Dear She Mob:
I love your "Ask She Mob" column, and really appreciate the
way your witty replies are delivered with a gentle, yet relentless undertone
of irony and/or sarcasm. That's my kind of humor (no, I mean it, really,
sarcasm mode is definitely OFF here.) Thing is, I can't figure out who
writes these little glittering gems! My guess is that it's Lisa (her irony,
steely and remorseless, strikes fear into the hardest heart, while her
wisdom is caring, even motherly) or Sue (no one blends sarcasm and Midwestern
gee-whiz optimism into an intoxicating She-Brew quite like Ms. Hutchinson
a.k.a. Queen Of Doom!). Or maybe both? I just don't get any sense of Alan's
eclectic Svengali/ Wizard Of Oz/ Mr. Smith Goes To Washington-era-Jimmy
Stewart nature in there. Nor do I detect even the faintest whiff of Diane's
hedonistic, swinging sixties charm. By the way, is Diane seeing anyone
these days? And what was it like recording with the secretive, tragically
misunderstood studio genius Myles
Boisen? I've heard he is really manipulative and strange, kinda like
a modern-day Phil Spector? Did he make you do any weird rituals in the
studio? I've heard rumors... - "Buddy" from San Leandro
Say, did you know that San Leandro was first discovered on March 20, 1772
by Spanish soldier Captain Pedro Fages and the Spanish Catholic priest
Father Crespi? Forty-eight years later, to increase settlement and strengthen
their claim to the Bay Area, the Spanish gave to retired Spanish soldier
Don Luis Maria Peralta a 43,000 acre land grant which he named Rancho
San Antonio. In 1842, Don Jose Joaquin Estudillo, also a retired Spanish
soldier, was granted 7,000 acres of land in the San Leandro area, which
he named Rancho San Leandro. As for your questions: we like to keep the
"Ask She Mob" writer kind of mysterious, to avoid lawsuits and
screaming matches in the middle of the street. We're paranoid that way.
Diane is seeing someone at the moment, but that doesn't mean you
can't still be friends. Now Myles Boisen is a whole 'nother topic unto
himself. Let's just say that it takes a very special individual to put
up with the likes of us and our marathon recording sessions. We know the
homemade sandwiches help, but God, the man is practically a saint: patient,
talented and quite the knob-twirler in the studio. His only ritual seems
to be to take a break every 12 hours or so for about 20 minutes—we've
learned to put up with it. Highly recommended by She Mob.
Dear She Mob,
saw your little kid pix, and WOW! talk about
charisma! You gals are sooooooooooooo adorable. I would have adopted you
if I was only 20 years older. Speakin' a which, how old are you folks?
You must be in your mid to late 40s? Older? Am I close? The reason I ask
is actually relevant to my next question. As one of the newer fans of
your band, I'm curious to know: It sounds like you are playing music live
again after all these years. What is it that inspires you to do such a
thing? (at your age) I'm not saying it to be mean, much to the contrary.
I think it's great, but I'm just curious to know where you find the inspiration?
- Joe Pop-O-Pie,
Well hello Joe-
No offense taken. Other people have asked if we're ancient children of
the 60s, due to the archaic quality of dress and hairstyle of our childlike
selves. Although very early Beatles and Petula Clark figured in our murky,
preschool backgrounds, most of us came of age during the 70s. Average
age of the band: 39.75. In the early 80s, Alan was truly the musician
and man-about-town. Sue, Diane and Lisa kind of wiggled around the club
scene, playing in weird little bands that never lasted long. We weren't
exactly hell-bent on mastering our chops back then—but what fun. We all
enjoyed the Pop-O-Pies,
by the way, and perhaps the entire ethos of the era continues to inspire
us to ridiculous lengths—as we now attempt to master chops, compose tunes
and entertain the troops. Back then, San Francisco was like a weird, punk-rock
episode of "The
Little Rascals" (now there's a concept). Perhaps by being in
a band, we're simply prolonging some unreal version of childhood, mixed
with late-adolescent angst and a smidgen of adult wisdom. Besides, it's
a good way to get our ya-ya's out.
Dear She Mob,
Are the rumors true that you once performed with Sky Saxon, the dude from
the Seeds? What's up with that? And who starts those crazy rumors anyways?
- a confused fan
Sky says, "Go for it."
is over! Yes, we did play with Mr. Saxon of The
Seeds' "Pushin' Too Hard" fame a few Halloween's ago (see
our photo page for the stunning visuals).
Saxon was supposedly recording live stuff with various Bay Area bands
for an album—it didn't matter that none of the bands played any of his
songs—he just improvised lyrics over whatever instrumentals they played.
This...er...experimental project has yet to be released as far as we know.
