Bob's First Unplugged CD, "I Was the Big Train," Released April 14th, 2014.



Unplugged • Bob Hate (2014)
***
Coming so closely on the heels of the surprising “Juvenilia,” this disc unfortunately gets a bit lost. Its 12 songs are all rendered achingly in a mostly un-plugged format. (If you consider synthesized conga samples unplugged, well then you’ll be just fine.) But the disc is a winner. It’s an especially idiosyncratic collection of tunes, but the earnest playing holds the disc together. Well known older tunes like “Map of the World” and “Bad in my Car” come off beautifully in stripped down – yet propulsive – arrangements. And the deep cuts like “Love Carlene” and “Marie” shine. The standout tracks are those that have received the biggest overhaul, like “Pontiac,” which was transformed from a comic car ride into a terrifying goodbye letter.

- Hector 'The Brim' Torres







Juvenilia by Bob Hate Released Feb 27, 2014.

A revelatory collection of 12 re-recorded Bob Hate songs from 1978-1984 was released at the end of February. Features 2014 versions of "Dream Street," "Where is the Love," and "Remember My Name." Recorded in 9 days in ABQ.





Buy Now!

Click images for song previews and purchase.


EDDY BAND • Six Foot Length of Rope
The 2010 Best Of from Eddy,
featuring "Wreckerman," "Amarillo,"
"Redeemer," "O Blessed Love," 
and 12 more.

EDDY BAND • Spanish for Hospital
The final Eddy Band CD (2013),
featuring "Eddy + Cindy,"
"Play it Cool," "Birmingham" and 16 others.


BOB HATE • Like a King
The 2003 Bob Hate Best Of,
featuring "Gas Giants," "Shreveport,"
"Superstition Hwy." and 12 more.

BOB HATE • Bitter Solo Album
The 2009 Bob Hate collection, 
featuring "Nowhere," "Every Bad
Dream," "About the Moon," and 8 others.

Who Was Bob Hate?

Bob in 1997
photo by Danny Nowlan
William Robert Simmons was born – or so they say – in 1958 in Bossier City, Louisiana, during the hottest summer in history. We know little of his boyhood, and what we do know is likely apocryphal.

As a teenager he started writing songs, and his first musical adventures were with a band called Grand Theft Otto. In his twenties he played in a few more bands, changing his own name as often as his bands changed lineups. He was Bobby Wheels for a time, and then Bobby Arizona. And then when he moved to Dallas in his late twenties, he became – simply – Bob Hate.

The story of those days has been told often, but hardly anybody knows how much of it all was true.

But in his early 40s he disappeared off the map. There were stories that he had moved to Florida, started touring folks at a glass-bottomed boat place. Some said he was dead.

In 2003 the “Like a King” CD got released. It contained some of his solo material alongside mid 90s recordings he did with the Eddy Band. There was a poorly sourced rumor that some of the unreleased tracks on the disc were new. Was Bob Hate actually alive? Did it matter?

Then in 2007 he re-emerged. He was living at the time in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and for about 18 months he began writing with longtime bandmates and pals Chet Hix and Stephen Thomas. Together with Eddy Band alums Dave Lemonds and Buck Rudo, the group re-formed for some Nashville recording sessions.

That period got chronicled earlier this year on “Wreckerman,” a collection of all new material, and “Six Foot Length of Rope,” a 16 track best-of that also collected some old Dallas-era songs from the group.

But the reunion broke up badly – how could it not?

I saw Bob briefly during this time and he looked exactly like Wilford Brimley after Tom Cruise kicked the shit out of him in that Grisham movie.

Months passed and on a whim I drove back to New Mexico to his compound up in the Sandia foothills. He wasn’t there, but an old guy answered the door. He said he was an old friend of Bob’s, and that Bob had suspected I’d come around again.

“He was just here,” the old man said, pointing at the desert floor under our feet. “He said you’d know what to do with this.” And he handed me a box. Some photos, a portable hard drive, and the “Dear God” letter you’ll see elsewhere on this blog

On the hard drive were 45 songs, some in multiple versions and arrangements. They were all solo recordings. Some, like “Romance,” were written nearly 30 years ago, and some, like the beautiful “Silver City,” were written and recorded in his home studio in the past couple of years.

I’ll never know if I’ve done exactly the right thing, but I mixed and remastered these songs into a CD called "Imagine My Disappointment: The Very Best of Bob Hate," and many of those songs will be found elsewhere on this blog. While he was a fantastic eater and singer, he was a bastard about making you guess what was in his head and his heart. I picked the 15 tracks I thought were the best, the ones that captured whatever little magic he found in his years of writing and recording. I know I’ve gotten some of it wrong. I’m sure that if Bob Hate ever resurfaces he’ll kick the shit out of me.

