The Squid's Ear Magazine

Drake, Bob: Bob's Drive-In (Recommended Records)

The ever-innovative Bob Drake in a twisted album of studio and live recordings: 14 songs from Drake performing all instruments, and 11 of those songs rearranged and performed live with David Campbell, David Kerman and Kavus Torabi.

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product information:


Bob Drake-guitar, bass, vocals, drums

David Kerman-drums, vocals

David Campbell-bass, vocals

Kavus Torabi-guitar, vocals

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

UPC: 752725030328

Label: Recommended Records
Catalog ID: ReR CTA 17
Squidco Product Code: 15362

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2011
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Part 1 recorded between October 2010 and August 2011 at La Borde Basse, Caudeval, France. Part II recorded live on May 28th, 2011 at La Borde, Caudeval, France.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"A set of twisty, forty-ideas-a-minute, niftily arranged, irredeemably eccentric, but strangely brilliant songs that skip blithely across genre borders - from Nashville through the Miskatonic by way of the Beach Boys... even the production values range across the history of recording, sometimes switching inside a single song; so - a high-information ride, but still engagingly listenable. Finished with his new CD, Bob sends the raw songs - just chords and melody - to Dave Kerman (ds), David Campbell (bs, vc) and Kavus Torabi (guit, vc) and, a few months later, they assemble at the Crumbling Tomes studio to work up the songs for a performance. Bob is in the band but the band is not being taught his interpretations and arrangements. It finds its own. After a week of rehearsals, there is a show for an invited audience, recorded live. So now we have a second great album - quite different from Bob's own. On the CD, both versions sit side-by-side, each very different, but still intimately linked to one another. "-ReR USA

Artist Biographies

"Bob Drake was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 6, 1957, and spent his youth in Watseka, Illinois. There he taught himself how to play guitar and drums, but after hearing Yes's Fragile in 1972, Drake decided he wanted to be a bassist and bought himself a Rickenbacker 4001 bass guitar, which he still uses today. Henry Cow also had a big influence on him: "[T]hey were doing something I felt was a lot closer to what I was imagining I'd like to do - 'complex' intricate songs and arrangements, noisy things going on which fit organically in the music, and less emphasis on 'perfect' studio overcooked impersonal perfection."

Drake experimented with recording techniques and "warped rock", but soon found that no one was interested in "new and strange music" in his rural Midwestern home town. He moved to Denver, Colorado in 1978 where he worked for a while as a sound engineer on B horror movie sets. He also spent time recording local underground bands and playing bass guitar and drums with some of them. Drake put an advertisement at a local music store requesting a guitar player "into Henry Cow, Yes ...", and met up with experimental rock guitarist and composer Mike Johnson. Drake and Johnson played in a few cover bands before forming Thinking Plague in 1982. By 1990 Thinking Plague had recorded three albums and established a name for themselves in progressive circles.

In the late 1980s the Denver music scene "just evaporated" as musicians seeking "greener pastures" moved elsewhere. Drake, "flat broke" at the time, moved to Los Angeles where he found a job as a recording engineer. There he established a name for himself working with several mainstream artists like Ice Cube, Tina Turner and Engelbert Humperdinck. During this time he also formed an alternative rock group, Hail with ex-Thinking Plague's singer Susanne Lewis, and joined Dave Kerman's avant rock group, the 5uu's. Hunger's Teeth, the 5uu's' third album was praised for its "challenging music" and "production values", and made Drake a "sought-after engineer and collaborator".

Drake released his first solo album, What Day is It? in 1994. It was a limited edition (1,000 copies) self released record that Drake pressed himself. He later made five more solo albums, which were all released on ex-Henry Cow drummer Chris Cutler's UK independent record label, Recommended Records. In 1994 Drake and Kerman moved to an old farm house owned by Cutler and Henry Cow's sound engineer EM (Maggie) Thomas in Caudeval, southern France. They converted it into a studio which they called Studio Midi-Pyrenees. Later Drake worked closely with Cutler on a number of projects for Recommended Records, including the remastering of several albums and box sets, for example The Art Box (2004) and The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set (2009). He also joined Cutler's avant-rock band The Science Group in 1997, in which he played and engineered/produced the group's two albums.