What truly made this one-night-stand special was that it took place at
the late, great Purple Onion, then under the ownership of the raucous
Tom Guido. The club has since closed after years of insanity but we're
proud that it was our little slice o' San Francisco North Beach purgatory
for a while. It's where we first met and frolicked with the Neptunas,
Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Kirby Grips; plus back in the 60s, Phyllis
Diller got her start there at age 37—an inspiration to funny homemakers
everywhere. Recently we were rehearsing in our cinderblock building and
who should knock at the door, but Sky Saxon. He asked if we knew who he
was. We countered that not only did we know—we had been his backup band.
He then remembered the incident and greeted us warmly.
a simpler time?
dear she mob....i
like to watch vh1 behind the music...and was watching the leif garret
one and heard him playing his new music and i was wondering if he had
a new album out. i thought in the interview he said he formed a new group
called 'god speed' but i'm not sure. i was hopin' you could clarify it
for me and tell me about his new music like where i can get a copy. i've
looked just about everywhere and came up with nothing except his new collection
which contains the other material he did and i'm interested in the new.
if you could please help i'd be grateful. thanks again! signed, looking
for new leif
See how we taxed our brains before September 11? Do you miss those heady
days, or is tomorrow bound to be a better, brighter future for all?
Dig the MPThrees. Thanxks. I have thought hard about
a question I could ask you, and finally thought of one no one else could
handle. It goes something like this: Since toilets in the Southern hemisphere
flush clockwise, and toilets in the Northern hemisphere flush counter-clockwise,
in what direction do toilets on the equator flush? Also, what's the difference
between a dog? Thankxs for everything. - Chris
The seat of all
For our first question involving a toilet, we put our collective minds
together to come up with a scientific hypothesis. Band member A theorizes
that the water will go straight down with no swirling motion whatsoever.
Member B predicts that the water will flush clockwise, but only during
months that contain an "r." Member C wants to know the toilet's
birth sign in order to calculate the rate of flow during Jupiter in Saturn.
Member D is a pessimist and doesn't see the water going anywhere at all,
due to faulty plumbing. Perhaps on our next tour of the equator we can
test all these theories in one fell swoosh. Until then, our brilliant
collective thought process will have to do. For the difference between
a dog, try the scientifically proven quiz: What
Breed of Dog Are You?
Dear She Mob,
Guns 'N' Roses has resurfaced. Apparently Axl Rose retained rights to
the name, and, Frankenstein-like, has cannibalized the parts of other,
cooler bands. The resurrected GnR now contains elements of Primus and
Nine Inch Nails, and inexplicably, Buckethead. what do we make of this,
if anything? Is this a sign that apocalypse is near? Can raining toads
be far behind? Signed, Concerned and Sick
p.s. I also read that Loverboy is going to continue despite the recent
death of their bass player. Did anyone notice?
the Bush Senior administration...
Lookit Axl and tell me if you can't find it in your heart to pity
him just a little. Back in the day, he was a GOLDEN GOD, reaching
the pinnacle of rock & roll fame, riches and debauchery at a
time when suburban youth needed his special brand of melodic heavy
metal simply to GET THROUGH ANOTHER BORING DAY. Some former members
of his band are now extremely brain damaged. There can be no turning
Mr. Rose has moved on. The newly formed GnR has toured Las Vegas
and Rio, and an album will be released in June 2001. You must admit
that fictional character Dr. Frankenstein had an interesting idea
for his time, even though it didn't work out. Axl Rose, a fictional
character created by Lafayette, Indiana, native Bill Bailey, may
likewise find that his new band may want to figuratively (or even
literally) behead him with their bare hands. If so, at least he
tried. Don't forget Tommy Stinson of the Replacements is also in
the band. He had the privilege of playing in perhaps the greatest
indie rock band ever. This gives us hope for the future of heavy
metal. Besides, anyone who could pen the song 'Sweet Child O' Mine'
must have the tiniest inkling of humanity within himself somewhere.
As for Loverboy,
if they want a piece of my heart, they better start from the start...
dear she mob,
i am of a "certain age," yet i never truly got into the punk scene, even
though i have always had punk sensibilities. i find myself reading and
re-reading the book "Please Kill Me" by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
every night before bed, resulting in some unsettling dreams and the ability
to quote long passages about the Stooges' experiences in L.A. and the
drug habits of Johnny Thunders. some of my favorite music now includes
Television, Iggy and the Stooges, the New York Dolls, and the Heartbreakers
(not the Tom Petty version). am i living in a past i never experienced?