I would never dare to call Bob my friend, but I always loved him and his music. I hope that wherever he is, wherever his tired and restless soul has ended up, that he’s happy. I’m not holding my breath.

As I was packing up my car and leaving Albuquerque, the old man at Bob’s house said I wouldn’t find him if I went looking, and I told him I had no intention. “He’s done what he came to do,” the old man said.

And then he closed the door on me.

June, 2010
Hector “The Brim” Torres
formerly of Torque Ramada Times




The Bob Hate Discography by Hector "The Brim" Torres.

BOB HATE & THE EDDY BAND

Bad in My Car • Eddy Band (1996)
***
The first Eddy lineup works its way through a stellar collection of songs, especially the title track and “Sin Crowd.” The powerful rhythm section shines.

Better Man Than I’ve Been • Bob Hate (1998)
**
A quiet and introspective record. But there is only so much broken heartedness we can be expected to bear. There are several moments when a listener will be encouraged to simply drive into a ditch.

Heart Like the Ocean • Bob Hate (2002)
**
A clever collection of 10 Bob Dylan tracks. Some re-arrangements are brilliant, like Hate’s clean and direct version of “Like a Rolling Stone.” Others, like the muddled “Masters of War,” are precious and indulgent.

Like a King • Bob Hate (2003)
****
Features the best of Bob’s 1990 work with the Eddy fellas, and some newer solo perform­ances, the desperate “Gas Giants,” and the electrifying “Swimming.”

Gasoline Nation • Bob Hate (2004)
**
Random and unessential. A couple of Hate / Hix tracks are interesting, especially Baltimore Girl. But some alternate versions of already released tunes are mere sketches that reveal nothing.

Poor Company • Bob Hate (2008)
*
Rudimentary and dull home demos. A casual and uninspired mix of decades-old tracks and some new, unfinished tunes.

Bitter Solo Album • Bob Hate (2009)
**
Angsty and overindulgent for the most part, but anchored with 2 new classics, “Nowhere” and “Silver City.”

Wreckerman • Eddy Band (2009)
***
This disc chronicles the 2008/2009 Eddy band reunion. The recordings are first rate. Thomas’s guitar work is inspired.

Six Foot Length of Rope • Eddy Band (2010)
****
Unnecessary and essential all at the same time; a collection of the best of Eddy, featuring 10 new tracks paired with the half dozen best from the band’s first disc.

Imagine My Disappointment • Bob Hate (2010)
**
At first glance just a solo companion to SFLOR noted above, but this retrospective stands out mostly for its inclusion of a handful of revelatory tracks from early in Hate’s career, especially the evocative and transcendent “Romance,” and the early 90 classics “Map of the World” and “Desertland.” But too much of the rest appears on quite recent releases in more context.

eddimusik elektronik • Bob Hate (2010)
*
You have to really love blips and beeps to love this. And I don’t. Only saving grace is the haunting “Wichita Lineman.”

Every Day’s Been Darkness Since You’ve Been Gone • Bob Hate (2010)
***
A dynamic and creative collection of covers. In nearly all cases the songs are re-cast so well in Hate’s fashion that you’ll begin to forget the originals. Chief among this disc’s successes are “Beast of Burden,” “Suspicious Minds,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”

Stopgap • Bob Hate (2012)
***
A selection of demos, featuring a number of new in-progress Eddy tunes, including “Bir­mingham,” a gorgeous ballad that Bob leans into with his 60’s heartbreak guy voice. Disc ruined with keyboards and reverb, as usual. But essential all the same for the inclusion of the new version of perennial under-achiever “Lubbock” (at least three recorded versions exist), and the new and quintessential Hate track, “King of Nothing.”

King of Nothing • Bob Hate (2012)
****
A sprawling, comprehensive, and well-chosen collection of the best band and solo recordings from 2008-2012. Features the first appearance of drummers Pete Young and Dave Whitlock. Some solo tracks from Stopgap, released early in the year, are much improved by the addition of actual musicians.

Superbaby • Rick Bart & Bob Hate (2012)
*
Gets a star for the funny title. But this 5 track, 60 minute (!) mess is a mashup of decent short story writing and overly permissive snatch and grab music “production.” Execrable.

In the Days of Gluten • Bob Hate (2013)
**
A followup to the 2010 covers collection, this disc has a few standouts, but there are too many mopey weepers and dull classic stompers. The closing and quiet Cast No Shadow is pretty fantastic, and the Timberlake and Aguilera numbers are modern and groovy.

