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Busty Blues 

Bob Log III is a true American, a great guitarist, and a total degenerate.

Bob Log III: A one-man blues band, with the panache of Evel Knievel.
  • Bob Log III: A one-man blues band, with the panache of Evel Knievel.
HEY! Uh! I'm Bob Log III, one-man band! Tucson, Arizona. HEYYY! Let me introduce the band to ya! On cymbals, left foot. Over here on the bass drum, we got right foot. SHUT UP! This, my left hand, does all the slide work. Right hand does the pickin'. My mouth hole does most the talkin', and you're lookin' at my finger. Don't talk to my finger. My finger is an ASSHOLE! WOO! Fat Possum! . . . Uh! Come on! I'm a professional, goddamn it! I live in a car!"

-- "One Man Band Boom," Bob Log III

Bob Log III is an outsider artist, a horndog wrapped inside a gimmick, a great slide guitarist, and the most entertaining one-man band on the planet. He's in his mid-'30s and rail-thin. In a 2006 YouTube clip, a Chester-the-molester mustache can be seen through the face bubble of the motorcycle helmet he wears while performing.

When engaged in conversation, he seems normal enough -- despite laughing after every other sentence. I first met him in 2002, after a gig in Michigan. A photograph from that night captured him checking out my wife's chest -- I swear.

But more about boobs in a minute.

Bob Log III (born Robert Reynolds III) appeared around 1996, after his partner, Thermos Malling, broke up their popular lo-fi blues act, Doo Rag. Like a couple of post-apocalyptic street musicians, they opened for bands like Sonic Youth, Beck, and Ween, playing instruments made of hair dryers, cheese graters, and a Chevy exhaust pipe.

When Malling left, Log realized he could just rebuild himself into a Frankenstein bluesman. For a microphone, he stuck an old telephone handset into a thrift-store helmet. He also procured drums, a drum machine, and a skintight metallic jumpsuit.

"Mostly I just play guitar and kick shit," admits Log, calling from underneath a scorching sun in Tucson. "The guitar starts first. It's gotta be the coolest guitar you've ever heard. Then the beat comes next, then the lyrics. They sometimes take the longest. If you're going to say something every single day, it's gotta be something you really enjoy saying."

So he sings about . . . boobs.

But Log contends that there is more to his music. "You can focus on that, but I've only got three songs about boobs. Wait, I take that back. There's four."

Those are "Boob Scotch," "Clap Your Tits," "Booby Trap #2," and "Booby Trap #1." But he also sings "Big Ass Hard On," "Ass Computer," "Land of a Thousand Swirling Asses," and "I Want Your Shit on My Leg," during which he gets ladies onstage to ride his bouncing knees.

But back to boobs.

"They're easy to sing about, but pretty fuckin' ridiculous," laughs Log. "They're sacks of fat with nipples on them, man. And people use 'em to sell me spaghetti. They sell me their cell-phone plan. They try to sell me a new car. And I'm saying, let's make the boobies funny. Let's not use them to manipulate people. Let's get ridiculous with the tit. It's a food dispenser."

"Boob Scotch," a drink he invented for his fourth and latest album, Log Bomb, released on Fat Possum, is "scotch and ice, mixed by a tit." He asks women to help make it for him onstage, and he has no problem finding volunteers.

In fact, Log's audacious stage show has built up a global following. "But," he says, "it really doesn't matter to me if it's five people or 5,000 people, because basically I can't really see. It's just me and the guitar, and I've got a helmet on my head. People will be like, 'Did you see that girl put her boob in your drink?' Mostly the answer is 'no,' because I can't see so good."

Stage antics aside, Log is a serious student of blues and rock traditions influenced by the Delta, the wild showmanship of Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and Hasil Adkins, an infamous one-man band rockabilly cat. But he worships AC/DC more than anything else. "All I'm trying to do is out-sweat Angus. With a suit, a helmet, and a girl on each knee, I'll be there in about 45 years."

Log's American primitive axework growls while he tears up and down the neck with his slide. He echoes Fat Possum labelmates T-Model Ford and R.L. Burnside (who passed away in 2005), as well as other authentic bluesmen of juke joints past, whose music always served as soundtracks to cathartic partying.

"If you think about Robert Johnson, Son House, Charley Patton -- they played in bars, not rooms full of sad people. They were probably people who were drunk, dancin' on tables, and possibly stickin' their boobs in each other's drinks."

Raw, rocking blues, played by a guy who looks like Evel Knievel's psycho brother -- it's no wonder other nations love this guy. Log is the essence of America as the world sees us: noisy, inventive, crude, and always trying to get women to flash their tits. He tours Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia on a regular basis. This summer Log even toured Scandinavia.

"There's four girls in Sweden that want me dead," he blurts out.

Log was paid $1,500 in advance for a college gig in the town of Lund. But "the girls who worked in the organization that was bringing me suddenly got offended at the idea of me." And on the day of the show, the booking agent told Log, "They don't want you to play, but they're going to pay you anyway."

Log, sounding indignant, says he drove to Lund and returned the money to one of the women. "I made her sit on my knee, and I gave her $1,500. No one in the world is going to pay me not to play my guitar."

More by Mark S. Wedel

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