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BOB HATE • Something Bad Has Happened Here
2016's downbeat classic, featuring
"Big Tiny," "We're Gone," "Savannah,"
"Train Train," "Last to Go," and 5 more.


BOB HATE • Hate Town
A return to solo glory, recorded in
Savannah. Featuring "Hate Town," Desertland,"
"Make it Up," "Drenched," "Seconds,"
"Wish I'd Quit You," and 10 more.


BOB HATE • I Was the Big Train
The 2014 unplugged masterpiece, featuring
"Maria," "Bad in my Car," "K.O.N.,"
"Nobody's Treasure," and 8 more.


BOB HATE • Juvenilia
A career-spanning revitalization of
tunes from the 70s and 80s. Featuring all new
recordings of "Dream Street," "Hold Your Tongue,"
"Remember My Name," "Big Girl," and 8 more.


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.

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

BOB HATE & THE EDDY BAND

**** Classic
*** Worth owning
** Meh, a couple of good tracks
* Waste of vinyl, polymer, or bandwidth

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.

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




Liner Notes for "Spanish for Hospital"

EDDY BAND “DEAD” AGAIN
Kale Samford
Editor, Torque Ramada Times

The Eddy Band roared out of Texas in the mid-nineties on the strength of hits like the downbeat highway anthem “Shreveport” and the psychobilly-meets-arena-rock of “Sin Crowd.”

To the cognoscenti, it was always simply Eddy, also the name of the nomadic character at the center of the band's songs.

“It was a concept with a small C,” Chet Hix recalled, speaking from an undisclosed location. “We followed through on it even after we'd sort of forgotten about it. Eddy was a band, but at the same time it was this made-up guy we were writing about.”

By 1996, the band had reached critical mass. The lineup featured Hix (whose erratic behavior included going AWOL for a number of important recording and performance dates), band founder, singer and guitarist Bob Hate, guitarist Stephen Thomas, and bass player Buck Rudo. But precisely at the point when the band was wowing audiences and music scribes, The Eddy Band disappeared.

“We'd crossed the Rubicon,” Hix said. “There's a line, and, once you've crossed it, you're just cashing in. It wasn't about the music anymore. We were all out of our minds a little bit. Success is a hell of a drug.”

For 15 years, the band released no new music.

“We weren't exactly speaking to each other,” Hix said. “I don't really know what the rest of the guys were doing [during that time]. Once I heard Buck was flying planes for the CIA. That sounded about right.”

Then, to the astonishment of the music world, The Eddy Band reemerged in 2011 with Six Foot Length of Rope, a startling collection of new material and greatest hits. Somehow, the band had managed to pick up where it left off without losing a step.

The reunion was also notable for its turbulence.

“Everyone had a score to settle,” Hix explained. “You've got open sores that festered for 15 years, right? There was lots of [expletive]-talking going on in the studio. And that got out of hand.”

During the final mixing sessions for the album, Hate and Thomas repeatedly clashed over production issues, leading to a well-publicized physical confrontation. According to reports, both were hospitalized with knife wounds.

“Uh, I can't say any more about that,” Hix said. “Let's not go there.”

In a few weeks, the band will release Spanish for Hospital. Hix confirmed press releases that state it will be The Eddy Band's swan song.

“It's all new material, I think,” Hix said. “I never know what the tracks are going to be until it's out. That's Bob's decision. But, yeah, this is it. Adios, [expletive].”

Hix was quick to shoot down any talk of an acrimonious split.

“No, no, we're all cool with each other now,” he said.

During the band's long hiatus, the internet arrived in full force, making new fans for the band around the world.

“In Belgium, we're pretty much gods,” Hix pointed out. “Fiji, Kenya, you name it. We're like the Stones in Norway. The downloads add up. Financially, we're all pretty comfortable, I guess you could say.”

So why is The Eddy Band calling it a day, now that the band's popularity is at an all-time high?

“Ask Bob,” Hix said. “He's the voice. There's no Eddy without Bob. We spoke a few times about it, but his mind's made up. I wish him the best. I mean, the guy saved my life in 28 states. The band's made us rich, okay? We all have [expletive]-you money. I've done all right for a guy who was living in a bus station 20 years ago.”

