Champ and GTG Records artists The Hat Madder and Cat Midway. The show’s going to be pretty rad, with a great lineup and a promise for a pretty special time. More information about the show can be found here. See you this Thursday, and for the love of all that is holy, please don’t eat the guy’s burrito.