Drake continued to work on and off in the 2000s with Thinking Plague and the 5uu's. In 2007 he formed his own group, Bob Drake's Cabinet of Curiosities to perform material from his solo albums live on stage. The group comprised Drake (guitar, vocals, violin, banjo), Kerman (drums), David Campbell (guitar, bass guitar, vocals) and Jason DuMars (soprano/alto saxophones, keyboards). They played at NEARfest in Pennsylvania in June 2007 with guests Olivier Tejedor (keyboards) and Lynnette Shelley (vocals)."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"David Kerman (born August 24, 1959), better known as Dave Kerman, is a United States experimental rock drummer and composer, best known as the founder and member of the Los Angeles avant-rock group 5uu's. He is also a member of the Belgian progressive rock band Present and the Israeli avant-rock band Ahvak. Kerman has been a member of the United States bands U Totem and Thinking Plague, and the Dutch band Blast. He has collaborated with several musicians, including Bob Drake, Chris Cutler and Fred Frith.

Kerman lived in Israel between 2000 and 2003 and holds dual American and Israeli citizenship. He established R R USA in 2003, the North American distributor of the British independent record label, Recommended Records, and R R USA's own record label, AD Hoc Records in 2006.

Dave Kerman was born in Torrance, California, south of Los Angeles. At the age of six he started playing with the drum sticks, and at nine he auditioned for a percussionist in his school band. In spite of failing the audition, Grateful Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux, family friend and neighbor, recognised potential in Kerman and suggested to Kerman's parents that they buy him a set of drums. Kerman's first public performance was at the age of 10 with a band of his that he had entered in a local talent contest.

In high school, Kerman formed a garage band with guitarist Greg Conway and bassist Jon Beck. They began as a cover band playing a mixture of Deep Purple, King Crimson and Lynyrd Skynyrd songs but soon switched to experimenting with noise music. Kerman also modified his drum kit to extend its capabilities, including adding telescoping metal tubing that changed pitch (made from old fire extinguishers), and stringing the bass drum shell with heavy-gauge strings that produced an un-tuned zither sound. He also started using a variety of objects to strike his drum kit with, including kitchen utensils, golf clubs and Barbie dolls.

In 1976 Kerman's band named themselves "Farmer Fred Genuflects to A-440" and played at a Greenpeace Festival in San Diego, California. While their performance did not go down very well, one concert goer recognised potential and suggested they listen to Henry Cow and Faust. These new influences prompted Kerman to begin exploring new compositional techniques and he started writing experimental songs for his band. Even though Kerman was a drummer, he taught himself guitar and keyboards to compose on.

After finishing school, Kerman attended California State University, Dominguez Hills where he studied electronic and contemporary music under professors Marshall Bialosky and David Champion. At the time he also studied audio engineering at the Sound-Master Institute with Brian Ingoldsby."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"I [Dave Campbell] was born in 1959 and I grew up with music all around me. When I was very young, I heard a lot of am-radio fare, and thanks to the tastes of my older sister by the time I was 10, I was a huge fan of bands like Santana and Steppenwolf, etc (I was basically weaned on the Woodstock soundtrack). All of that changed the first time I heard a string quartet.

One Sunday on CBC-TV, I heard Ligeti's 2nd String Quartet. I was mesmorized and spent the rest of my teens listening to as much classical music as I could. My love of rock music never diminished though, it merely transformed into a voracious appetite for bands like Gentle Giant and Yes. I picked up a guitar when I was 15, not so much for the urge to be a guitarist, but mostly to be able to play the music I was hearing in my head. I played for hours a day and became a fairly proficient, albeit self-taught, guitarist.

My very first ambitious piece was Symphony #1, where I used texts from HP Lovecraft and a huge "Planets-like" orchestral ensemble. Inevitably, my lack of orchestrational knowledge lead me to abandon finishing the actual orchestrations, but by 1977, I had written all the themes and developements.

In 1979 I moved out to Vancouver and played bass in punk bands (my first paying jobs). For several years I worked playing bass and guitar in various original and cover outfits, all the time writing modern classical music for my own enjoyment. I wrote an awful lot of chamber music and studied as many scores as I could lay my hands on.

