I know that you all want to hear about the really nice girl who made us really good sandwiches, despite having a lot of trouble cutting the meat out of avocados, but I really only want to talk about one thing right now…
An Hour With Bob…
“An Hour With Bob” is a Rhode Island cable access show hosted by Bob Venturini, a self-proclaimed middle-aged newly single man, who is out on the prowl and has no qualms stating everything and anything on his mind for one very loosely scheduled hour. He has guests including bands (us, of course), chefs (not today unfortunately), and dance instructors. Anyone and everyone is welcome, apparently.
It seems that the camerawomen working the show are also Rhode Island radio personalities, so this is their opportunity to work in a visual medium. One of them, Lora, invited us on the show after seeing us at Foo Fest, and not yet having had our Wayne’s World moment, we had to say yes. Trust me, we weren’t disappointed.
This was one of the most fun and hilarious experiences we’ve had as a band. Bob is an absolute piece of work. The funny moments are too many to ennumerate, let alone recount faithfully, but I will do my darnedest to give an idea of what transpired.
At the start of the show, we were introduced to Bob and gave our names: Schuyler, Wrall and Sam. “Schuyler, Wrall and Sam. SchuylerWrallandSam. Schuylerwrallandsam.” He said it over and over to remember it. Soon, he took his seat and looked at his question cards: “I hear you have an album that just came out. Tell us about that and where people can get it. I’M NOT SAYING THAT!” And he proceded to scribble out the question. What followed was an argument about whether Ooh La La, Sha Sha… could be called an album, considering it’s not on vinyl. Who took which side and why was unclear, but it was very spirited. (None of this was on air, mind you.)
We had been warned that Bob was likely to “try to talk about himself” when he was ostensibly interviewing us and to “not take his crap.” We felt pretty good about that and put it to good use.
“So, we have a band here! Miss Fairchild. Hi Schuyler, Sam and Real. Real? Rile. Rile?”
“It’s Wrall, actually.”
“Ah. Wrall. Of course. Schuyler, Wrall and Sam. Schuylerwrallandsam.”
“Well, good to have you guys.” And he proceded to ask us about the band name and other things. Before we could play the song, he began to launch into his life story: “You know, guys, I used to manage bands-”
“We believe you. Bob,” I said and started “Cheatin’ Man” before we had to hear that story…
In between our songs, Bob told everyone about his travels to Taiwan (“They’re not a third rate country, you know.”) and he hit on a dance intstructor whose name I don’t know because of how amazingly he butchered it. Many times, he spoke openly about his love (and hate) for the fairer sex, including this soliloquy:
“Now, I love women. All women, in fact. (Except today, today I hate woman. That’s ’cause I was in court today.) But I especially love blondes…”
Too bad we had not prepared to play “Number One.”
Meanwhile, the three of us and all of the camera folks and everybody is straining to keep it together. We’re dying of laughter and afraid to laugh, because right before we started, Bob told everyone not to laugh during the show. “That happened last time and I didn’t like it. It distracted me.” But how could we not laugh:
Bob: “So I was at the mahket the othah day.”
Camerawoman: “At the mahket!”
Bob: “Oh sorry, I didn’t pronounce that right. I’m from Rhode Island. I don’t speak propah like you. Fine, I was at the maaaaaahket. Is that better for you?” And proceded to pronounce the word in an even more extreme Rhode Island accent. Well, a cross between Rhode Island and the Queen’s English. Completely absurd. And hilarious. You really have to see this. The guy’s expressions were outrageous, too. Raised eyebrows, strange tilts toward the camera. I half expected him to suddenly slam on the desk and say, “I’m mad as hell and I’M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!” But that didn’t happen. He did rant about people that fly without showering and brushing their teeth. And he did give a little consumer economics lesson. “They’re selling detergent (I won’t say which brand) for 4.99 for two bottles of 100 oz. and the same detergent for 5.99 for one 175 oz. bottle. People don’t know this and are paying too much!”
At one point, he held up a copy of Ooh La La, Sha Sha… and there was an extreme camera close up. His finger in front of the cd case was black and blue and, truly, disgusting. “Oh yeah, slammed that finger in the door the other day.” That did it, we were on the ground.
When the dancers did their ballroom dance demonstrations, we were in frame for some of the shots, so the guys and I were careful to step in synch so as to not look out of place. Bob jumped right in, though, and danced with the instructor and one of her dance students. He had some trouble, but gave it his best shot.
So, we played a couple more songs and Bob came and danced with us and he hit on the dancer lady some more (“So do we get to dance with the instructor? With you? Oh, Iosofidi!) and he spoke unreservedly about everything and anything on his mind. It was a blast! We’d do it again in a heartbeat and invite all of you to come along.
Tomorrow: The Ten Thousand Things North American Tour continues and more odd details emerge…