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Shawn Marie Hardy

Eugene, OR USA

Guided By Voices - Bob's Famous Jump

Exhibit Entries

Art: Guided By Voices - Bob's Famous Jump by Artist Shawn Marie Hardy
One day, Robert Pollard, front man for the band Guided By Voices (commonly known by the acronym GBV), quit his teaching job to become a rock star. And in a short time he did. He's sometimes called the father of indie rock, and he led his band out of obscurity and into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Bob is one of the most talented, creative, and prolific songwriters and artists of our time. His performances with GBV were complete with kicks, jumps, and swinging microphone windmills - Pete Townsend style.

His original songs range from loud rockers to slow, melodic balladesqe numbers, some as long as several minutes, one as short as 18 seconds. He never cheated his audience - most shows were three hours long, with a handful of encores. Bob once said he "could write 5 songs while sitting on the pot, and three of 'em would be good." It's true.

Bob has become a friend over the years, and I'm so happy that I had the opportunity to see GBV live as many times as I have. Sadly, the band broke up on New Year's Eve, 2004, but Bob continues to go strong - he has numerous side projects, solo projects, and has more recently become a collage artist with a solo show in New York City. He was clever from the beginning - not only did his music come out on cd, he put everything out on vinyl too - the earliest stuff has hand made collaged album covers - limited in number, and signed. I have seen these early records sell for nearly $10,000. I believe he knew what he was doing.

I miss the old days though - the magic of seeing a band as good as this is gone. They were the best rock shows I've ever seen - and I heard the same thing from other people after every show. I heard people mutter it under their breath and I heard them share it out loud. I had a friend who had never even heard of them before say it..

I captured one of Bob's jumps here - this is featured on the GBV website at www.gbv.com. I chose this for the Motion themed exhibition because that is what these shows were all about. The band rocking out; Bob jumping, kicking, getting his cigarettes lit by the audience, sharing his beer, and sometimes falling down drunk - and still singing. And the audience equally active - singing along to every song, jumping and dancing, rushing the stage. Constant motion from the crowd shouting G-B-V, G-B-V, G-B-V, G-B-V, and stomping their feet before the show, to Bob & co. handing out set lists, throwing out drumsticks and towels and picks to the audience at the end.

Bob might not be jumping as high these days but I'll bet he's making music until the end.

This image was shot with a Canon T-70 and 800 speed film. No special effects or filters - no flash.


Detail Image


Detail Image for art Guided By Voices - Bob's Famous Jump

Bob's jump up close

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