Bob Hate was unavailable for comment.

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.

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

Liner Notes for "Like a King"

When the news came in the winter of 1999, it was shocking and brief. “Our hearts break tonight. We’ve lost our leader and friend. Bob Hate is dead.”

The message, posted on a fan website, came from bassist Buck Rudolph, a member of Bob’s last band, Kansas City. The outpouring of grief was immediate as fans found their way to the Dallas, Texas, compound where the beloved bandleader and songwriter had lived with his second wife, Ellen Mason.

“We just saw him last week,” a young fan sobbed. “He told us to stay in school and stay off the pipe.”

But almost immediately rumors began to swirl. $4500 was drawn on one of Hate’s credit cards two weeks after his funeral. Rudolph moved from Texas to New Jersey, taking with him – as he’s claimed recently – several demos of unreleased songs that he and Hate had been working on with a tall and severe new drummer known only as Tax.

But that story can wait. What is known for sure is that Hate disappeared in 1999, taking with him an unusual rock and roll legacy.

Born William Robert Simmons in Bossier City, Louisiana in 1958. Young Will grew up quietly with his parents who owned the Crystal Whip, a decades-famous rock club that was home to countless 70s rock and blues acts. “He was this little fat kid who hung around all the cats who came through,” said Dave Phalen, longtime doorman at the Whip. “He soaked it all in. He’d sit there eating ham and cheese sandwiches until it was bedtime.”

When Will was 17, he started his first band, Grand Theft Otto. They played blues and southern rock at the Whip on weeknights. But in 1977 he left home to start college in Reno, Nevada. Instead of attending classes, Will began playing open mic nights and working on his own songs.

After leaving college early, Will, using the moniker Bobby Wheels, landed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There he started a straight rock band, The Wheels, that quickly rose to the top of the food chain for southwest regional rock bands with fat lead singers.

It was in 1985, however, that the Bob Hate saga really began. While the Wheels were stranded at a rest area near the Texas border, Chet Hix, a full-blooded Choctaw Indian, pulled alongside offering battery cables and a jump. After Hate and Hix shared a bottle of Pepsi and the band’s last 15 donuts, the two knew enough about each other to talk songwriting, Los Angeles Lakers basketball, and which of the original Charlie’s Angels was worth going to jail over.

Within six weeks Hate and Hix had left The Wheels behind and started a new group, the so-called Eddy band.

Most of the story after that is well chronicled. The band went nationwide in 1991. The money poured in. The boys found wives and bought houses that made MC Hammer’s place look like a toolshed. A vicious on-stage argument broke the band and the partnership up and put a wedge between them in 1994. “Bob would hate for me to say this,” Hix said, “but after the breakup he came to my boat and cried like a baby. I told him to forget it. That we’d had a good run. I encouraged him to get a trade of some kind, something steady. He was always good with cables and wires.”

Hix moved to Georgia where he bought nine hundred acres of land and wrote several failed screenplays before he broke through with the 2004 Oscar winning Vin Diesel film “Jesus Frankenstein.”

Bob continued to tour and record with a new band, Kansas City.

And then he was gone. This posthumous greatest hits collection was already in progress when Buck Rudolph arrived at Moonguy Records in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with a dozen unknown Bob Hate recordings. The date on them, he said, was 1998, from a session he had played on about 6 months before Hate’s death. But as soon as Moonguy president Steven Carter began listening to the material, doubts arose. The digital compression ratio on all of the discs was too high for pre-2000 equipment. The recordings were made after his death, and the news hit fans and rock journalists like a jolt.

“Bob Hate lives, isn’t that what they used to write on his headstone,” Rudolph said in an interview in Slice magazine this year. “He’s in me, in his fans. He’s in the old songs and the new.”

So, we’re left with this document. 16 songs, 8 of them never heard before, their recording date a mystery, their creation just another part of the myth. Rather than wonder anymore, just listen to these tracks. Four wheels, two lives, one more last ride. Bob Hate lives.

Hector “The Brim” Torres
Editor, Torque Ramada Times