EDDY BAND “DEAD” AGAIN
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.