should i start sniffing glue and popping Tuinals? can one even find Tuinals
these days? am i hopelessly antiquated, even while achieving a level of
70's coolness that those hip-hugger-wearing, platform-shoe-tripping-over
MTV wannabee's will never encounter? please help. Signed,
"i've fallen into a punk wormhole and I can't get up"
What you yearn for has passed and no amount of green-haired 17-year-olds
wearing studded leather, standing on street-corners and doodling pictures
on their arms with ball-point pens can bring back those heady days, when
people sneered at each other and meant it. Your cry for help is merely
an appreciation of a special place in time that can only be earnestly
imitated—never again to be. It's like the flapper era—lotsa' fun but short-lived
and deservedly so. So you missed out on a few drugs—you probably gained
25 years of life expectancy and that's nothing to sneeze at. Ask yourself,
were the 70s truly cool? They were kind of dopey, so cool people stood
out all the more (within dopey times, the cool gain stature). The 90s
and early 00s are bland times for U.S. pop culture. It's hard not to feel
angst when everything from ravers-on-ecstasy to Nick Drake is being used
to sell cars and audio components. Our advise: Ride it out. With the inevitable
inauguration of our Republican Leader, a new era of dopeyness is right
around the corner. And as always, fresh illicit drugs are being concocted
Dear She Mob,
Similar to how She Mob's fan base expanded geometrically in Willow Grove,
Pennsylvania, look for a growing fan base to develop here in Freak City,
USA (Asheville, NC)(1). For instance, I almost remembered
to bring one of your CD's to the recent Jayhawks show to give to Gary
Louris, but didn't. But I almost remembered, and who knows what would
have then developed?(2) Anyway, in "The
Story of She Mob" you wrote that no one knows how to pronounce the
"00's" yet, but Troy(3) and I have declared this
decade to be the Aughts. It totally fits, not to mention being grammatically
correct. What does She Mob think?(4) By the way,
I am sending this from my church office(5), as I
am iconoclastic and do not have Internet access at home. Can't wait for
the new album (tentatively titled Winner's Bitch(6))!
Signed, One of one of your brothers, Jeff(7)
She Mob's footnotes:
(1) Jeff's new home base.
(2) What indeed? If he's anything like the plethora
of major and minor celebrities we've given our CD to, then most likely
(3) Troy, his wife.
(4) Yes! We think Jeff and Troy have a winner here.
(5) Jeff is an ordained minister.
(6) This is a reference to a term used in dog shows,
of which Jeff's mother is a judge of.
(7) That would be Sue's brother. Jeff.
Dear She Mob,
I saw that movie "Live Nude Girls Unite" over the weekend and a She Mob
song is in the soundtrack! I think it's "I took the $." Signed, "Brian
Right you are, Brian
2. That She Mob golden oldie is indeed featured on the soundtrack of the
documentary which is playing in Bay Area theaters in mid-October, 2000.
Co-directors Julia Query and Vicky Funari's Live
Nude Girls Unite Web site gives all the background on the film, its
current distribution schedule, awards won, and of course, T-shirt information.
It's the story of Julia's efforts to unionize the strippers at the Lusty
Lady Theater in San Francisco—the first exotic-dancer's union of its kind.
A soundtrack album is in the works. Will She Mob promote this future endeavor
on this Web site? Oh yes.
Not She Mob (Sea
I think I missed the whole tour. Boy do I feel like an idiot. I kept calling
you the Sea Hags for some reason and nobody knew what I was talking about.
Hope it was fun and you got to try lots of new stuff. I must know who
Alan is - is he from Santa Cruz? Signed, "Brian"
No need to torment yourself. Touring is mainly for the young, the chronically
underemployed, the thrill-seeker and the marginally insane. We fall under
the majority of those categories. Alan actually did tour in his youth
with the Cat Heads
and yes, he attended UC Santa Cruz right out of high school where he first
honed his DJ skills. After he moved to San Francisco, he was known as
Ras Alan on the KUSF Saturday night reggae show back when the city had
a thriving music scene. She Mob would have toured then, but the gals were
playing in bands that while fun—were not touring vehicles (i.e., we sucked).
As for the Sea Hags, the only thing we have in common with that notorious
80s band is that we all might have used similar hair-care products to
get that lush, rats-nest look.
I think you should have a song (maybe a theme album, bucking the grain
in the current singles-based industry) in which the tragic story of
a late seventies/early eighties gang war spawned by the bitter rivalry
between Patti Smith and Deborah Harry is told. Name names. Signed,
a grand fantasy. Punks, poets and new wavers all rumbling in the gritty
streets of New York City—with a cameo from the unknown Madonna. David
Byrne could be cowering in an alley while the Ramones bust heads. In reality,
musicians from that era were malnourished waifs who regularly dodged beer
bottles or fell off of stages throughout European tours, so I doubt they
could have done much brawling, although verbal sparring is a definite
possibility. In She Mob, there is a minority faction who favors the bright,
poppy tunes of Blondie over the rambling discourse of Patti Smith, but
it's never spoken of after that same faction once admitted (while drunk)
that the hit songs of Rick Springfield weren't as nausea-inducing as she
beat that with a stick. Got a problem? There's four of us and only one
of you. Perhaps we can offer some helpful suggestions. Email