Spanish for Hospital • Eddy Band (2013)
***
The band's "farewell" album should have been a muddled mess. Recorded partially in a brief Texas session and then finished up with some long-distance trickery, it might have lacked focus. But it’s a testament to the band’s strong material that it somehow nearly all works. At times some nimble bass playing from Buck Rudo and guitar work from Stephen Thomas stands out, but the material is the star. Literate narratives like the CD opener “Eddy + Cindy,” the muscular “Ruby,” and the funny and sharp “The Take” all make stellar companions to the band’s earlier, sprawling catalog. Front man Bob Hate wrings pathos out of some of the ballads, and careens through most of the tracks as a stellar – and not completely trustworthy – storyteller.

Juvenilia • Bob Hate (2014)
****
This is nothing short of a revelation, a dozen 30 year old songs re-recorded and reimagined over a blistering 9 days. Most of the tunes are completely unknown to all but the most fervent fans, and they strike with alacrity and force. The rockers, like “Remember my Name,” “Dream Street,” and “Hold Your Tongue” are taut and thrilling. Some moodier pieces like “The Twist” and “Big Girl” highlight directions Hate might have gone had he not followed the bitter 2 lane roads of middle Americana. Euro-guitarists Klimis and Mostafa add no small amount of bite to a number of the tunes, but it’s Hate’s own diverse acoustic work that adds some authentic texture to the disc.





"Imagine My Disappointment: The Very Best of Bob Hate."

Dear God,

Okay, I give. It’s been 30 years of writing and recording, and about a dozen years playing in clubs to drunks.

I’m grateful my music career has been a complete failure, because I’d rather be what I am than trade places with an ass clown like Jason Mraz or that poser Daughtry. It sure is great that their magnificence has not been lost to us all.

So I just opened the vaults one last time to make this one last disc for my 9 fans. Some of these are more than 20 years old, and remastered from hissy cassette tapes, and some are things I finished alongside the work I did with the Eddy fellas over the years. (You didn’t think I’d save my best tunes for those bastards, did you?)

They are all songs that reveal part of the misery of being me. And I’m exhausted.

Oh, and thanks for the food addiction and the baldness. It’s a super combo.

Yer pal,
Bob Hate

Bob's Liner Notes for "Imagine My Disappointment."

1. Bad in my Car
This was released on the Eddy Band CD of the same name, recorded in Dallas in 1996. It’s only me on the whole thing. I snuck into the studio in early mornings and worked it up myself. I was always very proud of the acoustic part. It’s about the wife, of course, and every word of it is true. Except I’m not from Oklahoma. Who’d want to be from there?

2. Nowhere
I wrote this during the Eddy reunion. In the end, of course, we just went with songs that I co-wrote with the fellas, so this was left for me. It was all recorded at the home studio in Albuquerque. It sounds just like me. That’s why it’s so amazingly good. Like the other songs that come from the Bitter Solo Album, this has been remixed and remastered.

3. About the Moon
This song was released in 96 on the first Eddy Band CD, but I was never convinced it was done. When we were talking about the recent reunion, I finally wrote a goddamned bridge for it. We did a demo of it in 2008, I sent off the tracks to Annie Clements (the bass player in Sugarland), who lent me a hand with the duet vocals, and then I finished it on my own. Chet, Stephen, and Dave are all on it, too, I think, though I replaced some kick drum stuff. Because I’m an asshole.

4. Map of the World
This is a song I wrote in the mid 80s, and that really got played a lot when Chet and I were in the Blue Hotel band. This recording you’ve picked is a 1990 demo session Chet and I did with the legendary king of the hi-hat, Johnny Lawamba. Chet and I sang ourselves hoarse on those backing vocals. It sounds like we were in a well.

5. Gas Giants
Every word of this is true. Except that maybe the car was more gray than silver.

6. Superstition Highway
I wrote this in Mississippi in 84 or 85. I’ve recorded it a number of times, but this version comes from 1998, a track I did on my own at the compound in Dallas. We used to do it live a lot because it’s dead easy.

7. Got Lost
When I rhymed Fargo, North Dakota, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Tucson, Arizona, I figured I was about done.

8. Outside Silver City
A song for the wife. All true. All from a visit we made to the City of Rocks outside Silver City. “As long as you are beside me.”

9. Every Bad Dream
A good friend of mine called me when he heard it to tell me he cried when he first heard it. He knew I’d written it about him and his wife. Then another called to say the same thing. That’s brutal. When do I have time to think about them?

10. Swimming
It’s my big marriage song. People love this thing. I played it in Dallas in the late 80s, and have recorded it several times. This is a 2003 version I did with Buck on bass and Paul Tewksbury on drums. I stole the bridge from another song of mine. I couldn’t tell you which one.