In 1983 I decided to quit the music "scene" and spent two years pounding spikes for the Canadian Pacific Railway. I worked on an extra gang in the BC mountains (based out of Revelstoke British Columbia) where I lived on outfit cars, moved from job to job, and used hand-tools to repair track and build switches.

By 1985 I had saved up enough money to attend school, and after a strenuous audition, attended Humber College, where I studied composition, arranging, guitar and lastly, orchestration. I spent 6 years there and studied with Ron Collier, Paul Read, Dave Stillwell, Clarke Anderson, Art Maiste and guitarists, Peter Harris, Tony Zorzi, and Mark Crawford.

After graduating in 1991, I worked free-lance, writing orchestrations for various pops concerts, and big-band charts for various Toronto ensembles. As a result of one of the many bands I played with, I met a music consultant at CBC, and shortly afterwards, started writing music for TV. As I was always a fan of the ballet music of Stravinsky, I enjoyed writing program music (music that follows a plot, and whose form is decided more by the unfolding of a story than solely musical considerations). I was also a very big fan of Bernard Hermann, so I took to TV writing quite well and continued to do a lot of it from then until about 2003. Along the way I wrote a ton of concert pieces and was fortunate to have a few played, and to receive commissions from the Canada Council for several string quartets and Symphonies.

As a lot of the work I was doing in TV, was the entire audio design of a show, I found myself combining ambiences, sound effects and music into an integrated whole. More and more it occured to me that I could merge these various disciplines, and in 2003, I basically retired from TV, to dedicate myself to a more Electro-Acoustic approach, where real instruments and electronic manipulations share the stage. As well, I find myself playing a lot more guitar and bass in free-form outfits where improvisation as well as orchestrated parts combine and commingle.

Recently I have been working on a lot of different things and am immersed in a work that uses Sappho's fragmented verses (all that is left of her writings are fragments) with a small electro-acoustic ensemble. Check out the list of works page , or the audio page to hear some stuff."

-Dave Campbell Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Kavus Torabi (born 5 December 1971, in Tehran, Iran) is a British Iranian musician and composer, record label owner and broadcaster. A multi-instrumentalist, he is known for his work in the psychedelic, avant-garde rock field (primarily as a guitarist). Torabi was one of the founding members of The Monsoon Bassoon (as singer, guitarist and one of the two primary composers) and subsequently joined the cult psychedelic rock group Cardiacs as second guitarist.

He currently fronts his own group Knifeworld and also plays guitar and composes for Guapo and for the legendary psychedelic band Gong, is a touring and recording musician for the Mediæval Bæbes and frequently collaborates with notable artists working in left-field music."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Keep Light Away From This Product 2:17

2. Recreational Guide to the Solar System for Humans 2:38

3. Don't Ask a Cat 2:46

4. Pardon my Varmint 3:44

5. Sad And Indifferent Animals Wearing Scarve 2:19

6. Lesser-Known Explorers of the Arctic 4:38

7. Everybody Wants to Meet my Raccoon 1:45

8. Earthquake Light 2:09

9. Phantom Forerunner 2:54

10. A Sunny Day in Nairobi 2:58

11. Swimming Pool 2:01

12. Gone Gone Gone 1:45

13. Biting of Glory 3:26

14. Some Advice About Zombis 2:55

15. A Sunny Day in Nairobi -live 3:05

16. Earthquake Lights -live 2:06

17. Don't Ask a Cat -live 2:58

18. Lesser-Known Explorers of the Arctic -live 3:27

19. Some Advice About Zombis -live 2:15

20. Sad And Indifferent Animals Wearing Scarves -live 2:20

21. Pardon my Varmint -live 3:22

22. Everybody Wants to Meet my Raccoon -live 1:51

23. Keep Light Away From This Product -live 2:17

24. Recreational Guide to the Solar System for Humans -live 3:08

25. Biting of Glory -live 4:32

Related Categories of Interest:

Rock and Related
Progressive Rock
Song Based Music
Drake, Bob
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