11. Romance
I wrote this about 30 years ago, and you’ve messed up by not using a 1982 version I recorded in Phoenix. We hired this violinist named – and I’m 100% serious – Stephen Vaughn Esquire. I sang some lines to him that I wanted, high screeching things, and he played it beautifully. I know that version is really hissy and bassy. No amount of EQ would save it, but man, it’s beautiful. It’s about 9 minutes long and a total mess. I fired the piano player halfway through the session. I haven’t heard it in years, but I remember it being a train wreck of epic madness and beauty. (Maybe you can stick it on as a hidden track.) The pedestrian version you chose instead was just a home demo I did in the late 90s. It might have been on the Better Man Than I’ve Been solo disc. The guitar solo comes from Craig Wallace, a famously problematic cat. I believe I paid $50 for the pleasure of having him in my house for an hour (where I had to make him tea twice).

12. If I Knew Then
This is also from Better Man. It’s not done very well. There are some awful chordings in the quiet sections. But, man, it breaks my heart to this day. Is it really 7 minutes long? That harp solo left me winded, but then, what doesn’t?

13. No Man’s Friend
This is one you have to cut. I know a lot of people like it, but it’s just so damn dull to me. Half of it comes from a song from 86 or 87. The rest I did a couple of years ago. It’s sort of fun to drive on the highway with it, but I’ll never understand why people like it. Is it because you can dance to it? Most of my songs are famously undanceable.

14. Desertland
This is Chet, me, and Johnny Lawamba again, from 1990. I’ve recorded this tune a dozen times, and have never gotten it right. It says pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted to say about love, about the highway, and about the desert. There’s a girl with auburn hair in it. Shocker.

15. Be Like Him
If it’s any consolation, I wasn’t much of a son either.

Eddy Band.

Co-consiprator
Chet Hix
And there was the Eddy Band. The Eddy Band started as the Blue Hotel back in the late 1980s. Chet and Bob tried to make that thing work, but it never did. After a hiatus from Texas, Chet came back in the early 90s and the band reformed. Using a variety of folks - and fitting in the occasional gig between endless and soul-killing cover gigs - the Eddy Band occasionally performed to half-empty clubs.

When Chet left Texas in the mid 90s, Bob carried on, and in fact put together a second version of the band that continued to play for a couple more years. But by 1997 it was over, and then it was ten years later that the ill-fated two summer reunion in Nashville happened.

Chet and Bob, along with Buck Rudo, Stephen Thomas, and Dave Lemonds - spent a few days in the summer of 2008 and 2009 in Nashville recording some new songs the fellas had written long distance. The sessions resulted in a 2009 CD called Wreckerman, and then the 2010 "best of" called "Six Foot Length of Rope," which collected the the best tunes from the reunion and from their 1996 CD.

The 1990s tracks also feature the stellar work of steel guitarist Jim Koch, although he was far too smart to take part in the reunion.

Liner Notes for "Six Foot Length of Rope."

It was 4 a.m. when the phone rang. That could only mean one thing.

“I pushed them all away.” It was Bob's voice. He sounded tired. It was no surprise that he was up already, hiding in his small studio well before the sun would come up over the towering adobe walls at his New Mexico compound. “They never understood me. My self-loathing. I made Nixon look like a piker.”

I knew this call would come soon because I'd heard that the band had splintered again. After some stellar sessions in Nashville, Bob retreated with the master tapes to ruin the mixes with reverb and piano.

“They deserved better,” Bob said. “Lemonds. He couldn't even look me in the eye when I left. Stephen at least let me shake his hand. Then he wiped it on his pants. Buck was the first one to go. 'Gotta catch a plane!' Yeah, yeah, we get it. ‘You're the pilot!’ Chet had one more beer with me at the end. That was nice. He just
wanted to know if I still had a KISS t-shirt he left at my place in 87.”

I heard sounds in the background, guitars, drums. Then they stopped. The clicking of a mouse. “I should just erase it all,” he said.

But he didn't. Two weeks later I got a call to meet him at a campsite outside City of Rocks, NM. I found him in a folding chair, the nylon straps buckling under the weight. He was smoking. His face looked puffy, his eyes runny. He gave me 2 master discs, enough songs for one more album. “It's the best stuff, some from the summer, some from a hundred years ago.”

We talked about nothing until dark. After a long time I thought maybe he'd fallen asleep in that chair. I moved closer until I could see his face in the sliver of moonlight. He was smiling. I sensed he would say something, something that would bring it all together maybe something I could bring to the rest of his fans. Maybe he’d just tell me how he loved the fellas, how he’d miss them, how they’d made him a better musician, a better man.

It was dead quiet until he spoke. “You think, maybe, you could get out of here so I could get some rest?”

Hector "The Brim" Torres